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SSC CGL Tier II exam, 2018: Here’s an effective study plan, with tips that help

For those of you who don’t have a last minute study plan for the SSC CGL Tier II exam, here are some important trips and tricks.

education Updated: Dec 20, 2017 16:22 IST
The Staff Selection Commission’s Combined Graduate Level (SSC CGL) Tier II exam has been rescheduled and will be held on January 18- 20, 2018.(Shutterstock)

The Staff Selection Commission’s Combined Graduate Level (SSC CGL) Tier II exam has been rescheduled and will be held on January 18- 20, 2018. For those of you who don’t have a last minute study plan, here are some important trips and tricks.

You can customise this plan as per your strengths and weaknesses and command over subjects. The only thing that you should consider is having a topic test after finishing one to understand it clearly. Also, include as many full-length mock tests you can towards the end of the revision to improve your performance.

Areas you should focus on

Quantitative aptitude

Focus more on:


•Geometry and mensuration


Based on the past few years’ papers (the last three years at least), it would be safe to say that the topics above cover almost 50% of this section.

Tips for quant

•Learn tables to improve your calculation speed

•Practice multiple levels of tests and analyse your performance

•Practice mental math

Recommended books

•NCERT Books (from classes 7 to 10)

English Language

Focus more on:

•Reading comprehension

•Cloze text

•One word substitution

•Sentence correction


•Idioms and phrases

Tips for English language

•Get a clear understanding of all grammar rules

•Take about two to three hours daily to go through English newspapers and magazines

•Solve as many mocks as you can

Recommended books

•High School Grammar by Wren & Martin

•Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis


This section is meant only for those who have applied for the position of statistical investigator.

Focus more on:

•Probability theory

•Variance analysis

•Measure of central tendency

•Sampling theory

Tips for statistics

•Revise all concepts from textbooks for classes 10, 11 and 12

•Maintain notes of important formulas and revise often

•Practice previous years’ papers and mock tests

Recommended books:

•NCERT Books ( for classes 10, 11 and 12)

General studies

Focus more on:

•Finance and accounts

•Economics and governance

Tips for general studies

•Read newspapers every day related to economics and business, such as The Economist, The Economic Times, Business Standard.

•Get information on the economy from government gazettes

•Go through business related magazines

Recommended books:

•Manorama Year Book

•Lucent’s General Knowledge

Exam tips from toppers

Kapil Mittal who cleared SSC CGL, 2015, says, he cleared the basic concepts (not the short cuts or tricks) of each topic and then learned the tricks to solve the maximum questions in two hours. “I solved the maths textbook of Kiran Publications chapter-wise and afterwards started attempting mock tests,” he adds.

Soumyarshi Das, who cleared SSC CGL, 2016, recommends that candidates study in a screen free zone (use of mobile, television etc should be restricted). “Continue your preparations with a positive mindset and have faith on your hard work. Never forget to make daily, weekly and monthly plans for success without any delay or hassles. Do not delay collection of necessary books, contents and resources. Have your materials ready well in advance. Do not think much about cut offs and any change in the scheme of examinations. If you are a deserving candidate you are bound to succeed. Take as many mock tests as possible and analyse them with due diligence to identify how many questions you are not able to attempt and why, what chapters/topics are bothering you and short cuts to solving questions.

Abhijeet Singh, who has also cleared SSC CGL 2016, says candidates should first gear up for the exams by clearing all basics in English and math. “For maths start solving each question of Kiran, chapter wise mathematics. For English, SP Bakshi is a good book for clearing concepts. For GK, Lucent is a good book for improving your score. In addition to this, at least five mock tests are necessary per week to improve speed.”

“I studied in a private school, so speaking and writing English wasn’t a problem, but finding errors and problem-solving technique was required in it. For passage and vocabulary, you must read newspapers daily which will get you into the habit of reading long passages. Also, you can pick a good book like Verbal Ability and RC by Meenakshi Upadhyay. In this book you will get exposure to various kind of questions like para jumbles, RC, missing sentences in paragraph etc. Keep attempting mock tests,” says Sumit Sharma. He cleared IBPS PO, NIACL AO in 2016.

Ankit Malik, who also cleared NIACL AO in 2016 feels reasoning is the most scoring and most dynamic section and attempted questions towards the end. “To clear my basics, I used BSC publication’s Analytical Reasoning, BSC’s a magical book on puzzles (it’s not relevant in today’s exams as the level of puzzles is not up to the mark). Apart from that I used to attempt mock tests a lot for the reasoning part and analysed the unattended questions then attempted them again and again until I solved them.”

The author is CEO & Co-founder at Oliveboard, an online preparation portal for MBA, banking and government exams. Views expressed are personal

First Published: Dec 20, 2017 16:12 IST