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SSC CGL 2016 Preparation Strategy for ENGLISH (New Pattern, 50 Days)


More precisely it’s English Language & Comprehension Exam. SSC CGL 2016 Preparation Strategy for this paper will be slightly different from the strategy we will recommend for Maths preparation.

Why not same Strategy??

Some points worthy for mention to answer this question.

  • In English scoring 50/50 is next to impossible but in Maths it’s achievable.
  • Spectacular performance in English needs some luck. Sections like Idioms & Phrases, Synonyms/Antonyms, One word Substitution & Spelling Errors (Around 10 Questions w.r.t new pattern) may or may not be from those which you have prepared before exam.
  • Question asked in Comprehension can be direct or inference based. If question are direct then this section will be easy for all but if they are inference based then it will be easy for some and tough for most.
  • Sections like Error Detection, Sentence Improvement, Fill ups, & need basic sense of English.

Thus, to come over these constraints and maximize your English score, certain changes need to be done.

 Nothing has been changed in syllabus of English. So, you can easily predict the no. of questions from a particular topic and their difficulty level in new pattern i.e. 25 questions

Here you should treat every topic entirely different and prepare topic-wise.

Let’s see how this section should be prepared.

Stage Zero

We are this stage as Stage Zero because you should start doing it the moment you thought about giving CGL Exam:

  • If you want to score good in English, you need to read newspaper on daily basis. There is no escape from that. Read! Don’t go for boring black and white ‘The Hindu’ unless you are preparing for Civils. Something like Times of India or HT should be sufficient. This will help you to develop basic sense of English.
  • Reading habits improve the knowledge of the language and in a language, things are driven more by the sense of correctness than by Rules.
  • This sense of correctness can only be acquired if you use a language on daily basis. Since most of us speak local languages most of the time, reading is the only option left.
  • You can read novels on daily basis if you are already into it.
  • Otherwise you need to give 1 hour on daily basis to Newspaper reading, and sorry we are stressing so much on this but it is not possible to score high without reading newspaper.
  • Reading News Paper, Article or Novels will help you to solve inference questions asked in comprehension.

Stage 1:  Analyse 

For English also, we suggest you to first analyse the pattern. We have done the half work by segregating the questions based on the topics, other half work needs to be done by you.

We have shared with you the topic wise analysis of questions below, but their difficulty levels should be determined by you only depending on your expertise.

TopicOld PatternNew Pattern
Finding Errors53
Wrongly Spelt Words20
Sentence Improvement105
One word substitution73
Fill in the Blanks52
  • Take last 2 year Question papers.
  • Read the paper briefly and mark the difficulty level of each question.
  • Do it for all 50 questions one by one and at the end make an Excel Type sheet marking the difficulty level:
    • *The Difficulty level should be according to you only and no one else.
  • Now since the 2015 Tier 1 level and pattern was almost similar to 2013 and 2014, we are expecting the same for SSC CGL 2016 Tier 1 also.
  • Therefore you should do the analysis of these 2 papers only. If you don’t have the papers, you can download them from the below given links
  • This is a work of maximum 2 hours but will serve as the base for your whole preparation.
  • Buy or Subscribe an Online Test Series, strictly based on SSC Pattern
2. Check where you stand

Although students are mostly reluctant to do this but it is very important to know where you stand in the beginning of preparation. It will greatly help you to gauge your improvement during the course of preparation. You can only grow when you accept the reality and are ready to work on it.

Here is what you need to do.

  • With alarm set for 15 minutes, attempt English section of Practice Mock available in Online Test Series.
  • Give it your best attempt thinking it is your actual exam.
  • Then make use of your already made analysis and mark the questions you were able to do and which you could not do. This will give you the actual difficulty level of each question.

3. Learn

In English you need not prepare anything outside the topics included in our analysis. At max, there would be a slight difference in no of questions from a particular section but there is no chance of introduction of a new topic. So keep you preparation topic based and don’t go out of their scope.

Note : We suggest you to take at least 1 Online practice set, 1 Offline practice set & Sunday Mock Test in a week.

So let us take up all topics one by one and see how they can be prepared.

  1. Synonyms/Antonyms, Wrongly Spelt Words, One Word Substitutions

  We have clubbed these 3 topics because they can be prepared simultaneously.

