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SSC MTS exam 2017: Detailed strategy to clear paper 1

More than 6 million candidates have applied for 8,300 Multi-Tasking (Non-Technical) Staff (MTS) posts in the country advertised by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC).

education Updated: Apr 07, 2017 15:01 IST
Nilesh Mathur
SSC

More than 6 million candidates have applied for 8,300 Multi-Tasking (Non-Technical) Staff (MTS) posts in the country advertised by the Staff Selection Commission. (Getty Images)

More than 6 million candidates have applied for 8,300 Multi-Tasking (Non-Technical) Staff (MTS) posts in the country advertised by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC).

The proposed dates for Paper 1 (first part) of the examination are April 16, 30 and May 7, 2017. The competition is going to be stiff, so candidates need to make a clear-cut strategy to be able to crack the exam.

Before making a strategy, candidates should keep in mind the nature of jobs offered through this recruitment process, pattern of the exam and the selection process.

Nature of the job offered:

The importance of awareness about the nature of duties that the job entails, lies in the fact that the questions asked in the exam will try to evaluate the competence of the candidates in performing these tasks. The post of MTS (NT) was earlier known as Group-D posts such a Peon, Daftary, Jamadar, Junior Gestetner Operator, Farash, Chowkidar, Mali etc. However, it was decided in 2010 to upgrade all Group D posts, in the government, to Group C and discontinue recruitment in Group D. It was also decided to give the designation of multi-tasking staff for various jobs in this category. (see image below the story to understand what the job entails)

Pattern of exam and selection process:

The written exam will consist of two papers: Paper I and Paper II. Paper II will be of descriptive type and will be qualifying in nature and will test candidates’ elementary language skills to be suitable for the post. Candidates will be required to write a short essay/letter in English or any language included in the 8th schedule of the Constitution. Only candidates who are shorlisted from among those appearing in Paper I will be allowed to appear in Paper II.

Scoring well in Paper I is of paramount importance as candidates for each State/UT will be finally selected based on their performance in this paper, subject to their meeting basic qualifying standards fixed in Paper-II. The Paper I exam will be objective in nature. Candidates should keep in mind that there is negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer.

Paper-1 will have four sections : General Intelligence & Reasoning (25 Questions), Numerical Aptitude (25 Questions), General English (50 Questions) and General Awareness (50 Questions). Each question will carry one mark.

How to prepare for the exam:

Advising students on how to prepare for Multi-Tasking (Non-Technical) exam, Anil Nagar, Founder & CEO, Adda247 advises candidates to focus more on GS and English section as they carry more marks (50).

“Students should practice solving a lot of questions from static GS (which does not change in the short-term) and current affairs,” he said.

For English section, Nagar said questions on Idioms, one-word substitution, antonym/synonym, fill in the blanks and passage (most important) will be asked.

In the Quant section, Nagar suggests that students should practice all basic calculations and simplification related questions.

Nagar says speed and accuracy are very important for this exam and so students should practice online mock test series and previous years’ question papers.

Here is a section-wise analysis for SSC MTS EXAM 2016 as provided by Nagar:

English Language:

50 Questions will be asked from this section

Preparation for this section would include focusing on the following topics: one-word substitution, idioms and phrases, synonyms and antonyms, fill in the blanks (sentence completion), sentence errors, reading comprehension, sentence rearrangement and jumbled-up sentences.

Narration and active voice/passive voice may or may not be there in Tier-I exam. You may overlook them if there is a scarcity of time. However, make sure you cover them for the tier-II exam.

Quite often vocabulary-based questions (one-word substitution, synonyms and antonyms) as well as idioms and phrases from past SSC papers get repeated. So, it makes a lot of sense to go through previous year exam papers and focus specifically on these questions.

The difficulty level of reading comprehension passages is not high. However, some practice is needed to locate the answers to comprehension questions asked from these passages.

For cracking sentence error spotting questions, knowledge of grammatical rules is essential. If you find yourself lacking in grammar, you should focus on practicing English usage questions such as fill in the blanks, sentence rearrangement and jumbled-up sentences.

The SSC can change the number of questions and types of questions asked in the exam at any time. Change in pattern cannot be avoided. So, be open to all possibilities.

Quantitative Aptitude (Math):

25 questions will be asked from this section.

The Math section consists of four major areas: Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry and Trigonometry.

Simplification will be most important among all the areas. You must give it special emphasis. Practice a lot of formulas and calculations related questions.

Trigonometry must not be avoided at any cost. Focus on height and distance as well as trigonometric identities.

Data interpretation and analysis will become much easier if you have a good understanding of percentages and ratio and proportion.

Algebra, including simplification, is generally considered a tough nut to crack. It needs more practice as compared to other areas.

Profit and loss, simple interest and compound interest, time and distance and time and work happen to be the key topics, said Nagar.

Reasoning (General Intelligence):

25 Questions will be asked from this section.

For almost all candidates, reasoning is the most scoring section of the exam.

Here, you must focus on key areas such as analogy and classification, non-verbal reasoning, syllogisms, coding-decoding, blood relations, direction test and series.

Within non-verbal reasoning, the major types of questions asked in the exam are: (a) mirror image and water image (b) paper cutting, punching and folding (c) figural series completion (d) embedded figures. Make sure you cover all of them.

When it comes to series and finding the missing number questions, you can expect both number series and semantic series to be there in the exam, Nagar said.

Don’t neglect statement-conclusion and statement-assumption questions from inferential reasoning. Even with limited practice, you can score 2 to 3 marks as these questions are fairly simple.

General Knowledge (GK):

50 Questions will be asked from this section.

Among all sections, GK has the most comprehensive syllabus and requires a lot of time for preparation. So, it is a must to understand the pattern of questions.

While going through past year MTS exam questions papers, pay attention to the frequently asked questions from science, politics, history and geography. It is quite common for these questions to get repeated in the exam.

In GK, current affairs do not carry that much weightage. So, if you are not in a position to brush up current affairs, you need not worry too much.

It is overall difficult to develop a competitive edge in this section, so over emphasis on GK may not be a very good investment of the precious time left.

Apart from the suggestions mentioned above, take at least a couple of full-length mock tests every week. This will help you locate your weaknesses and understand how to maximize your overall score, Nagar said.

(With inputs from Anil Nagar, Founder & CEO, Adda247)

Note: Visit SSC’s official website regularly for latest updates.