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

SSC1237 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 1,237 Comments posted


    SIR ,PLEASE TELL ME IF I CAN CHANGE MY EXAM CENTER FOR SSC CGL 2014.I have shifted from delhi to bangalore .

    1. nischala

      even i wanted to know about it …because date is postponed can we change the exam center for ssc cgl 2014…if u get any information please leave ur comment….

      1. Kishore

        You can’t change the exam center..

  2. abhishek

    Sir 2013 ka complete update kb tk aayega

  3. kastub joshi

    sir discreptive paper ke number add honge kya? ya qualified nature Ka hoga

  4. birendra kumar Singh

    good guidance in general awareness. thanks

  5. wishy

    Sir, this TN board class XI NCERT has to be read fully or it’s like few chapters of it, if anyone else also has info can clear the dubt, Thanks in advance : )

    1. wishy

      bhai koi bata doo…. there are too many chapters to cover …. and by looking at question papers.. they are not asking many questions from medivil or ancient… particular topics kare .. yaa phir puri book for ancient and medivial.

  6. Archana Tanangi

    I tried to check my marks but it shows error, saying DOB is wrong but the RNO exists. This is my R.NO: 8002043715. DOB 02/04/1988.
    When I entered 04/02/1988 my marks were shown. Now am tensed if I registered my DOB wrong. Where to check if I entered wrong in the registration form, and is there any possibility to correct it? But in the hall ticket DOB is 02041988. Pls tell me some solution sir.

  7. Manish kumar

    sir is that necessary to appear in ssc mains exam paper 3(statistics)..as i do not want to go for compiler…

  8. Puja

    Hello sir, regards to u.. my doubt is how will states be allocated through cgl-13. Like will SSC just provide for department allocation and department will allot states or the options that we filled during the time of filling form will be valid for cgl 13?

  9. jalander

    Sir,in ssc cgl 2013 job preferences i have put statistical investigator as one of my option though im not from statistics background.
    now i have tier-2 exam on 20th September for paper-3, is there any problem if I skip this paper-3 and go for paper-1 and paper-2.
    plz reply me asap..

    thank you

  10. Manoj

    what is the expected date for ssc cgl 2013 re-exam tier 2??

  11. rajviratia

    Sir general science ka hindi version NIOS kahan par milega ,.?

  12. kulvir singh

    Hlo Sir
    cgl ki konsi post me lal batti milne k chances hai

  13. Sunil Mishra

    I have a query… Recently I got my 2 call letters for CGL Tier 2 (Re-exam -2013), one for Maths and English and other one is for Statistics….however I never opted for Statistics…. What should I do… Should I just simply leave the paper III ?

  14. shrinivas

    sir when one will get the joining after clearing all the tears of ssc cgl examination………

  15. Baljit Mahi

    Skip these topics remember only main events.try to focus on Indian national movement or modern Indian history.We might get 5 or 6 question out of this.

  16. vinod

    i have a question. the cut-off mentioned in the tier 2 is combining tier 1 + 2 or is it only for tier 2. i mean to say what would be the cutoff for total 600 marks (tier 1 200 + tier 2 400 marks)

  17. Sanket

    If anyone has any clue related to SSC 2013 Re-exam,change in references then please share with me.

  18. vipin

    Hello sir,
    i am preparing for cgl 2014
    there are some questions of economy related to demand,supply,different laws etc…
    suggest me some material related to this topic.

    Thank you.

    1. NIKHIL

      ncert micro economy 12th class

  19. mayank

    ssc official website still showing cgl 2014 tier -1 date will b announced shortly ??? why so ???

  20. abhay

    In tax assistant post only data entry speed or excel and PowerPoint required???? Please ans

  21. virender

    Ssc 2013 re-exam Geting 260 sc category …any chance of getting post

  22. virender

    Will you tell me the expected cut off for all category……

  23. Mithran


    Please give a clarification about the tier 2 cut off marks mentioned above. It is only for tier2 or compined for tier1 +tier 2.

  24. RAhul

    sir pls give me details about tier 2 cut off is tier 1+tier 2 ya pls explain

  25. aditya

    can some one tell me where will i find the hall ticket / admit card for SSC CGL 2014 in ORISSA.. plzzz… koi tho batao bhailog…!!!!

  26. aditya

    pl help
    can some one tell me where will i find the hall ticket / admit card for SSC CGL 2014 in ORISSA.. plzzz… koi tho batao bhailog…!!!!

  27. md arman ansari

    Kya mai cg-14 ka post of prefrence change kar sakta hu


    sir. when i had applied for ssc cgl i2014 by that time i hadnt completed my degree but i hve completed my degree know ..so AM I ELIGIBLE FOR SSC 2014 I hve recieved my admit card PLS HELP !!!! MY EXAM IS ON 19 OCT

  29. Amit

    Hello sir… can I change my exam centre 4 ssc cgl 2014. I live in Delhi but the centre in admit card is of Rajasthan. Plz help sir…

  30. Ravindra Babu

    hi sir i have one doubt

    I have completed my Btech in jul,2014.I have applied for SSC -CGLE -2014.I got in the list of admitted candidates Am i eligible sir please help me sir I have lot of hope?????

  31. MANISH

    i want to know that if any particular in
    online application of CGL is entered wrongly, will it affect selection process.
    can I get it corrected later during document varification process.
    because i entered my name wrongly while applying online.

    please sir if u can help me out in this matter.

  32. dinesh

    i felt very happy by this site i have never scene site like this before thank u for the analyse of subjectwise

  33. suma

    sir, i want to know that if any particular in online application of cgl is entered wrongly, will it affect at the time of selection .
    because i entered my marks percentage 2% more while applying online. and i didnt save that form how can i get it back. plz let me know sir…..

  34. abhishek

    plz send me the general awareness topics….. for bihar ssc

  35. kabir

    is sectional cutoff there along with total cutoff for qualifying ssc tier1

  36. Sarang

    Thank you………sir, after reading your posts, articles, I have lot of confidence…..really and heartly thank for you guidance….

  37. Night Fury

    No download links are working..

  38. [email protected]

    Please batayen Sir ki kya cgl 2014 ke liye applied job pref. Order ko change karne ka koi procedure hai??? ..koi fee ya application dene se,,,, ya koi or alternative ho to Sir jaroor bataiga….thanks in advance.

  39. navdeep

    please suggest me good books which I can buy online in paperback for preparation of economics and biology sections . please also suggest me if there is a abridged version of year book that only targets SSC current affairs . this time I could only pick 13 correct answers

  40. abhinav

    Sir please give me the link of old paperset of ssc- cgl till last 10 years…please provide me I am not in the condition of purchase the single book….please….

  41. Abhi

    Thank you very much sir for the detailed information !!!! Million thanks !

  42. balaji gidde

    sir i m working upto 3 years in state service .can that service is applicable for ssc cgl for a age relaxation?

  43. amit kumar singh

    Sir,can i apply for ssc cgl 2015 exams provided m in the final sem of my graduation??

  44. Ashish

    Sir, for polity I have read ncert from class 6 to 12. Is there also need to study NIOS material.. I am asking for SSC CGL exam..

  45. tanu

    plz give me link or pdf of lucent gk

  46. Sanjay

    Is it mandatory to write the both tier 1 and 2..Can I write only one tier-1

  47. shal

    wow .. gajab confidence !! impressive

  48. prabhakar

    no yaar year it was 262 thats y

  49. kanika

    Plzzz send me the ncrt books

  50. shivaprasad

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

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