Topic Wise Analysis of Quant ( Paper I ) for SSC CGLE Tier II

Quantitative Aptitude is probably the most scoring area in most competitive exams. To maximise your score, you need to attempt ‘quant’ questions with both speed and accuracy. In this context, your preparation must be aimed at improving both conceptual knowledge and developing speed of calculation.

You should undertake an in-depth revision of important topics as that would increase the speed of solving questions across various test areas. Taking at least one practice test daily would certainly improve your speed of calculation and raise accuracy levels.

Most students usually focus only on one of the two aspects that are equally significant – either revising the subject or practising with mock tests. However, it is recommended that you adopt both the activities, and allocate sufficient time for each.

After every practice test, you must analyze your performance to identify your weak and strong areas. Subsequently, you should put in greater practice in your weak areas, while also brushing up strong areas, by revising the concepts thoroughly.

We recommend you solve multiple mock test papers, including previous years’ original test papers, as this would raise your level of familiarity with commonly asked exam question types, as most of the questions asked in the SSC CGL Tier II exam are based on the same concepts.

By practising with several tests, you can also learn ‘effective time management skills’, especially in the exams. It is, therefore, necessary that you sit for as many tests – both mock tests and original paper tests – as you can.

An analysis of previous original test papers reveals that most questions focus on topics like Mensuration, Percentages, Profit and Loss, Trigonometry, Algebra, Plane Geometry, Time and Work, Time and Distance, Simple Interest and Compound Interest, and Data Interpretation.

In the space below, we have shared a topic-wise breakup of questions in the Quant section in SSC CGLE Paper I.

Mensuration is one of the most important test areas as it forms the basis for about 12–15 questions. As most of these questions are based on direct formula application, it is necessary that you become familiar with various formulae through consistent practice.

Also, you can memorize all formulae related to equilateral triangle, trapezium, circle, cone, cylinder, sphere, frustum and pyramid, as well as their applications. Most of the 8-10 exam questions (that focus on this topic) directly relate to the basic properties of various geometric figures. Questions are usually asked from topics like equilateral triangles, Basic Proportionality Theorem, geometric points like centroid, relationship between circumradius, in-radius in an equilateral triangle, sum of internal and external angles in a polygon, angles in a semi-circle, alternate segment theorem, direct and transverse common tangents.

There are about16 to 20 questions from this topic in the exam. Questions from this topic are based on the application of percentages, and relationship among cost price, selling price, discount and marked price. Question types are usually repetitive and quite doable. Usually there are 8 to 10 questions from this topic. To answer these questions, it is necessary to remember important formulae. Most of the questions are based on Algebraic Identities, Factorization, Simplification of Polynomials and Simplification of Fractions. It has been observed that this topic contributes about 8 to 10 questions, of which, generally two questions are based on heights and distances. The difficulty level of questions ranges between easy and moderate.

Topic-Wise Distribution of Questions – Last Three Years
Profit & Loss568
Marked Price/Discounts433
Simple/Compound Interest444
Time & Distance formula-based /Average Speed432
Boats and Streams12
Linear Races2
Time & Work657
Pipes & Cisterns1
Mixtures & Alligations21
Geometry & Mensuration2428
Quadratic Equations1
Indices & Surds244
Algebraic Expressions684
Coordinate Geometry1
Data Interpretation555


In the last five years, it has been observed that on an average, five questions have been asked on Numbers and five questions on Averages, Mixtures and Alligations.

In the case of Numbers, a question on LCM and HCF, and a couple of questions on equation of division and divisibility rules are common. Two to three questions are given on Simplifications, Indices and Surds. These questions can be answered easily.

Data Interpretation

From this topic, 10 questions (two sets of five questions each) are usually carried. The sets are of the ‘usual DI’ types: table, bar graph, pie chart or line graph. In the last five years, most DI questions have figured bar graphs and pie charts. These questions require simple calculations, which include application of percentages, ratio, and averages. DI is among the easiest of all the topics and scoring ten marks is possible.

Based on the analyses of test papers of the last three years, we can say, with a great degree of certainty, that 50% of the questions are doable and 25% are of moderate difficulty level (these questions require a little time to solve). The remaining questions are tough to solve and hence time-consuming too.

A great deal of practice, enthusiasm to learn and determination to succeed can help you successfully attempt 80 or more questions with considerable ease.