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Get set for SSC-CGL
With nearly 25 per cent rise in applications for the SSC-CGL tier-I exam and reduction in its time duration, aspirants need to prepare and perform in a better manner, says Rachit Jain
With only a few days left for the Staff Selection Commission — Combined Graduate Level Examination (SSC CGL) tier-I scheduled to be held from August 5 to 24, 2017 by the Staff Selection Commission, it is extremely important for the aspirants to understand the competition they are facing and prepare and perform better than their own expectations. The exam, which is conducted for the recruitment of candidates for the multi-tasking staff jobs in Central Government Ministries and departments spread across different States, fill up around 4,733 vacancies in 2017.
Approximately, 15.46 lakh candidates will appear for the SSC CGL tier-I exam 2017-18. That’s nearly 25 per cent more aspirants than in 2016.
The time duration of the exam has been changed from 75 minutes to 60 minutes. This reduction in the time duration indicates that this year clearing SSC CGL will not be a cakewalk for everyone. Persons with disability (PWD) will surely get the ‘the extra time or compensatory time’ in the CGL Examination this year.
The exam consists of four sections — General and Intelligence Reasoning, General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude and English Language carrying 25 questions in each section which is of 50 marks. It is a computer-based online test of 200 marks in 60 minutes. There is a negative marking of 0.50 marks for each wrong answer. There will be no sectional cut off. CGL Exam selected candidates are Grade ‘B’ and Grade ‘C’ Officers and have a high social and Government powers.
Aspirants can take self-designed mock-tests as well as practice for sections and topics separately. Youth4work’s prep tests — online practice tests for competitive exams — help lakhs of aspirants to reveal personal details on what their strength are for any exam and how they can improve the performance.
According to the study done by the Youth4work on the aspirants attempting over one million question on SSC CGL tier-I practice tests, it was found out that:
- All the aspirants fall under a normal curve or performance.
- Majority of aspirants practice for General and Intelligence Reasoning more than English Language and Quantitative Aptitude. This is in line with the facts of higher sectional cut-offs as compared to other sections.
- The standard deviation is also higher for General and Intelligence Reasoning, ie there are more variations in scores of aspirants for General and Intelligence Reasoning than other two sections.
- The mean rating of all the aspirants is almost same for all the four sections.
- There is a stark variation in the time taken to attempt questions in all sections. Quantitative Aptitude takes highest of the time, while English Language takes least time.
- Thus, General and Intelligence Reasoning is actually the deal-breaker section and not English Language or Quantitative Aptitude.
Tips to Crack the exam
Maintain focus: Though General Awareness is the key section (as you can attempt more questions quickly), you should prepare for all the four sections equally. Of course, you should play to your strength areas, but don’t leave other sections behind.
Increase speed: Distribute your time well between all four sections. This can be done if you understand and improve the time you take to attempt each question.
Improve accuracy: You need to keep improving your accuracy. Since the syllabus is huge, it is tough to cover all areas equally few days before the exam. It is, therefore, necessary to go through important areas once more, before the exam day. This will boost your confidence as well.
Take mock tests: Take as much mock practice tests as you can. There are dedicated apps for SSC exams by which one can practice either full exam or a section of any particular topic within the section at your convenience and improve your performance of speed and accuracy.
Waste no time: During the day, we end up spending quite some time eating, resting, bathing or just relaxing. When there is very little time left for an examination, which might very well change the course of your career, it is crucial to not waste it. It might be hard, but highly beneficial if you can just fill the empty spaces of your next couple of days by memorising important formulae, years, concepts, etc.
Previous years’ papers: Though the exam mode has changed from offline to online, the assessment areas of candidates have not. Hence, practice not only previous years’ papers but also new question sets available in the market to get acquainted with as many question types as you can.
Build confidence: Often, unsteady nerves won’t let you perform well despite a good preparation. Hence, it is very important to be confident and steady before your exam. If it is hard to calm down, just try a few breathing exercises. This will help you relax immensely and boost your exam day performance.
The writer is CEO-founder, Youth4work.com
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