How to Manage Time during SSC CGL 2018 Exam?

How to Manage Time during SSC CGL 2018 Exam

Staff Selection Commission conducts exams every year for various posts. Combined Graduate Level exam is conducted for various entry and middle-level posts in the different departments of the government. There are four tiers in this exam.

The candidates are required to clear all levels with a good score to book their seat in the final list. In this article, we will be sharing time management strategy for scoring good marks in Tier 1 and Tier 2 exams of SSC CGL 2018.

Time management strategy for SSC CGL Tier 1

The exam pattern of SSC CGL TIER 1 is as shown in the table below:

Sections Number of Questions Maximum Marks Time
General Knowledge 25 50  



60 minutes

English 25 50
Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
Reasoning 25 50

Manage Time for SSC CGL
There are four sections in SSC CGL Tier 1 syllabus, each section having equal weight. The candidates have the choice to start with any one of four sections. There is no restriction on switching between sections. Thus, candidates have many options for the sequence of attempting this exam as per their convenience.

Since there is no sectional cut off in this exam, the candidates should attempt easy sections first to secure their base marks and then move to tough ones to increase the score. But there is one psychological factor that in last minutes solving math’s questions is not a wise move. Therefore, ideally, the sequence of sections should be

Reasoning -> English -> Math -> General Knowledge. The section wise time management strategy is given below:


  • You should be able to attempt this section in approx. 13 minutes with 95% or more accuracy.
  • Try to begin with letter-based analogies and classification. Word formation, coding-decoding etc. are easy and less time-consuming.
  • The questions based on missing numbers, number series and number-based analogies are of moderate level. The questions on the matrix are easy but time-consuming.
  • Start with easy topics and move to moderate and tough ones. Don’t waste much time on a particular question. Try to optimize the number of attempts in ten minutes.

English Language:

  • You should be able to attempt this section in approx. 15 minutes with utmost accuracy. You should be well versed with all grammar rules and attempt these questions in less time and 95%+ accuracy.
  • Don’t waste much time on vocabulary section. Either answer correctly or move ahead, don’t make guesswork.
  • Attempt cloze test and miscellaneous questions first then move to reading comprehension. At first, do skim reading of complete paragraph.

Quantitative Aptitude:

  • Attempt this section in approx. 22 to 24 minutes. Start with simplification and other less calculative questions.
  • Then move to moderate topics like algebra, average, percentage, profit and loss, data interpretation etc.
  • After these, attempt miscellaneous topics which are time-consuming and calculative.

 General Knowledge:

You should be able to attempt this section in approx. 10 minutes. There are many subsections in it. Attempt easy sections first then move to moderate and tough one.

  • Don’t do guesswork and save time by avoiding difficult and lengthy questions.
  • Start with easy questions and move to moderate and tough questions.
  • If in case you are able to eliminate two out of four options in any questions, then guesswork can do a little wonder.

Time management tips for SSC CGL Tier 2:

Subject No of Questions Max Marks Exam Duration
Quantitative Aptitude 100 200 2 Hours
English Language and Comprehension 200 200 2 Hours

Quantitative Aptitude:-

There are 100 questions in this section with time duration of two hours. The level of difficulty for this section has increased a lot in SSC CGL 2017 tier 2 exam. In previous exams, repeated questions were asked but the trend has changed now.

The candidates are advised to follow the given below tips to score maximum marks in allotted time limit:

  • Start with arithmetic questions Ratio and Proportion, Square roots, Averages, Interest, Profit and Loss, Discount, Partnership Business, Mixture and Allegation, Time and distance, Time and Work, which are easy and less calculative and try to solve at least 40 questions in first 35 minutes.
  • Then move to moderate level questions based on Algebra and Elementary surds, Linear Equations, Triangle and its various kinds of centers, Congruence and similarity of triangles, Circle and their chords, the angles which they subtend in the circle, tangents, tangents common to 2 or more circles, Circles, Triangle, Regular Polygons, Quadrilaterals, Right Prism, and attempt at least of 30 of these questions in next 40 minutes.
  • Now you are left with 45 minutes and 30 questions. At this stage, you should start attempting the questions of Advanced Maths like Sphere, Cylinders, Cones, Hemispheres, Pyramids, Rectangular Parallelepiped, Degree & Radian measures, Trigonometric ratios, Complementary angles, Standard Identities, Heights & Distances etc. You should practice these topics thoroughly to make sure that you are able to attempt them in less than 2 minutes.

English Language and Comprehension:

This section consists of 200 questions to be attempted in two hours. The candidates must focus on accuracy in this section as many candidates attempt the high number of questions but because of low accuracy end up with minimum marks. The candidates should follow given time strategy to score high marks:

  • The questions based on grammar section like Spot the error, fill in the blanks, Synonyms, and Antonyms, Spelling/detecting misspelled words, Idioms, and phrases, One-word substitution, Improvement of sentences, Active/passive voice of verbs, Conversion into direct/indirect narration are 115 to 120 in number. The candidates must start with this section and try to attempt these questions in first 50 minutes.
  • The questions based on comprehensions like Shuffling of parts of a sentence, shuffling of sentences in a passage, cloze passage and comprehension passage are of 80 to 85 marks. The candidates have approximately 70 minutes for these questions.

Download SSC CGL app, and practice unlimited quizzes & previous year question papers of SSC CGL exam.

Please also check our NCERT Solutions app which we have launched recently for Class 6 – Class 12.

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