1. General Awareness
    1. Science
      1. Essential Reading List for Science (SSC)
      2. Why NCERT and NOS material?
      3. What to avoid in Science?
    2. Geography
      1. Essential booklist for Geography
      2. How to approach Geography?
    3. Polity
    4. Economy
    5. History
    6. Culture
    7. Yearbook
    8. Sports
    9. Person in news
    10. Current Affairs
    11. Computer
    12. Miscellaneous GK
  2. General Intelligence (Logical Reasoning)
    1. Approaching Verbal Reasoning
    2. Approaching Non-verbal reasoning
  3. Quantitative Aptitude / Maths
    1. How to approach Trigonometry
    2. How to approach Algebra
    3. How to approach Geometry?
    4. Remaining topics of Maths
  4. English
  5. Practicing at home
  6. Download links for NCERT/NOS Material (Free)
    1. NCERT: Science, Geography, History etc.
    2. NCERT: Trigonometry, Algebra, Geometry
    3. NOS: Economy, Polity etc.
  7. Priority Areas: GA,Reasoning,Maths & English
  8. Books
    1. Manorama Yearbook versus GK 2013
    2. RS Agarwal vs Sarvesh Kumar
  9. FCI: Posting, Promotion and Cutoffs
    1. Posting in FCI
    2. Promotion Hierarchy in FCI
    3. Cut Offs FCI 

This analysis/strategy/approach is based on previous papers of FCI, given in SSC papersets by Kiran Prakashan

  1. FCI Grade III (Norther Zone)
  2. FCI Grade III (Eastern Zone)
  3. FCI Grade II

^all of them were held in Jan-Feb 2012 period.

FCI’s Paper 1 (objective) paper contains following sections:

Topic Qs
General Awareness 50
General Intelligence (Verbal/Logical reasoning) 50
Maths (Quantitative Aptitude) 50
English 50

Sectional Cutoffs: No

Negative Marking: Yes.

General Awareness

Topicwise Breakup

SSC FCI Exam cutoff Breakup Topicwise

^Breakup can be debatable, because in many topics science overlaps with geography, culture overlaps with history and geography.

But the good part is, majority of the questions are from static-fact based GK/GS only.


Essential Reading List for Science (SSC)

  • Start with NCERT Class 7 to 10 Science Text books.
  • NOS Study Material on Science.
  • Both of them are free, I’ve given the download links at the bottom of this article.
  • Science chapter in Lucent GK

Why NCERT and NOS material?

  • Because their language is lucid, lots of colorful photos and fonts = easier to read and memorize compared to dull readymade books on Science GK.
  • Same reason for History and Geography PDFs of NCERT.
  • But one time reading will not help you. You should revise these PDFs minimum 3 times.

What to avoid in Science?

  • There is no need to go in deep and trivial, for example Atomic weight of xyz Element is 25. = avoid.
  • Mathematical Formula for finding acceleration of pendulum is xyz = avoid.
  • Telescope was invented in XYZ year = avoid. (Name of inventor is important, but invention year is not important).
  • I advise you to avoid ^them, because there can be no end to trivial information and mind has very limited memory capacity. Ofcourse there may be a few questions on trivial info. But it is not worth the cost:benefit ratio.
  • So, all the basic facts and concepts regarding plants and animals, chemicals and matters etc = extremely important.
  • One time reading of books, will not suffice. Minimum three times revision is necessary.
  • No need to devote lot of time to Science-tech related current affairs. Most of the questions are from ‘static-theory’ portion only.


Essential booklist for Geography

  1. NCERT class 7 to 10 Social Science
  2. NCERT class 11,12 Geography.
  3. NOS Study Material on Geography

All of them can be downloaded for free. The download links are given at the bottom of this article.

How to approach Geography?

I would classify Geography topic in following segments

  1. Physical Geography: Basic information on earth, earthquakes, tsunami, volcano, climate, monsoon etc.
  2. World Geography
  3. Indian Geography: Location based.

Physical geography = no excuse, must be done, priority area. Because the facts and concepts are very limited in number. (Compared to location based Indian geography).

Read and revise it multiple times from NCERT + NOS.

For World Geography (example where is xyz place located or xyz temple, mountain, river is located in which country?). Hardly a 1 or 2 question but the amount of data to mugup is huge. So cost-benefit ratio is not good. Do read the NCERTs but no need to go beyond that (e.g. avoid Manorama yearbook)

For Indian Geography: Location based Indian geography (rivers, temples, monuments, wild life sanctuaries etc) are important. But no need to do Ph.D.

Besides temple-monument questions also come in History/culture topic so pay attention.

You can prepare such things from NCERT, NOS, GS Manual, GK 2013, Manorama Yearbook etc many sources. But beyond a level, it’ll give you diminishing rate of returns. Therefore, NCERT+NOS+GK-2013= good enough.


