[Studyplan] SSC CGL General Awareness Tier-1: Booklist, approach, free study material for Combined Graduate Level exam

SSC1301 Comments

This article only deals with General Awareness part. The approach to Maths, English and reasoning, covered in separate articles.
  1. Introduction
  2. SSC CGL General Awareness (Tier I)
  3. Topicwise Analysis: 2010, 11, 12
  4. Indian Polity
  5. Indian History + Culture
  6. Geography+Biodiversity+Environment
  7. Economy
  8. Science
  9. CRAP (Misc.GK, Sports, PIN etc.)
  10. Final Touch to preparation
  11. Summary: Plan for SSC-CGL (GK)
  12. Free Download material for SSC General Awareness
  13. SSC CGL Tier 1 Cutoffs (2011, 2012)
  14. SSC CGL Tier-2 Cutoffs (2011, 2012)


Notification for SSC-Combined Graduate Level exam was released on 19th Jan 2013.  Click ME to read it
SSC-CGL exam is made up of three stages: Tier 1, 2 and 3.

Tier I (prelims)

General Awareness50
  • Time-2 hours. No. of question =200
  • Negative marking: 0.25 marks

Tier II (mains)

Those who qualify in the Tier-I, have to appear for Tier-II. But unlike the UPSC mains, the SSC tier-II doesn’t have descriptive paper. You just have to face Multichoie Questions (MCQ).

TotalDurationNegative marking?
Paper I (Maths)200 marks2 hrs– 0.50
Paper II (English)200 marks2 hrs– 0.25
Total400 marks
  • These two papers are compulsory for all candidates.
  • But If you’re applying for Statistical Investigator Grade-II, then you’ve to appear for one more paper, that is Paper III for Statistics, worth 200 marks.

Tier III (interview/CPT)

Those who qualify in Tier II (Mains), are called up for third stage (Tier III)

  • For some posts you’ve to appear for Interview worth 100 marks.
  • For some posts, you’ve to give computer proficiency test or Skill Test.
  • For example, Candidate for Tax Assistant job, will have to give test for data entry speed.

What’s the reform/change?

candidates qualifying in Tier-II of the Examination, will be subjected to a short descriptive paper of not more than one hour’s duration, with questions drawn from

  1. English Language and Comprehension
  2. Quantitative Abilities
  3. General Awareness
  • Please note: The main objective of above “Descriptive-Paper” reform is to prevent cheaters and dummy candidates.
  • So there is no need “fear” the descriptive paper.  If you’ve the guts and brains to clear Tier II (Mains), then you can handle this descriptive paper without much trouble.
  • And SSC chairman says if possible, they’ll conduct this descriptive paper via computer.

Anyways, let’s start. The studyplan is divided into four articles.

General Awareness Tier IExplained here in this article.
Maths / Quantitative Aptitude for Tier I and IIClick me
Reasoning / General Intelligence for Tier IClick me
English Grammar, Vocabulary, Comprehension for Tier I and IIClick me
Job profiles of various posts offered under SSC-CGLClick me

Tier I (Prelims)

  • Here you’ve to face Multichoice questions on General Awareness, English, Maths and Reasoning. (50 questions each).
  • This article only deals with how approach General Awareness.
  • How to approach Maths, Reasoning and English= will be explained later, in separate articles.

General Awareness (Tier I)

First of all, throw away Manorama Yearbook from your study-desk. That book doesn’t have much use for competitive exams.

Topicwise Analysis: 2010, 11, 12

SSC CGL General awareness analysis

SSC CGL General Awareness Analysis Bar chart

Indian History+Culture565
Geograhpy (Physical+Indian)+Biodiversity6116
Subtotal (Static)292923
Subtotal (Science)181617
CrapMisc.GK, Sports, PIN, Books, Current Affairs336
Yearbook (institutes, schemes, dates etc.)024
Subtotal (Crap)3510
Grand Total505050
  • I’ve  divided the General awareness portion of SSC-CGL exam, into

“S+S+C”= Static + Science + Crap.
(^in decreasing order of priority and importance.)

