#English Preparation Strategy for SSC CGL#

SSC CGL Exam Pattern

SSC CGL consists of 4 stages of Tier I, Tier II, Tier III (Descriptive), Tier IV (Skills/ Proficiency Test). The first two stages are online computer based MCQ tests. Check out the:

New SSC CGL Pattern

Tier I

Subjects No. of questions Marks Time Allotted
General Intelligence & Reasoning 25 50 75 minutes total
General Awareness 25 50
Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
English Language 25 50
Total 100 200
Tier II

Those who qualify in the Tier-I, have to appear for Tier-II exam. Questions are of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ) type.

There are two compulsory papers – Quantitative Aptitude and English of 200 marks each. Depending on post applied for you may need to prepare for a third and fourth paper (200 marks – 2 hours) each.

Subjects No. of questions Marks Negative Marking Time Allotted
Quantitative Ability 100 200 0.50 2 hrs
English Language & Comprehension 100 200 0.25 2 hrs
As you can see, if you want to be selected for any post in SSC CGL examination, you will need to attempt 125 questions in English over the two tiers. English, therefore, has the biggest share of the SSC CGL paper. So you need to be prepared thoroughly with English.

Tier III

This will be a descriptive paper for 100 marks that you need to attempt in 60 minutes. This will be a pen and paper based test. You will be tested either on your English Language or Hindi Language skills. You will be asked questions such as Essay Writing, Letter Writing, Precis Writing, Application Writing etc.

How to Prepare English for SSC CGL

The English section for the SSC CGL exam can be broadly divided into 4 parts:

Reading Comprehension
Verbal Ability
Though the first three sections (Vocab, Grammar, Reading Comprehension) are common for both Tier 1 and Tier 2 papers. However, questions on Verbal Ability appear only in Tier 2 exam.

So in the time leading up to the SSC CGL Tier 1 exam, make sure you practice Vocabulary, Grammar thoroughly. Also familiarize yourself with how to solve Reading Comprehension questions. On the other hand, you can leave Verbal Ability type questions (Para Jumbles etc.) till after you have taken the Tier 1 exam, before Tier II exam.

The most important thing you can do in your preparation is take English Quizzes daily.

This section is of great importance in SSC exam. The maximum number of questions in both SSC Tier 1 and Tier 2 papers is from this section. Thus your preparation should revolve around strengthening your vocabulary skills.
There are direct questions on the following topics in both Tier 1 and Tier 2 exams.
Synonyms and Antonyms
Phrase or Idiom Meaning
One Word Substitution
Fill in the Blanks
Phrase Replacement
An additional topic for Tier 2 is Cloze Test.
The most interesting thing about building a vocabulary is that it doesn’t require any extraordinary efforts. It keeps on building whether you are reading a newspaper or a book. Whenever you come across a new word, take a minute to look it up in a dictionary or a thesaurus. Note down its meaning, synonyms and antonyms and its usage. At a later date, try to use these words in sentences of your own to revise the meanings.
Solve the vocabulary sections from previous years’ papers and time yourself. This should give you a good idea about the type of questions asked and the difficulty level. It will also give you a fair idea about how much work you need to do.
Read English Material of Brilliant Academy Of Learning to get understand contextual usage.

Try out mnemonic techniques to remember vocabulary. Study Material Of Brilliant Academy Of Learning will help you.

Practice Vocab questions every day. Bookmark the questions that you got wrong and practise them later to achieve accuracy.

Go through blogs of Brilliant Academy Of Learning to find articles on Vocabulary like Easily Confused Words.You should also read up on topics like Cloze Test.
Easily Confused Words,Difference between Similar Sounding Words & their Usage & tips to Master Cloze Test.
Practice sectional tests of English every day. Chart your growth through analysis.
How to Practice GRAMMAR

There are questions on the following topics in both Tier 1 and Tier 2 exams.
Error Spotting
Phrase Replacement
Fill in the Blanks
Additional topics in Tier 2 exam are
Direct and Indirect Speech
Active and Passive Voice
Most questions will test you on basic grammar rules, so these need to be revised. Try going through:
Study Notes for English on the website of Brilliant Academy Of Learning.

Search for articles on the Facebook Page of Brilliant Academy Of Learning relevant to the topics and concepts often asked like:

Degrees of Comparison

Previous year’s papers will give you a fair idea about the difficulty level of questions. So be sure to solve the grammar section from the paper and evaluate your performance.
Take mock tests for SSC CGL and pay special attention to the solutions.
SSC CGL Test Series based on New Pattern


It is the easiest, most scoring section of English. The questions will be directly based on the content of the passage. But you must be alert while choosing the correct option as the options sometimes are very similar.
Though the passages are short, the habit of reading fast and understanding the intent of the passage needs to be developed to minimize the time and maximize the output.
Speed Reading Techniques for Reading Comprehension

Practise one comprehension question daily .Constant practice will help you achieve accuracy and minimize the time required.
How to Excel in VERBAL ABILITY

This section is only tested in Tier 2 exam. It consists of questions on
Sentence Jumbles
Paragraph Jumbles (Para jumbles)
Practise these questions occasionally when you want to take a break from your Tier 1 preparations and need a change.
Follow logic while answering these questions. Always keep in mind the overall story, as the passage will always tell you a story with a definite beginning, middle and end.
Breakup of English in Tier I and Tier II Exams

The table below gives a brief outline of the paper pattern for English in both Tier 1 and Tier 2 predicted based on NEW pattern.

Topic Subtopic Tier I Tier II
Vocabulary Synonyms and Antonyms 2-3 0-5
Fill in the blanks 1-2 0-2
Cloze test 0 10
Spellings 1-2 0-5
Idioms and Phrases 1-2 5
One word substitution 4-5 5
Phrase Replacement 1-2 5-10
Grammar Phrase Replacement 2-3 5-10
Sentence correction/ Error Spotting 2-3 10
Active & Passive Voice 0 10
Direct-indirect 0 10
Fill in the blanks 2-3 0-2
Reading Comprehension 5 15-20
Verbal Ability Sentence Jumbles 0 5-10
Para Jumbles 0 5
TOTAL 50 200
Pro-tip: This section is the trickiest and can lure you to make wild guesses. Keep away from the guess work or else you will be trapped and will end up with negative marks.


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