How to Prepare English for SSC CGL 2023 Exam?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

If you are preparing for the SSC CGL 2023 exam and are wondering how to prepare English for SSC CGL, this article is for you. The Commission released the SSC Exam Calendar for the upcoming exams 2023-24. English is an important component of the SSC exams and candidates should check out this article on SSC English and find out the topic-wise tricks for preparing English for SSC CGL and How to Prepare English for SSC CGL

This article also contains information regarding English Grammar for SSC CGL and best books for SSC CGL 2023 English Section etc. 

As per the latest notification, SSC has changed the exam pattern according to which different subjects are included in Tier 2, but English still plays an important part in the examination. Candidates appearing for the exam will be looking for useful advice and tips to score well in the SSC English section. So, keep reading to find everything you need to score well in this section.  

English for SSC CGL

There is a so-called phobia of English in many students which makes them think that English is not their cup of tea. But the fact is that it is the most scored subject in SSC CGL as it contains the maximum weightage in both tier 1 and tier 2 combined. If you follow the right strategy to prepare for SSC CGL English and have a proper approach to your goals then no one can stop you from scoring good marks in this subject. Also, you must know topic-wise weightage to get a basic idea of which topics you should more focus on. We have mentioned the topic-wise weightage of SSC CGL english in the article below.

How to Prepare English for SSC CGL

Many of you are comfortable with the Reasoning and Quant section but always face difficulty in attempting the English section, as it is the most avoided and least prepared section. English Section is one that gets mixed responses from candidates depending on their educational background and preparation level. For some, this is an easy task but for others, this section becomes a nightmare and the biggest hurdle in getting a good score in the exam. English is not something you can expect to master in a day.But from an exam point of view, if you spend time consistently, you can perform well in it in relatively less time as compared to the Quantitative Aptitude and Reasoning sections. Let us now go through the description of the number of questions based on the previous years’ papers.

Topic-wise Weightage of SSC CGL English

As per the SSC CGL Exam pattern, the SSC English Language and Comprehension section will consist of 25 questions in tier 1 carrying a weightage of 2 marks each.

On the other hand, there will be 45 English questions in tier 2 exam carrying a weightage of 3 marks each. Hence, candidates must prepare English for SSC CGL dedicatedly. The tier 2 Exam pattern is as follows-

English Topics in SSC CGL Tier 1

The topic-wise distribution of the SSC CGL Tier 1 examination for various years is provided in the table below for the years 2019 to 2015. The table gives a clear idea about the weightage of each topic asked in different years of the Vocabulary, Grammar & Reading Comprehension section.

  1. Spotting Error – 2-3 questions (4-6 Marks)
  2. Reading Comprehension/ Cloze Test – 5 questions (10 marks)
  3. Synonyms/ Antonyms – 4 questions (8 Marks)
  4. Idioms/Phrases – 2 questions (4 Marks)
  5. One Word Substitution – 2 questions (4 Marks)
  6. Spelling Mistakes – 2 questions (4 Marks)
  7. Sentence Correction – 2 questions (4 Marks)
  8. Active Passive/ Direct Indirect – 2 Questions (4 Marks)
  9. Para Jumbles – 2 questions (4 Marks)
  10. Fill in the Banks – 2 questions (4 Marks)

English Topics in SSC CGL Tier 2

For scoring maximum marks in SSC CGL English, first of all you must know about the important topics or the topics which have major weightage in the exam. So that you can start your preparing the topics which have maximum weightage. So to make it easy for you we have listed a few topics that you must not ignore for preparing english for SSC CGL.

  1. Reading Comprehension
  2. Para jumbles
  3. Direct/ Indirect Speech
  4. Synonyms/ Antonyms
  5. Idiom & Phrases
  6. Sentence Improvement
  7. Active Passive
  8. Cloze Test
  9. One Word Substitution
  10. Error Spotting
  11. Correct Spelling
  12. Fill in the Blanks
  13. Miscellaneous

We will now to discuss all the parts in detail and will learn “how can we master these without any hurdle”. First, you have to keep in mind that English is not something you can expect to master in a day. But from an exam point of view, if you spend time consistently, you can perform well in it in relatively less time as compared to the Quantitative Aptitude subject.

