Mathematics is arguably the most interesting section of the SSC CGL exam. Interesting, because it is the most feared and yet the most crucial part of the examination. Statistically, it occupies the top spot in terms of the weight-age it carries in the written section. 50/200 in Prelims and 200/400 in Mains makes it 250/600 or 41.67% of your success (or failure) in SSC CGL. It is therefore, unquestionably, THE pivotal section that should not be and cannot be neglected at all. This article from the experts at the centre for SSC Coaching in Delhi will help you get your brains in gear by explicitly analyzing SSC CGL specific Mathematics.
Understanding SSC CGL Math Section:
SSC has been quite experimental in the last 3-4 years. Just skim through the last 5 year Math question papers and you’ll exactly know what that means. There has been a sharp contrast in the areas, the quality, and the difficulty level of the questions being asked in the examination. It goes without saying that one should practice all the topics under SSC’s umbrella (all topics are listed at the end of the article). However, the wiser way would be to observe the changing pattern, understand SSC’s mindset and direct one’s efforts accordingly.
“You know what the difference is between a dream and a goal? …A plan.” ― Jodi Picoult
4 Most Scoring Areas to Focus on:
About 60% of the Math paper (both Prelims and Mains) is concentrated on the following 4 topics. Practice them rigorously to get the most out of your Mathematics paper.
SSC CGL’s favorite areas include questions on Algebraic Identities, Factorization & Simplification of Polynomials, Simplification of Fractions and Age Determination. Practicing all types of questions from these topics is a must.
The trick: Keeping tables, squares and cubes of numbers up to 30 at your tips will help you a great deal in saving both time and energy in the examination. Remember that the one second you save will enable you to encircle one extra question, which might be the turning point of your career. (The decisive line between cut off/ IP-NIP/ Income Tax-Assistant)
Geometry was hardly asked in SSC CGL until 2012 prelims. However, it was this particular topic that resulted in a significantly lower cut off and left aspirants struggling in 2012. Since then, it seems Geometry has become SSC’s most beloved child and SSC proudly wants the world to know the same. From Lines and Angles to Triangles to Circles to Quadrilaterals, practice each and every question from previous year papers.
Some of SSC CGL’s favorite questions are asked from the concepts around Circum-center, In-center, Centroid, Ortho-centre, Congruence & Similarity of triangles, Chords & Tangents, Diagonals of a Quadrilateral, etc.
The trick: The more you practice the more you’ll remember some standard, direct results and apply them right away. Just by looking at the question, you’ll be able to create a mental figure and find the correct answer in a matter of few seconds. Also, you will be amazed to know that a lot of questions from geometry can be solved just by making the figure according to the question and guessing the approximate values (angles or lengths). Do take up some questions and find it for yourself.
It is the topic that needs minimum time and can fetch you maximum marks. This is because a lot of concepts that you learnt in Algebra can be directly applied in solving Trigonometry questions. Having a good grip on Algebra would make most of these questions a cakewalk.
SSC CGL’s favorite areas include questions on maximum & minimum values, Trigonometric ratios & identities, simplification, complementary identities and heights & distances.
The trick: Trial and error method works best in Trigonometry. You will be able to solve a number of questions using trial and error. Also, with practice you’ll be able to make the right guesses.
- Profit and Loss:
In addition to Prelims, this particular area is asked exhaustively in Mains, making it the most profitable area, if handled carefully. The language of the questions might be twisted, so take extra care while trying to understand it.
The trick: Assuming unknown values to be user friendly figures (such as 100 or its multiples) makes the calculation part faster and a lot less stressful than making equations with ‘x’ and ‘y’. Also, keeping a good grip at percentages and their values can help you multidimensionally.
Approach to Focus on During Preparation:
The pattern of this examination focuses on two things simultaneously: Time and Accuracy. You’ll get less than a minute to solve a question of Mathematics. In less than a minute you have to read the question, understand it, relate your previous knowledge to it, and solve it. Putting it like that sounds all ruthless and it sure is. During the paper, an above average student with a conventional preparation would score 25-30/50 in SSC CGL’s Mathematics. At home, and with time at his luxury, he would have been able to score 40-50/50. So what went wrong? He did not follow the rules.
You have to play the game by the rules. The rules of the game do not include words like ‘Intelligence’ and ‘Ego’. It is a test of time management and smart work. In order to maximize your score, it is imperative that you understand this and put it to practice from the first day of your preparation. From the very first day of your preparation your approach should be focused on finding out the shortest way around, practicing it, revising it, in a loop. Following this approach will surely maximize your score.
Approach While Taking the Exam:
As a thumb rule, always attempt those questions first that you are well acquainted with. This is one of the fundamentals of maximizing your score in this format of exam. Realistically, it always gets a tad more complicated with the intrusion of factors such as Ego, Overconfidence, and Examination conditions. SSC always puts in a wrong question or a question with wrong options to test you on these. Accept this nasty yardstick as the fifth section of the examination wherein you have to allot zero time.
Practice Previous Year Papers:
Forget the type; SSC repeats the questions with the exact same figures. Try to solve previous year mock tests which are available at the institute providing Coaching for SSC. Make a note of new questions that you encounter and keep revising them. Time your mocks, giving 8-10 minutes for filling 200 circles.
A List of All Topics of Mathematics Asked in SSC CGL:
- Number System
- Test of Divisibility
- LCM and HCF
- Square and Square Root
- Cube and Cube Root
- Power, Indices and Surds
- Age Determination
- Ratio and Proportion
- Profit and Loss
- Simple Interest
- Compound Interest
- Time and Work
- Work and Wages
- Pipe and Cistern
- Time and Distance
- Boat and Stream
- Sequence and Series
- Statistics and Data Interpretation
Conclusion: You can definitely sail through the Math section of SSC CGL exam if you follow the above mentioned tips. However, if you find doing it all by yourself is not possible then you must consider enrolling for top SSC CGL Coaching in Delhi. Doing so will undoubtedly facilitate your preparation and make it much more result oriented.