  1. NOS Study material on Indian Polity (Free download link @bottom)
  2. Polity Chapter in Lucent GK

SSC/FCI Polity questions are based on static facts. So, this topic is no-excuse, must be done, priority topic. Revise NOS material often and you’d be able to solve majority of the questions.

If you already have a book named “Indian Polity by M.Laxmikanth“, then there is no need to go through above two books. In that case read M.Laxmikanth religiously, aap kaa bedaa paar ho jaayega. (atleast for the polity section!) 


  1. NCERT text Books on Economy
  2. NOS study material on Economy

Both of them are free, download links @bottom of this article.

Just try to understand the concepts and definitions, without mugging up formulas or definitions. Also mugup the establishment year of RBI, NABARD, LIC, Green revolution etc. important events.  (but not all of them, only the important ones).


Source: NCERT Social Science and History books. (Free download links given at bottom)

History can be classified into three parts

  1. Ancient (Harappa, Maurya , Gupta empire etc)
  2. Medieval (Delhi and Mughal sultanate)
  3. Modern (after 1857- freedom struggle)

The questions in SSC/FCI are from all three topics.

But don’t waste time in mugging up all the dates or trivial small time kings. Pay attention on important personalities, details. But year of major battles, and timeline of events in freedom struggle= important.

NCERTs have covered the History in very lucid manner. And also revise the History chapter of GK 2013 multiple times, because Lucent GK has provided all the essential facts of ancient, Medieval and Modern History in just 24 pages.


  1. NCERT books on Social Science, History, Geography.
  2. NOS Study material on Culture

Although barely 2-3 questions come from this part. But usually they’re usually easy to solve because there is overlapping with NCERT History and Geography books. So, do prepare it.
Prepare Whatever is given in Lucent GK, regarding various Government schemes etc.

Beyond that, not much point in doing the given the time limit, vastness of topic and very few questions. Otherwise there is India Yearboorbook 2011 PDF file but like I said – too much data, too less questions.
In previous paprs, there were questions on F1 race, sports terminology. But only 1-2 questions and too much data to mugup = cost:benefit ratio not good =skip it. At most you can do Olympic winners.
Person in news
Same as above. But prepare Noble prize winners.
Current Affairs
Current affairs related to Government schemes, economy, polity, science-tech etc.
Read the updates from Mrunal.org/current.
You may be reading some competitionmagazine like Pratiyogita Darpan, Chronicle etc. If you’ve read them already, better revise it one more time.
Just go through extremely important facts only, such as Olympic, FDI permission, Budget (income tax slabs etc).
Otherwise cost:Benefit ratio is not good, given the fact that previous FCI exam were mostly based on static part.


Computer questions are usually quite easy therefore it is no-excuse, must be done.
I suppose you already have some GS Manual / IBPS manual / Manorama GK book/ GK 2013 etc. then prepare computer portion from it.

Otherwise, go through selective reading of following

  1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/webwise/a-z/
  2. http://www.nios.ac.in/online-course-material/vocational-courses/basic-computing-skills.aspx
  3. http://www.nios.ac.in/online-course-material/vocational-courses/computer-and-office-applications.aspx
  4. Any other good site that you can find via google.

Miscellaneous GK

For example Ranks in Army, disease, inventors etc. Consult Lucent GK

If you have Manorama Yearbook, do such topics from it. If you don’t have Manorama, then there is no need to specially buy it at this moment.

I think this would be sufficient for General Awareness portion. Now moving to Aptitude, which is made up of three topics: Reasoning (Gen.Intellegence), Maths (quantative aptitude) and English

General Intelligence (Logical Reasoning)

Just a fancy title “General Intelligence” otherwise in previous years, they basically asked the usual verbal and non-verbal reasoning. For both the topics, essential book is
A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning by RS Agarwal
Approaching Verbal Reasoning
Do atleast 10-15 sums from each of the chapter/topic/variety of question of RS agarwal.
And I suggest you give extra practice to following topics (i.e. solve all the questions given in those chapters, instead of just 10-15)

  • Series (Alphabet, number based),
  • Analogy (words and numbers),
  • Blood / Family relation,
  • Sitting arrangement.
  • Dictionary based word arrangement,
  • Direction Sense Test (map)

Approaching Non-verbal reasoning

  • Non-verbal means you’re given 3-4 image boxes and you’ve to determine the next image box.
  • Sometimes it also involves questions on mirror, paperfolding, color of cube etc.
  • IN FCI/SSC exam, atleast 5 questions are based on Non-Verbal reasoning always appear. Therefore it is an essential, must be done, priority topic.
  • Many people don’t practice it at home (ki isme kya prepare karnaa hai! Sidhaa exam hall mein solve kar denge!) But this approach is wrong. Because when you practice such questions at home, your speed increases. Otherwise you might end up wasting good 7-10 minutes in solving just one stupid question.
  • Therefore, my suggestion is solve ALL the questions on Non-Verbal reasoning, from RS Agarwal’s book.

Quantitative Aptitude / Maths

Priority areas are Algebra, Trigonometry and Geometry.

