02 Jul

SSC has recently introduced major changes in the pattern of Combined Graduate Level Exam which is going to be conducted at the end of August this year. Of course, these changes will have implications on your exam preparation. In addition to it, your exam strategy will also have to change. Without understanding these changes thoroughly and adapting to them, cracking the exam will not be possible.

To help out the student community, the Institute for Best SSC CGL Coaching in Delhi has summed up all the changes that have taken place. The revised pattern is as follows:

Tier – I (Online Exam)

  • It will be a computer based exam of 200 marks. The exam will have four sections: Maths (Quant), Reasoning, English and General Knowledge.
  • Total number of questions will be 100. Each section will have 25 questions.
  • Each question will carry 2 marks. In case of a wrong answer, .50 marks will be deducted from your score.
  • Time duration of 75 minutes will be allotted for this exam.

The exam is going to be conducted from 27th August, 2016. The candidates who crack the Tier – I (Preliminary Exam), will be eligible to appear in the Tier – II (Mains Exam).

Tier – II (Online Exam)

  • The Tier – II Exam will have the same structure as it had previously.
  • The two computer based papers, Maths and English will have time duration of 2 hours each.
  • Maths paper (Paper-I) will have a total of 100 questions, where each question is worth 2 marks. For each incorrect answer, .50 marks will be deducted from your score.
  • English language paper (Paper-II) will have a total of 200 questions, where each question is worth 1 mark. For each incorrect answer, .25 marks will be deducted from your score.
  • Paper-III on Statistics for statistical investigator grade-II position will remain as it was earlier.
  • Paper-IV on General Studies (Finance & Economics) for group “b” gazetted officer and asst. audit officer positions will also remain as it was earlier.

Tier – III (Descriptive Paper)

  • The commission has also introduced a Tier – III Exam which will be descriptive in nature.
  • The Tier – III exam will be conducted through the Pen & Paper mode.
  • It will be a one hour bilingual exam of 100 marks. You can choose to attempt this exam in either English or Hindi.
  • This exam will involve precis, essay, letter and application writing tasks.

 Tier – IV (Skill Test / CPT)

  • Data entry skill test for tax asst. positions in income tax & excise departments will remain as it was earlier. This test will be qualifying in nature.
  • CPT or the computer proficiency test for asst. section officer position in central secretariat services will remain as it was. It will also be of qualifying nature.

Final Merit List

  • Your overall performance in Tier – I, Tier – II & Tier – III will be considered in preparation of the final merit list.
  • All the 3 tiers need to be qualified separately.
  • There will not be any sectional cut off in Tier – I & Tier – II exams.
  • Since Tier – IV only has a qualifying nature; it will not have any impact on the final merit list.

Implications on Your Exam Preparation

Since Tier – I and Tier – II have become computer based, you need to prepare accordingly. You will have to adapt yourself in order to meet the demands of the computer based exam. The below mentioned aspects must be given proper attention in order to score well:

(I) Reading Speed – Reading from a screen is much different as compared to reading from paper. Reading from a screen is more stressful and your speed is likely to go down. You must make an active effort to read online newspapers and journals. This will increase your overall comfort level in any computer based exam.

(II) Mental Calculation – Although paper is generally provided for calculation and rough work in most computer based exams, yet it wastes times. Solving questions on paper, while marking answers on the computer, adds to the time pressure. You can save a lot of time if you solve the questions mentally and straight away mark the answers on the screen.

(III) Online Test Series – Your preparation will be incomplete, if you do not attempt sufficient number of full length mock tests before appearing in the final exam. If the exam is computer based, then you can get a realistic estimate of your possible score only when you attempt a computer based mock test. Offline mock tests will not be clear indicators of what your online performance is going to be.

(IV) Time Management & Score Maximization – The official SSC notification clearly states that there won’t be any sectional cut-off or time limit. It means that you may allot extra time to the section where you think you can score well. This aspect is especially important as it can take your aggregate score much higher.

(V) Descriptive Paper – Now that a descriptive paper is also a part of the selection process, you must practice precis, essay, letter and application writing tasks. Essay writing in competitive exams often involves writing on topics of contemporary relevance. You can write on such topics comfortably, only when you are familiar with current national and international events. Without reading about them, you may find yourself lacking in the content required to write the essay. Your handwriting also becomes an important factor in this paper. Writing legibly is essential. Only when your handwriting is clear can you expect to score decent marks out here.

Having become aware of what to expect in the exam this time around, you need to start working in the right direction immediately. You will be further benefited by video tutorials available on YouTube channel powered by Vidya Guru, a Top SSC CGL Coaching Center in Delhi.


This article presents all the important details that a candidate preparing for SSC 2016 exams must be aware of. It summarizes the information which was recently provided in the notification released by Staff Selection Commission, the nodal body that does recruitments for Central Govt. and its various ministries & departments. In case of any doubt or for getting further information and guidance, you can write to vidyagurudelhi@gmail.com. Your queries will be answered soon.

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