Conducted by the SSC every year, Combined Graduate Level is for the recruitment of eligible candidates to non-technical Group B and Group C non-gazetted posts in government ministries, departments and other organisations. It is held in four stages: Tier 1 (prelims exam), Tier 2 (main exam), Tier 3 (descriptive paper) and Tier 4, which includes personality tests, an interview and computer proficiency or skill-based tests.
If one has decided or planned to attempt SSC CGL exams this year, then the immediate focus should be developing a structured time table. Now, this is easily possible if the candidates have a thorough knowledge of the updated SSC CGL syllabus and pattern for every subject of every stage (four tiers) of the examination.
Tier 1 exam of SSC CGL has four sections, that is, General Intelligence & Reasoning, General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude and English Comprehension and is conducted online. The duration of this exam is 60 minutes (80 mins for differently abled) and includes a total of 100 questions. There is a marking scheme of 2 marks for every correct answer and negative 0.50 marks for every wrong answer. So, the total marks is 200 marks. The questions are mostly objective type in the MCQ format and one can opt for either Hindi or English as the medium of instruction.
This also means that a candidate has roughly about 20 minutes to finish the Quantitative Aptitude section, which has 25 questions. One of the perks of acing this section is that one can easily gain 50 marks if all 25 questions are attempted correctly; the chance or probability lies more with mathematical questions through right use of formulas. Being mathematical in nature, there are many techniques that can be easily employed by candidates to ace this section.
With regard to the syllabus for this section, some of the important topics include simplification, speed, time and distance, average, ratio and proportion, probability, simple and compound interest, number series, profit and loss, data interpretation, mensuration and algebra. Any serious aspirant has to just strictly follow the syllabus and prepare accordingly.
Preparation Tips And Tricks
To prepare really well, there are a couple of tricks that candidates can learn.
Know The Syllabus
The first and most important thing is having a detailed knowledge of the syllabus for the Quantitative Aptitude section; preparing a study plan in line with this will come easy. While preparing study plans or strategies, it is smart to have a good understanding on the time required to solve every question. Candidates should identify questions that can be answered in minimum time by just reading them.
Since there are 25 questions in this section, the trick would be to learn to solve one question in less than a minute which in turn would leave more time to solve other sections as well. Though it might be hard to solve all 25 questions, one can attempt for 17-22 questions with 90% accuracy. This would require lot of hard work and constant practise.
Analyse The Question Paper
Another preparation tip to solve questions faster with fewer mistakes is by doing careful analysis of the question paper before attempting it. One can easily practise beforehand by reading through lot of the previous years' question papers. This helps in getting a better hold over the nature or type of questions that are likely to come and which questions require more or less time to solve.
It is also smart to learn or develop shortcut methods to solve various mathematical equations. This can be easily done by being thorough with the basic, fundamental topics. Since most of the topics for this section involve class 10 mathematics, it is not impossible to achieve. Making personal notes is another way to practise. At the time of exam revisions, personal notes always help in remembering multiple numerical formulas.
Prepare With Puzzles
After getting a good grip of various topics, one can also start practising short quizzes and mathematical puzzles.
Besides these various self-study techniques, aspirants can take help from various subject experts or coaching centres to prepare better for the Quantitative Aptitude section.
Apart from offline coaching, online coaching is another desired option. Interested applicants can easily practise or learn online within the comfort of their homes through previous years' question papers, model and sample papers. In fact, there are various online educational platforms that provide online mock test series for SSC CGL exams for practise. IBT, Gradeup,Testbook, Testzone and Toprankers are some good websites that provide mock tests, solved previous years' question papers and quizzes. This is the ideal way to revise just a month before the exam.
In short, doing all this ensures having a good knowledge, not only on the important questions but also the ones that are most frequently asked. The weightage of questions, from the easiest to most difficult topics can also be noted down here.
Refer The Good Guides
Lastly, adding a list of some good guides or textbooks to the study plan makes it foolproof. Few examples of the best books to prepare for the Quantitative Aptitude section include Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Arihant, Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by RS Aggarwal, Solved Papers SSC CGL Combined Graduate Level Pre Examination Tier-I by Arihant, SSC CGL Combined Graduate Level Exams Question Bank 1999-2016 by Kiran, Advanced Maths by Rakesh Yadav and Magical Books on Quicker Maths by M Tyra.
The important thing is, however, to stay focused throughout this study period. As of now, the official notification for the exam is expected to be released by Apr 21, 2018, after which online registration will also begin. One can always check for the latest updates on the official website.