SSC CGL Exam Pattern 2019 for Tier 1, 2, 3, and 4

SSC CGL Exam Pattern

The Staff Selection Commission conducts Combined Graduate Level exam every year to fill various vacancies in the government organization. To ease out candidate’s preparation for the upcoming SSC CGL Exam, here is the detailed SSC CGL Exam Pattern for all stages of exam.

  • As the SSC CGL Notification 2019 will be released on October 22, 2019, go through the paper pattern here and begin your preparation.
  • To ease out your preparation for SSC CGL Exam 2019-20, we have provided the stage-wise SSC CGL exam pattern here.
  • The exam pattern will help candidates to be aware of the number of questions that would be asked from each section.
  • SSC CGL Exam Pattern includes the number of questions, details of mode of the exam and the recent changes introduced in the exam. SSC CGL exam paper takes place in 4 stages- Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4.
  • In this post, we have provided the SSC CGL Exam Pattern for all Tiers and also their marking scheme. Go through the pattern and plan your preparation accordingly.

SSC CGL Exam Pattern 2019

Here is the SSC CGL Exam Pattern for Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4. Candidates who are appearing for SSC CGL Exam can begin their preparation by going through the paper pattern.

  • The Exam Pattern for each tier will be different from each other.
  • SSC CGL Tier 1 will be having a total of 200 questions separated into 4 sections. The sections are General Intelligence and Reasoning, General Awareness/General Knowledge, Quantitative Aptitude & English Comprehension.
  • There will be 200 questions in each of the 4 sections of SSC CGL Tier 2 pattern. The paper would be for 800 marks. The time allotted will be 2 hours
  • SSC CGL Tier 3 question paper will be a descriptive language exam of English/Hindi. The time allotted is 1 hour, comprised of 100 marks
  • SSC CGL Tier 4 is a 15 minutes Data entry and Computer Proficiency Test.
  • After you are thorough with the paper pattern, go through the SSC CGL Syllabus for each stage of SSC CGL 2019 Exam.

SSC CGL Exam Pattern 2019 Highlights

It is very crucial to keep in mind the necessary details regarding SSC CGL Exam. Hence, the table below tells us the important information in brief about the SSC CGL Exam:

Exam SSC Combined Graduate Level Examination(CGL)
Conducting Body Staff Selection Commission (SSC)
Tier 1 (Prelims) Total Marks – 200

Total Questions – 200


  • General Intelligence and Reasoning
  • General Awareness/ General knowledge
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • English Comprehension
Tier 2 (Mains) Total Marks – 800 (200 for each paper)


  • Quantitative Ability
  • English Language and Comprehension
  • Statistics (only for the post of Statistical Investigator Gr. II & Compiler
  • General Studies (Finance and Economics) (Just for the post of Assistant Audit Officer
Tier 3 (Descriptive) Type – Descriptive

Time – 1 hour

Language – English/Hindi


  • Essay Writing
  • Letter/Application Writing
  • Passage Writing
Tier 4 (DEST/CPT) Time – 15 minutes

Tests – Data Entry Skill Test (DEST)/Computer Proficiency Test (CPT)

SSC CGL Tier 1 Exam Pattern 2019

  • SSC CGL Tier 1 is an Objective paper.
  • Moreover, it also includes a negative marking of 0.50
  • The total time allotted to complete Tier 1 is 60 minutes
  • For disabled candidates, the time allotted is 80 minutes

Hence, the table below gives the latest SSC CGL Exam Pattern for Tier 1

Number of Papers 1
Total Number of Questions 100
Total Sections 4
  • General Intelligence and Reasoning
  • General Awareness/ General knowledge
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • English Comprehension
Total Marks 200
Total Time 60 Minutes (80 minutes for disabled candidates)
Negative Marking Yes (0.50 for each wrong answer)
Mode Online
Question Type Objective (MCQs)

SSC CGL Tier 1 Marking Scheme

Following is the marking scheme in SSC CGL Tier 1:

Section Subject Maximum Marks No. of Questions
A General Intelligence and Reasoning 50 25
B General Awareness 50 25
C Quantitative Aptitude 50 25
D English Comprehension 50 25
Total 200 100

SSC CGL Tier 2 Exam Pattern 2019

  • SSC CGL Tier 2 consists of negative marking of 0.25
  • Moreover, the exam mode is online
  • Moreover, the time allotted to complete the paper is 2 hours (2 hours 40 minutes for PwD candidates)
  • Hence, the SSC CGL Tier 2 will cover 4 sections

