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SSC CGL Preparation and Experience: An Interview with Ashish Yadav

By: R Chandrakala on September 25, 2017
Ashish Yadav, an engineer from an IT background shares his experience on how he gave the SSC CGL Examination amidst juggling his demanding job and clearing the same with flying colors.
 
1)  What motivated you to choose SSC CGL?
My family had asked me to consider SSC CGL after I had completed Engineering and got placed in TCS. Also, my friends during that time were preparing for this exam which had also motivated me to take it up.
 
2)  When, according to you, should a candidate start preparing for SSC CGL?
Well, it actually differs across individuals, a person very strong in basics would require lesser time but a person starting from scratch would require considerably more. According to me, preparation for SSC CGL should start at least 3 months in advance.
 
3) What should the strategy in general be?
It can be either on the basis of setting a score in your mind and working towards preparation accordingly as the Preliminary Examination in SSC CGL is highly competitive and to some extent requires prioritization. If someone prepares with an intention to attempt 100%, he should invest in preparation to the same extent.
 
4) What was your daily schedule for SSC CGL Preparation like?
It was challenging to find time amidst my job. I would devote time in the evening and morning for Maths and English every day while reading General Knowledge on the go whenever I was able to make time. I prepared for Reasoning alternately during the week. During the initial month, I devoted all my time to strengthening my basic concepts across all sections. During the second and the final month to the SSC CGL, I practiced a lot of mock papers, at least two in a day that helped me work on my mistakes and improve my competence level for the examination.
5) Could you tell us specific sectional strategies that a candidate must follow?
To begin with, General Knowledge is a very vast section and would require a candidate to know about issues that have occurred in the last one year. I did it by preparing on the go in the course of travel or giving a read during coffee breaks in office.
English would require a candidate to make his reading skills and grammar a strength. Books like Word Power Made Easy, Wren and Martin and those authored by SP Bakshi would help a candidate hone the requisite skills to do well.
Having a good vocabulary and a sense of structuring sentences right should help make 30% of the section easy for a candidate. Error Detection exercise, in particular, is a section which can get uncertain and confusing, in terms of making a choice and Jumbled Sentences consume pretty much of the time, which a candidate should anticipate and prepare.
 
Mathematics in SSC CGL is known to be very lengthy and would require exhaustive practice on a daily basis. I referred to a book authored by Rajesh Verma which helped me in 75% preparation for this section. Practice and Accuracy is very relevant here, along with doing it in a time-bound way as that would help maximise your attempt.
The reasoning is the easiest of the lot and one section that can be considered effective for scoring. Preparation for this section consumes less amount of time. By getting an understanding of the basic concepts in less than a week, you can start practicing the sample papers to gain an understanding of the pattern of questioning. The optimum level of practice can guarantee the desired amount of marks in this section.
 
6) Do you think coaching is a necessity for SSC CGL?
Now that a lot of coaching centers have opened up, a lot of students attend coaching. But I preferred self-study and formed my own strategy. However, coaching is beneficial as it exposes you to the competition existing outside and equips you, but it can also depress you at times. About 18 Lakh students had appeared for about 4800+ vacancies, so you can gauge the level of competitiveness.
 
7) How difficult do you rate SSC CGL to be?
SSC CGL is of medium difficulty level, it is highly competitive as only 1% of the students attempting the exam make it to the cream.
 
8) How different is preparation for Prelims from that of Mains?
Prelims required preparation on the lines of being accurate and rapid in a shorter time frame while Mains requires you to be strong in terms of conceptual knowledge. Prelims are for a duration of one hour while Mains is for a duration of 4 hours with a specific focus on Math and English.
While Prelims would require you to study four sections on a priority basis, Mains would require you to strong with in-depth knowledge as you have ample time to do the questions.
 
9) Can you give us a comparison of career progression in the IT industry vs working in a Government Department?
The Private Sector has a very different chart in terms of career progression as compared to the Government Sector. While the Private Sector promotions are determined on the basis of talent, contribution to the team and on your skillsets, here it is time bound with fixed increments and benefits.
The pay is very good here, you would be entering in a lower level managerial level to rise to the higher ranks in authority on a minimum completion of 4-5 years depending on the way you perform and your impression among peers and superiors.
UPSC also conducts exams for candidates considered for promotion, on the clearing of which, one may get promoted to the post of a Gazetted Officer.
 
