SSC (Staff Selection Commission) CGL 2018 Exam Pattern

Last Updated - February 28 2018

SSC CGL 2018 includes 4 levels (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4). There is a set syllabus for the entrance which the aspirants required to follow thoroughly. SSC CGL 2018 Tier-1 is likely to be held between August 1, 2018- August 10, 2018, Tier-2 by November 10, 2018, CGL Tier-3 by December 12, 2018 (tentatively)

SSC CGL 2018 exam will be organizeed in both online and offline modes. Few important highlights for SSC CGL 2018 Exam Format are:

  • Computer-Based Skill Test- Tier 4
  • Offline Exam - Tier 3
  • Online Exam- Tier 1 and Tier 2
  • Organizing Body- Staff Selection Commission (SSC)
  • Official Website-

SSC CGL syllabus increases after every level of exam. The difficulty level also increases. Tier IV is the final round of cracking the exam. Aspirants can prepare from important books mentioned in the article below. No interviews are to be organizeed as notified from the year 2016.

Exam Format Highlights for SSC CGL 2018

SSC CGL 2018 Exam Format is various for every exam. Marking scheme and syllabus differ from exam to exam.

  • Tier 3 exam- Descriptive paper for Essay Writing, Letter/Application Writing, Passage Writing. The paper is organizeed for a period of 1 hour for 100 marks.
  • Tier 4 exam- Data Entry Skill Test/ Computer Proficiency Test for 15 minutes. This exam is qualifying in nature. No negative marking and no marks allotted.
  • Tier 1 exam- 200 questions from General Intelligence & Reasoning, General Awareness/ General knowledge, Quantitative Aptitude and English Comprehension. 75 minutes period with negative marking for an inaccurate answer.
  • Tier 2 exam- This has 4 papers viz., Quantitative Ability, English Language and Comprehension, Statistics (only for the post of Statistical Investigator Gr. II & Compiler), General Studies of Finance and Economics (Only for the post of Assistant Audit Officer). 200 marks for each paper is allotted for a period of 2 hours. Negative marking is eligible.

Exam Format in Detail of SSC CGL 2018

As per latest notifications by SSC, SSC CGL exam now has four level of exams.

  • Tier-4: Computer Test / Skill Test (wherever eligible)
  • Tier-3: Written Examination (Descriptive Type)
  • Tier-2: Written Examination (Objective Type)
  • Tier-1: Written Examination (Objective Type)

SSC CGL 2018 Exam Format is given in details for the convenience of the aspiring aspirants.

SSC CGL Tier-I Exam Format 2018

Number of Papers1
Total Number of Questions200
Total Sections4
SectionsGeneral Intelligence and Reasoning
General Awareness/ General knowledge
Quantitative Aptitude
English Comprehension
Total Marks200
Total Time75 Minutes
Negative MarkingYes
Question TypeObjective

SSC CGL Tier-2 Exam Format 2018

Number of Papers4
SubjectsPaper- 1: Quantitative Ability Paper-2: English Language and Comprehension Paper-3: Statistics (only for post of Statistical Investigator Gr. II & Compiler Paper-4: General Studies (Finance and Economics) (Only for the post of Assistant Audit Officer)
Total Marks800 (200 in each paper)
Total Time2 hours for each paper
Negative MarkingYes
Question TypeObjective

SSC CGL Tier-3 Exam Format 2018

Number of Papers1
Total Marks100
Question TypeDescriptive
SectionsEssay Writing
Letter/Application Writing
Passage Writing
Duration1 hour
Exam ModeOffline

SSC CGL 2018 Tier IV Exam Format

Total MarksQualifying in Nature
Time Duration15 minutes
TestsData Entry Skill Test (DEST)/Computer Proficiency Test (CPT)
Exam ModeOnline
Data Entry Skill Test (DEST)Only for aspirants applying for post of Tax assistants (in Central Excise and Income Tax)
Criteria: 8000 key depression per hour
Computer Proficiency Test (CPT)Only for aspirants applying for post of Assistant Section Officer
Three modules: Word Procedures, Spreadsheet and Generation of Slides

Marking Scheme of SSC CGL 2018

SSC CGL 2018 have both online and offline based tests. No individual interviews will be organizeed in SSC CGL from 2016. Tier 4 is the final qualifying round where document verification is also done. While Tier 1, 2 and 4 are an online computer based exam, Tier 3 is descriptively written pen and paper examination.

SSC CGL Exam TiersSectionsTotal MarksMarking SchemeNegative Marking
Tier 1General Intelligence and Reasoning
General Awareness/ General knowledge
Quantitative Aptitude
English Comprehension
200 marksEach question carries 1 mark-0.50 for each wrong response
Tier 2Paper 1: Quantitative Ability
Paper 2: English Language and Comprehension
Paper 3: Statistics
Paper 4: General Studies (Finance and Economics)
Paper 1: 100
Paper 2: 200
Paper 3: 200
Paper 4: 200
Paper 1, Paper 3, Paper 4: Each question carries 2 marks
Paper 2: Each question carries 1 mark
Paper 1, Paper 3, Paper 4: -0.50 for each wrong response
Paper 2: -0.25 for each wrong response
Tier 3Essay, Application, Passage Writing100 marksAt Least qualifying marks 33% 
Tier 4Data Entry Skill Test (DEST)/Computer Proficiency Test (CPT) (whichever eligible)Qualifying in nature  

Syllabus for SSC CGL 2018

Syllabus for every tier in SSC CGL is different. The tables below give an idea about the syllabus in every paper under this exam.