Some people may find these topics uncomfortable and boring (particularly Trignometry and Algebra), but there are usually minimum 7-10 questions from these two topics only. So during the exam, if you’re unable to attempt them, it generates negative vibes, increases stress and indirectly brings down your performance in even other questions. So donot ignore them completely.
How to approach Trigonometry

How to approach Algebra

How to approach Geometry?

  • IF you’ve RS Agarwal’s (bogus) book on Quantitative aptitude, then consult Geometry chapters from NCERT class 8,9,10. (Free download links @bottom) and then do sums from RS Agarwal.
  • If you’re Quantam CAT by Sarvesh Kumar, then there is no need to consult NCERT for Geometry. Directly proceed with Sarvesh Kumar
  • In either case, DO note down the formulas and concepts in a diary.

Remaining topics of Maths

  1. Do all the introductory and level 1 exercises given in Quantam CAT by Sarvesh Kumar (Arihant Publication). Skip the chapter on functions, graphs and logarithms.
  2. Sometimes there is one or two questions on coordinate geometry. No need to go too much deep, just do introductory exercise from Sarvesh Kumar and note down the formulas in diary.
  3. Understand the basic concepts and shortcuts of time-speed-distance-work, permutation-combination-probability, mixture-alligiations etc. from www.mrunal.org/aptitude
  4. There would be one or two Data interpretation cases (% calculation etc). Practice a few old papers of bank or SSC exam.
  5. Also read the Art of Aptitude (it remains true for all aptitude exams): CLICK Me


  • Interestingly there is no question on “reading comprehension” in the earlier FCI Phase I exams!
  • Usually 5 questions on sentence correction: subject verb agreement, preposition etc.
  • Instead of Reading comprehension, they give you a huge paragraph with 10 blanks. You’re  supposed to fill it with correct choice of words. Therefore vocabulary is extremely important.
  • Around 15 questions on synonym, antonyms and idioms etc. Therefore again vocabulary is important.
  • How to improve vocabulary, is explained in this article: https://mrunal.org/2012/07/apfc-english.html
  • You may also use google search for getting the lists of synonym, antonym, idioms (many free GMAT, SAT sites)
  • For practice, you may consult old SSC papers Kiran Prakashan (they include solution +explanations)

Practicing at home

Once you’ve covered the syllabus. Download this blank answersheet: Click ME

  • Take a printout, then get 10-20-30 photocopies as per your requirements.
  • Now either download SSC papers from internet or buy SSC Paperset from Kiran Prakashan (solved)  1997 to 2011
  • One by one, solve the papers under the same time limit at home. Then check answers, note down any mistakes you made in maths/reasoning/English, in a separate diary.
  • Sometimes the static questions on history, science, polity keep getting repeated so if you make any mistake, note down the correct answer in that diary as well.

Download links for NCERT/NOS Material (Free)

goto Mrunal.org/download.
you’ll find everything you’ll need.
Priority Areas: GA,Reasoning,Maths & English

Section Priority Areas Source
General Awareness In the descending order of importance

  1. Science
  2. Geography
  3. History
  4. Polity
  5. Economy
  6. Computer
NCERT and NOS.Revision is important.Also go through Lucent GK
General Intelligence (Reasoning)
  1. Non Verbal Reasoning (image based questions)
  2. Series (Alphabet, number based)
  3. Analogy (words and numbers)
  4. Blood / Family relation
  5. Sitting arrangement
  6. Dictionary based word arrangement
  7. Direction Sense Test (map)
R S Agarwal’s book on Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning.
Quantitative Aptitude
  1. Algebra
  2. Trigonometry
  3. Geometry
  4. Ratios (including mixture and alligiation)
  5. %, Profit-loss
  6. Averages
  7. Data interpretation
NCERT + Sarvesh KumarDo maintain a diary of formulas and shortcuts.
  1. Vocabulary: synonym, antonym, idioms.
Internet+Any books that you already have.

FCI: Posting, Promotion and Cutoffs

These inputs are given by my trusted friend from pagalguy forum, Mr.CSL80
Posting in FCI
In general Cat Post — one will be posted in Head Office/Zonal Office/District Office.

In Depot Cat Post — one will be posted in Depots that may also be in rural areas.

Promotion Hierarchy
Promotion Hierarchy in FCI
AG-III > AG-II > AG-I > Manager > Asst. General Manager > Dy. General Manager > General Manager > Chief General Manager > Executive Director

Cut-offs for Previous FCI (Grade III) exam 2012
Cut Offs FCI Grade III 2012, Paper 1 exam (Held in February 2012)
There are no sectional cutoffs. (unlike RBI Grade B Officer’s exam)

Gen 105
OBC 94
SC 86
ST 84
EX.S 50
OH 76
HH 50
VH 50

But there is negative marking, so donot force yourself to tick wrong answers for the sake of crossing cutoffs based on previous exams :)

For more information on cutoffs, final results and technical information of previous FCI exam (held in Feb 2012), go through these PDF files: CLICK ME