 
Ashish Yadav, an engineer from an IT background shares his experience on how he gave the SSC CGL Examination amidst juggling his demanding job and clearing the same with flying colors.
 
1)    What motivated you to choose SSC CGL?
My family had asked me to consider SSC CGL after I had completed Engineering and got placed in TCS. Also, my friends during that time were preparing for this exam which had also motivated me to take it up.
 
2)    When, according to you, should a candidate start preparing for SSC CGL?
Well, it actually differs across individuals, a person very strong in basics would require lesser time but a person starting from scratch would require considerably more. According to me, preparation for SSC CGL should start at least 3 months in advance.
 
3)    What should the strategy in general be?
It can be either on the basis of setting a score in your mind and working towards preparation accordingly as the Preliminary Examination in SSC CGL is highly competitive and to some extent requires prioritization. If someone prepares with an intention to attempt 100%, he should invest in preparation to the same extent.
 
4)    What was your daily schedule for SSC CGL Preparation like?
It was challenging to find time amidst my job. I would devote time in the evening and morning for Maths and English everyday while reading General Knowledge on the go whenever I was able to make time. I prepared for Reasoning alternately during the week. During the initial month, I devoted all my time in strengthening my basic concepts across all sections. During the second and the final month to the SSC CGL, I practiced a lot of mock papers, at least two in a day that helped me work on my mistakes and improve my competence level for the examination.
5)    Could you tell us specific sectional strategies that a candidate must follow?
To begin with, General Knowledge is a very vast section and would require a candidate to know about issues that have occurred in the last one year. I did it by preparing on the go in the course of travel or giving a read during coffee breaks in office.
English would require a candidate to make his reading skills and grammar a strength. Books like Word Power Made Easy, Wren and Martin and those authored by SP Bakshi would help a candidate hone the requisite skills to do well.
Having a good vocabulary and a sense of structuring sentences right should help make 30% of the section easy for a candidate. Error Detection exercise in particular, is a section which can get uncertain and confusing, in terms of making a choice and Jumbled Sentences consume pretty much of the time, which a candidate should anticipate and prepare.
 
Mathematics in SSC CGL is known to be very lengthy and would require exhaustive practice on a daily basis. I referred to a book authored by Rajesh Verma which helped me in 75% preparation for this section. Practice and Accuracy is very relevant here, along with doing it in a time bound way as that would help maximise your attempt.
Reasoning is the easiest of the lot and one section that can be considered effective for scoring. Preparation for this section consumes less amount of time. By getting an understanding of the basic concepts in less than a week, you can start practicing the sample papers to gain an understanding on the pattern of questioning. Optimum level of practice can guarantee the desired amount of marks in this section.
 
6)    Do you think coaching is a necessity for SSC CGL?
Now that a lot of coaching centers have opened up, a lot of students attend coaching. But I preferred self-study and formed my own strategy. However, coaching is beneficial as it exposes you to the competition existing outside and equip you, but it can also depress you at times. About 18 Lakh students had appeared for about 4800+ vacancies, so you can guage the level of competitiveness.
 
7)    How difficult do you rate SSC CGL to be?
SSC CGL is of medium difficulty level, it is highly competitive as only 1% of the students attempting the exam make it to the cream.
 
8)    How different is preparation for Prelims from that of Mains?
Prelims required preparation on the lines of being accurate and rapid in a shorter time frame while Mains requires you to be strong in terms of conceptual knowledge. Prelims is for a duration of one hour while Mains is for a duration of 4 hours with specific focus on Math and English.
While Prelims would require you to study four sections on priority basis, Mains would require you to strong with in-depth knowledge as you have ample time to do the questions.
 
 
 
 
 
 
9)    Can you give us a comparison of career progression in the IT industry vs working in a Government Department?
The Private Sector has a very different chart in terms of career progression as compared to the Government Sector. While the Private Sector promotions are determined on the basis of talent, contribution to the team and on your skillsets, here it is time bound with fixed increments and benefits.
The pay being very good here, you would be entering in a lower level managerial level to rise to the higher ranks in authority on a minimum completion of 4-5 years depending on the way you perform and your impression among peers and superiors.
UPSC also conducts exams for candidates considerable for promotion, on clearing of which, one may get promoted to the post of a Gazetted Officer.

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