The following table gives a neat and clean idea of SSC CGL exam pattern for Tier 2:

Number of Papers 4
Subjects Paper- 1: Quantitative Ability

Paper-2: English Language and Comprehension

Paper-3: Statistics (only for the post of Statistical Investigator Gr. II & Compiler

Paper-4: General Studies (Finance and Economics) (Just for the post of Assistant Audit Officer)

Total Marks 800 (200 in each paper)
Total Time 2 hours (2 hours 40 minutes)
Negative Marking Yes (0.25 deduction on every wrong answer)
Mode Online
Question Type Objective (MCQs)

SSC CGL Tier 2 Marking Scheme

  • SSC CGL Tier 2 total questions are of 800 marks
  • So, each section is of 200 marks
  • The total number of questions is 500

The following table tells about the marking scheme of TIER-2

Section Maximum Marks No. of Questions
Quantitative Abilities 200 100
English Language & Comprehension 200 200
Statistics 200 100
General Studies
(Finance and
200 100

SSC CGL Tier 3 Exam Pattern 2019

  • Tier – 3 examination for SSC CGL is a descriptive exam to test the writing skills of the candidates in English/Hindi.
  • Furthermore, the examination will be conducted in offline mode
  • The exam lasts for 60 minutes.
  • PWD category will have a total time of 80 minutes to complete the paper
  • Also, only specific candidates will attempt Tier – 3, those who are applying for the post of “Statistical Investigator Grade-II” and “Compiler”
  • The difficulty level of the exam will be of 10+2 grade

The following table clarifies all details about SSC CGL Exam Pattern for Tier 3

Number of Papers 1
Difficulty Level 10+12th standard
Question Type Descriptive
  • Essay Writing
  • Letter/Application Writing
  • Passage Writing
Duration 1 hour (80 minutes for VH & Candidates suffering from Cerebral Palsy)
Exam Mode Offline

 SSC CGL Tier 3 Marking Scheme 2019

TIER-3 marking scheme details are given in the table below:

Type Marks
Descriptive Paper in English/Hindi (writing of Essays/Préci/Letter/Applications etc 100

SSC CGL Tier 4 Exam Pattern 2019

Through the DEST Test, the typing speed of the candidate will be tested as part of the Tier 4 Examination. Therefore, candidates are provided with an English article. Moreover, they will be required to type 2000 words in 15 minutes

Total Marks Qualifying in Nature
Time Duration 15 minutes
Tests Data Entry Skill Test (DEST)/Computer Proficiency Test (CPT)
Exam Mode Online
Data Entry Skill Test (DEST) Only for candidates applying for the positions of Tax assistants (in Central Excise and Income Tax)
Criteria: 8000 key depression per hour
Computer Proficiency Test (CPT) Only for candidates who are applying for the positions of Assistant Section Officer
Three modules: Word Processing, Spreadsheet, and Generation of Slides
  • Questions in Paper I will be of 10th standard level, Paper-II of 10+2 level, and Paper III of graduation level.
  • So, the difficulty level of SSC CGL Exam increases every year with enhanced competition and the awareness about the SSC CGL

SSC CGL Syllabus 2019

The following are the tables with important topics of SSC CGL Tier 1, 2, 3 and 4 from the syllabus that you can start preparing. This is just a glimpse of each stage of the exam while you can find the complete syllabus from the link provided above.

SSC CGL Tier 1 Syllabus 2019

Subject Important Topics of SSC CGL Syllabus Tier 1
General Intelligence and Reasoning Analogy, Codding-Decoding, Puzzle, Matrix, Word formation, Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Problem Solving, Word Building, Space Orientation, Emotional Intelligence, Social Intelligence
General Awareness Static General Knowledge, Science, Current Affairs, Sports
Quantitative Aptitude Simplification, Interest, Averages, Percentage, Ratio and Proportion, Problem on Ages, Speed Distance and Time, algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Square Roots, Profit & Loss, Discount, Histogram, Graphs
English Comprehension Reading Comprehension, Spellings, Phrases and Idioms, One-word Substitution, Sentence Correction