SSC CGL 2018 Syllabus- Tier 1

General Intelligence and Reasoning:

This section is based on Questions from Series (number, figurative), similarities and differences, analogy, space visualization. Direction sense test, Blood relations, arithmetical reasoning and figural classification. Judgement making, visual memory, discrimination, observation. Spatial orientation, problem-solving, analysis, decision.

Arithmetic number series, non-verbal series, coding and decoding. Figural Analogy, Ranking test, Semantic Classification, Symbolic/Number Classification. The topics are Semantic Analogy, Symbolic/Number Analogy. Statement conclusion, a syllogism in reasoning etc. Figural Classification, Input-Output questions, Problem Solving, Word Building, Seating arrangement, Numerical Operations, symbolic Operations. Questions on Dies, Clock, Calendar.

Trends, Space Orientation, Space Visualization, Venn Diagrams. Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence etc. Small & Capital letters/numbers coding, decoding and classification. Date & city matching, Classification of centre codes/roll numbers. Drawing inferences, folding & unfolding of Punched hole/pattern. Embedded Figures, Critical thinking. Figural Format – folding and completion, Indexing, Address matching.

English LanguageQuestions on Fill in the Blanks, Idioms & Phrases, Jumbled sentences (ordering), One-word substitution. Synonyms, Antonyms, Spellings/Detecting Mis-spelt words, Common mistakes, sentence improvement, Passage, Cloze test are asked.
Quantitative Aptitude (Q.A.)

This section is based on questions on Percentages. Ratio & Proportion. Square and cube roots. Surds and indices. Simple interest and Compound Interest, Profit and Loss, Discount, Partnership. Numbers, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Heights and Distances. Lcm and hcf, Averages, Age problems. Mixture and Allegation, Time and distance, Time & Work, Boat and Streams, Pipes and Cisterns.

Divisions and Remainders, decimals, fractions and relationships between numbers. Right Circular Cylinder, Sphere, Hemispheres, Rectangular Parallelopiped. Triangle, Quadrilaterals, Regular Polygons. Graphs of Linear Equations, Triangles (centres, congruence, similarity), In circles and circum-circle. Circle, Right Prism, Right Circular Cone.

Regular Right Pyramid with the triangular or square base, Trigonometric ratio. tangents angles subtended by chords of a circle. common tangents to two or more circles, Standard Identities. Degree and Radian Measures, Circle and its chords. Complementary angles, Heights and Distances. Histogram, Frequency polygon, Bar diagram & Pie chart.

General Awareness (G.A. Syllabus)General Awareness will have questions on present events, India and its neighbouring countries. Also questions from History. Geography, Economic Scene,Culture, General Policy & Scientific Research are asked. Scientific research comprises physics, chemistry and Biology. Present affairs of Last 6 months are asked.

SSC CGL 2018 Syllabus: Tier 2

Paper-1 (Quantitative Abilities)Same as in Tier 1
Paper 2 (English Language & Comprehension)Same as in Tier 1 English syllabus plus Active Passive and cloze test
Paper 3 (Statistics)Collection Classification and Presentation of Statistical Data
Measures of Central Tendency
Measures of Dispersion-Common measures dispersion 
Moments, Skewness and Kurtosis
Correlation and Regression
Probability Theory
Random Variable and Probability Distributions
Sampling Theory
Statistical Inference 
Analysis of Variance
Index Numbers
Paper 4 (General Studies (Finance and Economics)Finance and Accounts, Economics and Governance

SSC CGL 2018 Syllabus- Tier 3

Written Descriptive English TestPrecis Writing/Essay/Formal Letter/Informal Letter/Application/Passage Writing

SSC CGL 2018 Syllabus- Tier 4

Data Entry Skill Test/ Computer Proficiency TestDEST test requires 8000 key depressions per hour whereas CPT test requires computer knowledge

SSC CGL 2018- Important Books for Preparation

Listed below are few important books that a aspirant can prepare from for all the 4 tiers of SSC CGL 2018:

SubjectBook NameAuthor
EnglishEnglish for General Competitions: from Plinth to Paramount (Volume – 1)Neetu Singh (KD Publications)
EnglishEnglish for General Competitions: (Volume – 2)Neetu Singh (KD Publications)
Quantitative AptitudeAdvance maths for General CompetitionsRakesh Yadav (KD Publications)
Quantitative AptitudeArithmetic for General CompetitionsNeetu Singh (KD Publications)
ReasoningA New Approach to Reasoning Verbal & Non-VerbalBS Sijwali and Indu Sijwali (Arihant)
General AwarenessIndia Year BookDifferent Authors
All SubjectsKiran’s SSC CGL Combined Graduate Level Exams Question bank 1999-2016Kiran Publications
Tier 1 Extensive GuideMaster Guide SSC Combined Graduate Level Tier-I ExaminationArihnat Experts
Tier 2 Extensive GuideSSC CGL Staff Selection Commission Combined TIER-II Exam Exercise Work Book Including Solved PapersKiran Publication

Important Instructions for Aspirants of SSC CGL Exam Pattern 2018

Following instructions should be kept in mind while preparing for SSC CGL 2018:

  • Time management is very important.
  • Aspirants should exercise “mock tests” to get an idea of the computer based exam for Tier 1 and Tier 2. Online tests for the same must be attempted.
  • Mock tests are available on the official website of the SSC as well as the regional office websites.
  • Be careful of negative marking. Response only those questions which you are sure of.

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