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

K. V. Ramakrishna

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 analyse 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 circum-radius, 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.

Percentages and Profit and Loss

There are about 16 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.

Time and Work, and Time and Distance

There are about 10 questions given from these two topics for the last five years. Out of which a question on pipes and cisterns, boats and stream and on trains are given in almost every exam.


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.


In the last five years, it has been observed that on an average, five questions were asked on Numbers earlier, but int the last two years ten questions were asked. Five questions on Averages, Mixtures and Allegations and around five questions on ratio, proportion and variations were asked in the last three years.

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. In the recent years, more than one questions was asked on divisibility rules. A question based on the application of remainder theorem is also given. Two questions on recurring decimals were given in 2018. Two to three questions are given on Simplifications, Indices and Surds. These questions can be answered easily.

Data Interpretation

From this topic, a minimum of 5 questions and a maximum of 7 questions 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 tables, bar graphs and pie charts. These questions require simple calculations, which include application of percentages, ratio, and averages. DI is usually among the easiest of all the topics and scoring full marks is possible. In 2018 three questions each on bar graph, pie chart and one question on histogram were given. These questions were moderate to difficult.

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.

Best Wishes!

SSC 2018 SSC 2017 2,016 2,015 2,014
Topic Weightage Weightage Weightage Weightage Weightage
Simple Equations 2-3 0-2 2 2
Ratio 3-4 6 6 3 4
Percentages 6-7 4 7 3 2
Profit and loss 4 4 5 6 8
Marked price/Disconts 3 4 4 3 3
Partnerships 2 2 2
Simple & Compound Interest 4 4 4 4 4
Time & Distance 2-3 3
Average Speed 4 3 2
Trains 0-1 0 1
Boats and streams 1 0-1 1 2
Linear Races 0 0 2
Time & Work 1-3 4 6 5 7
Wages 0-1 0 1
Pipes and Cisterns 1 0 1
Averages 2 4 5 5 4
Mixtures & Alligations 2 2 2 4 1
Numbers 9-10 7-12 4 8 4
Geometry 12-13 10-12 24 26 28
Mensuration 12-13 13-15
Progression 0 0-4 1 2
Quadratic Equations 0 1-5 1
Indices and surds 3-4 2-6 2 4 4
Trigonometry 11 10 10 10 10
Alegraic Expressions 4-5 4-6 6 8 4
Co-ordinate Geometry 2 0 1
Data Interpretation 7 5 5 5 5