[Studyplan] SSC-CGL Maths, Quantitative Aptitude, Algebra, Trigonometry: Approach, Booklist, Strategy, Free Studymaterial 2013 for Combined Graduate Level Exam Tier 1, 2

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  1. Introduction
  2. #1: Getting the conceptual clarity
  3. Breakup: SSC-CGL Tier I (2010, 2011, 2012)
  4. Breakup: SSC-CGL Tier II (2010, 2011, 2012)
  5. #2: Practice
  6. Choice of Quantitative Aptitude Book?
  7. Books for Maths/Quantitative Aptitude
  8. Download: NCERT Maths Textbooks
  9. Download: Blank answersheet


Competitive exams are meant for real-men and women. This is no country for crybabies, kids, college teens and no0bs. So first of all, you must get rid of the following “loser” mindsets:

  1. Yaar this maths is so hard, I can’t do it.
  2. I’m not from science/engineering background hence this is not my cup of tea.
  3. I’m poor in maths and I cannot improve.
  4. Thik hai, dekh lenge. (alright, I’ll see).
  • Maths is not difficult. All it requires is concept clarity + lot of practice. In SSC-CGL exam, you’ve to face Mathematics at two stages
Stage Maths-Questions Penalty
Tier-I (Prelims) 50 Qs Negative 0.25
Tier-II (Mains) Paper I: Arithmetical Ability 100 Qs worth 200 marks Negative 0.50
  • The Approach for Maths, stands on two pillars.



  1. Conceptual clarity
  1. NCERTs  (Free download links @bottom)
  2. Mrunal.org/aptitude
  3. For some topics, directly Quantitative aptitude books.
  1. Lot of practice
  • From Quantitative aptitude books.
  • There are lot of books in market, the question is, which one to refer? It is explained at the bottom of this article.

#1: Getting the conceptual clarity

  • We’ll divide Maths or Quantitative Aptitude, into topics and further into subtopics.
  • Your task is to cover one topic at a time, first get conceptual-clarity and then solve maximum questions at home.
  • Whenever you learn any shortcut technique, you note it down in your diary.
  • Similarly, whenever you make any mistake while solving sums, you also note that down in your diary. Night before the exam, you review that diary of mistakes. (why do this? Because it is the “Art of Aptitude” (Click ME)
Topic Subtopics How to approach

Number theory

  1. Divisibility, remainders
  2. LCM and HCF
  3. Unknown numbers from given conditiofor
  4. Fractions-comparisions.
  • NCERT Class 7 Chap 2, 9 (fraction)
  • NCERT Class 10 Chap 1 (divisibility)
  • Finally your Quantitative aptitude book.

Basic Maths

  1. Simplification (BODMAS)
  • NCERT Class 8 Chap 1
  1. Surds, indices
  • NCERT Class 8 Chap 12
  • Then NCERT Class 9 Chap 1
  1. Roots, squares, Cubes
  • Basics from NCERT Class 8 Chap 6 and 7.


  1. Linear equation
  • “Mother’s age was x and daughters age..”
  • “3 mangos and 5 bananas purchased for…”
  • X+1/2x+3=3/8 then find X.
  • ^This type of stuff. Just practice and you’ll get a hang of it.
  • Basics given in NCERT Class 8 Chap 2 and 9.
  • Then NCERT Class 9 Chap 4
  • Lastly NCERT Class 10 Chap 3.
  1. Quadratic equations, Polynomials
  • Factorization and roots. Heavily asked in Tier-II.
  • NCERT Class 8 Chap 14
  • And then NCERT Class 9 Chap 2
  • Lastly NCERT Class 10 Chap 4

Avg and Ratios

  1. Wine-Water mixture (Alligations)
Can be solved without formula. Go through http://mrunal.org/2012/03/aptitude-alligationsmixturesalloys.html
  1. Simple Average
  1. Ratio-Proportion-variations
For ratio-proportion NCERT Class 8 Chap 13.
  1. Partnership


  1. Time speed distance
  2. Trains, platforms
  3. Boats-streams
  4. Time and Work
  5. Pipes and Cisterns
All of them can be solved with just one Universal STD formula. Explained in www.Mrunal.org/aptitude


  1. Angles, sides, bisectors, circles etc
  • NCERT Class 9 Chap 6, 7, 8 and 10. Quantitative aptitude book.
  1. Mensuration (area and volume).
  • Basics explained in NCERT Class 8 Chap 3, 11.
  • Then NCERT Class 9 Chap 9, 12, 13.
  • Lastly Lastly NCERT Class 10 Chap 13
  1. Trigonometry
Understand basics from NCERT Class 10 Chap 8 and 9. Then exam-oriented concepts from your Quantitative Aptitude book.


