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Overview : SSC-CGL

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The Staff Selection Commission was established in 1975 to recruit staff to various posts in ministries, departments and organisations of the Government of India.. Staff Selection Commission – Combined Graduate Level Examination, often referred to as SSC CGL is an examination, conducted by the Staff Selection Commission for selecting staff for various Group B and Group C posts. Every year, a huge number (25 to 40 lakh) of applicants appear in this exam to become the part of this immense recruitment procedure.

SSC CGL exam is conducted for the recruitment to various subordinate services like:

  • Assistants in Ministries/Departments, Attached and Subordinate office of the Govt. of India.
  • Inspectors of Central Excise & Customs.
  • Inspectors of Income Tax.
  • Preventive Officers in Customs.
  • Examiner in Customs.
  • Sub-Inspectors in Central Bureau of Narcotics & CBI.
  • Assistant Enforcement Officer in Directorate of Enforcement, Department of Revenue.
  • Divisional Accountant, Jr. Accountant, Auditor & UDCs in various offices of Govt. of India.
  • Auditor Offices under C&AG, CGDA, CGA & others.
  • Accountant/ Junior Accountant
  • Tax Assistant in CBDT and CBEC
  • Compiler in Registrar General of India.


Candidate must be a graduate from a recognised university. The application fee is INR 100 for GEN/OBC and SC/ST/PWD/Female are exempted from application fee.

Age Limit

Candidates minimum age should be 18 years. The upper limit age is 30 years now for all the posts. Age relaxation will be applied only for the reserved category candidates as per the Government rule – such as OBC – 3 years, SC/ST- 5 years, and PH (Physically Handicapped) – 10 years.

Selection Process

SSC CGL Selection Process consists of 3 Tiers which are conducted over different days with results posted after each Tier. The final shortlisted candidates are evaluated on the basis of cumulative performance of all the 3 Tiers. A tier IV is also available which is a Data Skill Test (DEST)/ Computer Proficiency Test (CPT). The Commission conducts it whenever applicable only for specific posts. The SSC CGL Selection Process also has a document verification stage where the eligibility of the candidates will be counter checked along with the documents they produce. Following a government order, there will be no personal interviews for all non-gazetted posts in the central government.

Tier I: Preliminary

It is a computer based online test of 200 marks in 60 minutes. There is a negative marking of 0.50 Marks for each wrong answer. There is no sectional cut off and you are required to cross the overall SSC CGL cut off. It consists of four sections, covering the subjects of:

  • General Intelligence and Reasoning
  • General Awareness
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • English Comprehension

Based on results from Tier I, qualified candidates can then take the Tier II and Tier III exams.

Tier II: Mains Exam

This is an online exam consisting of 4 papers as mentioned below. There is no sectional cut off.

  • Paper I – Quantitative Aptitude
  • Paper II – English Language and Comprehension
  • Paper III – Statistics
  • Paper IV – General Studies, which is subdivided into:
    • Finance & Accounting
    • Economics & Governance.

The exam is typically scored with maximum 200 Marks per paper and there is a negative marking for each wrong answer as follows:
Paper I – 0.5 marks, Paper II – 0.25 marks, Paper III & Paper IV – 0.5 marks

Most positions required the candidate to take only the first two sections (Paper-I: Quantitative Aptitude, Paper-II: English Language and Comprehension), but certain positions require the third or fourth sections also.

Tier III exam: Descriptive Paper

A pen-and-paper based “offline” exam in which candidates are to do writing in the form of Essay Writing, Letter/Application Writing, Passage Writing etc. The paper is conducted for a duration of 1 hour for 100 marks.. The exam can be done in English or Hindi.

Tier IV exam: Data Entry Skill Test / Computer Proficiency Test

The fourth tier was added with two possible tests depending on the positions applied. This exam is qualifying in nature. No negative marking and no marks allotted. The tests included are:

  • Data Entry Speed Test (DEST): candidates enter data at the rate of 2000 key presses in 15 minutes. This is mainly for positions such as Tax Assistant. (Central Excise & Income Tax)
  • Computer Proficiency Test (CPT): covering the topics of MS Office (MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint)
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