SSC CGL Tier-1: Best Resources for Preparation

Following the requests we received from our aspirants, we are providing study material and other resources you need to prepare for the SSC CGL Tier-1 Examination, in the following article:


General Intelligence Reasoning

Reasoning tests your problem-solving & decision making abilities and logical thinking. The only way to master this section is to solve different types of questions under various topics. This will increase the capacity of your brain to solve reasoning questions quickly.

Recommended books:

A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-verbal Reasoning by R. S. Aggarwal: If your reasoning concepts are in place and you don’t need much explanations, but need a lot of practice, then go for this one.

Analytical Reasoning by M.K. Pandey: If you need to brush up your fundamentals in Reasoning, this is the best bet.

New Approach to Reasoning Verbal and Non-verbal by B.S. Sijwali and Indu Sijwali: This is a cheaper alternative to the book by R. S. Aggarwal.


General Awareness

SSC CGL 2017 Exam Quantitative Aptitude, Reasoning, General Studies, English Mock TestsGoes without saying, the GA sections syllabus is vast and open-ended. GA is something that takes months to master. Hence it makes sense, to first analyze the previous year exam papers to check which topics were the most frequently asked in previous year exams. Based on this, you can choose your study material for GA.

Recommended books:

Manorama Yearbook 2017

Lucent’s GK Book


Note: It’s important that you check the actual year of publications on these books and on other books. Sometimes, for marketing purposes, people sell these books in the name of the current year, although the content inside is that of the previous year. So, be careful while purchasing these books.


Quantitative Aptitude

Quant is one of the most scoring sections. Strong fundamentals and a lot of practice is needed to master this section.

Recommended books:

NCERT 7th to 10th Standard books: If you’re not very confident in Quant and if you think you need to brush up your fundamentals, go through NCERT 7th to 10th standard books. This will help you make your fundamentals stronger and then move on to the more advanced books.

Fast Track Objective Arithmetic by Rajesh Verma: If you think your fundamentals are in place, go for this book for a greater understanding of the concepts.

Magical Book on Quicker Maths by M. Tyra: This book teaches two methods of approaching Quantitative Aptitude problems: Regular method and the Shortcut method. However, do not expect too many practice questions from this one. This book will help you get confident in solving Quant questions and also teach you shortcuts.

Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Aggarwal: This is the best book for practicing Quant, if your fundamentals are in place. Though the explanations aren’t detailed, this book provides a lot of practice questions. However, after brushing up the basics, all you need is practice, so this shouldn’t be a problem.


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English Comprehension

The three things that you need to be good at to master this section are: Grammar, Text Comprehension and Vocabulary.

Recommended books:


High School English Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin: This bestseller is THE BEST to revise grammar.


Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis is undoubtedly the best for vocabulary.


If you think your grammar, vocabulary and text comprehension is good enough, then you can practice sufficient questions from this section from previous year SSC CGL question papers. However, if you feel you need a little more than just practice, choose any one of the following based on your budgets:

Objective General English by S.P.Bakshi (Arihant Publications), and

Quick Learning Objective General English by R.S. Aggarwal

Apart from these two above mentioned books, there’s another with great reviews: Objective English for Competitive Exams by Hari Mohan Prasad.


Previous year solved question papers

Another valuable, yet underestimated recourse is the previous year SSC CGL exam question papers. Analyzing previous year exam question papers, goes a long way in helping you understand the kind of questions asked in the exam. A lot of questions in SSC CGL exams are repeated from year to year, hence, analyzing previous year exam papers gives more clarity than anything about what you need to prepare for the exam.

There are two types of solved exam question papers: Topic-wise/chapter-wise and Full-length. While some people prefer full-length exam question papers that are organized year-wise, some prefer studying each topics individually and hence prefer organized solved papers. Depending on your preference, you can order the following books:

Recommended books:

Full-length solved exam question papers:

Kiran’s SSC CGL Combined Graduate Level Exams Question bank 1999-2016

Solved Papers (Up to 2015) SSC CGL Combined Graduate Level Pre-Examination Tier-1


Section-wise solved exam question papers:

SSC General Awareness: Chapter-wise solved papers

SSC Reasoning Chapter-wise solved papers

SSC Reasoning Mathematics Chapter-wise solved papers

SSC English Chapter-wise solved papers


Other resources

The Hindu Mobile App

The Hindu is the most preferred newspaper among bank & government exam aspirants. This app will help you stay updated on the latest happenings around you and help you stay updated. One of the best resources for current affairs. Mobile App is a handy dictionary app that you can carry anywhere (pocket friendly). The app has over 2,000,000 definitions and other interesting features like audio pronunciation, translator, word of the day, thesaurus and much more.


Oliveboard Mobile App

While it is important to study for the exam, it is equally important to measure your study progress. This is where Mock Tests come in. Taking mock tests will help you analyze your performance, determine your speed and accuracy, identify your strong and weak areas, so you can improve on them. Oliveboard’s mock tests are created by industry experts, exam toppers and top faculty from across the country. What’s more? The mocks also provided all India ranking and topic-wise analysis.

Take a FREE SSC CGL Mock Test here.


Frontline magazine

Frontline is a fortnightly National magazine published by The Hindu. The magazine is known for its insightful analysis of International and National events. Frontline covers all important topics such as Economics, Politics, Geography, Culture, Science & Technology, etc.


Some Don’ts
  • Don’t buy and hoard a lot of books. Buy the most recommended ones and keep your study material minimum.
  • There are books available in the market, that provide ‘All subjects in one’ study materials. Do not buy those books, as they don’t cover the subjects properly.
  • Buying subject-wise books has advantages. They come in handy, if you’re preparing for other competitive examinations. They can also be passed on to friends/acquaintances if they’re preparing for any exams. You can also use these books for reference later.


Stay tuned for resources for SSC CGL Tier-2 examination.


Further reading:

SSC CGL 2017 Exam Notification, Syllabus, Eligibility, Exam Pattern, Dates, Salary

SSC CGL Tier-1 Exam Preparation Strategy

Kapil Mittal’s Strategy to Crack SSC CGL



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