  • Basic % (increase, decrease in consumption, population)
Also do NCERT Class 8 Chap 8.
  • Data-interpretation cases.
Mere extention of % concept. Just practice.
For long division, use this approximation method: http://mrunal.org/2012/11/aptitude-long-division-two-digit-division-calculation-without-tears-and-without-boring-vedic-speed-maths.html 
Profit, loss, discount, marked price. http://mrunal.org/2012/11/aptitude-concepts-of-marked-price-and-successive-discounts-profit-loss-without-stupid-formulas.html
Simple and compound interest rate http://mrunal.org/2012/04/aptitude-compound-interest-rate.html


  1. Permutation
  2. Combination
  3. Probability
  • Not asked as such.
  • But Sometimes a question or two comes in the “Reasoning” portion of Tier-I. Hence not much attention necessary.
  • But again, they too can be solved without mugging up formulas: go through various articles on www.Mrunal.org/aptitude


  1. Coordinate Geometry
  • Lately SSC has started asking 1-2 question in each of Tier I and II. But they can be solved by merely plugging numbers in the readymade formulas given in your Quantitative Aptitude book.
  1. Progression: Arithmetic+ Geometry
  • Again, rarely asked in SSC. Sometimes a question or two comes in the “Reasoning” portion of Tier-I.
  • Basically you just have to plug in the values in formulas. Basics of Arithmetic progression explained in NCERT Class 10 Chap 5.
  1. Logerithms
Not asked.

Breakup: SSC-CGL Tier I (2010, 2011, 2012)

Tier 1 SSC CGL Maths

Topic 2010 2011 2012
Ratio+Partnership 3 3 1
number theory 6 5 2
Avg+alligation 3 3 2
TSD 6 5 2
Misc. 3 0 2
basic math 11 11 5
algebra 6 0 5
DI 3 4 5
% 6 14 5
Trigonometry 0 0 9
Geometry 3 5 12
Total 50 50 50

The 2012’s Tier-I paper, is “trend-breaker”. Because

  1. The conventional questions from ratio-proportion, basic maths, time-speed-work are asked for namesake only.
  2. Otherwise, Out of 50 Maths questions in tier-I, almost 30 questions are from just Geometry+Trig+Percentage application.
  3. Earlier, they used to ask mostly area-volume-perimeter type questions from Geometry segment. You just had to plug-in values into the formulas and get the answer.
  4. But This 2012’s paper has mostly theory based geometry (angle, bisector, tangent, inequality of triangles etc.)
  5. Similarly the difficulty level of algebra, number theory based questions is bit raised.

Or perhaps SSC too decided to employ the BackbreakingTM move of UPSC! Anyways, jokes apart, the lesson here is, “adapt.”

Breakup: SSC-CGL Tier II (2010, 2011, 2012)

Tier 2 SSC CGL Maths

Type 2010 2011 2012
basic math 11 4 3
Misc. 2 2 3
number theory 8 7 5
DI 10 20 5
Ratio+Partnership 6 4 6
Avg+alligation 5 6 7
TSD 7 12 7
Trigonometry 0 4 8
Algebra 10 13 10
% 27 18 19
Geometry 14 10 27
Total 100 100 100
  • Here too, Geometry+Trigonometry have been given emphasis like never before.
  • Almost 65% of the paper is made up of Geometry, Trig, Percentage and Algebra (and in that too, mostly Quadratic equations.)

