guide to SSC CGL 040943817T3GS6


A Guide to SSC CGL exam 2021


The Combined Graduate Level exam is conducted by the Staff Selection Commission to recruit contenders for grade B and grade C posts across various offices/departments/organizations in the Government of India.

Table of contents

What is SSC CGL?

The SSC CGL exam is conducted every year by the Staff Selection Commission on a national scale. Every year almost 15 lakh people appear for this exam. It is conducted in four stages called tiers.

  • The first and second tiers of the SSC CGL exam are conducted in online mode.
  • The third and fourth tiers of the SSC CGL exam are conducted in offline mode.

These tiers are designed to test different aspects of your knowledge. The qualified students will be eligible to work in the following government departments:

Various Posts through SSC CGL
S. No. Name of post Ministry/Department/Office
1 Assistant Various Ministry/Departments
2 Inspector of income tax CBDT
3 Inspector (preventative officer/ examiner) CBIC
4 Assistant enforcement officer Directorate of Enforcement, Department of Revenue
5 Sub-inspector Central bureau pf narcotics, CBI, NIA
6 Divisional accountant Offices under C&AG
7 Auditor Offices under C&AG, CGDA, and other departments/ministries.
8 Accountant/Jr. accountant Offices under C&AG and other ministries/ department
9 Tax assistant CBDT/CBIC
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Vacancy in SSC CGL 2021

The Staff Selection Commission released a notice on 29 December 2020 announcing the vacancies for SSC CGL 2021. The tentative vacancies for SSC CGL 2020-21 are 6506.

  • Group B (Gazetted) – 250
  • Group B (Non-Gazetted) – 3513
  • Group C – 2743

Reservation for ST, SC, OBC, Economically weaker sections (EWS), Ex-servicemen (ESM), and persons with disabilities (PwD) candidates would be determined and announced for all categories, wherever applicable. Vacancies for ESM are only reserved for Group C posts.

But the vacancies have decreased in number throughout the years. SSC CGL 2019-20 was conducted to fill 9488 vacancies. The year before that the total numbers of vacancies in SSC CGL 2018-19 were 11,271.

SSC CGL Exam Date 2021

Thousands of people seek government jobs every year to build a stable career. The SSC CGL exam is a wonderful opportunity for all students to secure a position in various departments/ministries/offices in the government of India. SSC CGL is a highly anticipated exam across India. The Staff Selection Commission released a notice announcing important dates for the upcoming exam.

Important Dates for SSC CGL 2020
Exam Event Important Dates and Time
Submission of online applications 29-12-2020 to 31-01-2021 (23:30)
Last date and time for online fee payment 02-02-2021 (23:30)
Last date and time for generation of offline challan 04-02-2021 (23:30)
Last date for payment through Challan 06-02-2021
Tier 1 computer-based examination (postponed) Postponed due to Covid
Schedule for SSC CGL tier 2 exam To be notified
Schedule for SSC CGL tier 3 exam To be notified
Schedule for SSC CGL tier 4 exam To be notified

According to the revised guidelines by the Staff Selection Commission, the computer-based tier 1 examination has been postponed due to the raging pandemic across the nation.


The Staff Selection Commission has announced the much-anticipated revised dates for SSC CGL Tier-1, SSC CHSL Tier-1, ASI, and SI exams.

S. No. Examination Revised Dates
1. Combined Graduate Level Exam Tier-1 2020 13.08.2021-24.08.2021
2. Combined Higher Secondary Level Exam Tier-1 2020 04.08.2021-12.08.2021
3. Sub-Inspector in Delhi Police, CAPFs and ASI in CISF (Paper-2) 26.07.2021

This schedule is subject to the prevailing Covid-19 conditions and government guidelines issued from time to time concerning the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With just one month left for the SSC CGL 2020 exam, it is time to start preparing with all you have. Check out our blog on SSC CGL Books and Preparation Strategy.

SSC CGL Exam Pattern

The SSC CGL exam will be conducted in four stages.

  • Tier 1- Online mode
  • Tier 2- Online mode
  • Tier 3- Offline mode
  • Tier 4- Offline mode
Scheme of SSC CGL Tier 1 Exam
Subject Number of Questions Maximum Marks Exam Time
General Intelligence and Reasoning 25 50 1 hour (negative marking of 0.5 for each wrong answer)
General Awareness 25 50
Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
English Comprehension 25 50
Scheme of SSC CGL Tier 2 Exam
Subject Number of Questions Maximum Marks Exam Time
Paper-1 – Quantitative Abilities 100 200 2 hours (negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong number)
Paper-2 – English Language and Comprehension 200 200
Paper-3 – Statistics 100 200
Paper-4 – General Studies (Finance and Economics) 100 200
  • The questions in Tier 1 and Tier 2 will be presented in objective type, multiple-choice format.
  • The questions will be available in English and Hindi both except for the English comprehension in paper 2 of tier 2.
  • Tier 1 and Tier 2 are mandatory for all posts.
Scheme of SSC CGL Tier 3 Exam
Subject Maximum Marks Exam Time
Descriptive Paper (essay, letter, precis, etc.) 100 1 hour

Scheme of SSC CGL tier 4 exam:

Tier 4 is a skill test. Two tests will be conducted for tier 4:

  • Computer proficiency test (CPT)
  • Data entry speed test (DEST)
[Click here] to attempt daily mock tests, sectional tests, chapter tests, and previous year tests on SSC CGL.

