How to Prepare Mathematics for SSC CGL Exam


How to Prepare Mathematics for SSC CGL Exam

Mathematics is arguably the most crucial part of the SSC CGL exam. It has the weightage of 50/200 in Prelims and 200/400 in Mains in SSC CGL.  Quite often we have seen people scoring a perfect 200 and 50 in the Mathematics section. It is indisputably the crucial part of the exam that you cannot afford to ignore. Today, we will describe in this post on how to prepare for this important section in detail. Before going any further, let us first analyze this section in detail:

Mathematics in SSC CGL section

The level of SSC CGL Recruitment Exam has improved a lot in last 3-4 years. If you glance at the question papers of last 5 years, you’ll see how the level has improved. SSC now has started giving more importance to the Advance Maths sections and the difficulty level has also increased. It is therefore quite essential to know the changing pattern, analyze it properly and put in your concentrated efforts accordingly.

Important Areas to Focus Upon

To improve your score in Mathematics, you need to improve your calculation speed and accuracy. You should remember tables, square, cubes and square roots for doing fast calculations.

More than 50% of the Mathematics paper including Prelims and Mains revolves around 4 major topics of the Advance Maths.


A lot of questions are being asked from this topic. Some of the topics are Algebraic Identities, Factorization & Simplification of Polynomials, Simplification of Fractions and Age Determination. You should remember all the formulas and identities and then practice questions from this topic.


This is the second most important topic and a lot of questions in SSC CGL 2016 were asked from this topic. Moreover, when combined with mensuration, it has a lot of weightage. SSC in 2016 has asked questions which involved a lot of calculations and there were very few questions that were direct or formula based. You need to practice questions from all chapters and also from previous year papers.

The best part about geometry is that the more you practice the more you’ll remember. There are some standard results which you apply them right away. The more you practice, the more you can solve without using pen and paper.

Important topics in this section includes triangles and its properties, Congruence & Similarity of triangles, Chords & Tangents, Diagonals of a Quadrilateral, etc. However, in recent times, SSC is asking a lot of questions from Mensuration from 3 dimensional figures like pyramid, prisms etc

Trigonometry and Heights and Distance

This is the most productive topic that needs minimum time and can fetch you maximum marks. There are very few varieties of questions in Heights and Distances and you can easily remember all of them. Some of the formulas can be directly used and you can save your precious 5-10 minutes.

Moreover, if you are good in algebra, some concepts can be directly applied in solving Trigonometry questions.

It is very important to use trial and error in this section. Whenever there are questions that ask final vale of the trigonometric ratio, start by putting values of angles as 0 or 45 or 90. Moreover, eliminating the choices also helps sometimes.

Some important topics are maximum & minimum values, Trigonometric ratios & identities, simplification, complementary identities.

Profit and Loss, Discount and Percentages

These are important topics in prelims as well as mains. Learn to solve percentages. You should know the fraction identity of percentages and many problems can be solved easily.

How to start preparing

SSC CGL is changing fast and the level is not same as it was 2 years ago. Also, being a computer based test now has its own perils. It is important to know the level of difficulty of questions. For example, DI in SSC CGL is far more easily compared with IBPS or SBI Exams however, Mensuration in SSC is a level higher than in IBPS or SBI exams. You must purchase previous year question books. The Advance Maths section of SSC CGL 2016 mains exams was much more calculative as compared to previous years. Even simple questions involved a lot of calculations. Learn tables and squares upto 30 and cubes upto 20. This will improve your calculations and save your time.

There are 100 high level questions that need to be solved in 120 minutes. To get into the top 100 rank, you should aim to solve the complete 100 questions in given time which can only be possible if you focus on two things simultaneously: Time and Accuracy.

Maths can only be improved by practicing. You need to start solving atleast 500 questions of a particular chapter only then you will know shortest way to get to the answer. Also when you are done with the syllabus, go for mocks. See how much you are able to solve in 120 minutes.

Practice Previous Year Questions

Sometimes, SSC repeats the questions.  Try to solve previous 5 years questions of SSC CGL and keep marking the different concepts that you come across and keep revising it. Since it is online exam now, buy mocks from GradeUp where you can also compare your performance with 1000s of others.

On the Exam Day

After giving mocks, you will be able to know your strength and weakness. Learn the art of skipping the questions. Attempt the questions that you feel are easy and you are confident. In the first 60 minutes, you should be able to solve 55+ questions and should have seen around 70+ questions.

Last but not the least is to practice. Practice as much as you can.  If you want to clear the exam, start doing and not just thinking. Getting good marks in an exam not only requires hard work, but smart work. You need to know what you should focus in a particular section and which the things that you should avoid.

The best way to prepare and assess your performance is by practicing on full length mock tests based on the updated pattern. To help you in your preparation, gradeup has launched a free SSC CGL Tier I mock test in Hindi & English which you can attempt through following link:

Take SSC CGL Tier 1 Free Mock Test on Latest Pattern

If you wish to be updated regarding the upcoming exams, their patterns, syllabus and other details, download Gradeup App for SSC CGL Preparation.. It provides free study material, updates of upcoming exams and mock tests for various competitive exams.

All the best for your exams..

Team gradeup..!!

This post has been published in coordination with Gradeup and Sehpaathi team.

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