Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What should be the Strategy to Crack SSC CGL in First Attempt?

Cracking a competitive exam is more about strategy than the hard-work. It's really important to strategies before you actually put in your time and efforts. SSC CGL written exam is held in two phases i.e Tier 1 & Tier 2. Today, We are going to discuss how you should start your preparation and attempt questions in SSC CGL exam.

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 Before we start explaining the Strategy to Crack SSC CGL Exam in details, it's important for you to know about various myths associated with SSC CGL Exam.

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Myths and Facts related to SSC CGL Exam

Myth 1Questions are not repeated in SSC CGL Exam

Fact -   You hear this from a lot of people, right? However this perception is completely wrong. The truth is, SSC do repeat questions and that too in all sections(Reasoning, Maths, English, G.S). If you don't believe me, have a look on last 4-5 year question papers of SSC CGL. You will find that, there are around 2-3 questions in each section which are repeated after every time. It is therefore necessary to solve Previous Year Papers. In English Section, you will find repeated questions inOne-Word Substitution, Idioms/phrases, Synonyms,Antonyms, Correction of sentences

In Mathematics, you will find repeated questions in topics like Mensuration, Trigonometry, Geometry & Algebra.

Myth 2GK Section is Unpredictable and Can't be Scoring

Fact -   Those students who are still not able to decode the pattern of the GK section are bound to feel that its syllabus is too vast and thus, it's difficult to score in this section. However, If you analyze the GK Section of past year CGL papers, you will realize that certain question types are repeated almost every year. For example, The first in India, Constitutional articles & amendments, commonly used chemicals, folk dances of india etc. Judging the pattern will make GK section scoring for you.

Myth 3Maths is only about Shortcuts & Tricks

Fact -   For many students, Maths section is difficult and time consuming. It has questions from all major topics like Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, Mensuration and Trigonometry. Many students believe that it's almost impossible to score good marks without using Tricks and Shortcuts. What we feel is, Tricks and shortcuts are undoubtedly helpful but you still need basic concept to learn and use them effectively.

Myth 4Current Affairs are useless for CGL Exam

Fact -   Major subjects for SSC CGL GS Section are undoubtedly History, Polity, Geography, Science & Economics as most of the questions are asked from these subjects only. However, it is a misconception that Current Affairs is useless and should be ignored. You will be surprised to know that around 4-5 questions in G.K section are related to current affairs. So, Covering all major events of last 3-4 months can give you 4-5 marks for granted.

Myth 5If you are weak in Grammar, you can't get good marks in English 

Fact -   You will hear from a lot of people that you can only get good marks in English section after mastering the Grammar Portion. However, that's not true. The English Section has 50 questions. Out of these, only 5-10 questions are dedicated to spotting errors and 5 questions are dedicated to correction of sentences. These are the two sections where you need a strong command over Grammar. Rest of 35 questions are dedicated to reading, Vocabulary and fundamental English usage. So, if you are weak in Grammar section, you should focus on these topics to score in English Section.

Myth 6Questions based on Comprehension should be avoided

Fact -   Many students believe that Reading Comprehension takes too much time and thus it should be avoided. They feel that Avoiding questions based on comprehension will save their time which they can utilize in solving other questions. However, the best thing about Comprehension is, with a good reading speed & practice, you can easily score 5 to 10 marks. This is because, passages don't ask you to memorize any formulae or facts.

Myth 7Knowledge of Higher Maths is Required

Fact -   We receive numerous e-mails where student ask us questions like, "Do ssc contain questions from higher classes i.e 11th - 12th", "Do i need to cover the syllabus of 11th & 12th Maths for doing better in CGL Exam". Well, the answer is "No". It's clearly mentioned by SSC that "Questions in Maths will be of 10th standard level and Questions in English will be of 10+2 level". However, you may find slightly difficult maths questions in Tier-2 Exam.

Myth 8One can't prepare for Synonyms, Antonyms, One-Word Substitution, Idioms/phrases etc

Fact -   Students normally don't give importance to building vocabulary. Due to this, they face many problem specially in English Section. If you want to improve your Vocabulary, we recommend Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis.

As far as SSC CGL is concerned, you can easily prepare for topics like Synonyms, Antonyms, One-Word Substitution & Idioms/phrases. Synonyms/Antonyms are repeated by SSC in CGL Exam. So, solving previous year papers will really help. For One-Word Substitution and Idioms/Phrases, you can read our collection.

  1. One Word Substitution for SSC CGL
  2. Idioms/Phrases for SSC CGL

Myth 9Marks above 100 in Tier-1 is enough for getting a job 

Fact Till this year, the cut-off marks has never crossed the tally of 103 for General, 90 for OBC and 80 for SC/ST. But, crossing the cut-off marks doesn't guarantee your job. Keeping the high cut-offs in mind, we recommend you to score at least 120 being a  General candidate, 110 being an OBC candidate and 95 being an SC/ST candidate in SSC CGL Tier-1 2016. If you managed to cross the above mentioned marks, your chances of getting a job will increase.

