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SSC CGL Tier 1 - Preparation Tips and Topics to Focus On

The SSC Combined Graduate Level Examination or SSC CGLE is one the most prestigious exams conducted in India ever since the Staff Selection Commission was established in 1975. A large number of candidates apply for the SSC CGL Exam every year. Since the past five years, the number of candidates appearing for this exam has exceeded 15 lakhs. More than 17 lakh candidates appeared for this exam last year.  The New Tier - 1 Paper requires a candidate to answer 100 questions within a time span of 75 minutes. This means that the candidate is required to answer 3 questions in 4 minutes.  To prepare for such an exam requires an immense amount of dedication and hard work. 

If you are wondering how to go about studying for your SSC CGL Exam in your limited time, we have a few hacks for you! Follow these tips and continue with your hard work, and you will definitely notice a difference.

9 Hacks to Help You Crack Your SSC CGL Exam

#1 Know your syllabus

Know your syllabus in and out. For the Tier - 1 and Tier - 2 Exam, go through the pattern and prepare a list of all the topics to be covered for each paper, individually. Click here to view the new pattern of SSC CGLE and the list of topics to be covered for each paper individually.

#2 Make a plan  

Organise your time. Make a timetable and follow it without fail. Study for one tier at a time. Dedicate a portion of your day to study each section of the paper. You can set aside more time to study those sections that you find difficult, and lesser time for those sections that you find comparably easy. 

#3 Focus on the topics that are prioritised 

Every section has a list of topics that are prioritised. More questions are asked from these topics. Concentrate on these topics.

There is a list of topics to be focused on at the end of the article.

#4 Do not stop looking for material 

Look for material everywhere, both online and offline. Find as much study material as you can, and study from it. You can refer to previous year's question papers. 

You can go through our article to find the pattern and study material for your SSC CGLE, 2016.

#5 Learn shortcuts 

Learn shortcuts for all your Math questions and Comprehension Passages. These tricks help you save a considerable amount of time while you are answering your paper.

#6 Make a list of your Basic Math formulae 

Know your basic math formulae like the back of your hand. Each second spent recollecting your formulae counts. Use flash cards to learn formulae if you are not good at memorising. Make practice tests on formulae for yourself and do them on a daily or weekly basis. If you are not very good with your formulae, you could practice these tests more frequently.

#7 Improve your speed 

Time yourself! Make sure you complete every section within the allotted time. If you are unable to do so, time yourself for each section separately and find out how many minutes you take to complete each section. Depending on this make changes in your time allocated for each section. You can allocate more time for the sections that you find difficult, by cutting down on the time that you have allotted for the sections that you find easy.  

#8 Make a plan to solve your paper 

Set a fixed amount of time for each section, sub-section and each question in every sub-section. Start your paper with the parts that you find easy, and then proceed to the tougher parts. Do not exceed the time you have allotted to solve a topic. If you are unable to solve a particular question or topic within the time you have allotted for it, leave it and continue with the next question. If not, you will not have enough time to answer other topics or questions.

#9 Practice, practice and practice 

The key to doing anything better is, practice! Practice from different previous year's question papers. In case you run out of material to practice from, solve the same papers again. You can also solve questions from your topics from previous year's question papers belonging to other competitive exams.  This will help you become better at solving such questions, and it will also help you to complete your papers in the SSC CGL Exam faster.  

List of Topics to Focus on while Studying for your SSC CGL Tier - 1 Exam

There are a few topics from which the majority of questions are asked. Concentration on these topics will help you gain a higher score. We have collected a list of the topics that you should concentrate on while studying for your Tier - 1 Paper. 

List of Focus Topics for SSC CGL Tier -1 Exam






Percentage of Questions in the Paper


Quantitative Aptitude

Trigonometry, Arithmetic

Data Interpretation, Height and Distance, Simple and Compound Interest, Profit and Loss, Time, Distance and Speed, Time and Work



 General Intelligence and Reasoning


Analogy and Classification, Syllogisms, Coding and Decoding, Blood Relations, Direction Testing


Non-verbal Reasoning

Mirror Images, Paper Cuttings, Punching, Folding, Figural Series, Embedded Figures, Number Series



English Comprehension


Reading, Comprehension, Antonyms and Synonyms, Spelling Mistakes, Phrases and Idioms, One Word Substitutions, Sentence Improvement, Spotting Errors, Fill in the Blanks



General Awareness

Conventional or Traditional

History, Geography, Polity



Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Computers & IT


Miscellaneous Topics

General Knowledge and Current Affairs


 We hope that this information will help you score high marks in your SSC CGL Exam this year. We wish you all the best for your exam. 

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