Important Points from SSC CGL Exam Pattern You Should Know

SSC CGL Exam Pattern

SSC CGL 2019 Exam comprises 4 levels (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3 and Tier 4). The set of the syllabus for the entrance is to be followed by the candidates thoroughly. SSC Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Examination 2019 is scheduled next year.

Aspirants should start their preparation as CGL Tier – I exam will begin from March 2nd, 2020 and end on March 11th, 2020 and CGL Tier-II & III Exams are scheduled from June 22nd, 2020 to June 25th, 2020 in online mode. While the Tier-I & Tier-II exam is to be conducted online, Tier-III will be a pen and paper-based exam and Tier-IV will be a computer skill test. It is advisable for candidates to acknowledge the whole marking scheme, pattern, nature, and procedure of the exam.

Important Points from SSC CGL Exam Pattern

SSC CGL Exam Pattern is not identical for every exam. Syllabus and marking scheme tend to differ from exam to exam. This exam consists of 4 phases, and each phase needs to be cleared depending upon the requirement of different posts. SSC CGL exam pattern is given below in detail for the convenience of aspiring candidates.

SSC CGL Exam Pattern Tier-1

Number of Papers   1
Total Sections  4
Sections General knowledge Quantitative Aptitude English Comprehension/General Intelligence and Reasoning General Awareness
Total Number of Questions 100
Total Time 75 minutes
Total Marks 200
Question Type Objective
Mode Online
Negative Marking Yes (0.5)

Points To Remember:

  • Negative marking is there in SSC CGL Tier 1 Exam where 0.5 marks will be deducted for each question that is attempted wrong by a candidate in all sections.
  • For candidates who are visually handicapped and suffering from Cerebral Palsy, the exam duration is 80 minutes.

SSC CGL Exam Pattern Tier-2

    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)
   Number of


   Total Time  2 hours for each paper
   Total Marks 800 (200 each paper)
      Mode Online
 Question Type Objective


Yes (0.25 for each wrong question)

Points To Remember:

  • For candidates who are visually handicapped,  the exam duration is 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Negative marking of 0.50 marks will be there for each wrong answer in Paper-I, Paper-III and Paper-IV and of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer in Paper-II (English Language and Comprehension).
  • Paper-I and Paper-II are compulsory for every post.

SSC CGL Exam Pattern Tier-3

Number of Papers  1
Question Type  Descriptive
Total Marks 100
 Duration 1 hour
 Exam Mode Offline
 Sections Essay Writing

Letter/Application Writing

Passage Writing

Points To Remember:

  • The SSC CGL is a descriptive paper and includes writing precis, letter, application, and essay.
  • The exam is conducted offline in paper and pen mode.

SSC CGL Exam Pattern Tier- 4

Time Duration 15 Minutes
Total Marks Qualifying in Nature
Exam Mode Online
Tests Computer Proficiency Test

(CPT) or Data Entry Skill Test (DEST)

Computer Proficiency Test


Only candidates applying for the post of Assistant Section Officer

Three modules: Word Processing, Spreadsheet, and Generation of Slides.

Data Entry Skill Test (DEST) Only candidates applying for the post of Tax Assistants (in Central Excise and Income Tax)

Criteria: 8000 key depression per hour.

Points To Remember:

  • DEST test demands 8000 key depressions per hour.
  • CPT test requires computer knowledge regarding word processing, spreadsheet, and generation of slides.

SSC CGL Marking Scheme:

SSC CGL Examination has both online and offline based tests. Tier 1, 2 and 4 are conducted online using a computer, while Tier 3 is a descriptive written pen and paper examination and Tier 4 is the final qualifying round where document verification is also done. Since the SSC CGL is comprised of 4 different tiers, it is imperative to understand each of their syllabi independently.

SSC CGL Exam Tier  



Total Marks







 Tier – 1 General knowledge

Quantitative Aptitude

English Comprehension/General Intelligence and   Reasoning

General Awareness


200 Marks


Each question carries 2 mark


0.5 Marks for

each wrong


 Tier – 2 Paper 1: Quantitative Ability

Paper 2: English Language and Comprehension

Paper 3: Statistics

Paper 4: General Studies (Finance and Economics)

Paper 1: 100

Paper 2: 200

Paper 3: 200

Paper 4: 200

Paper 1, Paper 3,

Paper 4: Each question carries 2 marks

Paper 2: Each question carries 1 mark

Paper 1, Paper 3, Paper 4: 0.50 for each wrong answer

Paper 2: 0.25 for each wrong answer

 Tier – 3 Passage Writing, Essay, Application  

100 Marks



Marks 33%

 Tier – 4 Data Entry Skill Test (DEST)/Computer Proficiency Test (CPT) (whichever applicable)  

Qualifying in



The following suggestions to be kept in mind while preparing for SSC CGL Examinations.

  • Candidates should practice many mock tests and online tests to get an idea of the computer-based Tier-I and Tier-II Examinations.
  • Candidates need to put great emphasis on time management.
  • Mock tests are available on the regional office websites as well as the official website of the SSC.
  • Candidates need to answer only the questions they are sure is correct to avoid negative marking.
  • Candidates are recommended to keep in mind that there is no sectional cut off.

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