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

SSC1332 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 1,332 Comments posted

  1. shankar singh

    Pls sir ssc cgl new practice pepar hindi me chahiye.

  2. Sonia Garg

    Sir,I want to prepare for SSC Exams Please suggest how to start


    Superb website.
    would you please provide some material for ssc aspirants and detailed analysis for 2014 2013 ssc ecam.


    Please suggest the best book for previous years question papers for the practice


    sir iam poor in quantitative aptitude how can crack ssc cgl exam 2015 plz show me some solution and please tell me some books for english also


      u have to practice RS Agrawal ‘s quentitative aptitude for strong ur roots of math

    2. anuj

      Aap english k liye how to translate in to english rp sinha ki books padhe sath hi sath youtube pe reasoning video dekh skte hai

  6. anand

    please send me study material for ssc cgl in hindi…

  7. Ashish shisodiya

    can anyone suggest me any online site which provides good video tutorial for competitive exams?

  8. juweria

    hello sir I belong to southern region [telangana] I didn’t get any post of hall tickets of ssc cgl and ssc chsl as exam is fast approaching am worried can u plz provide info regarding this!!

  9. arun

    pls send me the general awareness books for SSC tier 1

  10. syed rizwanullah

    sir can u please send me the general awareness books for ssc

  11. syedrizwanullah

    plz send me the ncert books

  12. Harekrushna Mohapatra

    Sir,mujhe previous year ka ssc cgl question jara mere email kho send kijia..pl sir…..

  13. Amresh

    Dear sir

    Please update CGL information till 2014so that we can analysis it better.

  14. himanshu singh

    nice website and concept is in easy language

  15. amit solanki

    please provide me ssc cgl full material in topic wise

  16. Tausif Ishaque


    I am scoring around 110 to 115 marks whole solving previous years papers for SSC .
    I am in general category and going to appear for SSC cgl 2015 on 9th of this month.

    1. What are my chances of clearing cutoff for tier 1 of 2015 cgl?

    2. On basis of marks illustrated above in tier 1, how much should I target for tier 2 for getting top or good posts?

  17. heel thacker

    Sir…plss abhiii 2015 ki general awareness k liye short me material ya fir model pprs ho to muje mail kre..as fast as psbl..
    On:[email protected]

  18. Arun

    Thank you sir for your guidance. What will be the probable cut off of SSC CGL 2015 tier 1.?

  19. nikhilesh rajak

    sir mujhe aap topic wise ncrts ki books send kr sakte hai kya plzz

  20. vinay kumar

    Sir plz update the analysis of SSC CGL .

  21. Vaibhav Sharma

    Sir kindly update these posts as I think it’s quite an old analysis and data. I wish to see cut-off marks for 2014 as well and analysis for 2015 as well. Cut-off for 2015 may be released in a month’s time so that can included as well.

  22. Subhankar Bhowmik

    In SSC-CGL, if anybody gives preference for non-interview posts while form fill up, but, if he crosses the interview posts cut off in tier-I and II, can he/she will get call for interview??

  23. bantu

    dear sir pls send me the syllabus for hpsc for naib tehsildar post or any link realted the post.

  24. pankaj dagar

    sir,ssc cgl 2016 ki approx cutoffs kya rehne wali h out of 600 marks

  25. anuj

    Please provide ur mail id

  26. anuj

    If there is anyone who is a speaker good english is warmly invited by me to join 4 english speaking practise on wtss app

  27. sanjay byagalwar

    sir, i am from maharashtra . i am B.A student . i was very poor at aptitude but i am able to improve the subject now . i have studied,what you have suggested. i am following that. my english reading skill , vocabulary and pronousation are very bad so my result is not good . how to use english news paper for improving those skill. and i need to attent ssc class in delhi . because some time difficult questions can not be solved by me .please sir tell me which class good for me .

  28. shal

    wow .. gajab confidence !! impressive

  29. prabhakar

    no yaar year it was 262 thats y

  30. kanika

    Plzzz send me the ncrt books

  31. shivaprasad

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

  32. ekta gupta

    u can refer book of general english of spbakshi

1 17 18 19

Write your message!