How to prepare for SSC CGL English? Know the Best tips

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Prepare for SSC CGL English: SSC CGL is one of the most competitive examinations as lakhs of candidates appears every year for the exam. English can be one of the best-scoring subjects with the right preparation and strategy. The English section consists of grammar and comprehension. It is a mandatory subject in both tiers of the examination.

In this blog, we will brief you on how to prepare for SSC CGL English. For creating a preparation strategy, it is very important for candidates to be aware of the SSC CGL English syllabus for both tiers.

SSC CGL English Syllabus for Tier I

SSC CGL Tier I consists of objective-type questions. The English section consists of 25 questions each of 2 marks. We have provided below the syllabus of English language and comprehension for Tier I.

  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • One Word Substitution
  • Spelling Error
  • Comprehension & Passages

SSC CGL English Syllabus for Tier II

In Tier II, the English section will consist of 45 questions each carrying 3 marks. This paper will also be of objective-type questions. We have mentioned below the syllabus of SSC CGL English for Tier II.

  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar
  • Sentence Structure
  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Usage of Synonyms & Antonyms
  • Spotting Errors
  • Idioms & Phrases
  • One Word Substitution
  • Improvement of Sentences
  • Cloze Passage
  • Comprehension Passage
  • Active/Passive Voice
  • Shuffling sentences in a passage

Preparation Tips for Each Topic

As we have mentioned above, the SSC CGL English syllabus for Tier II covers all the topics of the Tier I. Syllabus and remains the same in both tiers but the level of questions is higher in the Tier II examination. We have provided below the preparation tips for each topic to strategize your preparation.


There are always 2-3 questions based on antonyms/synonyms. To be fluent in this topic candidates need to learn at least 20 new words with their usage every day. Read newspapers, books, and magazines, and mark different words to search for their meaning and the opposite of their meaning. This will help you in learning new words and their meaning.

One-Word Substitution/Idioms and Phrases

Candidates can prepare altogether for these two topics. In word substitution, candidates need to put one word that can be replaced with a sentence or word having the same meaning. If you practice enough and know the proper usage of words you can easily answer the questions of both topics.

Spotting Errors

To solve the questions of spotting errors, candidates should properly read the sentence or phrase. Normally, you can figure out the error just after giving one good read to the question. If you are still unable to spot the error try to check the subject-verb agreement this will help you easily spot the errors.

Spelling Mistakes

If you remember some basic grammar rules, you can easily score marks on these questions. Finding spelling mistakes is one of the topics that shouldn’t take your time. They just read and answer questions. If you have knowledge of basic English and word formation this is something you can easily handle. Candidates who feel difficulty in solving these questions should read English dictionaries and learn as many words as possible.

Cloze Passage

In this, passages with few blank spaces are given that need to be filled by the candidates. These questions can be mostly solved by logical answers. Try to find the word that is relatable to the passage and makes logical relevance to the passage. If you can’t find the right answer try to use the elimination process and eliminate the words that do not fit in the blank space.

Comprehension Passages

Comprehension can be one of the easy topics to deal with in the English section. But candidates find it a waste of time to read the whole passage properly and just try to find answers to the questions. Don’t do this and lose marks, give the passage a proper read and understand it properly. Once you read the passage it will be very easy to answer the questions. Keep practicing with the passages before exams so you can increase your reading and problem-solving skills.

Books to prepare for SSC CGL English

Books are very crucial for the preparation for any examination. The right choice of books can make your preparation journey much easier. Books will help you in giving your best performance in the examination. We have provided below the list of books that will help you prepare for SSC CGL English.

Book NameAuthor/Publisher
Objective General EnglishArihant Publications
Perfect Competitive EnglishV.K Sinha
High School English Grammar and CompositionWren & Martin
How to prepare for Verbal Ability & Reading ComprehensionArun Sharma
Quick Learning Objective General EnglishR.S Aggarwal
Objective English for Competitive ExamsH.M Prasad

Preparation Tips for SSC CGL English

To excel in the English section of SSC CGL, candidates need to continuously practice and keep revising the important topics. Many aspirants get confused while creating a proper strategy for English preparation. We have some preparation tips for all the candidates that will help them in giving their best in the English section of the examination. They are as follows:

Know your weak/strong topics

It is very important for candidates to be aware of their weak/strong topics. Give more time to your weak topics and practice them daily. 15 minutes of the revision can work for your strong topics. Don’t waste your time solving easy questions, again and again, this will not lead to any progress. Analyze yourself and enhance your abilities.

Read on a daily basis

Make sure to read any piece of English writing daily. This will enhance your English reading and writing skills. Read editorials in newspapers, magazines, and essays this will increase your sentence formation skills. Reading will also help you in learning new words, making sure to understand their meaning and usage.

Attempt Mock Tests

Give as many mock tests as possible because English is something you will learn by practicing. Just reading the grammar section will not help you much until you practice and solve the problems on your own. If you have not completed the syllabus try to attempt the mock test for the topics you have covered and analyze your performance.

Work on your English Vocabulary

If you have a good grip on vocabulary, you can easily solve most of the English sections in the SSC CGL exams. Working on vocabulary will help you easily solve questions of antonyms, synonyms, and cloze tests. To improve your vocabulary read English newspapers daily and read them line by line. Don’t skip hard words or phrases try to understand their meaning.

Solve Previous Year’s Question Papers

Try to solve question papers from the last 10 years before you appear for the examination. Solving question papers will help you in understanding the weightage of topics and types of questions that are continuous in the examination. SSC CGL is one of the competitive exams and one small extra step can make your rank. Make sure to give your best not only in exams but also in preparation.

Read the Comprehension properly

Many candidates avoid reading whole passages in the examination and just search for the answers. Don’t make this mistake because skipping the passages can make your answer wrong and you will lose easy marks. Read the passages properly, understand their meaning and then write the answers. It can be one of the easiest scoring topics if you read the passages properly.

Don’t Guess in exams

There is a negative marking for wrong answers in the SSC CGL exams. Candidates should not do any kind of guesswork when they are not sure about the answer. Attempting wrong answers will reduce your rankings.

We hope this blog gave you a better understanding of how to prepare for SSC CGL English. To read more such blogs visit the Oliveboard website.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the total marks for the English section in SSC CGL Tier I?

The English section carries 50 marks in SSC CGL Tier I.

How many questions are there in the English section of SSC CGL Tier II?

There is a total of 45 questions in the English section of SSC CGL Tier II.

Will there be a negative marking in the SSC CGL examination?

Yes, there will be a negative marking of 0.25 marks for each wrong answer in the SSC CGL examination.

Is the English syllabus for SSC CGL Tier I and Tier II similar?

Yes, SSC CGL Tier I and Tier II almost have the same topics in the syllabus.