SSC CGL English Preparation Tips

Candidates should know that English is an extremely important part of the SSC CGL Exam. Therefore, a good grip on this subject will help you attain a high score. Let’s take a look at topic-wise tips on preparing English for SSC CGL.

SSC CGL English Preparation Tips for Error Spotting

In this section, you have to find grammatical errors in the given sentence. Two to Three questions are expected from this SSC CGL English topic in the Exam. These questions require a good grammatical sense.

(i) To solve questions on spotting errors, the first step is to read the complete sentence carefully. In most cases, you can detect the error in the first go.

(ii) You must carefully check the subject-verb agreement while reading the entire sentence.

(iii) If you still cannot detect the error or you are unsure of the correct answer, then you must read each individual part of the sentence and closely examine which part consists of an error.

Tips for Synonyms and Antonyms

(i) Learn at least 30 new English words daily. Note down the meaning & example of each word you find unfamiliar or difficult to remember. This is the best way to cover Synonyms and Antonyms.

(iii) Make shortcuts and tricks to make learning words easy, and try to use them in your daily life.

(iii) Must study all the Synonyms and Antonyms from previous years’ papers, as there is a possibility that SSC will repeat vocab questions.

Note: To make it easy for all the aspirants, we are posting links to Question Quizzes. –List of Synonyms/Antonyms Quizzes

Also, click here to download the SSC CGL previous year question papers PDF

Tips for Idioms/Phrases & One Word Substitution

(i) Sum up all the one-word substitutions, Idioms and phrases and learn them to score well in the English section in the SSC CGL 2022 Exam.

(ii) We have already uploaded Most Repeated & Expected Idiom & Phrases List. Study the same from the link given below: Idiom & Phrases Quiz

Tips for Spelling Mistakes

From this topic, you can easily get all the marks in your pockets. You just learn some rules for spelling errors which is very important to understand the usage of spelling in English Grammar.

Note: To make it easy for all the aspirants, we are posting the links below for some important Spelling correction Rules in English Grammar: Spelling Correction Rules

Tips for Sentence Correction Tips

In this topic, you must find the correct alternatives that may improve the sentence. Sometimes there is no correction required, then your answer will be No Improvement/ None of These.

(i) Read the original sentence carefully and try to spot grammatical errors by identifying whether something “sounds” wrong.

(ii) Always look at all the given choices.

(iii) Even when the original sentence seems fine, pay attention to the grammar that it tests and look through the choices systematically to see if any option provides a better alternative.

(iv) Use Option Elimination Method.

(v) Do not read each answer choice back into the sentence individually; that wastes time and invites inaccuracy.

(vi) Instead, identify the differences among the choices and eliminate those that offer less effective or grammatically incorrect alternatives.

Tips to Solve Fill in the blanks

(i) Read the statement carefully and choose the word from the options suitable for the answer.

(ii) Use the elimination method by simultaneously checking which of the options best satisfies both entries.

(iii) You must also ensure that the word you inserted in the blank enables you to read the sentence smoothly and correctly.

Tips to solve Cloze Test

In this test, you are given a passage with a few blanks, and you need to fill in those blanks from the given options.

(i) In a passage, all the sentences are logically related. This logic will give you an idea about the appropriate word for the blank space.

(ii) Sometimes, you can easily spot the correct answer. If not, eliminate the improbable options and get the right answer.

(iii) Find a logical relation between all the provided options.

Tips to solve Direct-Indirect & Active Passive

Aspirants find this topic in the SSC CGL Tier 2 English a bit confusing. This is an important topic from the exam point of view and can fetch you good score if practised well.

How to Improve Reading Comprehension Skills?

RCs are aimed at testing a candidate’s Knowledge of two elements i.e. Vocabulary and Text Comprehension. Generally, there are 2 ways in which a Reading Comprehension can be attempted which are given below:

PQ Approach (passage first, then the questions)

  • Read the entire passage thoroughly first and then read the questions
  • Skim & Scan the passage and keep going back and forth with questions and passage
  • Read the first 2 paragraphs, scan all the questions and see what you can answer, then read Para 3 & 4, scan the questions and see what you can answer, then read Para 5& 6!!

QP approach (questions first, then the passage)

  • Read all the questions with their answer options first and then the passage
  • Read question 1 with all the options, then go through the entire passage to answer it. Then read question 2, go through the entire passage. Then question 3!
  • Just read all the question stems, without reading the answer options. Then, read the passage and try answering the questions by reading them with the options.