#2: Practice

  • Merely knowing the concepts or formulas won’t help. Because unless you practice different variety of questions, you won’t become proficient in applying those concepts flawlessly in the actual-exam.
  • Second, despite knowing concept and formulas, people make silly mistakes either in calculation or in pluging the values.
  • Third reason- Tier I has 200 questions in 120 limits. =not even 2 minutes per question. Plus, questions reasoning and comprehension might take more than 5 minutes! Therefore speed is essential. Since there is negative marking system, accuracy also matters.
  • So it is beyond doubt that you have to practice excimer number of questions at home.
  • The question is where to get the practice? Which book should be used for SSC exam?

Choice of Quantitative Aptitude Book?

  • In all competitive exams, “uncertainity factor” is involved. Despite your best preparation, you might lose the success-train by 2-3 marks.
  • Therefore you must never put all eggs in one basket.
  • While you are preparing for SSC, you should also keep open mind and apply for other competitive exams, such as IBPS, ACIO, ONGC, Railways, LIC, CDS, Coast Guard etc. (Depending on your career-taste).
  • Publication houses will come up with new books for each and every of ^these exams, but we have neither the time nor the money to buy a new book for every new exam.
  • Such readymade books are only skimmed down version of original topicbooks. For example, if there is SSC-FCI exam, or ACIO exam, these people will combine a few topics of GK, maths, reasoning and english. And present you a book.
  • Problem= you don’t get comprehensive understanding or coverage. Besides, given the population of India, competition level is always high, irrespective of exam. So half-hearted preparations with readymade “condensed” books don’t help much.

Almost all of these exams follow same structure:

  1. General awareness
  2. Maths
  3. Reasoning (Verbal, Non-Verbal)
  4. English vocabularly, grammar and comprehension.
  • How do they differ from each other?= number of questions, difficulty level and inclusion / exclusion of particular subtopics.
  • So when you’re picking up books for the first time, you should choose the books, that have universal usefulness for similar exams. That way your time, effort and money will be saved.

Books for Maths/Quantitative Aptitude

DONOT use Quantitative Aptitude by R.S.Agarwal for SSC-CGL.

Problems with RS Agarwal’s Math book:

  1. The way SSC-CGL question pattern is transforming, R.S.Agarwal’s book on Quantitative aptitude, is just not ‘upto the mark’ to match this changing environment.
  2. Its chapter on Trigonometry (Height and Distance) is simply insufficient to handle SSC-CGL level bombarding.
  3. Similarly coverage of algebra, quadratic equations and number theory is either absent or just for namesake.
  4. Geometry coverage is mostly confined to area-volume-perimeter (=mensuration). But SSC-CGL is moving towards Non-mensuration geometry (angle, bisectors, midpoint, circles, triangles etc.)
  5. The printing and presentation is very “ cluttered”. He has written the book assuming that you were already good at maths from school level.
  6. If you’re already good at basic concepts, use this book for practicing and improving your speed, else don’t bother, there are better books in market.

Pricing factor


Quantitative Aptitude For Competitive Examinations (S.Chand)

Quantum CAT (Arihant)
Sarvesh Kumar
Fast Track Objective Arithmetic (Arihant) Rajesh Verma
  • The point is, both books of Arihant Publication (Sarvesh or Rajesh) are way better than R.S.Agarwal, in terms of content, presentation, language and coverage, without being too expensive than R.S.Agarwal’s book.
  • And both of them have universal application for almost all of the competitive exams in India (for maths segment).
  • My advice, go with either Rajesh Verma or Sarvesh Kumar. Then the question, which one to pick up?

Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma.


Quantam CAT by Sarvesh Kumar


  • The size and price factor goes in favor of this book.
  • Concepts, techqniues, readymade formulas given here and there. Language, presentation is lucid.
  • Algebra, quadratic equation and Trigonometry specific chapters are given for exclusively for SSC.
  • If you solve all the sums of this book, then mathematics portion of SSC-CGL (Tier-I and II) will be as easy as a walk in the park.
  • Although book is written for CAT and  Management exams, he starts explaining everything from basics. Then exercises are divided into “Introductory<level 1<Level 2<Final round”, based on difficulty level.
  • Thus it becomes ideal choice for any aptitude exam.
  • So for lower level exams (SSC/IBPS), you should solve all his solved examples, then introductory exercises, finally level 1.
  • That’ll be quite sufficient.
  • While it is excellent for SSC, IBPS, UGC, LIC, CDS etc. level exams, its utility starts diminishing as you move towards higher-end exams.
  • Function, graphs, Quadratic equations, Geometry, Permutation-Combination-Probability coverage is “Thorough”. (Hell even more sums than Arun Sharma’s).
  • This make it ideal “text-book” for CAT/CMAT and other higher end exams.