  • In the SSC exams, new players tend to pay too much attention to the ‘crap’ part. They keep buying books and magazines all the time as if there is nothing else to prepare except current-affairs.
  • But you must keep in mind that the Cost-benefit ratio is not really great for crap questions = “no. of data entries to be mugged up vs probability of getting a question vs probability of recalling the correct answer in actual exam.”
  • I’m not saying ignore current affairs, all I’m saying is, “don’t invest too much time and energy in them”.
  • On the other hand, If you look at “bigger picture”, almost 80% of General awareness questions come from Static + Science portion alone.  Hence they should form the priority.
  • The “Action-Plan” of SSC General awareness, rests on three pillars
Static + Science.
  1. Lucent General Knowledge
Filling up any missing details in Static + Science Part
  1. Competitionmaster.com OR Pratiyogita Darpan
For crap current affairs.

Indian Polity

  • If you’re simultaneously preparing for UPSC or State PSC exams, then just go with Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth.
  • Same book available in Hindi, under the name “Bharat Ki Rajya Vyavastha
  • So, if you’ve Laxmikanth, don’t bother much with NCERT/NIOS/Lucent etc.
  • But If you don’t have Laxmikanth there is no need to specifically buy/borrow Laxmikanth for SSC Exam alone, because the questions are very rudimentary in nature and can be solved via NIOS zip files (given @Bottom), in combination with Lucent.
  • Also prepare current affairs associated with polity. But “major” current affairs only.
  • For example Shree-Krishna Committee =Telengana. Who is the chairman of new Finance Commission, who is the new CJI etc.etc.etc.

Indian History + Culture

  • In SSC exam, History means Indian History only.
  • So donot waste time preparing World History.
  • Sometimes one question may comes, but that is not worth the Cost-benefit.

Approach Indian History?

Indian History is subdivided into three parts

AncientHarappa, Vedic Age, Maurya, Sangam etc.
MedievalDelhi Sultanate, Mughals etc.
Modern1857 Sepoy Mutiny + Freedom struggle.
  • Start with TN State education board books class 11 and 12 (they’re better than NCERT for the history portion, free download at bottom).
  • Then use Lucent to fill up the missing details.
  • SSC questions on History, are mostly from the important personalities and events. So, Please donot waste too much time in mugging up trivial names, dates etc.

Approach Culture?

  • Culture= art, painting, dances, temples, mosques, Architecture etc.
  • Most of the “Culture” happened during Ancient + medieval. So, you’ll simultaneously prepare it while going through NCERT Textbooks.
  • Also use the NIOS ZIP file. Given @Bottom of this article.
  • Lastly Lucent to fill up the missing details.
  • +Winner of Gyanpith award, Sangeet Natak etc. (ONLY IF you’ve time, else don’t bother much.)
  • That pretty much sums up History + culture. Although revision =essential.


  • For SSC exam, we’ve to prepare only Physical Geography + Indian Geography.
  • World Geography doesn’t come into picture. (sometimes a question or two, but that’s again not worth our trouble, remember the “Cost-benefit”.)
  • Lately SSC too has started asking questions on Biodiversity and environment. Although they overlap with biology/science portion.


  1. NCERT textbooks: Social Science Class 7 to 10
  2. NCERT Geography Class 11, 12.
  3. Environment and biodiversity ZIP file of NIOS.

(^free download links given @bottom of this article)

Finally Lucent to fill up any missing details, such as names of multipurpose river valley projects. But here again, don’t waste time with numbers.

  • Hirakud=Mahanadi River in Odisha=important.
  • Hirakud=4800m long = useless.


  • Generally very straightforward questions based on definition and concepts of Economy.
  • NCERT Economy book Class 11. (India’s economy and Development.)
  • NIOS Zip file given @bottom.
  • Only major “current affairs”. Usually SSC’s Economy questions are based on budget. (if at all they ask from current affairs.)

