SSC CGL Tier-1 & 2: Quantitative Aptitude Preparation [2022]

Quantitative Aptitude SSC CGL: Quantitative Aptitude is one of the most important and scoring sections of the SSC CGL Tier-1 and Tier-2 Examinations. It requires more preparation time and concentration compared to the other sections of SSC CGL Exam.

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The following is a comprehensive guide on how to approach the Quant section of the SSC CGL Exam:

The Quantitative Aptitude section of SSC CGL is different from that of the bank exams. The questions are of higher level and focus on Numerical as well as advanced mathematics topics. Following are common Bank Exam Quantitative Aptitude Topics:

Number Series, Quadratic Equations, Data Interpretation (Tabular, Bar Graph, Pie Chart, Missing DI, Line Graph), Simplification/Approximation, Average, Ratio and Proportion, Interest, Time & Work, Time Speed and Distance, Boats & Streams, Permutation & Combination/Probability, Percentage, Mensuration, Problem on Ages, Number System, Linear Equation, Mixture and Alligation, Data Sufficiency, Partnership, Pipes & Cisterns.

As you can see, the topics under bank exams’ Quantitative Aptitude sections are predominantly arithmetic.

SSC CGL Quantitative Aptitude Topics

Quant is part of SSC CGL Tier-1 and Tier-2 exams. The syllabus of Quant under SSC CGL can be broadly divided into two: Arithmetic and Advanced Mathematics.

While Tier-1 is predominantly based on the Arithmetic section of Quant, ‘Advanced Math’ dominates the Tier-2 exam. The Arithmetic part of the SSC CGL Quant focuses on concept-based topics, whereas Advanced math focuses on practice-based questions. Arithmetic part includes topics like Percentage, Profit & Loss, Averages, Time & Work, Time, Speed & Distance, Partnership, Interest, etc. The Advanced math includes those and also higher-level Mensuration, Trigonometry, Geometry and Algebra.

The topics under Arithmetic section require a deeper conceptual understanding and little practice whereas the topics under advanced math require more practice and little conceptual understanding.

Following are the topics under the SSC CGL Quant section:

Computation of whole numbers, decimals, fractions and relationships between numbers, percentage. Ratio & Proportion, Square roots, Averages, Interest, Profit & Loss, Discount, Partnership Business, Mixture & Alligation, Time & Distance, Time & Work, Basic Algebraic identities of school algebra and elementary surds, Graphs of liner equations, Triangle and its various kinds of centres, Congruence and Similarity of triangles, Circle and its chords, tangents, angles subtended by chords of a circle, common tangents or two or more circles, Triangle, Quadrilaterals, Regular polygons, Circle, Right Prism, Right circular cone, Right circular cylinder, Sphere, Hemispheres, Rectangular parallelepiped, Regular, Right pyramid with triangular or square base, Trigonometric ratio, degree and radian measures, standard identities, complementary angles, heights and distances, histogram, frequency polygon, bar diagram, and pie chart.

 Preparation Time

If your fundamentals in math are in place, i.e., if you scored well in math in 8th, 9th and 10th grades, you can allot 10 hours per week for the Quant section. If you need to brush up on your basics before moving to advanced concepts, give it 20 hours per week. If you’re average in Math, allot 15 hours per week.

Quant preparation will require a minimum of 2 ½ to 3 months. Allot 1 or 2 days per topic for topics under Arithmetic section since it is concept based. You would require about 20 days to master the Arithmetic topics. In advanced mathematics, practice at least 100 questions from every topic per day. This should take you about 3 to 4 hours per day. You’d require around 15 to 18 days to master the Advanced mathematics section.

Order of Topics

Arithmetic

It’s more important to understand the concepts of the topics under the Arithmetic section, than to rigorously practice it. The three topics that form the base of the Arithmetic section are the Percentage, Interest and Profit & Loss. Understand the concepts of these and practice a little, to master them. Most of the Quant topics will require you to apply the concepts of Percentage, Interest and Profit & Loss.

While it is important to learn each and every Quant topic, it is equally important to learn them in the right order. Start with the topics that form the base or foundation of Quantitative Aptitude and then move on to the higher-level topics, which require you to have a knowledge of the base topics.

Follow this order for your Quant preparation:

  • Percentage
  • Interest (Simple Interest & Compound Interest)
  • Profit & Loss
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Number System
  • Average
  • Time and Work
  • Mixture & Alligation
  • Pipes & Cisterns
  • Partnership
  • Time & Distance
  • Boats & Streams
  • Train
  • Geometry
  • Mensuration
  • Indices and Surds
  • Algebra
  • Trigonometry
  • Stats and DI
  • Data Interpretation

 Advance Mathematics

The advanced Mathematics section is regarded as ‘difficult’, but isn’t. Advanced Mathematics might seem intimidating, but it is just a complex version of the topics you learnt in your high school mathematics textbooks.

The four major topics of the advanced mathematics section of SSC CGL’s Quantitative Aptitude are Geometry, Mensuration, Trigonometry and Algebra. After a thorough analysis of Previous years SSC CGL question papers, we discovered that questions from topics under Advanced Mathematics are repeated year after year. So, it’s a good idea to refer to Previous Year SSC CGL Question Papers and solve all the Quant questions.

SSC CGL Quantitative Aptitude Preparation Material

What you need:

  • Practice Sets
  • Previous Year SSC CGL Question Papers (organized chapter-wise)

Note on books: It has been noticed time and again, that a lot of books containing SSC CGL practice sets and previous year question papers have a lot of errors. Therefore, one needs to be extremely careful when it comes to choosing books for exam preparation. Make sure you pick the best and the most recommended preparation material with least errors.

Oliveboard provides Concept Lessons, Video lectures, Comprehensive Quantitative Aptitude Sectional Tests, and Topic Tests to practice questions and understand the concept better. These questions are created by exam toppers & experts after thorough research and analysis.

Try it out for yourself for free here: Quantitative Aptitude Preparation Material

Here’s a list of books frequently recommended for SSC CGL Exam:

SSC 7300 by Rakesh Yadav

Kiran Prakashan’s SSC CGL Question Bank

Rakesh Yadav’s Class Notes

Also read: Best Books for SSC CGL Preparation

Note: Do not buy too many books or other preparation material as it will end up confusing you. Keep your preparation material to a minimum and make sure they’re free of errors.

Approach

Basic concepts –> Advanced concepts –> Practice sets –> Previous year question papers –> Revision –> Mock tests

 Basic Concepts

It goes without saying, that to solve higher-level Math questions, your fundamentals need to be strong. If your base isn’t strong enough, we recommend you start by brushing up the basic math concepts.

Refer to the NCERT Mathematics books of 8th, 9th and 10th grades (selected chapters). Focus on Linear Equations (1 or 2 variables), and advanced mathematic topics like Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry and Mensuration. A lot of questions in SSC CGL Quant are based on these basic concepts so you need to have a good command over them.

 Calculation speed:

In order to save time during the exam, you need to have a good calculation speed. Following are a few things you can do to calculate faster & save time and energy:

  • Learn quicker Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division. These are used in almost every math problem
  • Learn Tables up to 20, Square roots up to 30, and Cube roots up to 20
  • Follow the one-liner approach technique for quicker Addition & Subtraction

While learning these is important, it’s equally important to revise them multiple times. Practice by writing these down in a practice workbook and revise them regularly.

Advanced Concepts

Once you’re thorough with your basic mathematics concepts, move on to the advanced competition-specific concepts.

  • Watch online topic-wise video lectures
  • Make a note of the concept and important formulas and shortcut tricks (if any)
  • After learning each topic, practice 3 to 4 examples from the practice sets

 A word on Shortcut Tricks:

Learn shortcuts only after learning and mastering the conventional way of solving Quant questions. It’s important to be selective about the shortcut tricks you learn. There are plenty of books available in the market that contain shortcut tricks for every topic under the Quant section. Learning all the shortcut tricks doesn’t make sense as it will only end up confusing you.

Learn only the most important shortcuts that will help you arrive at the solution quicker. The key is to master both the conventional method of solving and solving using shortcut techniques.

How to learn the shortcut techniques?

Shortcuts can be personalized. Every individual can device their own shortcuts depending on their strengths and weaknesses and understanding of the concepts and practice. We recommend you try to come up with shortcut techniques on your own. If and only if you cannot do that, refer to books that contain shortcut techniques.

Likewise, don’t waste your time trying to mug up all the formulas to all the questions. Learn only the most important formulas.

Practice Sets

Practice sets help in building concepts. They include topic-wise questions for practice. Each topic will contain a variety of questions. Solve the questions from practice sets after learning the concepts from video lectures or books to master the topic. Repeat till you finish all the chapters.

Topic tests, sectional tests, and practice sets are created by exam toppers and experts for practice. They include thousands of questions of varying difficulty levels to prepare you for any kind of question in the exam. The tests also provide in-depth analysis of your performance, including time taken per topic, accuracy, all-India standing, and much more.

Try out a sectional Quantitative Aptitude test here: Quantitative Aptitude Sectional Test.

Previous Year Question Papers

Once you have covered all the topics, understood all the concepts and practiced sufficiently, it’s time to move to our next level; Solving the Previous Year SSC CGL Question Papers.

Why is it important to solve Previous Year Question Papers:

  • The SSC tends to repeat questions from previous years in its question papers
  • Solving previous year’s question papers gives you a brief idea of the difficulty levels of questions asked
  • They will familiarize you with the question patterns

Also read: Reasoning Preparation for SSC CGL

Revision

One of the most underestimated part of the preparation process is the revision. Revision is not taken as seriously as it should be. Revision is very important to retain information that is learned and to master the concepts. So, make sure you:

  • Revise the basics (NCERT) at least twice before moving on to the competition-specific lectures/books
  • Revise the practice sets twice
  • Revise important and high-level questions

Mock Tests

The one thing that will be constant from the start to the end of your preparation cycle is the Mock Test.

  • Take one Mock Test before you begin your preparation to assess your level
  • Take Topic Tests during your preparation
  • Take complete Mock Tests post your revision stage

Taking Mock Tests will help you measure your progress, determine your speed & accuracy and identify your strong and weak areas. Take as many Mock Tests as you can to fine-tune your Quant preparation.

Take a demo SSC CGL mock test here: SSC CGL Quantitative Aptitude Mock Test.

General Tips
  • Maintain a book to write down mistakes you’re making and write down questions of higher level. This way, you won’t repeat mistakes again. Make separate notes of formulas of each chapter.
  • Practice questions and take Mock Tests in an Exam like environment to familiarize yourself with it. Avoid using calculators, minimize the number of rough sheets used, time yourself during practice sessions.
  • Do not waste too much time on a particular question during the exam. If you find yourself unable to answer a particular question, mark it for review and solve it later if time permits.
  • If you’re good at sections other than the Quant, solve them before Quant in as less time as possible (with great accuracy, mind you) and use the saved time for Quant.
  • Minimize the time and Maximize the accuracy in the Quant section. Try to solve all the questions in 25 minutes if you’re a fast solver and 30 minutes if you’re slow.
  • Try and answer all the questions. However, you can afford to leave 2-3 time-consuming questions unanswered, if you’re running out of time.

Also Read: SSC CGL Section Wise Preparation Tips and Strategies

Use the above as a guideline to formulate your own preparation strategy for the Quantitative Aptitude section of SSC CGL Exam, based on your strengths and weaknesses. Here’s hoping the above tips help you prepare better.

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Also read: Top 5 tips for SSC CGL

Stay tuned for topic-wise articles on Quantitative Aptitude section.


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