SSC CGL Tier 2 Syllabus 2019

Subject SSC CGL Tier 2 Syllabus
Quantitative Aptitude Simplification, Interest, Averages, Percentage, Time and Work, Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, Data Sufficiency, Square Roots, Profit & Loss, Histogram, Graphs
English Language Reading Comprehension, Spelling, Fill in the Blanks, Phrases and Idioms, One Word Substitution, Sentence Correction, Error Spotting, Cloze Test
Para Jumbles, Synonyms-Antonyms, Active-Passive Voice, Synonyms/Antonyms, Indirect/Direct Speech
Statistics important topics Collection and Representation of Data, Moments, Sampling Theory, Analysis of Variance, Time Series Analysis, Index Number, Statistical Inference,
General Awareness Finance and Accounting, Fundamental Principles, Financial Accounting, Basic Concepts of Accounting, Self-Balancing Ledger, Error Spotting and Correction, Economics and Governance, Comptroller and Auditor General of India, Finance Commission, Indian economy, economic reforms, money and banking, role of IT in governance

SSC CGL Tier 3 Syllabus 2019

The SSC CGL Syllabus for Tier 3 descriptive paper consists of:

  • Letter Writing
  • Precis Writing
  • Application Writing
  • Essay Writing

SSC CGL Tier 4 Syllabus 2019

The following is the updated and important topics on Social issues and current affairs:

  • Social Issues like Poverty, Education, Equality, Women Empowerment, Right to Information, Social Evils, Corruption
  • Politics, Schemes & Governance Elections, Demonetization, GST, Appointments, Officeholders.
  • Finance & Economy: Important Events in the Indian and global economy, Demonetization, RBI Rates, GDP Rates etc.
  • Environmental Concerns: Pollution, Overpopulation, Ecology
  • Sports: Recent victories, tournaments, matches, Wins, retirements
  • Geopolitics: Chinese aggression in the Indian Ocean, Syrian Refugee Crisis
  • Technology: Digital payments, E-Wallets and UPI, Social Networks, etc

Section-wise Important Questions and Answers

Here is the table that helps you with preparation for all the sections under SSC CGL Tier 1 and Tier 2 Exam. Candidates can view or download these questions PDF to enhance their preparation.

Section Questions and Answers PDF
SSC CGL General Intelligence and Reasoning View/Download
SSC CGL Quantitative Aptitude View/Download
SSC CGL General Awareness View/Download

SSC CGL Preparation Strategy

Certainly, preparation for any exam takes dedication and hard work. Hence, there are so many ways a candidate can prepare for SSC CGL in an easy and effortless way. So, some of them are as follows:

Tips To Prepare for English Language and Comprehension

  • More importantly, focus on your Grammar because, without it, the sentences are not clearly understood
  • Additionally, practice Reading Comprehension every day (at least 3 passages)
  • Moreover, learn a new word every day to enhance your Vocabulary. It will help you a lot in your exam
  • Furthermore, Read. Reading is the best way to enhance your command and understanding of the English language

Tips to Prepare for Quantitative Aptitude Section

  • Manage your time well. Importantly, try to give your time to each section
  • Also, the calculation speed matters a lot. So, practice as much as you can
  • Take Quizzes, certainly, as a part of the practice and keep a major check on your performance levels
  • Most importantly, if you opt for using some kind of short cut, it is good. But if you are not sure, do not risk any wrong answer

Tips for General Intelligence and Reasoning

  • First of all, sharpen your problem-solving skills. So, you can do it by performing Quizzes and giving Mock Tests from time to time.
  • Secondly. do one topic at a time and do it extremely thoroughly that you do not have to devote your time to it again.
  • Moreover, revise the order of Alphabets, forward and backward both.
  • Also, for General Intelligence, be aware of current issues/affairs which are going on and read a newspaper every day

Tips for preparing General Awareness & General Knowledge

  • First and foremost, be updated with the current affairs by reading a newspaper or watching the news
  • Additionally, read more and more social welfare issues which are currently going on
  • Also, grab the understanding of basic and common topics of Science
  • Finally, learn different topic every day about History, Geography, Economy, etc.

SSC CGL Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How many subjects are there in SSC CGL exam?
There are a total of 4 subjects that candidates have to cover properly in order to crack SSC CGL exam. The four subjects are: GK, Reasoning, English, and Maths
Is it tough to crack SSC CGL exam?
No. It is not very difficult if the candidate is working hard on cracking the exam. Moreover, candidates who are extremely determined to crack and study tremendously will surely clear the exam
Is there any negative marking in SSC CGL?
Yes, there is a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer in SSC CGL Tier 1 and 2.
Do the questions repeat in the examination?
Yes. A lot of times questions appear from the previous question papers. That is why we always advise the candidates to study and practice the previous year question papers
Is Tier 3 marks added in SSC CGL?
Yes. SSC releases the merit list based on the overall performance in Tier 1, 2, and 3 examinations. Candidates qualifying the minimum cut off score will be eligible for Tier 4 exam.

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