All About SSC CGL: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need


The abbreviations SSC CGL stands for Staff Selection Commission and the Combined Graduate Level examination. Staff Selection Commission (SSC) is an organization under Government of India, which is entrusted with the task of recruiting staff for various posts in the various Ministries and Departments of the Government of India.

It consists of Chairman, two Members and a Secretary-cum-Controller of Examinations. It functions under the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

SSC has its headquarters in New Delhi, and seven Regional offices at Allahabad, Mumbai, Kolkata, Guwahati, Chennai, Bangalore; besides two Sub- Regional offices at Raipur and Chandigarh.

The SSC conducts the CGL examination every year for recruitment to Group B and Group C posts in various ministries, government departments and offices all over the country.

All Indian nationals are eligible for appearing this examination as well as subjects of Nepal, Bhutan, Tibetan refugees, or persons of Indian origin who have migrated from other countries; if they have a certificate of eligibility.

Age Limits:

The age of the applicant is reckoned as completed number of years as on the 1st August of the examination year. There are several sets of posts that have different age limits; such as:

  • Between 20 to 27 years
  • Between 18 to 27 years
  • Between 20 to 30 years
  • Up to 32 years

The upper age limit is relax-able up to 3 years for members of OB, 5 years for members of SC/ST and 10 years for those who are Physically Handicapped. There are other categories also for which you can consult the official notification.

Educational Qualifications

  • For all posts, unless specified; Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized University or any other equivalent qualification is the minimum requirement.
  • For the post of Compiler, a Bachelor’s degree from any recognized university with Economics/Statistics/Mathematics as compulsory or elective subject is mandatory.
  • For the post of Statistical Investigator Grade – II; a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline from a recognized University with at least 60% in Mathematics at 12th Standard level OR Statistics as one of the subjects at degree level is mandatory.

Combined Graduate Level examination comprises of four stages:-

  1. Tier I – Objective type test; computer-based
  2. Tier II – Objective type test; computer-based
  3. Tier III –  Descriptive test – pen and paper mode
  4. Tier IV – skill test/interview depending on the post.
  5. Computer proficiency test depending on the post.

There may also be certain set standards as well as a physical test, for certain posts. The official notification provides more details on these.

Selection Process in Detail

Tier I:

 It comprises of objective type questions and is of one hour duration. There are 25 questions each from General Intelligence and Reasoning, General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude and English Comprehension. The total marks for the 100 question is 200.

A candidate must be careful as there is a negative marking of half the marks for every incorrect answer.

Tier II:

There are 4 papers, each comprises of 100 objective type questions carrying 2 marks each for Quantitative Abilities, Statistics, General Studies (Finance and Economics). English Language and Comprehension carry 200 questions and 200 marks. All papers are of two hoyr duration.        There is negative marking of half-marks for every wrong answer.

Statistics paper is only for those candidates who have applied for the posts of Statistical Investigator Grade- II or Compiler; and and General Studies (Finance and Economics) is meant only for Asst Audit Officer Group B posts.

Tier III:

 This is a pen and paper based Descriptive Paper in English/Hindi, carrying 100 marks and the duration of the test is one hour. It comprises Essay, Précis and Letter or Application writing.

Tier IV:

This is a Computer Proficiency Test with Word Processing, Spread Sheet and Generation of Slides modules. This applies only for those applying for the post of Assistant in CSS. For Post of Tax Assistant, Data Entry Skill test is conducted requiring speed of 8000 key presses per hour.

The final merit list is then prepared on the basis of overall performance in Tier I, II and III. There are no Sectional cut off. Document verification is also done as given in the notification of the examination.

Entry to the Group A services are through Civil Services examination conducted by the UPSC. These posts are only a handful, and the majority of the Indian bureaucracy is made up of Group B and Group C posts. 

The entry into these posts is done through the Combined Graduate Level examination which is conducted by the SSC. Hope this explanation clarifies the difference between the Group A, B and C posts under the Government of India and how these posts are filled-up.

SSC CGL is the obvious choice of millions of Indian youths who were not able to make it to the Civil Services examination. SC CGL could be a good option after graduation, as it provides them several openings in the bureaucracy to make their careers.

Therefore, SSC CGL is one of the most top job-rated jobs and along with bank jobs it is also much preferred. In fact, many are moving towards the SSC CGL jobs leaving behind their software job; even many are giving up their jobs in MNC and choosing the SSC CGL job.

There are various factors behind this:

– It is a Central Govt. job, hence the perquisites and privileges are well known.

– It has so many posts which one can choose according to one’s interest.

– If you join early, that is within 2-3 years after your graduation, your promotion prospects would be very good.

– You will have to face new challenges every day. This will not only break the monotony of a routine job, but would also keep you motivated.

– Last but not the least, through CGL you will get an opportunity to contribute to the country by being a part of the government.

SSC CGL is like a big goal for everyone who has a dream of working in government sector. and it is something you don’t want to miss; and you can live your life peacefully with job security and  stability, besides there are timely increments.

If you want to live a more serene life then it is preferable. If you are having higher goals than also you can prefer it, as you can always go for you higher goals while working in any posts; moreover having a job can also give you a confidence to go for your higher goal.

Candidates joining the ministries and departments in government after passing through the SSC CGL become a part of the coveted category of government servants. They are eligible for all the perquisites that the government can give to its employees.

These perks not only amount to great savings in terms of money but also offer certain facilities that are not available to many private sector employees.

Retirement Benefits:

Benefits after retirement are one special perquisite that is incomparable with any other service. In case of premature death or superannuation the pension goes to the widow of the employee till her death. In case the children are minor then the pension benefits lasts till they become major. Thus the kind of social security that a central government employee gets is incomparable, at least in India.