  • In SSC CGL Exam, only General Vocabulary based Questions are asked that is the words which are commonly used by people. So you need not learn very tough words (no Shakespeare in making).
  • We have already advised you to read newspaper. The best way to read it is whenever you find any difficult word you check it’s meaning in your phone and bookmark that word (download a free offline dictionary from Google play store).
  • Try to remember the meaning and usage of the word. Similarly do for all the strange words you see that day.
  • Then at the end of day you can jot down the words in a separate notebook with their meaning, synonyms and related words.
  • Writing down will make you remember the word and its spelling. It will take time and efforts in the starting but believe us, after 1 month only, you will feel the difference.
  • Many tough words would be known to you by now. Repeat this till the exam day.

 2. Idioms and Phrases

Idioms and Phrases comes under the section which needs some luck. It’s almost next to impossible to mug all the idioms and phrases English language have. However, leaving this section on your sheer luck and not preparing it will definitely give you a jolt during the exam.

SSCtube Strategy for this section is stuck with single book for this section. Learn all the idioms & Phrases that book have. If you already reading the newspaper or any other reading material then you will encounter some idioms and phrases there also. Moreover, there is a lot of stuff available on Idioms & Phrases in form of pdf on internet. We are sharing some useful books and pdf below.

Now, what if an idiom or phrase comes in exam, which you have never encountered in your life??

Then the best possible way is to eliminate the options using common sense. Practicing mock tests through this way (By Elimination Method) will give you a lot of confidence and will make you familiar to this topic.

 6. Comprehension

Most of the time this section is easy and doable. It does not need any preparation or learning. Newspaper reading will greatly help you in this section as here also the same activity is involved. That is to read an article and to understand it completely. Questions based on comprehension are mostly direct and hence can be done easily. Practicing mock tests will also help a lot in this section.

But as per CPO Online Exam Pattern, questions of comprehension in CGL 16 might not be placed in perfect order like it was in Offline Exam. For e.g. out of 5 questions of Comprehension 2 might appear during starting of section and rest 3 in last part.

In such scenario, you have to read the passage again whenever you encounter comprehension question. How to avoid this ??

After coming across 1st qn of comprehension, without attempting it navigate to next 2 qns, if next 2 qns is from comprehension, then attempt them & if not then skip the comprehension qn but write the no. of that qn on rough sheet. Do this for all scattered qns of comprehension. Once you done with rest qns in English, navigate to these qns of comprehension directly from question panel.

 7. Finding Errors, Fill ups and Sentence improvement

These 3 topics make up to 40% of the total Questions in English Paper and hence should be focused on to attain a high score in the exam.  Now for this section, you can’t refer a single source where all the study material is available.

So the question is; how should it be prepared???

  • After giving the previous year Papers, you will get an idea of the type of questions asked from these topics.
  • Then you need to prepare these topics only from reliable books.
  • You can refer one of the below mentioned books to prepare this section exclusively.
  • We have shortlisted these books based on recommendations of previous year toppers. According to them, these books contain mostly reliable information and very fewer mistakes.
  • After completing 1-2 books (approximately 25 days), you can start giving the mock tests.
  • Again learn from there the type of questions and prepare them simultaneously from other books.

Stage 4: Final stage

  • By now (1 week before exam) you should have read almost everything for the exam and you are ready for the final show. But just before the D-day, you need to test all your knowledge and resources (rules and vocab) at hand. For that we suggest you to give at least 2 mock tests in the last week.

Make a target for yourself and keep it increasing with the improvement in score of Mock Tests. 

Topper's Speak

Topper's Speak

How to give Mock/Previous Year tests:

 > The most important thing is you should have a similar environment like that while giving the actual paper.

 > Sit in a quiet place and then start the paper.

 > Give them completely in one go. Don’t do it in bits and pieces.

 > Set a timer for 15 minutes for English (this is actually what you get to solve the questions).

 > One of the topper told, he used to spend 2 hours in analyzing the paper. This is what you should also do.

 > For English, check the solution of grammatical questions and note them down in a separate notebook. Do the same for Vocab. This alone can improve your score by up to 30 marks.

SSCtube Online Test Series

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One comment

  1. Sir.I gave exam today…..I will get 115 in tier 1…SSC cgl 2016…
    I belong to obc category….
    Wat should be my strategy for mains..???

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