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How Tough is SSC CGL Exam

Each year millions of candidates appear for the SSC Combined Graduate Level Examination. Considering the examination and time of the process of examination, SSC CGL is considered to be a challenging exam. But Is SSC CGL Tough? In this article, we’ll help you find out the nature of the examination and whether SSC CGL is tough or easy.  

Is SSC CGL Examination Tough?

Most of the aspirants get intimidated by the exam and the level of competition but the fact is that the SSC CGL exam is not tough! With proper planning and the right guidance, any aspirant can crack the exam with good marks.  

SSC CGL is a simple exam that needs a lot of practice, a systematic study plan, and appropriate study material. Wondering how you can arrange all this to ensure you crack the SSC CGL on the first attempt. Talk to our education experts now! 

SSC CGL Examination – Data Point 

We’ve got some data points for the aspirants which will help them analyse the data related to the past three examinations. Check the table below:  

S.NoExam YearTotal No. of Students AppliedAppeared CandidatesOverall Attendance %No of the Candidates Cleared Tier1Tier 1 Cleared %Remarks
01.2018-1925,97,0008,37, 00032.33%1,50,39617.96%The competition was 6% as compared to applied students.
022019-2021,59,5129,78,10345.29%1,25,27912.8%The competition was 5.80% (Almost 6%) as compared to applied students.
032020-2121897918,26,45737.74%1,14,13513.8%The competition was 5.21% (Almost 6%) as compared to applied students.


To ensure that you can clear the SSC CGL Exam, we’ve got some tips that will help you kick-start your preparation.

  1. Know the pattern & SSC CGL Syllabus with the Weightage of each topic
  2. Know the Previous Year Cut Off
  3. Knowing the SSC CGL Syllabus & Difficulty Level
  4. Keep in mind the time Left for SSC CGL Preparation 2022
  5. Refer to some Books for SSC CGL
  6. Go Through Previous Year’s Papers


Question. Is the SSC CGL exam tough to crack nowadays?

Answer. SSC-CGL is not a difficult exam to crack but this exam covers a wide range of topics, so it is crucial to focus on your strengths and weaknesses and practice a lot.

Also, ensure that you allow yourself time for breaks and relaxation.

With the right guidance and sincere dedication, anyone can pass SSC-CGL!

Question. Is SSC CGL difficult to crack for general-category students?

Answer. No, general candidates can easily crack SSC CGL. One must preach hard work with complete passion and commitment while preparing for the SSC CGL exam. To get details information on SSC CGL, the candidates can visit here.

Question. What is the level of difficulty of the SSC CGL exam

Answer. Some sections of the SSC CGL exam are of easy to moderate level. If candidates prepare for the exam well in advance, they can qualify for it easily.

Question. How tough it is to crack SSC cgl on the first attempt?

Answer. There’s a misconception that SSC CGL is tough to crack on the first attempt. In fact, with an effective strategy and continuous efforts, one can easily crack this exam. So, stop thinking that it’s tough to clear the SCC CGL exam and start working hard!

Question. Is SSC CGL tougher than UPSC?

Answer: UPSC, commonly known as the civil services exam tend to be much more difficult. The syllabus as well as the competition level of the UPSC exam is extensive as compared to SSC. 

Question. Is SSC CGL Tier 1 Difficult?

Answer: The questions asked in the SSC CGL Tier I exam are of easy to moderate level. But some of the questions remain a little tricky and a few are a little bit time-consuming. Most of the questions are doable! 

SSC CGL Banners

How To Prepare For SSC CGL Exam 2023

The SSC exams conducted by the Staff Selection Commission require a lot of hard work and an efficient study plan to start the preparation. There are multiple posts for which the SSC exam is conducted. Each exam differs slightly from the other, and so does their preparation. Since the SSC CGL exam is just around the corner, we shall discuss the preparation tips for candidates who are starting the preparation for the Combined Graduate Level exam conducted by the Staff Selection Commission.

5 Tips For SSC CGL Preparation

SSC CGL preparation strategy for beginners should be comprehensive and detailed. If you are unsure of how to start SSC CGL preparation, we’ve given some tips below that may prove to be beneficial:

  1. Understand the Exam Pattern & Syllabus Carefully

Get acquainted with the pattern and syllabus of the SSC CGL exam, keeping the weightage of each subject in mind. The candidates must make a note of subject-wise cut-offs to create a strategy that will help boost their SSC CGL preparation.