Strategy to Crack SSC CGL in First Attempt

First go through the previous years Questions and analyse what type of questions they ask. You will find that Reasoning and Quantitative sections usually have similar kind of questions (around 60%) in each paper. Put your focus in reasoning, maths. Try and develop shortcuts of reoccurring question that will help you getting an edge over other aspirants.
Learn some data by heart, say 36 Kmph is 10 metre/sec, for every 5 units change in Kmph 18 units change in metre/sec. Hope you get it.

In reasoning, learn the Alphabets positional value, like T is 20, K is 11 so on. It will save time in writing alphabets every time you face coding decoding, series type of questions.

In English, if you examine carefully many words are repeated almost every year(SSC don't take pain to upgrade their question bank, i suppose :P ). So just go through any decent book having English previous paper. Pay attention to Subject Verb Agreement Chapter of the grammar book you are reading as many error finding questions can easily be solved by simply reading this chapter only.

For General Studies, study in  this order. Polity( Amendment acts, articles, Special provisions, preamble, feature/Borrowing of constitution) > Science(Biology >physics > Pollutants and diseases they cause > Chemistry)> History ( Modern ( Gandhian era, special sessions of INC, constituent assembly) > Ancient history ( Harrapa , Ashoka's era ) >Current Affairs ( Indian diaspora, sports, awards) > Economy > Geography. General Studies question bank has changed completely ( Guess they did something after all ). you cannot expect many direct easy question now. I suggest you to not to talk pain in reading voluminous stuff. 

Strategy During Examination.
Time management is very essential.Get the paper. Open GS section first. Quickly mark answers you know. Don't guess even if you can't resist guess until you are 50 % sure. Don't ponder too much over a question ( Say If they ask When did India get Independence. Now if you know the answer that is great, but if you are not then if you spend 2 minutes or 2 hours on the same question you will never going to get the answer.) So lesson learnt : move on to other question if you don't know it. Simple. 5 minutes are enough for GS section, if you go by this way.

Next take English section. This is the section we usually mark the most answers, reason being it sounds okay while making a choice. I suggest you not to make answer depending upon intuitions. Solve this section in 20-25 minutes.

Now take reasoning, try to solve in maximum 35 minutes. 
Approximately 65 minutes are now spent, and you have attempted 75% of the paper. Congratulate yourself :P 
Before you attempt last section, mark all the answers, Do not put this exercise to the end , as you may end up marking wrong answers in hurry or simply not left with the time to mark them. It will take max 7 minutes, or so.
Now you have 45 minutes in hand with 50 maths problems to solve.This section decides your merit. if have done some serious handwork, this will be an easy task to do. 

The reason we told you to attempt GS first is because our mind is initially blank, or should we put up in other way, our mind hasn't started working properly. If you solve in this manner your mind has now gained some momentum and is ready to face tougher task ( reasoning, Quantitative)

Books You should follow for Getting Best Result in SSC CGL

  1. Objective General English by S.P Bakshi
  2. English for General Competition(Plinth to Paramount)
Both of the above mentioned books are considered best for all competitive exams including SSC CGL. If you are a Hindi medium student, you should buy the second book i.e English for General Competition(Plinth to Paramount). This book has contents from both S.P Bakshi and Lucent's English Grammar book.

If you are looking to strengthen your English, We recommend you to start reading The Hindu daily. Don't just read, note down important vocabularies which you don't understand. 


Here, it's important to mention that, you don't need to purchase both Quantum CAT and Arithmatic and Advanced Maths. Either of the books are enough. However, you must purchase the third book for practice.

  1. SSC Reasoning Chapterwise Solved Papers 1999 Till Date English
The level of Reasoning questions asked in SSC CGL is easy. Keeping this in mind, following the above mentioned book is enough to score 40+ in Tier-1.

General Knowledge
  1. General Knowledge by Lucent Publication
  2. SSC General Awareness Chapterwise Solved Papers (1997 - till date)  -- -----for Practice
If you have enough time, you can also study the NCERT Books. However, If you don't have much time, studying the above mentioned books is enough for scoring good marks.

What Should be your Target in SSC CGL Tier-1 2016?
Don't try just to cross the cut-offs. Believe me, it's not that tough but you won't be able to get a good job through CGL. If you are really serious, you should try to get at least 120+ being a General Category student, 110+ being an OBC candidate and 95+ being an SC/ST candidate.

If you still have any doubt, feel free to ask me through comments.
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