After practising all above strategy and approach, here is a list of tips you must follow while doing an RC.

  • Elimination: In most cases, the elimination of choices work better than the selection of choices. Use ‘BANE’ approach to eliminate. Eliminate choices that are too broad, that are alien (Strange), too narrow, and too extreme.
  • Never apply your own knowledge to the given passage. Confine your understanding to the given passage only. 

Note: Don’t skip the comprehension part. The passages asked in the exam are easy and can be scoring. Read more and More Passages. This will improve your speed in reading and understanding English.

Previous Year English Questions for SSC CGL

If you are attempting the CGL exam for the first time, you must have a look at the previous year English questions for SSC CGL. Here are a few questions that will help you prepare English for SSC CGL and give you a brief idea about the kind of questions you can expect in the exam.

Q1. Select the appropriate meaning of the idiom – At daggers drawn.

  1. without hope
  2. bitterly hostile
  3. friendly with each other
  4. deceiving somebody

Q2. Select the word which describes – A student who without excuse absents himself/hersef from school.

  1. migrant
  2. itinerant
  3. truant
  4. vagrant

Q3. Identify the best way to improve the underlined part of the sentence given below.

The workers of this textile factory demand higher wages for a long time.

  1. have been demanding higher wages
  2. demanded higher wages
  3. has demanded higher wages
  4. No improvement

Q4. Choose the option that will change the active/passive form of the given sentence.

Do not buy medicines without a doctor’s prescription.

A. Medicines need not be bought without a doctor’s prescription.
B. Medicines should not be bought without a doctor’s prescription.
C. Medicines could not be bought without a doctor’s prescription.
D. Medicines might not be bought without a doctor’s prescription.

English Grammar for SSC CGL

In practically every competitive exam, including the SSC CGL exam, the English part is quite significant. The structural complexity of the English language part terrifies a lot of candidates. Your overall exam grade may suffer if you receive a low English score. Because they don’t attempt the recommended amount of questions in this area. There are numerous techniques and ways to enhance your English. Topics under English Grammar for SSC CGL are as follows:

  1. Phrase Replacement
  2. Sentence Correction
  3. Error Spotting
  4. Active Passive
  5. Direct Indirect
  6. Fill in the Blanks

Candidates need to go through the rules of each topic to know better about each topic and can score good marks in the Grammar section.

English for SSC CGL: Things to Remember

The syllabus for the English section is very vast and comprises the parts that are given below. So, below we are going to provide you with tips that you must remember while attempting English section in SSC CGL exam.

Practice with a Stopwatch on your side: It is a must to keep a stopwatch by your side while preparing for SSC CGL tier 2 English. Apart from the tenacity of the questions, what matters is the time allotted for solving SSC CGL Tier 2 English questions. One needs to revise well enough so that in the paper, he/she can answer the most number of questions while keeping the accuracy factor in mind. This also helps you improve your time and boosts your confidence just before the examination.

Go through SSC CGL Mock Test: Solving SSC CGL mock tests and practice sets can help the candidates to prepare for the examination effectively. By attempting SSC CGL Previous year papers and mock tests you can get an idea of how many questions you are solving in the given time and try to improve that by applying and innovating newer techniques through constant practice.

Best Books for SSC CGL English

Are you unsure which books will be helpful in preparing English for SSC CGL? Fret not. We have compiled a list of the best books for SSC CGL English preparation that are recommended by experts and toppers alike. You can trust these books blindly to study for the SSC CGL English section, and you will surely be able to score well in the subject.


Books Name




Objective General English


Choose anyone and go through it once. You do not need to buy all these books. Improve your basics and then solve the practice test on the same topic.

From Plinth to Paramount

Neetu Singh

A mirror of Common Errors

A. K. Singh

Corrective English

A.K Singh

A detailed study of English will improve your Score

Word Power Made Easy

Norman Lewis

Both are necessary to boost your Vocabulary. Study daily

Idiom & Phrases

English-Vinglish BYJU’S Exam Prep Series

We hope this article has helped you prepare well for the SSC English section, and you will have no problem scoring well in this section now. For more resources, explore Byju’s Exam Prep platform and reach out to us for any queries.

All The Best !!!


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