^But merely getting either of these books, is not going to make you a topper.

If you want to become truly “invincible” for the maths portion of any competitive exam, then you must practice maximum numbers of questions at home and maintain a “diary of mistakes”.

This concludes how to approach Mathematics/Quantiative Aptitude for SSC-CGL exam.

Now only two topics remain (will be discussed later, in separate articles):

  1. How to approach Logical Reasoning
  2. How to approach English vocabulary, grammar and comprehension

Download: NCERT Maths Textbooks
Download: Blank answersheet
Studyplans for other topics of SSC-CGL
Click on following articles to know strategy, booklist for General Awareness, Reasoning and English.

General Awareness for Tier I Click me
Reasoning / General Intelligence for Tier I Click me
English Grammar, Vocabulary, Comprehension for Tier I and II Click me
Unacademy IAS Coaching

Mrunal recommends

810 Comments on “[Studyplan] SSC-CGL Maths, Quantitative Aptitude, Algebra, Trigonometry: Approach, Booklist, Strategy, Free Studymaterial 2013 for Combined Graduate Level Exam Tier 1, 2”

  1. sir please sent the information of the ssc cgl tier 2 english book

  2. sir plzz tel me to which book of math( Fast track objective arithmetic OR the Quantum CAT by Sarvesh Kumar)i should go for.. i mean i want to prepare for fci,ssc,lic and ibps po only..

    plzz reply soon as i am appearing for ssc cgl 2013 exam

    1. in your case: Fast track objective arithmetic

  3. sir
    As yo told I bought fast track arithmatic and worked out all the problems..is it enough ?? If not please tell me other options…..pleaseeeee

  4. Hello everybody
    can anybody tell are they able to view the ssc cgl 2013 application form using the link http://ssc.nic.in/SSC.html
    as i am facing problem in viewing the form (the message arrives that the particulars are incorrect)i have tried 3-4 regestration ids with the respective dob s but the message is the same.please try for yourself and help.
    bye and tc.

  5. Hello everyone. SOS!!!!!
    can anyboby tell are they able to view their application form for ssc cgl 2013 through the following links-http://ssconline2.gov.in/
    as i am facing problem in viewing my as well as a friend’s form.a message arrives saying that the particulars are incorrect.
    have tried many times .and now it’s giving me a head ache.
    i request u all to please try for yourself and help me. :(
    bye n tc.
    waiting eagerly for a reply

    1. As per SSC Chief Tweets….once Application filling get ends, they will be moved to archives. And won’t be available to view.
      So..Finally, u can’t see ur application now.
      Wait for Hallticket

      1. thanks a lot Manjunatha.
        i appreciate your concern.
        All the best for your future endevours.. : )

  6. sir after passing all examination post will be given to our choice or their choice
    for example my 1 pref is account but i m intersed in inspector and i given both in pref 1 perf is given to accountant
    please reply

  7. Helloo sir,

    If i have to choose one chapter from geometry and trignometry…then which chapter is comparatively easy and less time consuming from exam point of view…plz reply…

  8. Hello Frnds….FOr Quanti TMH publication Arun Sharma Very good Bt its not cover trignmtry So which 1 is best for Trignmtry??

  9. sir,what will you suggest for FCI mains both technicaland general paper?

  10. Sir, you have explained everything very nicely. But I am facing one serious problem, I am using Fast Track Objective Arithmetic but I cannot see any chapter elated to DI(Data Interpretation). Since I am not so good in maths I have gone completely mad.. Please take out some time for my query and I would be really very grateful to you.

  11. Is there any book for aptitude which solve the questions with short tricks ???

    1. vikash, plz avoid short tricks..if u seen 2012 cgl tier 2 paper of mathematics then u can find short tricks does not play any game in this competiton. it will be good if u go thoroughly through elementary mathematics of class 8,9 ncert textbooks and r.s aggarwal and at advanced level u can prepare from rajesh verma.

