What is SSC CGL Exam? Eligibility Criteria, Job Profile, Syllabus, Exam Pattern. Road Map to Crack SSC CGL Exam

The SSC CGL Exam (Staff Selection Commission – Combined Graduate Level) Exam is a prominent and highly competitive examination conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) of India. It is one of the most sought-after government job exams for graduates in India. Through the exam candidates are recruited for various Group B and Group C posts. The SSC CGL Exam is conducted in multiple stages and is known for its rigorous selection process. The exam pattern usually consists of four tiers. Candidates who successfully clear all the tiers are eligible for the final selection to various posts, subject to document verification and medical examination.


SSC CGL offers a wide range of job opportunities, such as Assistant Section Officer, Inspector (Central Excise/Preventive Officer/Examiner), Income Tax Inspector, Sub Inspector in CBI, Auditor, Accountant, Tax Assistant, Junior Statistical Officer, etc. Aspirants preparing for the SSC CGL Exam need to have a strong foundation in the relevant subjects and should practice extensively to secure a high rank in this competitive examination.

Eligibility Criteria for SSC CGL Exam

 The eligibility criteria for the SSC CGL Exam are as follows:

1. Nationality

  • Candidates must be citizens of India.
  • Candidates from Nepal, Bhutan, Tibetan refugees, and individuals of Indian origin who have migrated from certain countries and intend to settle permanently in India are also eligible. However, for these candidates, there may be certain additional conditions or restrictions. 

2. Age Limit

  • The age limit for various posts in the SSC CGL Exam can vary. The general age limit is 18 to 32 years.
  • Age relaxation is provided for candidates belonging to specific categories, such as SC/ST, OBC, PwD, Ex-servicemen, etc., as per government norms.

3. Educational Qualification

  • The minimum educational qualification required is a Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university or equivalent.
  • However, the educational qualification may be different for each specific post. Some posts may have additional subject-specific or experience-related requirements.

It’s important to note that eligibility criteria can change over time, and candidates should refer to the official SSC CGL notification for the specific year they are applying to check the most up-to-date eligibility requirements.

Job Profile and Types of Posts in SSC CGL 

The SSC CGL Exam opens the door to a wide range of job profiles and types of posts in various government ministries, departments, and organizations. The posts are categorized into these groups, i.e., Group B and Group C, based on the nature and responsibilities of the positions. Here are some of the job profiles and types of posts that candidates can be appointed to through the SSC CGL Exam:

Group B Posts

1. Assistant Audit Officer (AAO): This post is in the Indian Audit & Accounts Department, involved in auditing government accounts and finances.

2. Assistant Accounts Officer (AAO): This post is in the Indian Audit & Accounts Department, responsible for managing accounts and financial matters.

3. Assistant Section Officer (ASO): ASOs are assigned to various government departments and ministries and handle clerical and administrative tasks.

4. Assistant Enforcement Officer (AEO): AEOs work in the Directorate of Enforcement and are involved in enforcing economic laws and regulations.

5. Assistant (CSS): Assistants under Central Secretariat Service (CSS) work in various ministries and deal with policy matters and general administration.

6. Assistant (IB): Assistants under the Intelligence Bureau (IB) handle intelligence-related tasks and administrative functions.

7. Assistant (Railways): These assistants work in the Indian Railways and assist in the smooth functioning of railway operations.

8. Inspector (Central Excise, Preventive Officer, Examiner): These inspectors work in customs and central excise departments, handling tasks related to tax and customs enforcement.

Group C Posts

1. Inspector of Income Tax: Inspectors work under the Income Tax Department and are responsible for tax assessment and verification.

2. Sub-Inspector (CBI, NIA): Sub-Inspectors serve in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and National Investigation Agency (NIA) to investigate various crimes.

3. Divisional Accountant: Divisional Accountants work in various government offices and handle accounting and financial matters.

4. Auditor: Auditors conduct audits of government offices and departments to ensure financial compliance.

5. Tax Assistant (CBDT, CBEC): Tax Assistants assist in tax-related tasks under the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) or Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC).

6. Junior Statistical Officer (JSO): JSOs work in the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation and deal with statistical data analysis.

7. Sub-Inspector (Central Bureau of Narcotics): These sub-inspectors work in the Central Bureau of Narcotics and are involved in tackling drug trafficking.