This concludes reading sources for “Static.” Moving to the next important portion for SSC-General Awareness.


  1. Gravity
  2. Motion
  3. Work
  4. Pressure
  5. Units of measurement
  6. Sound
  7. Heat
  8. Eletronics
  9. Magnetism
  1. uses, common names and composition of various chemicals.
  2. Alloys
  3. Definition based questions. (heat, oxidation, reduction etc)
  1. Parts of plant and their functions
  2. Parts of body, their functions
  3. Basics of animal kingdom.
  4. Disease
  • By and large the science questions come from ^above topics. (it doesn’t mean other topics are not important though!)
  • Best way to prepare science=NCERTs.
  • Science tech related current affairs are usually not asked in SSC exam.
  • At most sometimes current-affairs question on NASA satellite launch etc. So just keep an eye on major events, without doing any Ph.D.
  • Candidates from science background shouldnot ride with overconfidence. Because whatever you have learned in college = not asked here. And whatever you had prepared in highschool= long evaporated from your memory.
  • Hence start with the basic NCERT Science textbooks of Class 7 to 10, irrespective of graduation.


  1. NCERT Science Text books from Class 7 to 10
  2. NIOS material almost overlaps with whatever science is discussed in NCERTs. So not much point in doing “double-majoori”, unless you’ve time and mood.
  3. Finally Lucent to fill up any missing details Big inventions/inventors, applications of various chemicals, computer related terms etc. (again don’t go in trivial details, for example Lucent has even given long chemical reaction formulas= useless.)

This concludes science. Now the final part

CRAP (Misc.GK, Sports, PIN etc.)


Based on SSC-CGL Tier I conducted in July 2012.

  1. They had asked question on Shree Krishna Committee report. (which was released somewhere in Jan 2011)
  2. Author of book Kurukshetra to Kargil. (again launched in Jan 2011)
  3. Santosh Football trophy (somewhere in May 2011)

So, Duration of Current affairs for SSC-CGL, is last one calendar year. (i.e. if you’re preparing for 2013, then prepare major events starting from Jan 2012.)

  • PIN=persons in news, like xyz person won ICC cricketer of the year award, new CJI, new army chief, sports winners etc. There is no dearth of magazines and books circulating this garbage.
  • But always remember, your mind has a limited memory capacity. So prepare the big personas, major events, avoid the small timers.
  • Same for books and authors.
  • Same for places in news.
  • Same for [Yearbook]: Government schemes, location of various Government institutes etc. (you’ll find them in Lucent.)
  • Most importantly: these things don’t stay in long term memory. Hence frequent revision essential.


Competitionmaster.com (they release monthly updates) OR Pratiyogita Darpan (PD).


  • Once you’ve sufficiently prepared Maths+English+Reasoning+General Awareness, solve the as many old question papers of SSC exam as you can. (Blank answersheets given @bottom)

Why should you practice old papers?

  1. SSC recycles questions. You solve 10 papers, then 11th paper has hardly anything new, surprizing or challanging for you.
  2. Trains Your Brain For Negative Marking
  3. Improves Your Speed.
  • Google search will lead you to many download links for SSC papersets.
  • Problem?
  • 1) scanned PDF files are in very poor quality. + the half mile long watermark only blocks the view= very tiresome for the eyes to read.
  • 2) most of the time, they don’t contain solutions. Hence makes the whole exercise frustrating. Because you can’t evaluate your performance without going wasting another hour and so in searching the answers manually (for GK etc.)
  • So if you can afford, just go for the Paperset of Kiran Prakashan.
  • Good thing: they give detailed solution of each and every question.
  • Same way, if you can afford, buy the NCERT textbooks from market (even second hand-used books will work).

Summary: Plan for SSC-CGL (GK)

  • Priority order for General Awareness preparation= static >> science >> crap
  • Essential booklist/reading list for SSC-CGL (GA)
  1. NCERT, NIOS (free download links @bottom)
  2. Lucent’s General Knowledge book
  3. competitionmaster.com OR Pratiyogita Darpan (from Jan 2012)

Revise minimum three times, practice a few old papers. General awareness shouldn’t give much trouble.

