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SSC CGL Tier 3: Preparation Tips

By: Anjali Hans on June 12, 2018

The Staff Selection Commission-Combined Graduate Level Examination (SSC CGL) is a national level entrance examination conducted by the Staff Commission for jobs in ministries, departments and the other domains of the Indian Government. It is conducted in 4 levels/ Tiers where each tier has its own Exam Pattern. SSC CGL Tier 3 is the next exam to be held.

The SSC CGL Tier 3 will be conducted on July 8, 2018.  Lakhs of aspirants appear for the exam. However, 47 thousand applicants qualified for the Tier II Exam. After the results declared for SSC CGL Tier 2 Exam, 8,569 candidates have cleared the SSC CGL Tier 2 Exam and will appear for the next level, i.e., Tier 3.

SSC CGL Tier 3 Preparation Tips

SSC CGL Tier 3 Exam Pattern:

  • The Tier III Exam will be a descriptive type paper in English/ Hindi (You have to choose between English and Hindi as your medium of answering the paper)
  • It would be conducted via pen-paper mode with 1 question on any topic.
  • The candidates will have to write Essay/ Precis/ Application, etc.
  • Writing skills will be analyzed.
  • The Exam will be of 100 Marks.
  • The time allotted will be 60 Minutes. For Visually Handicapped and candidates suffering from Cerebral Palsy, the allotted time will be 80 Minutes.
  • The word limit of the answer is 250 words.
  • The candidate must score a minimum of 33% marks to qualify SSC CGL Tier 3 Exam.

Here are a few preparation tips which will help you do better in the Exam:

Preparation Tips:

Read Newspaper Daily

The descriptive question in the exam could be about any current topic, so you should be updated about the ongoing scenario, and the best way is by reading a newspaper. Through this, you would get to know even the nuanced details about a particular topic. Also, the newspaper articles are a great help regarding the prioritization of content, that is, how to begin and end a writing.  

The first paragraph tends to provide the ‘key information' about the article. Keep that key information in mind while going through the article, as it helps you keep relevant information in mind and also speeds up the reading. Try connecting the dots of What, Why, and How with each article to get a clearer picture of the same.

While reading a newspaper, it will be helpful to note down the crucial facts and information about any current affair, and later on, you can add your own opinions for the same topic. Subjective opinions can either be in favor or against the proposed fact deduced in the news. This helps in forming an answer containing the pros and cons of the topic.

Improve your Vocabulary

Any writing is enhanced with the use of good vocabulary. For this, newspapers are a great medium, specially The Indian Express, The Hindu. While reading the newspaper, underline the unfamiliar words used in an article, and note them down; repeat the same for other words as well. Search for their meanings and try using them in other contexts and conversations as well.

  • Always keep a Thesaurus Dictionary in hand. It will provide a simpler meaning, along with similar and opposite words for the same.
  • Also, you can play word games like Scrabble, Word Jumble, Crossword Puzzles, Boggle, and other such games through which you get to decipher new words and their meanings.
  • Learn 5 new words daily. Try using them in your conversations and writings. Or you can make sticky notes for the same, and read them daily.
  • There are several websites available online for improving vocabulary skills, such as or

Get thorough with the Formats:

This is a crucial factor while writing any paper. You should be well versed about the formats of a Formal and Informal Letter, an Essay, Precis, Article, Application and others. The best way to practice the same is by referring to Descriptive Writing Books which have sample writing regarding each domain, and the format is explained appropriately.

You can start working on the practice questions given in the Descriptive writing books, helping you to be thorough with all the formats, also, with the type of topics one could ask.

A list of few Descriptive Books in Hindi and English is provided below, for you could refer to those:



Nibandh Mala: 221 Hindi Nibandh

(By Arihant Publications)

SSC CGL Tier 3 Descriptive Exam Practice Work Book English

(By V.M Chandrasekaran)

Nibandh Manjusa

(Tata Mc Grow Hills Publication)

Descriptive English

(By Arihant Publications)

SSC CGL Tier 3 Descriptive Exam Practice Work Book (Hindi) – 2034

(By Kiran Prakashan)

Modern Essays

(By Swati Agarwal, Kama Choudhary, Madhulica Malik)


Write Relevant Information

It should be your primary concern. If you are not really aware about the topic being asked in the exam, then you should not write unnecessary facts or points to increase the length of your answer. Stick to the topic. If you choose to provide a counter statement, then the title of your essay/article/ etc. should indicate the same. If not so, this could leave a bad impression on the evaluator, and you might end up losing marks for the relevant information as well.

Try connecting the TV news and the newspaper's information, along with your own views and approaches while framing a write-up. Giving solutions for a situation prevailing could benefit you with some extra marks.

Tier III Tentative Topics

Below is the list of a few topics which could be expected to come in the exam. Those are:

Make in India

Skill India

Swachch Bharat Abhiyan

Unemployment in India

Poverty in India

Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme

GST in India

Communal Riots

Corruption in India

Prime Minister's Mann ki Baat approach


Role of Media

While appearing for the exam, do not get nervous, even if you do not know much about the topic, think for some time and then write! Keep practicing and you can clear this exam!

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