How to prepare for General Studies of SSC CGLE Tier I exam

SSC CGL Exam: Staff Selection Commission - Combined Graduate Level Examination, often referred to as SSC CGL is an examination conducted to recruit staff to various posts in ministries, departments and organizations of the Government of India.

Examination Pattern 2018: The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) conducts the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) every year in 4 different levels for various posts.

Exam Pattern - The Examination will be conducted in four tiers as indicated below:

Level of Examination


Mode of Examination

Tier – I

Objective Multiple Choice

Computer Based (online)

Tier – II

Objective Multiple Choice

Computer Based (online)

Tier – III

Descriptive Paper in English/Hindi

Pen and Paper mode

Tier – IV

Skill Test/Computer Proficiency Test

Wherever Applicable

Selection process: Candidates will be selected on the basis of performance in Tier-1 and Tier-2 examination followed by Tier-3 which will be in the descriptive format. Those candidates who will clear Tier 3 will have to appear for Tier-4 which is a computer-based proficiency test.

Important Dates: As per the latest notification of SSC CGL 2018, the schedule of exam will be as follows: 



Starting Date of Online Application

May 5, 2018

Last Date of Online Application

June 4, 2018 (up to 5:00 pm)

Tier I Exam Date

July 25 to August 20, 2018

Tier II Exam Date

November 27 to November 30,2018

Tier III Exam Date

To be notified later

Tier IV Exam Date

To be notified later

Tier I Examination Pattern: Tier-I exam of SSC CGL 2018 is an online mode of examination with 4 sections. The total marks allotted for all the sections is 200 and the total time allotted for the completion of all the sections of Tier-I exam is 60 minutes. A cumulative time of 80 minutes is allotted to physically handicapped students. 2.0 marks for each correct answer. 0.5 marks will be deducted for each wrong answer. There is no sectional cut off. No point will be deducted if the question is left blank or unanswered by a candidate in SSC CGL 2018 exam.

Serial No.


No. of Questions

Total Marks

Time Allotted


General Intelligence and Reasoning



A cumulative time of 60 minutes


General Awareness




Quantitative Aptitude




English Comprehension







Topic-wise Syllabus of General Awareness Section

General Awareness section is one of the high scoring sections of SSC CGL Exam. It is aimed at testing the candidates’ general awareness and knowledge of current affairs of the world and India. With good preparation and practice, you can attempt more questions in less time and score good marks in this section Let us understand the topic-wise syllabus of General Awareness section in SSC CGL Tier-I exam.



Sub Topics

No. of Questions

Static GK

Ancient History

Harappa Civilization, Gupta Dynasty, Cholas, Pallavas, Pandyas, Rashtrakuta, Delhi Sultanate, Mughals, Modern India –Social Reforms, Congress before and after Gandhi, 1940’s Independence, Vedic Culture.

9 – 11 


Mountains, Oceans, Rivers, Desserts, Lakes, Highways, Agriculture, Soils, Climate, Rainfall, Monsoon, Solar System, Indian geography.


Financial Institutions like SEBI, RBI etc., Schemes, Monetary Policy, Economic Survey, Economic concepts like GDP, National Income, Inflation etc., Five year plan and its importance, Famous persons in economy.

Indian Polity

Constitution, Impact of other constitutions on Indian constitution, Powers of President and vice President, Rights and powers of Supreme Court & High court, CAG, Election Commission, Emergency provisions, Union, State and Concurrent lists, Fundamental Rights and Duties, Panchayat Raj Systems, Constitution amendments. 

General Science


Important Inventions and inventors, 

Human Anatomy, Nutrition, Diseases, Prevention and cure, Last four chapters of NCERT of class 12th for environment

8 -10


Periodic Tables, Atomic Structure, Metals and Non-metals, Carbon, Hydrogen, Nuclear Science, Common names and composition of various compounds, Alloys


Newton’s Laws, Forces and matter properties, Thermodynamics, Major inventions and their inventors, SI units.

Current Affairs

Recent Developments

Sports, Awards, Politics, Finance and Banking Sector, International Events

3 – 5


General Knowledge

Population Census, Important books and their writers, First sports achievements of India and world like Olympics, Asian Games etc., State animals and symbols, Awards and their importance, Noble prize scientists and their fields, Important Days

3 – 5


Computer and Mobile technology, Development of computers, Input and output devices, Memory, Abbreviations



SSC CGL Topic-wise Weightage

Let’s analyze the Topic-wise Weightage for the topics covered under General Awareness section

  • General Science: This section covers around 40% of the GA Section and questions are asked mainly from Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Daily Science, etc.
  • Static GK: This section covers around 40% of the GA Section and questions are asked from static topics like Indian Politics, History and Culture, Economy, Geography, etc.
  • Current Affairs: This section covers around 10% of the GA Section and questions are asked from topics like recent development in Sports, Awards, Politics, Finance and Banking sector, International happening, etc.
  • Miscellaneous: This section covers around 10% of the GA Section and questions are asked from topics like National Schemes, Computers, Book Names and Authors, Logical Analysis, Important Days, etc.

SSC CGL General Awareness Preparation Books

  • NCERT 6th to 12th Standard
  • Lucent’s GK
  • Manorama yearbook (the current year 2017-18)
  • Polity by M. Laxmikanth
  • General Knowledge by Dr. Binary Karn (Lucent Publications)
  • General Knowledge by Arihant Publications.

SSC CGL General Awareness Preparation Tips

  • Build a Proper Structure: Follow a proper strategy and a time table for all the topics of this section. Try to invest at least 1-2 hours every day for better output.
  • Read extensively: Read magazines, newspapers, online blogs and websites, subjects from NCERT and watch news channels.
  • Always create notes: Making notes will help you to revise all the topics. Write regular notes and mind maps to remember facts, a chronology of events, cause and effect, etc.
  • Regular revision: Revision plays an important role in this section. Reading once won’t give you benefit. You have to memorize these points by revising frequently.
  • Focus on important topics: Students can look into the chapter-wise analysis mentioned above and focus on the important topics first. Also, try to prepare the subjects in the following order of priority:Science -> Polity -> History -> Geography -> Economy -> Miscellaneous
  • Spend time on weak areas: Focus on you weak areas and spend more time improving them. Devote more time to your weak areas and less time to your strong areas.
  • Regular Practice: Make a habit practicing previous year paper and mock tests every day to improve your speed and accuracy. Solve previous year papers as questions may be repeated.
  • Read the complete question first: Students are required to avoid the mistake of reading incomplete questions and arriving at incorrect answer eventually. Read the questions carefully and check what is being asked.
  • Avoid any guess works: Guesswork may lead you to wrong answers and will increase negative marking. Also, don’t waste much time on one question and move onto the next if you are not sure about the correct answer.


General awareness is not about formulas, shortcuts or tricks but it’s all about reading and memorizing. Be consistent and persistent in your efforts. All the best and do well in your examination.