This concludes how to approach General Awareness for SSC-CGL Exam. In the upcoming articles, we’ll see how to approach

  1. English vocabulary, Grammar and Comprehension (Tier I and II)
  2. Maths  (Tier I and II) (update: article published-CLICK ME)
  3. Reasoning (Tier-I)

Free Download material for SSC General Awareness

NCERTs (English) Free download

TN State edu Books (for History) https://files.secureserver.net/0fnzZYT7SDNuC9

NIOS (for Culture) https://files.secureserver.net/0fdAWETp4sONW5

NCERT files: topicwise: https://files.secureserver.net/0fHCh0CLd6Az63

NCERT file: classwise (they’ve same pdfs as above)

Science Class 7Download
Our Pasts Part 2 – Class 7Download
Social and Political Life Part 2 – Class 7Download
Our Environment Class 7Download
Science Class 8Download
Our Pasts Part 3 – Class 8Download
Resource and Development Class 8Download
Social and Political Life – Class 8Download
Science Class 9Download
Contemporary India Social Science for Class 9Download
Economics for Class 9Download
India and Contemporary World 1 for Class 9Download
Science Class XDownload
India and the Contemporary World 2 Class X Social ScienceDownload
Democratic Politics Part 2 for Class X Social ScienceDownload
Contemporary India Part 2 for Class X Social ScienceDownload
Understanding Economic Development Class X Social ScienceDownload
Fundamentals of Physical Geography Class 11Download
India Physical Environment Geography Class 11Download
Indian Economic Development Economics Class 11Download
Themes in World History Class 11Download
India People and Economy Class 12Download
Introductory Microeconomics Class 12Download
Macroeconomics Class 12Download
Fundamentals of Human Geography Class 12Download
Themes in India History 1 Class 12Download
Themes in India History 2 Class 12Download
Themes in India History 3 Class 12Download

If it doesn’t work visit (or you want Hindi version): http://www.ncert.nic.in/ncerts/textbook/textbook.htm

DescriptionDownload Link

NIOS study Material

Economy, Environment n Biodiversity, Polity etc.Many zip files on various subjects. Download as per your requirements.click ME

Blank Answersheets

For practicing mock questions @homeclick ME

SSC CGL Tier 1 Cutoffs (2011, 2012)

Out of 200 marks.


(excluding Statistical Investigator/Compiler.)

SSC CGL Tier-2 Cutoffs (2011, 2012)

Interview postsNon-Interview postsInterview postsNon-Interview posts

(excluding Statistical Investigator/Compiler.)

Mrunal recommends

  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Bipin Chandra: Post Independence
  5. Spectrum Geography (selective) (Hindi | English)
  6. Fast-track to Arithmetic Rajesh Verma
  7. MK Pandey’s Analytical Reasoning
  8. Disha’s Topicwise Paperset (Hindi | English)
  9. Oxford School Atlas with Census 2011
  10. Mains: Language papers
  1. (free) NCERT, NIOS, TN-Books 4 History,Geo,Sci
  2. Indian Polity M.Laxmikanth (Hindi | English)
  3. Spectrum: Modern History (Hindi | English)
  4. Maths: Quantam CAT Sarvesh Kumar
  5. Objective General English SP Bakshi
  6. Word Power made Easy -Norman Lowe
  7. Topic wise Solved Paperset by Arihant

So far 1,301 Comments posted

  1. aditya

    guys are the results for ssc cgl conducted in October tire 1 out??, when is the tire 2 ??? i came accross reports that say tire 11 has already been conducted on jan 28 …im confused pl help

    1. Pranav

      Still time is there for tire 2,no need to get confused

    2. Niverdhana

      hello sir,
      can above study plan be followed fr upcoming 2015 exam?
      or its only for 2013 batch?

      1. Karthik

        @nirvedana cut off may vary for this year’s exam..u should score more marks than what they had mentioned ..

