Overview of the SSC CGL Exam Pattern

SSC CGL Exam Pattern

The Combined Graduate Level (CGL) examination conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) is an important competitive exam. It is held every year by the SSC to recruit candidates for Group ‘B’ and Group ‘C’ posts in various departments, ministries, and organisations of the Government of India, as well as constitutional bodies, tribunals, etc.


The Staff Selection Commission also administers other exams, such as the SSC Junior Engineer (JE) exam, SSC Combined Higher Secondary (10+2) Level Examination, etc. Aspirants can apply for any SSC exam after going through the eligibility criteria given in the official notification.


An overview of the SSC CGL exam pattern is given below.

SSC CGL Exam Pattern

The SSC Combined Graduate Level examination is conducted in different phases based on the post. The various stages of the SSC CGL exam are given below:

  1. Tier-I: Computer-based Examination
  2. Tier-II: Computer-based Examination
  3. Tier-III: Pen and Paper Mode (Descriptive paper)
  4. Tier-IV: Computer Proficiency Test/ Data Entry Skill Test (wherever applicable)


The details of the different stages of the SSC CGL exam, consisting of the test format, number of questions, maximum marks, etc., are given below.

SSC CGL Tiers-I, II and III

The important points pertaining to the SSC CGL   I, II and III that aspirants should keep in mind are as follows:

  • Tiers I and II contain multiple-choice and objective-type questions.
  • Paper-I and Paper-II in tier-II are compulsory for all the posts.
  • Paper-III in tier II is not for all positions.
  • Paper-IV in tier II is only for those candidates who are shortlisted in Tier-I for Paper-IV, i.e. for the posts of Assistant Audit Officer/Assistant Accounts Officer.
  • With the exception of English Comprehension in Tier-I and Paper-II in Tier-II, all of the questions will be presented in both English and Hindi.
  • There will be a negative marking of 0.50 marks in Tier-I for each wrong answer.
  • For each incorrect response in Paper-II (English Language and Comprehension) in Tier-II, 0.25 marks will be deducted, and 0.50 marks will be deducted for each incorrect answer in Paper-I, Paper-III, and Paper-IV.

The exam pattern of the SSC CGL examination is given in the following table.

SSC CGL Exam Pattern
Tier Subject Number of Questions Maximum Marks Duration of the Exam
Tier I General Intelligence and Reasoning 25 50  



1 hour


General Awareness 25 50
Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
English Comprehension 25 50
Tier II Paper-I: Quantitative Abilities 100 200 2 hours ( for each paper)


Paper-II: English Language and Comprehension 200 200
Paper-III: Statistics 100 200
Paper-IV: General Studies (Finance and Economics) 100 200
Tier III Descriptive Paper in Hindi/English (Essay, Letter, Applications, Precis) 100 1 hour




Tier IV is the skill test, which is of qualifying nature. It is applicable to only certain posts. It comprises Computer Proficiency Test (CPT) and Data Entry Speed Test (DEST).

Candidates should review the syllabus and previous years’ question papers before starting their preparation for the SSC exams. For instance, if aspirants plan to take the upcoming SSC Junior Engineer exam, they should first go through the SSC JE syllabus given in the notification and past papers to understand the exam pattern and nature of questions. This will help candidates streamline their preparation.


The Staff Selection Commission exams are highly competitive in nature. Aspirants should study systematically and put in immense effort to ace the examination.

pls capitalize “tier” consistently


Hi. Tier here is used in between the sentence so it will be in lowercase only.


@Priyanka, Capitalization is not consistent throughout the document.