Earlier the SSC CGL exam was conducted in four stages: Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III, Tier IV, however from this year onwards the exam conducting authorities have revised this year’s exam pattern and selection process. Below we are going to talk about how you can prepare for the SSC CGL exam 2023:

How to Prepare for SSC CGL Tier I?

This is the first and the most crucial stage of the SSC CGL exam as most of the candidates are filtered at this stage. This is the reason, candidates must give maximum time for their preparation. If the candidate scores even one mark less than the cutoff, he or she gets rejected. For Tier-I preparation, the candidate must focus equally on General Awareness, General Intelligence & Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude and English. To know the best books for SSC CGL Tier I preparation, you can check the linked article. 

How to prepare for General Intelligence and Reasoning?

  1. Practice General Intelligence and Reasoning questions, every day to see a considerable improvement in your accuracy level within a few weeks.
  2. Work more on high-scoring topics like Puzzles, figure-based problems, analogies, coding-decoding, and series.
  3. Usually Nonverbal reasoning questions are time-consuming, but regular practice can help reduce solving time. Try to solve at least 15-20 questions in 20 minutes with reasonable accuracy. 
  4. Don’t waste your valuable time answering a single question. Try to attempt the next question, and if time allows, return and answer the left-out question.

How to Prepare For General Awareness? 

  1. Concentrate on static GK (Culture, Indian History, Economy, Geography (India and the World), Politics, and the Environment) while remaining updated with current events.
  2. Try to answer a minimum of 75 GA questions in 30 minutes per day.
  3. Read newspapers, blogs, and periodicals daily. Instead of cramming, make notes and mind maps to learn facts, figures and a timeline of historical events.

How to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude?

  1. Prepare a list of all formulas and concepts. Try to memorise all key formulas by heart and solve a variety of questions.
  2.  In Quantitative Aptitude, the shortcut tactic is key to helping you save a lot of time. So focus more on the fundamentals and acquire shortcut approaches to boost calculating speed for effective time management.
  3. Start with percentages, profit & loss questions, speed, time & distance, boat and stream problems, ratio and proportion, and then cover the data interpretation, and so on.
  4. Practice Quantitative Aptitude at least two hours a day.
  5. On exam day, do not spend more than 25 minutes on this section. 

How to Prepare English for SSC CGL ? 

  1. If you master vocabulary and grammar, you have won half the battle.
  2. Improve comprehension skills by reading articles and opinion pieces in editorials and periodicals etc. Also, try and solve at least two comprehension pieces per day. 
  3. Get the best books for SSC CGL English preparation.
  4. Do not spend more than 20 minutes on this section during the exam.
  5. Every day, read the newspaper and look up any new words you come across to ace antonyms and synonyms. 

How to Prepare for SSC CGL Tier II?

Let’s talk about the paper-wise SSC CGL preparation tips for Tier II below:

Paper-I (Quantitative Aptitude) and Paper II (English Language and Comprehension)  

The topics for tier-I (Quantitative Aptitude and English Comprehension) and tier-II (paper-I and -II) are similar, however, the difficulty level of the questions asked in the tier-II exam increases. But the candidate can follow the same preparation strategy for Tier-II paper I as discussed above for Tier-I. 

Paper-III (Statistics) 

SSC CGL Tier-II paper-III exam includes questions on topics such as Collection, Classification and Presentation of Statistical Data; Measures of Central Tendency; Measures of Dispersion Moments, Skewness and Kurtosis; Correlation and Regression; Probability Theory; Random Variable and Probability Distributions; Sampling Theory; Statistical Inference; Analysis of Variance; Time Series Analysis and Index Numbers.

Paper-IV (General Studies – Finance & Accounts and Economics & Governance):

The paper-IV is divided into two parts: Part-A (General Studies – Finance & Accounts) and Part-B (General Studies – Economics & Governance). 