SSC CGL Exam 2021 Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for SSC CGL vary for different posts. There are three basic criteria that every student should meet and one criterion that is only meant for selected posts. The eligibility criteria for the SSC CGL exam are as follows:

  1. Educational qualification- Every candidate must have a bachelor’s degree from a recognized University or institute.
  2. Age limit- Every candidate must be of ages ranging from 18 to 32. The age group for each post will differ. Students from selected categories are provided relaxation in the upper age limit.
  3. Citizenship- A candidate must belong to the following nationalities for consideration:
    • Citizen of India
    • Subject of Nepal/ Bhutan
    • Tibetan refugee who came over to India before January 1, 1962.
    • Person of Indian origin who has migrated from the countries specified by the staff selection commission.
  4. Physical fitness- The students applying for the posts of inspector or sub-inspector need to fulfill this criterion.
[Click here] to check out the eligibility criteria for SSC CGL 2020 exam.

SSC CGL 2021 Syllabus

The SSC CGL exam consists of questions that cover different topics from 10th and 12th classes. The SSC CGL exam syllabus 2020-21 is as follows:

  1. Tier 1- The questions will be based on general intelligence and reasoning, general awareness, quantitative aptitude, and English comprehension.
  2. Tier 2- This tier is divided into four papers:
    • Paper 1 (quantitative abilities)- The questions will be designed to test the ability of appropriate use of numbers and number sense of the candidate
    • Paper 2 (English language and comprehension)- Questions in this component will be designed to test the candidate’s understanding and knowledge of the English Language
    • Paper 3 (Statistics)- the questions will be asked on topics like collection and presentation of statistical data, probability theory, sampling theory, time series analysis, etc.
    • Paper 4- This paper is divided into two sections. The first section is of 80 marks, which will consist of questions related to finance and accounts. The second section is 120 marks, which consists of questions from economics and governance.
  3. Tier 3- This is a descriptive paper that will test your ability to write essays, letters, precis, applications, etc. in Hindi or English language. Only the students interested in the post of statistical investor or compiler need to attempt this paper.
  4. Tier 4- Certain government posts require a certain skill set and this test will do just that. It is divided into two parts:
Subject Skills Tested Post
Data Entry Speed Test (DEST)

·8000 key depressions per hour.

·2000 key depressions for 15 minutes.

Tax Assistants (central excise and income tax)
Computer Proficiency Test (CPT)

·Word processing


·Generation of slides

Assistant Section Officer, Assistant in SFIO, Assistant (GSI) in the Ministry of Mines.
[Click here] to take a look at a detailed 75-day study plan for SSC CGL and SSC CHSL 2020 examination with FREE mock tests and study material (PDF).

SSC CGL Exam Preparation

A student needs to have a game plan ready for any competitive exam. An effective strategy can be the key that helps you to crack the exam. Many top rankers suggest attempting mock tests to get a better grip of the type of questions that are asked.

You can attempt the previous year's papers of the SSC CGL, completely free of cost, on Exam Lounge, which is your one-stop learning for SSC CGL and other exams. Check out the previous year tier 1 papers that are linked below:

  1. 5th March 2020 Shift-3
  2. 6th March 2020 Shift-1
  3. 7th March 2020 Shift-3
  4. 9th March 2020 Shift-1
  5. 9th March 2020 shift-2

The 1-hour mock tests will help you assess your knowledge. You will get to know the sections in which you have strong knowledge and the sections that need more work. You can also attempt section-specific mock tests to solidify your grasp on those topics. These tests will not take more than 15 minutes to attempt and it will be worth taking them! The section-based tests are linked below:

  1. English language quiz- Direct indirect narration
  2. General intelligence test- coding-decoding
  3. Quantitative aptitude quiz- Profit and Loss
  4. General awareness quiz- History of India
Attempt the live tests and quizzes for FREE at and engage in healthy competition with other aspirants. Evaluate where you stand and get a chance to win exciting prizes!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will SSC CGL be conducted in 2021?
    The SSC CGL exam 2020-21 was set to be conducted from 29-05-2021 to 07-06-2021. But it has been postponed due to the rising covid-19 cases across the country.
  2. How can I apply for SSC CGL 2021?
    All applications for SSC CGL 2021 should be submitted online on the official website of SSC headquarters.
  3. How many vacancies are there in SSC CGL 2021?
    The Staff Selection Commission released a notice on 29 December 2020 announcing the vacancies for SSC CGL 2021. The tentative vacancies for SSC CGL 2020-21 are 6506.
  4. What are the age criteria to apply for the SSC CGL exam?
    Every person attempting the SSC CGL exam must be aged from 18-32 years. The age groups might differ for different posts.
  5. What is the mode of the SSC CGL tier 1 exam?
    The SSC CGL Tier 1 exam is conducted in online mode.
  6. How many stages does the SSC CGL exam contain?
    The SSC CGL exam is conducted in four stages called tiers. Tier 1 and 2 are conducted through online mode. Tier 3 and 4 are conducted offline.
  7. What is the application fee for the SSC CGL exam?
    The SSC CGL exam fee is Rs 100. Women candidates and candidates belonging to reserved categories are exempted from paying the fee.
  8. Is it mandatory to appear for all the tiers of the SSC CGL exam?
    All students must appear for tiers 1, 2, and 4. Only the students applying for the post of statistical investor or compiler need to attempt tier 3.
  9. Is there a negative marking in the SSC CGL exam?
    Yes, there is a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer in tier 1. There is a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer in tier 2.
  10. For what posts is the SSC CGL exam conducted?
    SSC CGL exam is conducted for grade B and C posts across various ministries/departments/offices/organizations in the Government of India.
Kinshu Patel

Kinshu Patel

Kinshu is a content writer at Exam Lounge. She has experience as an educational content writer for the past 3 years. Her main field of interest is General awareness including History, Geography and Current Affairs

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