EXAM pattern

Staff Selection Commission or SSC has been one of the most desirable organizations for Government exams in India. It conducts Combined Graduate Level – SSC CGL exam every year for recruitment to non-technical Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ non gazetted posts in various Ministries/ Departments/ Organizations of the Government of India.

Every year thousands of vacancies are filled by SSC in Government departments. Govt. jobs are the most sought after career choice in India. More so, the government is focusing on providing better facilities and services in every aspect of our lives. Govt is focusing on the development of our country and to do that millions of Jobs will be created in the coming years. SSC is the leading Govt. organization that provides employment to lakhs of students in India. A great opportunity lies ahead for all the SSC aspirants.

The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) conducts the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Exam for recruitment to various subordinate services like:

  • Assistants in Ministries/Departments, Attached and Subordinate office of the Govt. of India.
  • Inspectors of Central Excise & Customs.
  • Inspectors of Income Tax.
  • Preventive Officers in Customs.
  • Examiner in Customs.
  • Sub-Inspectors in Central Bureau of Narcotics & CBI.
  • Assistant Enforcement Officer in Directorate of Enforcement, Department of Revenue.
  • Divisional Accountant, Jr. Accountant, Auditor & UDCs in various offices of Govt. of India.
  • Auditor Offices under C&AG, CGDA, CGA & others.
  • Accountant/ Junior Accountant
  • Tax Assistant in CBDT and CBEC
  • Compiler in Registrar General of India.

  • Prerequisites

    Candidates applying for the various posts need to have a bachelor’s degree from a recognised university at the time of applying. Age of the candidate must be between 18 and 32 years (depending upon post applied) as of 1 August of the test taking year. The application fee for 2017 was Rs. 100. All women candidates and candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Physically Handicapped, and Ex-Servicemen eligible for reservation are exempted from paying application fee.


    The examination has several Tiers which are conducted over different days with results posted after each Tier. Previous exams also included an interview tier, but following a government order, interviews have been dispensed off for all non-gazetted posts in the central government as of January 1, 2016. A computer proficiency test or a skill test was also added as a Tier for some posts. There are four major tiers for the 2018 exam.

    Tier I: Preliminary

    The Tier I exam consists of a written objective multiple-choice exam with four sections, covering the subjects of:

  • General Intelligence and Reasoning
  • General Awareness
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • English Comprehension

  • Section Subject No of Questions Max Marks Exam Duration
    1 General Intelligence and Reasoning 25 50 60 minutes
    2 General Awareness 25 50
    3 Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
    4 English Comprehension 25 50
    Total 100 200

    The exam was typically scored with maximum 50 Marks per section for a total of 200 Marks.there is no individual sectional cut off.

    * There is negative marking in SSC CGL 2018 Tier 1 Exam. Giving a wrong answer to a question will lead to a penalty of 0.5 marks in all sections

    * The exam duration is 80 minutes for candidates who are visually handicapped.

    The latest versions of this exam such as with 2018 have been conducted online.

    Based on results from Tier I, qualified candidates can then take the Tier II and Tier III exams.

    Tier II: Mains Exam

    Also known as the Mains Exam, the Tier II exam consists of written objective multiple-choice exam, in four sections (also called “Papers”), covering the subjects of:

    • Quantitative Aptitude
    • English Language and Comprehension
    • Statistics
    • General Studies, which is subdivided into:
      • Finance & Accounting
      • Economics & Governance.

    Paper Subject No of Questions Max Marks Exam Duration
    1 Quantitative Abilities 100 200 2 Hours
    2 English Language and Comprehension 200 200 2 Hours
    3 Statistics 100 200 2 Hours
    4 General Studies (Finance & Economics) 100 200 2 Hours

    Important Points:

    • Paper-1 and Paper-2 are compulsory for all posts
    • Paper-3 is only for the post of “Statistical Investigator Gr. II” & “Compiler”
    • Paper-4 is only for the post of “Assistant Audit Officer”
    • There is negative marking in SSC CGL 2018 Tier 2 exam. Giving a wrong answer to a question will lead to a penalty of 0.5 marks in Paper-1,3,4 and 0.25 marks in Paper-2.
    • Questions in Paper-I will be of 10th standard level, Paper-2 of 10+2 level and Paper-3 & 4 of graduation level.
    • The computer will be provided by the Commission at the Centre/venue notified for the purpose. Candidates shall not be allowed to bring their own Key-board.
    • The exam duration is 2 Hours and 40 Minutes for candidates who are visually handicapped

    The latest versions of this exam such as the 2018 edition have been conducted online.

    Tier III exam:

    Descriptive PaperA pen-and-paper “offline” exam in which candidates are to do writing in the form of essay writing and letter writing, and sometimes precis and application writing. The exam can be done in English or Hindi.

    Tier IV exam: Data Entry Skill Test / Computer Proficiency Test

    In 2016, a fourth tier was added with two possible exams depending on the positions applied:

    • Data Entry Speed Test (DEST): candidates enter data at the rate of 2000 key presses in 15 minutes. This is mainly for positions such as Tax Assistant. (Central Excise & Income Tax)
    • Computer Proficiency Test (CPT): covering the topics of word processing, spreadsheets and making slides.