These papers are usually of 80 and 120 marks each respectively. Part A includes questions on fundamental principles and concepts of accounting. Some of the important topics are 

  • Rectification of Errors, 
  • Profit & Loss Appropriation Accounts, 
  • Non-profit Organisations Accounts, 
  • Valuation of Inventories, 
  • Income & Expenditure Accounts, 
  • Trading, 
  • Depreciation Accounting, 
  • Receipts and Payments and Bills of Exchange,
  •  Self-Balancing Ledgers, etc.

Part B includes questions on topics such as

  • Constitutional Provisions of Comptroller & Auditor General of India; 
  • Role and Functions of Finance Commission; 
  • Introduction to Microeconomics; 
  • Theory of Demand and Supply; 
  • Theory of Production and Cost; 
  • Forms of Market and Price Determination; 
  • Indian Economy; Economic Reforms in India; 
  • Money and Banking;
  • Role of Information Technology in Governance; etc.

2. Prepare a Systematic Study Plan

Once the candidate gets a clear idea about the SSC CGL exam pattern and syllabus, he or she must figure out a proper study plan. Before that, the most crucial step is to know the SSC CGL exam difficulty as this analysis will help you make an informed decision. Make sure you plot to get the maximum output in the minimum time. 

3. Choose the Right Study Material

The next step is to collect the best study material and books to prepare for the SSC CGL exam. We’ve compiled a list of a few books for SSC CGL. Please take a look at the table below:

Tier-I Preparation Books 

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive ExaminationsQuantitative AptitudeR.S. Aggarwal
Analytical ReasoningReasoning PaperMK Pandey
Quick Learning Objective General EnglishEnglish sectionRS Agarwal
SSC MathematicsMathRakesh Yadav Reader Publication
LucentGeneral AwarenessLucent Publication

Tier-II Preparation Books 

Fast Track Objective ArithmeticQuantitative AptitudeRajesh Verma (Arihant)
A Modern Approach to Verbal & Non-Verbal ReasoningReasoning PaperRS Agarwal
Objective General EnglishEnglish sectionSP Bakshi (Arihant)
Play with Advanced MathMathAbhinay Sharma
SSC General Knowledge SmartBook In EnglishGeneral AwarenessTestbook

For more details on the books, aspirants can check the linked article. 

4. Solve SSC CGL Exam Previous Year Question Papers & Mock Tests

Refer to the previous year’s question papers to apprehend the difficulty level of the exam which in return will help an aspirant attempt more questions and be more confident with the questions. It’s also recommended to attempt as many Mock Tests to increase your speed and accuracy.

5. Look For Coaching

Candidates who can rely on self-study need not look for any coaching or Institute for help and can consider getting free online help. But if the candidate is not confident enough to prepare for the exam on their own, they should look for a reputed coaching centre. To pick the right coaching for yourself, you must look at online reviews, past results etc.

In a nutshell, a candidate should keep in mind the time left for the SSC CGL exam so they don’t end up making unachievable plans. Remember that at the end of the day, if you run out of time, even the best-laid plans will come to waste.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – 

Question 1: How many attempts are there in SSC CGL Exam 2022?

Ans: The SSC CGL exam allows multiple attempts. But there are certain age limit restrictions based on which the candidates can appear for the exam. SSC CGL aspirants must not be less than 18 years and cannot be more than 32 years of age (as of 1st January 2022).

Question 2: How many stages are there in the SSC CGL 2023 exam?
Ans: Earlier the SSC CGL exam was conducted in four stages, commonly known as Tiers, but the exam conducting authorities have revised this year’s exam pattern and selection process. 

The SSC CGL selection process 2023 is divided into two stages i.e. Tier I, and Tier II. Based on the marks scored in Tier 1 i.e. Computer Based Examination, candidates will be shortlisted category-wise, to appear in the Tier 2 exam. This means candidates who will clear SSC CGL Tier 1 2022 will be eligible to appear for Tier 2 as well.

Question 3: When will SSC release the CGL admit card for 2023?
Ans: The Staff Selection Commission will release the CGL admit card 2023 online mode on the regional websites in March/April 2023 three weeks before the exam.

Question 4: Is there a negative marking in the SSC Combined Graduate Level Exam?
Ans. Yes, there is a negative marking of 0.50 for every wrong answer in the SSC CGL Tier I exam and Tier II exam.

