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SSC CGL Exam pattern: Know Marking Scheme & Exam Duration

Before appearing for the SSC CGL exam, let us go through the CGL exam pattern and analyze it thoroughly to make sure you crack the exam with a high score. SSC CGL exam comprises of Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4 exams, the first two Tiers are held in online mode, whereas the Tier 3 exam is commenced in offline mode (that is pen and paper based test).

On the other hand, CGL Tier 4 is a computer proficiency test or data entry skill test (wherever applicable). No interviews are conducted as notified from the year 2016.

So, we can summarize the exam pattern as given below:

SSC CGL Tier-I Exam Pattern

SSC CGL tier-1 exam contains total 100 MCQs (multiple-choice questions) for 200 marks. Candidates need to complete the exam in online mode in 60 Minutes duration (one hour). For further details, candidates can refer the table given below: 


Number of Questions

Maximum Marks

Time allotted

General Intelligence and Reasoning



  • 1 hour
  • 1 hour and 20 minutes for the aspirants eligible for the scribe

General Awareness



Quantitative Aptitude



English Comprehension



Important points:

  • Aspirants have to answer multiple choice questions and the questions will be in Hindi and English (except for English Comprehension).
  • There will be a deduction of 0.50 marks for every incorrect answer.
  • You should get the minimum qualifying SSC CGL Cutoff marks to appear for the Tier II exam.SSC CGL Exam Details, Salary, Exam Pattern, Syllabus, FAQs and Preparation Tips

SSC CGL Tier-2 Exam Pattern

SSC CGL Tier-2 exam will be conducted online comprising of 4 papers with about 100 questions in Quantitative Ability, Statistics, General Studies (Finance and Economics) & 200 questions in English Language and Comprehension Papers and with maximum marks of 200 for reach papers.

The papers asked in SSC CGL Tier-II Exam are:

  • Quantitative Ability
  • Statistics
  • General Studies (Finance & Economics)
  • English Language & Comprehension

SSC CGL Tier-II Exam

No. of Questions

Total Marks

Time Allotted


Paper-I: Quantitative Ability



2 hours


Paper-II: English Language and Comprehension



2 hours


Paper-III: Statistics



2 hours


Paper-IV: General Studies (Finance and Economics)



2 hours

Important Point:

  • Paper-I and II of SSC CGL tier-II are compulsory for all posts.
  • Paper-III is given by candidates who applied for the posts of Junior Statistical Officer (JSO) in the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation and Statistical Investigator who will be a Grade-II officer in the office of Registrar General, India.
  • Also, paper-IV needs to be given by candidates who are shortlisted in tier-I for the posts of Assistant Audit Officer/ Assistant Accounts Officer.
  • There is a negative marking of 0.25 for each wrong answer in Paper-II (English Language and Comprehension) and of 0.50 marks for each wrong answer in Paper-I, Paper-III and Paper-IV.

SSC CGL Exam Notification

SSC CGL Tier-3 Exam Pattern

SSC CGL tier-III is a subjective/descriptive paper in English or Hindi language. Candidates need to attempt the paper in pen-and-paper mode in 60 minutes duration. Maximum marks that candidates can score in Tier-3 exam are 100 marks.




Descriptive Paper in English/Hindi
(Writing of Essay, Precis, Letter, Application etc.)

100 marks

1 hour (or)

 60 minutes

SSC CGL Tier-4 Exam Pattern

SSC CGL tier-IV exam is a Computer skill test. The skill test conducted by the commission is of two types, which are mentioned below:

SSC CGL Data Entry Skill Test (DEST)

DEST (Data Entry Skill Test) test is conducted only for those candidates who apply for the post of Tax Assistants (Central Excise & Income Tax). Candidates are required to type 2000 words in 15 minutes on a computer in English. This test is conducted to check a candidate’s writing skills. This test is of qualifying nature only.

SSC CGL Computer Proficiency Test (CPT)

CPT test is conducted for candidates who apply for the posts such as:

  • Inspector (Central Excise)
  • Inspector (Preventive Officer)
  • Inspector (Examiner) in CBEC
  • Assistant Section Officer in CSS MEA and AFHQ
  • Assistant in Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO)
  • Assistant (GSI) in the Ministry of Mines

This test is conducted to check a candidate’s proficiency in Word Processing, Spreadsheets and Generation of Slides.

SSC CGL Exams Related Links


SSC CGL Salary

SSC CGL Exam pattern

SSC CGL Syllabus

SSC CGL Preparation Strategy


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    Frequently Asked Question about SSC CGL Exam Pattern

    Ans1. There is a specific exam conducting body in Staff Selection Commission (SSC) which releases SSC CGL pattern on its official website.

     Ans2. SSC CGL tier-I exam holds a weigh age of 200 marks. While the tier-II and III exams hold weight age of 800 and 100 marks, respectively. SSC CGL tier-IV is qualifying in nature, so there is no weight age, which means that whatever marks that is scored in tier-IV are not taken into consideration at the time of declaration of result.

    Ans3. SSC CGL tier-I and tier-II are both objective questions. Whereas, SSC CGL tier-III is a descriptive test. On the other hand, SSC CGL tier-IV is a skill test which is conducted to test the data entry speed or computer proficiency skills of candidates.

    Ans4. Time duration varies from exam to exam in SSC CGL exams. Firstly, SSC CGL tier-I is of one hour duration. Secondly, SSC CGL tier-II contains four papers, where each paper is of two hours duration. Lastly, SSC CGL tier-III is once again a exam that is of one hour duration. 


    There are total four papers in SSC CGL tier-II exam. Syllabus for exam is given below:

    • Quantitative Ability
    • Statistics
    • General Studies (Finance & Economics) 
    • English Language & ComprehensionSSC CGL Exam Details, Salary, Exam Pattern, Syllabus, FAQs and preparation strategy

    Ans6. SSC CGL exam is conducted in phase manner, Candidates each exam one by one and go to next exams. It may be noted that Paper-I and II of SSC CGL tier-II exam are mandatory for all candidates. While Paper-III and IV completely depends on the post that is applied by a candidate.

    Ans7. Yes, there is negative marking of 0.50 marks in SSC CGL tier-I. At the same time there is negative marking of 0.50 marks you have negative marking in tier-II paper-I, III and IV also. However, it is important to note that in tier-II paper-II, there is negative marking of 0.25 marks only. In case of SSC CGL tier-III and IV there is no negative marking.

    Ans8. SSC CGL tier-I and CGL-II are conducted in online mode. Whereas, SSC CGL tier-III is conducted in offline mode, that is pen and paper mode. In case of SSC CGL tier-IV it is conducted as an offline computer-based test.

    Ans9. No, you can appear for SSC CGL exam in English or Hindi language only.

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