    2. SIR PLEASE SNDsir 200 question would
      have been provided for us to test that how much can we solve

    3. u must solve R.S.AGRWAL.

  12. Hello Mrunal Sir,
    Firstly thanks to you for sharing this valuable information…

    Sir I am Preparing For SSC CGL 2013 in that for maths section i am totally confuse which books i should use out of these

    (1) Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma.
    (2) Quantam CAT by Sarvesh Kumar
    (3) Elementary & Advanced Mathematics..Kiran Prakashan
    (4) Text Book of Quickest Mathematics..Kiran prakashan

    Sir please reply me as soon as possible..as very few days are remaining for preparation..


  13. Hello sir.. Thank you so much for explainig all the queries related to ssc exam…..

  14. u can choose any one from Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma and Elementary & Advanced Mathematics..Kiran Prakashan


    1. dhanjit, a large no. of questions on trigonometry u can get from c.d.s mathematics by r.s aggarwal and 10 class ncert textbooks or r.d sharma.


  16. please, please do not ignore this, i have been asking u since days, please answer this, atleast: for PO, CSAT, SSC, what all chapters should i read? i have bought M Tyra yesterday, please help i will start asap. thank you.

    1. aiman, m. tyra is good for short tricks but it will not be beneficial for u until u dont learn how to proceed to solve a problem. it will be good if u try to make ur concepts clear first from ncert of class 8,9, 10 class. then solve 40-45 questions from each chapter by r.s aggarwal quantitative aptitude. it doesnot gurantee u to select in cgl tier 2 so along with it solve as many problems as u can from rajesh verma objective mathematics. it will be sufficient to score more in tier 2 of cgl. along with all these i prep. from arun sharma(mensuration, geometry portion only), tenth class r.d sharma trigonometry, geometry and mensuration spl. and c.d.s mathematics by r.s aggarwal. in this book trigonomrtry, and geometry portion is better than other r.s aggarwal editions.
      best luck

      1. sanjay pls provide full name of arun sharma book and is availble online pdf file

  17. sir 200 question would
    have been provided for us to test that how much can we solve

  18. sir very much thak you for helping us…………….

  19. which book is useful for tier 1 tier 2 rajesh verma or sarvesh k verma

    1. sarvesh kumar is just an awsome book and will make you through all the competetive exams as far as quant is concerned

  20. Thank you very much sir..it really guided me alot for SSC CGL…Thanx a lot

  21. dear sir , fast track math ka book hindi medium by richa agrawal arihant publication , kaisa hai sir mai hindi medium se hoon please help me sir

  22. hi sir myself lakshmi iam totally confused either i look after author rajeshvarma or sarvesh kumar so plz suggest me good or best author to face any competative exams through out my lifetime so plz sir

    1. you can go for sarvesh kumar..the concept mentioned in the same make you avail all the tricks made so far..
      also its a complete book for guidance for any competetive exams…the best book in quant i have ever read..

  23. sir
    please give me some solution about Geometry part in ssc exam .please sir ;i am still stuck in Geometry ,so before i visit your sight i thought just leave this part .

    1. You should start with NCERT maths textbooks for Geometry: download links given in above article.
      I’m planning to put some videos on geometry in the coming weeks.

      1. sir plz videos jaldi upload karo

  24. how can i solve sums of trigonometry, geometry of ssc cgl level with in few minutes.Maximum sums asked in ssc cgl (tier 1 and 2) which need a lot of time .how can i manage it

  25. sir,please analyse strategy for RAS Exam new pattern.which books i refer for Rajasthan GK in english medium.pls help

  26. Thank you Mrunal for explaining everything.Your work is helping others to clear their clouds of douobt. I am really impressed by your approach of expaling things so profoundly yet very precisely. I am sure your work is going to help all the aspirants of SSC and other Civil exams. keep up your good work. All the very best.

  27. Can anybody can tell me that which has better job aspect SSC CGL or LIC ADO?

  28. sir 200 question would
    have been provided for us to test that how much can we solve

  29. Mrunal sir,
    please analyse the descriptive english subject pattern and also current affairs type question.
    I am really thankful to you for this wonderful site. your good work will help the thousands of candidates who prepare himself for CGL INCLUDING ME.

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