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SSC CGL Reasoning Ability Tips | Tier I

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SSC CGL Reasoning Ability Tips | Tier I

shape Introduction

  • Staff Selection Commission or SSC came into existence in 1975.

  • It conducts Combined Grade Level (CGL) exam to recruit Group B and Group C staff in various departments, ministries, and organizations of the Government of India.

  • At the time of application, candidates require a bachelor’s degree from a recognized university.

  • The age limit for candidates who wish to give the SSC CGL exam is 20 to 30 years.

  • The SSC conducts this examination in four tiers over different days. Additionally, there is also a computer proficiency test for some of the posts.

  • Tier I is a written multiple-choice exam that consists of four sections. General Intelligence and Reasoning Ability Section is one of the parts of the Tier I exam.



shape Reasoning

  • Out of the total score of SSC CGL Tier I exam, the section on General Intelligence and Reasoning Ability constitutes 25 percent of the same.

  • The syllabus for this section includes topics from verbal as well as non-verbal reasoning segments.

  • The section on General Intelligence and Reasoning Ability is one of the highest-scoring section in the Tier I exam. However, this section tests the candidate’s ability to think and solve problems.

  • The questions of this section are mainly brain teasers and are seldom tricky to answer.

  • In total, the section consists of 25 objective-type questions, and all these carry 2 marks each. This section has a negative marking of 0.5 marks for each wrong answer.

Before candidates begin to prepare for the General Intelligence and Reasoning Ability section, it is crucial to analyse the details of the topics of the exam.

The table below shall reveal topics and subtopics that are essential for the exam.

Topics Sub Topics Type of Question
Series Word-based and numerical Analogy, word-based and odd binary pair, missing characters, and classification. There are 3 to 4 questions from this topic in the exam.
Coding Coding-decoding, symbols, and mathematical operations. There are 3 to 4 questions from this topic in the exam.

Coding and decoding analyses the candidate’s ability to decipher the code language.
Arrangement Blood relations, seating arrangements, ranking, puzzles, and direction sense. There are 3 to 4 questions from this topic in the exam.

It is one of the most common and essential questions of the section.
Logic Syllogism, assumption of inference or conclusion, and Venn diagrams. There are 2 to 3 questions from this topic in the exam.

These questions require critical thinking and need a lot of time to solve.
Miscellaneous Clock and calendar. There are 0 to 1 questions from this topic in the exam.
Non-Verbal Cube and dices, the sequence of figures, matrix, mirrors and water reflection, paper-cutting, folding, punching, configuration, fitting pieces, and odd pieces. There are 7 to 8 questions from this topic in the exam.


shape Tips

Reasoning ability questions are generally ‘all-or-nothing’ type. Therefore, if candidates crack the problem, candidates shall answer to all the questions that shall follow. Otherwise, it will not be possible to answer a single question.

Candidates often witness that even after investing 10 to 15 minutes in a problem, candidates are not able to solve a question. Candidates must move on to the next question within 5 minutes. However, this shall be a wise decision as candidates may not be able to switch back to the problem.

Candidates can follow the following tips to avoid such situations:

  • Candidates can invest a few seconds over a question and give it a read. This read shall help candidates to develop a brief explanation of each correct or incorrect choice in mind. Following this, candidates can do well on the actual assessment.

  • Candidates shall only use the information that the question provides. Candidates must realize that this section is not about the knowledge candidate has about the subject.

  • Candidates must read both the instructions for sentence completion and the descriptive passage carefully. These instructions shall help to make the correct choice.

  • While choosing the correct choices, candidates must be sure to read all the responses before beginning to eliminate the wrong ones.

  • In questions that ask candidates about invalid alternative, candidates shall choose one conclusion that does not follow from the information.

  • In questions that ask candidates about a valid conclusion, candidates shall always choose the one end that follows from the given information.

  • Candidates must pay attention to words like; ‘all’, ‘none’, or ‘some’ that are there in the factual information. These words play a vital role in specifying the facts for reasoning.

  • Equally essential is to pay attention to the negative prefixes like ‘non’, ‘un’, or ‘dis’. These prefixes play a vital role in specifying the underlying facts in the paragraph.

  • Candidates shall be careful of any response choices. These choices may even contain quantifiers like ‘all’ or ‘none’. In general, these words appear to be in both correct as well as incorrect response choices.

  • Usually, the questions shall vary in difficulty level. Overall, the exam paper is a mix of difficult questions and easier ones. Candidates can try to make diagrams or schematic notes for difficult ones.


shape Books

Books and resource materials play a crucial role in executing the preparation plan for candidates.

Here is a list of few books that shall help to achieve proficiency in the General Intelligence and Reasoning Ability section.

Name of the Book Author About the Book
Analytical Reasoning M.K. Pandey This book is known to contain various conceptual questions along with explanations in its 710 pages.
Verbal and Nonverbal Reasoning R. S. Aggarwal The book consists of two parts;

  • Verbal reasoning: Verification of truth of the statements, logical Venn diagrams, statement-conclusions, theme directions, and so on.

  • Non-verbal reasoning: Series, cubes and dices, construction of squares and triangles, spotting out the embedded figures, and so on.


The books give its readers a conceptual clarity as it consists of several practice questions along with a valid explanation.

New Approach to Reasoning Verbal, Non-Verbal, and Analytical BS Sijwali, Indu Sijwal The book has two sections:

  • Conceptual,
  • Advanced level.


It consists of previous years’ exam questions with solutions. Candidates can practice with thousands of model questions.

How to Prepare for Logical Reasoning for CAT and How to Prepare for Data Interpretation for CAT Arun Sharma It is a multi-dimensional reasoning book that consists of all topics of verbal and non-verbal reasoning with an explanation.
Logical Reasoning and Data Interpretation for CAT Nishit K. Sinha The book is best known for its explanation.






SSC CGL – Related Information
SSC CGL – Reasoning Ability EBooks – PDF Notes – Mock Tests
SSC CGL – Reasoning PDF Notes – Quizzes – Topic Wise
SSC CGL General Intelligence and Reasoning Ability

SSC CGL Best Books

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