  2. sravan kumar

    hello sir,
    i am poor in MATHEMATICS.. tell me how to score more marks in SSC CGL

    and sir plz keep posts from top to bottom department wise of CGL posts


      Try with the book ( Mathematics for C.D.S. by R.S. Aggarwal),
      its really amazing. by the practice you can improve yourself in maths. but you have to practice the whole book not less than three times.
      Best of luck.

  3. rohit singh

    sir please send me ncert book in hindi to my email id “[email protected]

  4. Yash Saxena

    Great site……

    Thanks Sir….
    And yaa updates in data for ssc plz….


    What is the syllabus of of g.k. For ssc cgl.

  6. DEB

    I am working in Indian Air force with 0700 HRS to 1800 HRS busy schedule. can pl made a daily study routine MON – SUN to crack SSC CGL as ex service man candidate.Waiting for your reply.Thank you.

  7. Nilesh Mishra

    Please try to send me NCRT books

  8. Abhijeet kumar

    @ Mr.Mrunal Baba …… sir will u plzz send me a topic wise analysis of year 2014.

  9. Arnab Das

    sir,please introduce topicwise analysis of cgl 2013,14,15.

  10. rupin gupta

    Which all govt departments fall under SSC CGL?????

    1. Shashi shekhar

      sir plz me help for ssc math

  11. Vishal singh

    Sir Is there a technique or short cut tricks to solve puzzle questions and seating arrangement problems in reasoning section . Bcoz I m weak in these section.

  12. bikesh kumar

    Ssc cgl accountancy mein kis tarah ka question rahta hai

  13. anonymous

    sir plzz snd me statistics previous year paper for ssc cgl tier2


    any details on how many students scoring between 150-160 in tier 1 2014??

    1. Adi

      4 candidates over 160 (166.5 being the highest).. 54 candidates above 150

      1. Om Prakash

        Kaise pata chala bhai? Kisi website pe hai kya? Ya pura PDF dekh liya?
        I am curious. I tried a lot, but couldn’t find it.

      2. B

        Pura analysis hi bata dete to kaesa rehta? 120-130, 130-140, 140-150..

      3. Rajesh

        Kaise pata chala bhai? Kisi website pe dia he ya pura pdf dekh liya?

        Hame bhi batao.


    Good luck for competitive exam readers.

  16. vinay

    ssc cgl 2015 exam pattern changed please clear this

  17. hemanth


  18. konghar

    I used correcting pen on one of the questions in maths. Will my OMR Sheet be rejected. If so please help me wat to do

  19. Priyanka

    Sir, please guide in detail about how to study GA without coaching more effectively.

  20. suresh

    sir, please update all ssc cgl related articles, please sir ….

  21. Satrajit Basu

    Sir, can you please suggest good books for statistical investigator. My age has crossed 27 and so I am eligible for only 4 posts for SSC. I want to seriously prepare for stat exam this year. So what should be my study plan? and which books do I need to refer?

  22. sundar

    What is your Message? Search before asking questions & confine discussions to exams related matter only.

  23. sundar

    Sir, you have posted books in folder is it enough for SSC cgl preparation

  24. sundar

    Given books by your website is it enough for exam or v must buy ncert book

  25. Sri Sai

    Dear Sir, I have completed my Part-I Registration for SSC CGL 2015 Notification and done online Payment. An Acknowledgement in XPS was availed to me with Registration ID. But now when i want to proceed for Part-II Registration with the Registration ID and my Date of Birth, The site is showing “Information given by you is incorrect. Please enter the correct information.” I tried as many times i could, but the same was shown. Can you please suggest me with any alternative link or any other option to complete Part-II registration. -Sri Sai

  26. harish

    My eye vision is low 6/9 and 6/12 can I apply for the post inspector of income tax?

  27. Mona

    Hi Sir, thank you very much for your guidance.
    Hi friends, here i found an intersting app for online tests My Exam….try it. !! here we hv SSC CGL tests too……like it.