8. Compiler: Compilers compile and analyze data in the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation.

These are just a few examples of the posts available through the SSC CGL Exam. There are many other posts, and candidates should carefully check the SSC CGL notification for the specific year to know about all the available job profiles, eligibility criteria, and other relevant details.

Syllabus and Exam Pattern of SSC CGL Exam

The SSC CGL Exam consists of four tiers, each with its own syllabus and exam pattern. Below is an overview of the syllabus and exam pattern for each tier:

Tier I (Preliminary Examination)

Mode: Online (Computer-Based Test)

Duration: 60 minutes

Total Marks: 200 marks (50 marks for each section)


  •   1. General Intelligence & Reasoning
  •   2. General Awareness
  •   3. Quantitative Aptitude
  •   4. English Comprehension

Tier II (Main Examination)

Mode: Online (Computer-Based Test)


  • Paper I – 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Paper II – 2 hours
  • Paper III – 2 hours

Total Marks: 850

  • Paper I: 450 Marks
  • Paper II: 200 Marks
  • Paper III: 200 Marks


Paper- I

  • Section- I (Module- I): Mathematical Abilities
  • Section- I (Module- II): Reasoning and General Intelligence
  • Section-II (Model-I): English Language and Comprehension
  • Section-II (Model-II): General Awareness
  • Section-III (Model-I): Computer Knowledge Test
  • Section-III (Model-II): Data Entry Speed Test

Paper- II

  • Statistics

Paper – III

  • General Studies (Finance and Economics)

Tier III (Descriptive Paper)

Mode: Pen-and-paper mode (Offline)

Duration: 60 minutes

Total Marks: 100 marks

Subject: Writing of an Essay/Letter/Application/Precis in either English or Hindi

Tier IV (Skill Test/Computer Proficiency Test)

Mode: As applicable to the specific post

Skill Test: Data Entry Speed Test (DEST) for the post of Tax Assistants (Central Excise and Income Tax)

Computer Proficiency Test: Required for Assistant Section Officer (ASO) in CSS and Assistant Section Officer (ASO) in MEA.

The Syllabus for each Tier is as follows:

1. General Intelligence & Reasoning: Analogies, Classification, Series, Coding-Decoding, Blood Relations, Direction Test, Venn Diagrams, Word Formation, Paper Folding & Cutting, Matrix, Syllogism, etc.

2. General Awareness: Current Affairs, History, Geography, Economics, General Polity, Indian Constitution, Scientific Research, etc.

3. Quantitative Aptitude: Number System, Simplification, Ratio & Proportion, Percentage, Profit & Loss, Average, Time & Work, Time & Distance, Data Interpretation, etc.

4. English Language & Comprehension: Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Grammar, Sentence Structure, Synonyms & Antonyms, Idioms & Phrases, etc.

5. Statistics (only for Junior Statistical Officer): Collection, Classification, Tabulation, Graphical Presentation of Data, Measures of Central Tendency, Measures of Dispersion, etc.

6. General Studies (Finance & Economics) (only for Assistant Audit Officer/Assistant Accounts Officer): Fundamental Principles, Financial Accounting, Economics & Governance, Comptroller & Auditor General of India, etc.

Candidates must secure qualifying marks in each tier to be eligible for the subsequent tier. The final selection is based on the cumulative performance in Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III (if applicable), subject to the candidate meeting the cutoff criteria. Tier IV is qualifying in nature and is mandatory for specific posts.

SSC CGL Post Wise Pay Scale and Monthly Salary 

Here are the pay scales and approximate monthly salaries for some of the important posts in the SSC CGL Exam:

Group B Posts Monthly Salary 

1. Assistant Audit Officer (AAO):

  • Pay Level: 8
  • Approx. Monthly Salary: Rs. 47,600 to Rs. 1,51,100

2. Assistant Accounts Officer (AAO):

  • Pay Level: 8
  • Approx. Monthly Salary: Rs. 47,600 to Rs. 1,51,100

3. Assistant Section Officer (ASO) in CSS:

  • Pay Level: 7
  • Approx. Monthly Salary: Rs. 44,900 to Rs. 1,42,400

Group C Posts Monthly Salary 

4. Assistant in Other Ministries/Departments/Organizations:

  • Pay Level: 6
  • Approx. Monthly Salary: Rs. 35,400 to Rs. 1,12,400

5. Sub-Inspector (CBI, NIA):

  • Pay Level: 6
  • Approx. Monthly Salary: Rs. 35,400 to Rs. 1,12,400

6. Divisional Accountant:

  • Pay Level: 6
  • Approx. Monthly Salary: Rs. 35,400 to Rs. 1,12,400

7. Auditor:

  • Pay Level: 5
  • Approx. Monthly Salary: Rs. 29,200 to Rs. 92,300

8. Tax Assistant (CBDT, CBEC):

  • Pay Level: 4
  • Approx. Monthly Salary: Rs. 25,500 to Rs. 81,100

9. Junior Statistical Officer (JSO):

  • Pay Level: 6
  • Approx. Monthly Salary: Rs. 35,400 to Rs. 1,12,400

10. Compiler:

  • Pay Level: 4
  • Approx. Monthly Salary: Rs. 25,500 to Rs. 81,100

Please note that the salary figures mentioned above are approximate and may vary based on the place of posting, government policies, and allowances. Additionally, salaries may change time to time, so it is essential to refer to the official SSC CGL notification or the respective department’s official website for the most up-to-date and accurate salary details for all posts.

SSC CGL Exam Job Location after Joining 

After clearing the SSC CGL Exam and being selected for a specific post, candidates are generally assigned to various government ministries, departments, and organizations across India. The job location for candidates who join through the SSC CGL Exam can be in any state or union territory of India, depending on the administrative jurisdiction of the particular department or organization they are appointed to.

The Staff Selection Commission (SSC) conducts the exam on an all-India basis, and candidates are required to give their preferences for job locations at the time of filling out the application form. However, the final posting location is determined based on the availability of vacancies, the candidate’s rank, and the preferences given.

It’s important to note that some posts may have specific job locations or may require candidates to be posted in certain regions, while others may provide more flexibility in terms of posting location. Additionally, certain posts may involve frequent transfers as part of their job responsibilities.

Candidates are advised to carefully read the SSC CGL notification and job profile details to understand the possible posting locations and job requirements before making their preferences. The actual job location after joining will be communicated to the candidates at the time of appointment by the respective government department or organization.

Road Map to Crack SSC CGL Exam

Cracking the SSC CGL Exam requires a well-planned and disciplined approach. Here’s a road map to help you prepare effectively and increase your chances of success:

1. Understand the Exam Pattern and Syllabus: Start by thoroughly understanding the SSC CGL exam pattern and syllabus. Know the number of tiers, subjects, and topics covered in each tier.

2. Create a Study Plan: Devise a study plan that suits your daily routine and allows you to cover all the subjects and topics within a specific timeframe. 

3. Study Material: Gather quality study material, including textbooks, online resources, and SSC CGL-specific study guides. 

4. Tier-Wise Preparation:

  • Tier I: Focus on building a strong foundation in General Intelligence & Reasoning, General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude, and English Language & Comprehension. Practice regularly with mock tests to improve your speed and accuracy.
  • Tier II: Give special attention to the subjects that you find challenging. Practice solving numerical problems and improve your comprehension and writing skills for the English language paper.
  • Tier III: Work on your writing skills by regularly practicing essay and letter writing in both English and Hindi.
  • Tier IV: Prepare for the skill test or computer proficiency test, if applicable for the posts you’ve applied for.

5. Previous Year Papers and Mock Tests: Solve previous year question papers and take mock tests regularly. This will help you understand the exam pattern, manage time effectively, and assess your performance.

6. Revision: Regularly revise the topics you’ve studied to retain information and improve your grasp on different subjects.

7. Stay Updated with Current Affairs: Stay abreast of current affairs, especially for the General Awareness section. Read newspapers, magazines, and online news portals regularly.

8. Time Management: Manage your time efficiently during the exam. Practice solving questions within the stipulated time to enhance your speed during the actual exam.

9. Health and Well-being: Take care of your physical and mental health. Ensure you get enough rest, exercise regularly, and maintain a healthy diet.

10. Positive Attitude: Stay motivated and maintain a positive attitude throughout your preparation. Avoid getting discouraged by setbacks and keep pushing yourself to achieve your goals.

11. Seek Guidance and Support: If needed, join coaching classes or seek guidance from experienced mentors to clear your doubts and get expert advice.

Remember that cracking the SSC CGL Exam requires dedication, hard work, and consistent effort. Be patient with yourself and stay committed to your preparation. Good luck!

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