SSC Combined Graduate Level Examination

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SSC Combined Graduate Level Examination
Staff Selection Commission logo.jpg
Acronym SSC CGL
Type Online standardized test
Knowledge / skills tested General Knowledge, Reasoning, Quantitative Aptitude, English.
Purpose Securing jobs in Government Organisations
Year started 1975 (1975)
Offered Annually
Countries / regions India
Languages English
Annual number of test takers 1.5 million
Prerequisites / eligibility criteria Bachelor's Degree
Fee 100 (US$1.50)

Staff Selection Commission - Combined Graduate Level Examination, often referred to as SSC CGL is an examination conducted to recruit staff to various posts in ministries, departments and organisations of the Government of India. It is conducted by the Staff Selection Commission for selecting staff for various Group B and Group C posts. The Staff Selection Commission was established in 1975.[1][2]


Candidates applying for the various posts need to have a bachelor's degree from a recognised university at the time of applying. Age of the candidate must be between 18 and 32 years (depending upon post applied) as of 1 August of the test taking year.[citation needed] The application fee for 2017 is Rs. 100. All women candidates and candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, Physically Handicapped, and Ex-Servicemen eligible for reservation are exempted from paying application fee.[3]


The examination has several Tiers which are conducted over different days with results posted after each Tier. Previous exams also included an interview tier, but following a government order, interviews have been dispensed off for all non-gazetted posts in the central government as of January 1, 2016. A computer proficiency test or a skill test was also added as a Tier for some posts.[4][5] There are four major tiers for the 2018 exam.

Tier I: Preliminary [edit]

The Tier I exam consists of a written objective multiple-choice exam with four sections, covering the subjects of:

  • General Intelligence and Reasoning
  • General Awareness
  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • English Comprehension

The exam was typically scored with maximum 50 Marks per section for a total of 200 Marks.[6][7] The latest versions of this exam such as with 2018 have been conducted online.[8]

Based on results from Tier I, qualified candidates can then take the Tier II and Tier III exams.[9]

Tier II: Mains Exam [edit]

Also known as the Mains Exam, the Tier II exam consists of written objective multiple-choice exam, in four sections (also called "Papers"), covering the subjects of:

  • Quantitative Aptitude
  • English Language and Comprehension
  • Statistics
  • General Studies, which is subdivided into:
    • Finance & Accounting
    • Economics & Governance.

The exam was typically scored with maximum 200 Marks per section. Most positions required the candidate to take only the first two sections (Paper-I: Quantitative Aptitude, Paper-II: English Language and Comprehension), but certain positions require the third or fourth section.[6][7][9] The latest versions of this exam such as the 2018 edition have been conducted online.[8]

Tier III exam: Descriptive Paper [edit]

A pen-and-paper "offline" exam in which candidates are to do writing in the form of essay writing and letter writing, and sometimes précis and application writing. The exam can be done in English or Hindi.[8][10]

Tier IV exam: Data Entry Skill Test / Computer Proficiency Test [edit]

In 2016, a fourth tier was added with two possible exams depending on the positions applied:[7][11][8]

  • Data Entry Speed Test (DEST): candidates enter data at the rate of 2000 key presses in 15 minutes. This is mainly for positions such as Tax Assistant. (Central Excise & Income Tax)[12]
  • Computer Proficiency Test (CPT): covering the topics of word processing, spreadsheets, and making slides.

Other exams[edit]

Other exams are required for certain positions. The types included:[6][7][8]

  • Personality Test / Interview (discontinued starting 2016)
  • Physical Endurance Test / Medical Examination for Central Police Organization (CPO)


In official notice Staff Selection Commission said about 3.8 million candidates have applied for the exam in 2017. About 1.5 million candidates actually appeared in the preliminary examination against 3 million candidates who had registered for the exam in 2016. The exam was held in 43 batches in 415 venues across 96 cities. The examination in Srinagar was conducted 14 days after the original examination. The 2016 also saw a re-examination for 1 among the 43 batches, which has led to the delaying of the results. Candidates were allowed to view their answer sheets and point out errors in the grading of answers for a fee of Rs. 100 per question.[13][14]


On 21 February 2018, it was reported that the screenshots of the question paper of the SSC Tier 2 exam appeared on social media before the exam began.[15] This led to massive protests.[15] The authorities canceled the exam and ordered investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation.[15] The Tier 3 exam for that year was also postponed.[12]


  1. ^ "SSC CGL Exam 2016: Eligibility criteria and registration details : Notification". 6 February 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "SSC CGL exam 2016: Check notification on Feb 13". The Indian Express. Retrieved 24 December 2016. 
  3. ^ "SSC CGL Tier-I exam 2016 to held on May 8 and 22". The Indian Express. 13 February 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016. 
  4. ^ "No interview for non-gazetted govt jobs from January 1: PM Modi". The Indian Express. Retrieved 24 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "SSC CGL 2016: Registration date extended : Notification". 23 March 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^ a b c d "Staff Selection Commission – Notice – Combined Graduate Level Examination, 2016" (PDF). India: Staff Selection Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2016. 
  8. ^ a b c d e "SSC CGL 2018: Syllabus, Exam Pattern, Dates, Admit Card, Result, Cut Off - Times of India". Retrieved 30 March 2018. 
  9. ^ a b "SSC CGL 2017 Tier 1 result declared: 1,50,404 qualify; check cut-off marks online at - Firstpost". Retrieved 30 March 2018. 
  10. ^ "SSC CGL Tier-3 (Descriptive Paper) 2017 - Check Exam Date, Syllabus, Pattern, Sample Paper & Duration Here". 6 December 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2018. 
  11. ^ Mavani, Sagar (17 October 2017). "SSC Declares Results of Combined Higher Secondary (10+2) Examination, 2016". Retrieved 30 March 2018 – via Business Standard. 
  12. ^ a b "SSC CGL Tier 3 Delayed; Result for SSC Tier II To be Announced by March End". 14 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018. 
  13. ^ "SC CGL results 2016 likely to be out on Friday: How to check CGL Tier 1 Results". Retrieved 24 December 2016. 
  14. ^ "SSC CGL Tier 1 exam result 2016 set to be declared soon, check for latest update". The Financial Express. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016. 
  15. ^ a b c "What Is the SSC 'Scam' & Why Did it Lead to Massive Protests?". Retrieved 30 March 2018.