  28. hardev shroti

    sir please send me ncert book in hindi to my email id “[email protected]


    Sir please provide me NCRET books in hindi .

  30. kiran rathod

    I am preparing for ssccgl 2015. I want to learn trigonometry, geometry and mensuration from basic.. plz help by providing/suggesting study materials….


    1. manoj kumar

      i am postgraduate in mathematics and prepairing for cgl 2015.i have applied for statistical envestigator.it was done by mistake.i did not know there will be an additional paper for it.i have choosen it as my first periority .stat. was not my subject……i have read it at 10th level only.further it was never read by me.plz suggest me what should i do…..i do not want to give third paper….is it possible??plz sir reply as soon as possible….i will be greatful 2 u….thanks !!!

  31. Dhruv

    Thanks a ton , mate !
    if i crack this exam . some credit definitely goes to you .
    keep helping people

  32. pravat kumar

    Register again PART1.give correct information.then try PART2.

  33. minskshi

    I m poor in English. Sir plz guide me.how to practice it.

  34. chanakya

    i want to know whether the tier 2 marks cutoff is out of 400. I had heard that tier 1 is also added to tier 2 and than tier 2 cutoff is made.
    Anyone pls solve the query about tier 2 cutoff and the final cutoff for the all posts.

  35. himanshu

    plz provide me 2014 ssc cgl paper ………

  36. shoaib

    dear site adminstrator may u plz send me the almost all old question papers of ssc cgl thanks n regards

  37. Kuldip Singh

    Hi Team,

    Tier II marks cutoff goes something around 350 so does it include TIER I marks also separate marking.
    I mean do we just need to crack TIER I or need to score good marks for merit purposes.

  38. rahul

    mrunal sir my age is 29 this is my last attempt besides that i am eligible for cbi nia and enforcement directorate plz tell me how i can clear the tier 1 first

  39. sai kumar

    Sir please tell me if i cleared the UPSC Civil Services final cut off for selection in written papers and if i am absent to Interview or i got less marks in Interview then i will get job or not. Please tell me

    1. Karthik

      if u are absent or got less marks in inteview u will get eliminated…

  40. vikas chandra the

    Sir ssc investigator ke liye koi better book hindi mein net par bhaje dein jisse hum log book ko download kar sakein sir market mein iski koi bhi book available nahin hai. So please sir download better book or notes jisse jyaada se jyaada profit hum logo ko ho kyoinke sir iska cut-off bahut high jata hai so please sir download better book or notes as soon as possible jisse investigator mein selection ho jai. Thanks sir.

  41. vicky kumawat

    History_class6_TN_Board And class 9 pdf are not working.plsss rectify as soon as possible.

  42. venkatesh

    my dad is directly recruited as an auditor in cag (group c ) now he is in group b post , got promoted after 40 years of age , as per the guidelines i think im eligible for obc non creamy layer , i read that for sons/daugthers of govt.employees , the post/cadre is taken into consideration and not the salary … what is this non creamy layer certificate and how to get it ?

  43. pashya

    Sir,,by mistak I have given preference of compiler post in preference option… And I’m not have qualifications required for this… So is any problem in future (while tir-1,,t-2.. Interview)………. Plz tell me

  44. Danish Moazzam

    SIr, KIya yeh sab books hindi mai bhi hai?

  45. sahib singh`

    do they have sectional cut-off for tier 1 exam ??

  46. Nikunj Prajapati

    Dear sir, do u prefer objective gk of lucent ??? I m confused bcz in review of the book i read many ans in this book are wrong. If no then pls suggest any other book for objective gk question.
    Thank u

  47. Kamya Singh

    Unable to download the study material (zip file)…

  48. shal

    wow .. gajab confidence !! impressive

  49. prabhakar

    no yaar year it was 262 thats y

  50. kanika

    Plzzz send me the ncrt books

  51. shivaprasad

    i am poor in english
    how will i get more marks in english ,ssc tier I

  52. ekta gupta

    u can refer book of general english of spbakshi

1 16 17 18

Write your message!