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

SubscribeSSC1409 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 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 Disha

1,409 Comments on “[Studyplan] SSC CGL General Awareness Tier-1: Booklist, approach, free study material for Combined Graduate Level exam”

  1. Sir please send me detail plan for cat 2016 prep…..at [email protected] Com

  2. HI Sir, In ssc cgL Notification it is mentioned that eye sight “with or without glasses???” what does it mean? I have -3.75 sight, am i eligible for that post(CBI sub inspector)? Pls let me know.

  3. respected sir,
    please give me idea for prefer posts , for clear the cgl exam.
    My qualification is Bsc(cs).

  4. Sir, please updated the post with last two year (2014, 2015) updates includes weightage of polioty, history etc

  5. Sir wat are books and author necessary to prepare for SSC

  6. my ssc cgl id starts with 600000 and i hav filled it from ssconline.nic but ssc.gov shows tht it starts from 512..is there anything wrong with my id..
    plz help…

  7. Sir
    Tell me source of reading economics survey and budget 2016 means any book ya netlink and provide guidence to anyleses like as last yr budget in lecture L4 series.you help me i hope so….

    1. Directly, eco survey download kar lo…. from the govt websites…

      a lot of websites write summaries – iaspro, mrunal’s (OLD summary), Civilsdaily ki latest summary chapters…

      1. sir plzz send ma cgl all gk Question with answer from 2010 to 2016 plzz sir

  8. Tamil nadu state boards history books.. the link provided redirects but doesnt let download.

  9. hlo sir
    please send the previous year ssc question papers


  10. Mrunal sir,
    Tell me about basic instruction for to appear SSC CGL exams ?
    and instruct me what are the field i should concentrate more ?

  11. If I cover ncert of Polity till 12th , whether still I need to study nios ??

  12. Plz provide me daily current affairs and study material for ssc cgl

  13. Thank you for this valuable information to give us this is best study material to reach ssc cgl
    Thank u for your guidance

  14. Tier – II cutoff that you shown on this page, is out of 400 (only Tier- II) or is it combined cutoff of ( out of 600 from Tier – I and Tier-II )…?

  15. Runal Bhai , Update Bhi Kabhi kar diya karo ….Janta ke behtar Hoga.

  16. Hi sir

    Request you to inform if this article will work for SSC CGL 2016 as well, this seems to be 3 years old.

  17. I have color blindness between between green n red, so am I eligible for IPS and CGL or not. Please guide

  18. Sir which book I should prefer for SSC CGL for complete syllabus

  19. I have very poor knowledge. In English n math, so which book I should follow..please guide sir

  20. Sir please send me the details plan for SSC CGL

  21. Dear Sir,

    Kindly provide the NOIS notes in hindi medium as well so that we can learn lots.

  22. Sir,
    I am a final yrB.tech student who is waiting for result.Can i apply ISRO recruitment now?Is any application deadline for ISRO this month?

  23. sirplease say how to prepare for ssc cgl with in 2 months

  24. Is M.Sc degree important to get promotion in the jobs offered by SSC CGL???
    Please answer me as early as possible.

  25. plz notify me upcoming government job calling

  26. pattern of ssc cgl has been changed…any new strayergy….or an help would be great….!

  27. runal ji cgl ke regarding kuch update karo

  28. Large portion of Economics is derived from Micro economics. So what will b the source of its preparation NCERT??

  29. Mrunal i cant download any books from server…
    Shows errors..tried from different devices..sort it out

  30. Sir i m not able to download the ncert e-books.
    Pls tell me how to download it.

    Thank you

  31. send me messages regarding openings

  32. Hi Mrunal Sir , I seek your guidance for what is this CGL Tier 3 , Tips to prepare , Do’s , Dont’s and how to write that . Something new that came across . Awaiting your detailed article on that .

  33. Please update the SSC CGL exam pattern for TIER 1

    1. Plz update ssc cgl 2017 exam pattern for tier i ,ii,iii nd iv

  34. sir,plz plz cgl 2016 ka cut off kitana hoga sir plz……..

  35. Please help me with detailed plan as to how to prepare for SSC

  36. Help me.. how to easily gott. Easy

  37. Sir, please update the page as the structure of SSC CGL is now changed. I loved your strategy, well! Thank you.

  38. sir please, send me the detail study plan for railway exams

  39. Sir, me self study kar ke ssc cgl exam ki preparation krna chahta hu. Pls give me suggetion and books.

    thank you

  41. sir can you plzz send me all gk Question answer which was asked in 2010 to 2016 in CGL only

  42. sir please, send me the detail study plan for SSC CGL 2017

  43. Plz update ssc cgl 2017 exam pattern for tier i ,ii,iii nd iv

  44. I am ex serviceman. after completion of 28 years of service in the Army, my present age is 49 yrs 01 month/ Can I eligible to appear in SSC CGL 2017 exam.

  45. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing detailed information about SSC CGL General Awareness syllabus.
    The knowledge provided by you for every topic is very helpful for us. It’s get very easy to understand the syllabus after reading your article.
    Candidates should also check Example SSC CGL important topics


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *