English section strategy for SSC CGL

Dynamic strategy for cracking the SSC CGL exam


This section tests the candidate’s basic knowledge and understanding of English. If you are well versed in English, can read and understand passages, have the average vocabulary and have fluency in grammar, then you can easily ace this section. Not only is this section easy to score but also less time consuming. This is because as compared to other sections,  you don’t need to “solve” a question at all. But before getting all excited let us warn you that without proper preparation and strategy things could go down south for you.

In this article, we help you prepare a dynamic strategy for cracking the exam. The syllabus of English can be broadly divided into 4 sections – vocabulary, grammar, comprehension, Sentence Rearrangement. This part is important in both, Tier-I and Tier-II, levels of SSC CGL Exam.

Tier I Exam


In Tier-I Exam, English Comprehension section consists of 25 multiple-choice questions and each the question carries 2 marks. In this exam, 0.50 marks are deducted as penalty for each wrong answer.

Preparation Strategy

  • One word Substitution

In these types of questions, a single word is marked and the most suitable word amongst the given 4 options must be chosen to replace it.

  • Phrases and Idioms

Knowledge of Correct usage of phrases and idioms is important to cover these type of questions.

  • Synonyms & Antonyms

Words which have the same or almost the same meaning are known as synonyms. An Antonym is the opposite of another word. For example, the Antonym of up is down.

  • Spelling Test

Among the 4 given options, the word with the correct spelling must be chosen. Read passages, keep a dictionary handy (physical or digital).

  • Fill in the Blanks

The correct word amongst the 4 must be filled in the gap in the given sentence. Practice questions related to parts of speech like a verb, adjective, adverb, etc.

  • Sentence Correction/Error Spotting in a sentence

An error within the sentence needs to be spotted and the correct option among the 4 that can replace it must be chosen. Knowledge of spelling and grammar is important for these types of questions.

  • Sentence or Phrase Improvement

There is something lacking in the sentence and there is scope for improvement. You need to find out of the 4 options which one is best suited.

  • Reading Comprehension/passage

The passage is given on the basis of which critical questions are asked. Questions based on title, major theme of passage author’s view, etc are asked. Practice one passage daily and solve related questions.

Tier II Exam


In Tier-II Exam, Paper II – English Language and Comprehension consist of 200 multiple-choice questions and each question carries 1 marks. The duration of this exam is 2 hours. In this exam, 0.25 marks are deducted as penalty for each wrong answer.

Tier-II includes all the topics from Tier I and a few additional topics that are mentioned below:

  • Cloze Passage

A passage having sentences with blanks between them are given. For each blank 4 options are given, out of which you will have to choose the most suitable one. Understand the flow of the passage to get an idea of what the passage is explaining and choose words accordingly.

  • Active-Passive Voice

 A sentence is given in Active/ Passive Voice.  From the given four alternatives, you have to select the one which best expresses the same sentence in Passive/ Active.

  • Direct-Indirect Speech

A sentence is given in Indirect Speech. Out of the four options given, you need to select the one which best expresses the same sentence in Direct Speech.

  • Para jumbles

A paragraph is given whose sentences are not in the right order. Four options stating different orders of the sentences are given. You need to choose the right one.

  • Jumbled Sentence

A few words or phrases are given in a Jumbled sequence and options are given stating different orders of phrases.

Other things to keep in mind while studying


  • Be a reader: Read newspapers, magazines, articles, short stories, etc to improve your reading ability i.e. reading speed and understanding. Learn at least 10 new English words and meanings daily.
  • Practice Regularly: Solve at least one previous year paper or mock test paper every day to improve your speed and accuracy. You can visit Own TV App and website for this purpose.
  • Focus on your weak areas: First, try to focus on your weak areas and spend more time improving them. Devote more time to your weak areas and less time to your strong areas.
  • Develop the habit of reading the complete question: Students often the mistake of reading incomplete questions and arriving at the incorrect answer eventually. Read the questions carefully and answer accordingly.
  • For vocabulary which includes the following topics -One-word Substitution, Phrases and Idioms, Synonyms & Antonyms, Sentence or Phrase Improvement can be improved by practicing from Objective General English by S.P. Bakshi.
  • For grammar which includes the following topics – Sentence Correction Error Spotting, Fill in the blanks, etc.
  • Comprehension includes one Reading Comprehension/passage on the basis of which questions are askedYou can practice using topic wise mock tests prepared specially for student needs available at Own TV App and website.
For more such informative articles stay tuned to OWN TV

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