Medical Benefits:

The central government employees are member of the Central Government Health Scheme. The Medical benefits are free even to the close relatives of the employee. They can get treatment in the best hospitals of India and the government pays the bill for such treatments if it is taken at a private hospital.

Paid Leaves and LTC:

They also get a good number of paid leaves as prescribed under the rules, which are applicable to government employees including casual leaves, privilege leaves, medical leaves etc. The number of leaves available to a government servant is much more than what a private sector employee gets. They also get LTC every two years when they can enjoy paid holiday along with their families. This can be in India or abroad.

Transport allowance:

They are entitled to transport allowance, just like in private sector. Apart from these there is also phone allowance and they also get education allowance when it comes to the education of their children.

Government accommodation:

However one of the most crucial perk is the accommodation they get. The government provides good housing in prominent location of the city they are posted in. This also helps in cutting down the travel time and fatigue in commute.

Transferable job:

The fact that their job is transferable all over India, makes it all the more exciting. They get all transfer benefits which includes multiple trips to the posted site long with family as well as expenses for transporting personal effect. Those posted in Ministry of Foreign Affairs get chances for assignments abroad and they also get the diplomatic passports.

Social status:

In a country like India, government jobs are very much looked upon as it offers very good salary, job stability and job security. The respect and regard that you will get from society, in itself is a great motivator.

Success in SSC CHL opens a world of opportunities for the candidates. They can join any of the Group B posts and all non-technical Group C posts in several most important and popular ministries and government departments under the Central government of India.

In fact, the successful candidates ultimately form the backbone of the bureaucracy in India. The following is the list of posts that successful candidates in SSC CGL can opt for, depending on his rank and the choice of posts applied for.

Choice of posts in different ministries and departments

The positions which are to be filled up by the SSC CGL examination are classified into Group B & Group C.

These are, in Group B, a Central Civil post carrying the grade pay In the scale of pay of 9300 – 34800 and in Group C , a Central Civil post carrying the grade pay In the scale of pay of 5200-20200.

Some of the posts are given below:

  • Sub Inspectors (Ex) in CPOs (ITBP,CISF,CRPF,SSB,BSF) –  Rs.9300-34800 (GP=4200)
  • Inspector (Central Excise/Preventive Officer/Examiner) – Rs.9300-34800 (GP=4600)
  • Sub Inspectors – Rs.9300-34800 (GP=4200)
  • Inspector of Income Tax – Rs.9300-34800 (GP=4600)
  • Assistant Enforcement Officer – Rs.9300-34800 (GP=4600)
  • Divisional Accountants – Rs.9300-34800 (GP=4200)
  • Assistants (CSS) – Rs.9300-34800 (GP=4600)
  • Assistants in other Central Govt. Ministries/Departments/CVC – Rs.9300-34800 (GP=4200)
  • Inspector of Posts – Rs.9300-34800 (GP=4200)
  • Statistical Investigators – Gr.II            Rs.9300-34800 (GP=4200)
  • Compilers – Rs.5200-20200 (GP=2400)
  • Auditors – Rs.5200-20200 (GP=2800)
  • Junior Accountants/Accountants – Rs.5200-20200 (GP=2800)
  • UDCs – Rs.5200-20200 (GP=2400)
  • Tax Assistants  Rs.5200-20200 (GP=2400)

The SSC notifies about the CGL examination in the month of May of the concerned year. The Tier=I examination is held in the month of July-August of the year.

Then there is ample time for preparation of the Tier-II examination. The first hurdle is the Tier-I examination; for which at least three months are available from the date of notification.

You will notice that the difficulty level of the examination is of 10+2 standard. It is not that difficult test and the time of three month is quite adequate for any graduate who had studied well, to get good score in the examination.

Specific Tips for clearing Tier – I Examination

The following section-wise tips will definitely help you in clearing the Tier I examination of SSC CGL.

Section A – General Intelligence and Reasoning:

This section does not require any specific study but is more about common sense and general intelligence. Solving the questions is time-consuming hence maximum practice is advised.

Section B – General Awareness:

This section can fetch you the maximum marks and can be completed in shortest possible time if you know the correct option. You must make it a habit of reading newspaper everyday and read general interest magazines. NCERT books of all subjects up to Class 10 can be studied.

Section C – Numerical Aptitude:

This section can make or break a candidate. If you are good in mathematics or have been doing extensive practice, then you can score very high in this section. On the contrary if you miss and give wrong answers then the negative marking will kill all your chances.

Section D – English Comprehension:

This section is the trickiest if your English is not very good. Often the wrong options may confuse you, therefore unless you are sure of the correct option do not answer the questions.

The syllabus of the examination is given in the SSC notification. You should acquaint yourself with it thoroughly. Take a print-out and keep it with you while studying. This will keep you focused on the topics that are relevant for the examination. It will also help you avoid wasting your time in over-study.

Make your own schedule on how you plan to cover the entire syllabus. Leave sufficient cushion for revision and unexpected events.

Put extra emphasis on numerical aptitude as it is important for both Tier I and Tier II. Moreover, this does not involve studying but practicing.

Get the questions of past years and cover these fully. This will also give you much needed practice. Try to practice solving questions within the specified time frame. This applies to mock test questions.

Never forget the fact that for every incorrect question you will get negative marking. Leave the questions that you are not able to solve or you don’t have the answers.

These tips and information are just to make you aware of the limitations and give you confidence to overcome them. Ultimately it is your own will=power, motivation and dedication that will matter.

SSC CGL is one of the easiest competitive examinations in terms of levels of difficulty. Regular practice and study will give you the much needed boost to score well in the examination.

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