Tips and tricks to save time in SSC CGL exam



Every year lakhs of candidates sit for the SSC CGL exam making it one of the toughest examinations to crack just because of the immense competition. But your score in the SSC CGL 2020 exam will depend on how you use your time. Time management is a crucial key to your performance in the exam. 

SSC CGL from this year will be of just 60 minutes. For those 60 minutes, you need to have a strategy on how and how much you will use your time in each section, in each question, and how much for revision.


Let us look at the exam pattern first.


  • Tier – I objective exam is online mode exam of 60 minutes duration
  • Tier – II objective exam is an online mode exam that consists of 4 papers, each of 60 minutes duration.
  • Tier – III descriptive exam in pen and paper mode that will be of 60 minutes duration.
  • There is no sectional cut-off.
  • The SSC CGL Tier - IV Exam is required for certain positions only. It comprises of specific skill tests.


 Start preparing for SSC CGL 2020 exam


The SSC CGL tier-I exam is an objective MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) type paper. It contains 100 questions over 4 sections, which means each section has 25 questions. Each correct answer scores you 2 marks. A wrong answer deducts 0.5 marks.



No. of questions


Time allotted

General intelligence and reasoning



60 minutes of total

General awareness



Quantitative aptitude



English language







So there are 100 questions to solve in 60 minutes ( i.e.

, 3600 seconds). That leaves an average of 36 seconds for one question. These 36 seconds is okay for factual based and English language questions but not enough for the Quantitative aptitude or reasoning questions.


Clearly, it is extremely difficult to solve every question on the paper.


The best way to score maximum is to build a strategy on how you are going to attempt the paper as soon as the clock starts ticking. 


  • You should start with a section you are comfortable with since the energy is high enough to make calculations. Quantitative ability is a good section to start; however, you can also start with the general intelligence section. Do not try to use shortcuts for the solutions. If you hurry, you may commit a mistake and lose a mark even for an easy question.


  • You should finish with a section that does not require a lot of thinking. The general awareness section is a good section to finish with. Do not give more than 20-25 seconds to any question as these are factual questions. You either know, or you don’t know. During the last stages of the exam, the tiredness is more and the questions that make you think more should be avoided.


  • English should be attempted second last. Also, in English, do not make guesses. You need to be sure of your answer because it is easy to get confused in the language section. Guesses may reduce your score if they are wrong.


  • Take a quick glance at the section before starting to solve it. Never ever start the paper right from the first question without an overview. Mark the questions that you think can be solved inside 10 seconds. Do not solve them yet; just mark them. Mark the questions you do not want to attempt. You may know how to solve them, but they will take too much time. Now, solve in sequence first those that can be solved inside 10 seconds and then those you did not mark.


  • Allot time limit to each section, For example, 20 minutes for Quantitative ability, 15 minutes for general intelligence, 15 minutes for English, 10 minutes for general awareness. You can allot time as per your convenience.


  • Do not spend too much time on one question. Typically, not more than 60 seconds or whatever you think is an appropriate time. You might miss the questions that are comparatively easier and take much less time.


  • Do not try to attempt every question. This is what many people make the mistake of doing. They end up with much less score than they had the potential for.


  • Try to relax before the exam. Do not stress as it may lead to silly mistakes in the paper. Remember that you have practised enough, and you deserve to be selected in the exam.

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SSC CGL preparation tips


Here are a few general tips for your SSC CGL preparation:


  • Study the SSC CGL notification to know more about the exam, the exam pattern, the time provided to you, and so on.


  • Practice as many mock papers as you can. There is no substitute for practice. Try to write the mock at the same time as your actual SSC CGL online exam. This will tune your biological clock to the timing of the exam. Try to attempt the whole paper in one sitting and maintain your focus for 60 minutes. It’s better to get accustomed to the exam environment, so try to make your room similar to a test room.


  • While preparing individual topics, learn shortcut techniques. This will save you a lot of time.

SSC CGL Exam is attempted by a huge number of candidates. The vacancies are much less compared to the number of applicants. Your time management skills will matter as much as your intelligence. You need speed and accuracy both. Do not make any silly mistakes. Do not attempt the paper in a hurry. Try to relax.


A great online resource that is available to you for your SSC CGL preparation is the Eduwhere Edge pass. With the Eduwhere Edge pass, you can get access to mock tests of many different exams with just one subscription. If you are preparing for more than one exam, now you don’t need to buy mock tests for each one separately. You can buy the Eduwhere Edge pass monthly at Rs.99 or for 3 months subscription at Rs.199. Get access to more than 300 mock tests of different examinations like SSC, Bank PO, IBPS, SBI PO, SBI Clerk, JEE, NEET, XAT, RRB, CLAT, AFCAT, CAT, MAT, CTET, LIC ADO and many more.


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