Question 5:  What is the highest post in SSC through CGL – Combined Graduate Level Exam?
Ans. The highest post is Assistant Accounts Officer or Assistant Audit Officer. SSC CGL AAO is a Group “B” Gazetted (Non-Ministerial) post offering the grade pay of 4800. An aspirant who qualifies for this post gets to work in the Indian Audit & Accounts Department under CAG.

Written by 

Mr Anubhav Luthra
Career Mentor

He has over 20+ years of experience in teaching, motivating and counselling students to get their dream job, 10,000+ students mentored by him have succeeded in the field analytically chosen by him. He follows the slogan Arise, awake, and stop not till the goal is reached by Swami Vivekananda.

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How to Score Good Marks in Exams 

Exams are an inevitable part of academic life, and they can be extremely stressful and daunting for students. The pressure to perform well and score good marks can add to the already existing stress and anxiety. It is not uncommon for students to feel overwhelmed and burnt out during the exam season. However, with the right approach and a few simple tips and tricks, students can overcome these challenges and achieve their desired score.

Tips & Tricks to Score Good Marks

Scoring good marks in exams is a goal that every student strives to achieve. The right approach and effective tips and tricks can help you excel in your academic career and achieve your desired score. In this blog, we will discuss some proven strategies and techniques that will help you to score good marks in exams. So, whether you are preparing for your board exams, competitive exams, or any other exam, these tips and tricks will help you to maximize your potential and achieve success.

  1. Plan and Organize Your Studies:

The first step towards scoring good marks is to have a well-defined plan and an organized study schedule. Set realistic goals, and make a study plan that works best for you. Divide your study time into small intervals of 45-50 minutes, followed by a 10-15 minute break. This technique helps to keep your focus intact and prevents you from getting exhausted.

  1. Stay Consistent in Your Studies:

Consistency is key when it comes to scoring good marks. Study regularly and avoid cramming. Consistency helps you to retain the information better, and you can prepare for the exams more effectively. Make a habit of studying every day, and stick to your schedule.

  1. Focus on Understanding the Concepts:

Rather than memorizing, focus on understanding the concepts. When you understand the concepts, you can apply them to any question, even if it is phrased differently. Try to relate the concepts to real-life scenarios, and it will help you to understand them better.

  1. Practice, Practice, Practice:

Practice makes perfect. After you have understood the concepts, practice as many questions as possible. Solve previous years’ question papers and mock tests to evaluate your preparation. Practicing helps you to improve your speed, accuracy and builds your confidence.

  1. Time Management:

Time management is crucial when it comes to exams. You must be able to manage your time effectively during the exam. Read the instructions carefully, and allocate time for each section accordingly. Do not spend too much time on any one question, and move on if you get stuck.

  1. Stay Positive:

Finally, stay positive, and believe in yourself. Negative thoughts and self-doubt can hinder your performance. Keep a positive mindset, and visualize yourself achieving your goals. Believe that you can do it, and you will.

One of the most important aspects of scoring good marks in exams is having the right approach towards studying and preparing for the exams. This involves planning and organizing one’s study schedule, setting realistic goals, and staying consistent in their studies. Students need to understand the concepts and not just memorize them, as this will help them to apply the concepts to different questions and scenarios during the exam.Practicing previous years’ question papers and mock tests can also help students evaluate their preparation and improve their speed and accuracy.

Another crucial factor is time management, both during the exam and while studying. Students need to allocate time for each section and question during the exam and avoid spending too much time on any one question. They also need to manage their time effectively while studying to ensure that they cover all the topics and revise them thoroughly.

Finally, it is essential to have a positive mindset and believe in oneself. Negative thoughts and self-doubt can hinder performance, and a positive mindset can help students stay motivated and focused.

In a nutshell, while exams can be stressful and daunting, students can overcome these challenges with the right approach and a few simple tips and tricks. By planning and organizing their studies, staying consistent, understanding the concepts, practicing regularly, managing their time effectively, and maintaining a positive mindset, students can achieve their desired score and excel in their academic career.

Why Choose Rosemary? 

Rosemary Institute in Meerut is a reputable educational institute that provides quality education and career opportunities to its students. Its experienced faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, comprehensive course curriculum, industry-oriented training, affordable fees, and placement assistance make it an excellent choice for students seeking a bright and successful future.