SSC CGL Exam Pattern 2021: Know Marking Scheme & Exam Duration

The Staff Selection Commission Combined Graduate Level Exam (SSC CGL) is a national level exam held each year for recruiting graduate candidates for various posts in the central government’s ministries and departments. It is a government exam and requires a lot of preparation. Therefore the candidate must know the paper pattern thoroughly. In this article, you will get complete information regarding the SSC CGL Exam Pattern.

SSC CGL Exam Pattern 2021

  • The exam is conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) which works as an attached office of the Department of Personnel and training, the government of India.
  • From being a 200 question 2 hours test the Tier 1 of the exam has now become a 1 Hour 100 question test.
  • These 100 questions are divided into four sections of 25 questions each.
  • The four sections of 25 questions, namely quantitative ability, English and comprehension, Reasoning and intelligence, and General awareness have equal weightage in terms of marks.
  • The interview stage of the exam has now been done away with as well.
  • SSC CGL 2020 would be a multiple-tier selection examination with the first two tiers being objective and the third and fourth being a descriptive and skill-based test.
  • Tier 1 exam would be the preliminary stage of selection and would involve qualification for Tier 2 of the examination.
  • The tier 2 exam comprises four papers of MCQ type to be held in online mode. Only those candidates who qualify for the SCC CGL 2021 Tier 1 exam are allowed to take the SSC CGL 2021 Tier 2 exam.
  • Out of four papers in tier 2 Paper 3 (Statistics) and Paper, 4 (Finance and Economics) are to be taken by only those candidates who have applied for the post of Statistical Investigator and Assistant Audit Officer respectively.
  • Paper 1 (Quantitative ability) and Paper 2 (English and comprehension) are to be taken by all the candidates irrespective of their post preference.
  • Two marks are awarded for each correct answer (Except English Paper in Tier-2) whereas 1/4th of assigned marks are deducted for a wrong one in both the Tiers.

Also Check: Best SSC CGL Mock Tests

SSC CGL Exam Pattern Highlights 

Candidates who are willing to appear for SSC CGL 2021 exam should make themselves aware of the exam pattern, mode of exam, marking scheme of the exam, and other such information related to the exam. For your reference and assistance, we have tabled that information below.

Exam ModeOnline (For Tier-1 and Tier-2)/Offline (Tier-3)
Number of Papers2
Number of Sections4 in Tier-1 (quantitative ability, English and comprehension, Reasoning and intelligence, and General awareness)
Question Paper TypeObjective type (Tier-1 and Tier-2)/Descriptive (Tier-3)
Total marks200 Marks (Tier-1)/400 Marks (Tier-2)/100 Marks (Tier-3)
Exam Duration1 hour (Tier-1)/2 hours (For Each Paper of Tier-2)/1 Hour (Tier-3)
Language of question paperBoth English and Hindi

Also Check: Best Books for SSC CGL

Exam Pattern in Detail

SSC CGL 2021 exam would be conducted in a sequential manner with each stage being an eliminating one. Candidates would be required to secure minimum qualifying marks in order to progress towards the next phase of the examination.

SSC CGL Tier 1 exam will be conducted in three shifts daily from 29th May to 7 June 2021 whereas Tier -2 exams will be held in August 2021 in multiple shifts. The tier-3 exam would be conducted for Tier-1 and Tier-2 qualified candidates and would be of descriptive nature.

Also Check: Download SSC CGL Syllabus

SSC CGL Tier Tier I

  • Tier 1 exam would comprise 100 questions of two marks each.
  • Questions would be of matriculation level and would test candidates’ ability in quantitative aptitude, reasoning, General Awareness, and English and Comprehension.
  • Tier-1 would be a qualifying stage for appearing in Tier-2 of the examination.
  • Its scores would not be utilized for preparing the merit list.
Serial No.SectionsNo. of QuestionsTotal MarksTime Allotted
1General Intelligence and Reasoning2550A cumulative time of 60 minutes
2General Awareness2550
3Quantitative Aptitude2550
4English Comprehension2550

The detailed pattern of Each Tier of the exam is mentioned below so as to provide a reference to the candidates.

Exam ModeOnline (CBT)
Number of Papers1
Number of Sections4
Question Paper Type100 MCQ type questions
Total Marks for Tier-1 of SSC CGL 2020200 marks (25 marks for each section)
Exam Duration60 Minutes /100 Minutes for VH and Cerebral palsy candidates.
Exam LanguageEnglish/Hindi

Also Check: Important Topics for SSC CGL


  • SSC CGL Tier-II is a computer-based MCQ-type exam.
  • Candidates would be tested for their ability and competence in handling problems from areas like quantitative ability, English, finance, and statistics which would be largely based on the Matriculation, 10+2, and graduation level (Paper 3 and Paper 4).
  • For your reference detail, a subject-wise pattern SSC CGL Tier 2 exam is mentioned below.
Serial No.PapersNo. of QuestionsTotal MarksTime Allotted
1Paper-I: Quantitative Ability1002002 hours
2Paper-II: English Language and Comprehension2002002 hours
3Paper-III: Statistics1002002 hours
4Paper-IV: General Studies (Finance and Economics)1002002 hours

Paper 1 (Quantitative ability)

Number of Questions asked100
Type of questionsMCQ type
SyllabusMatriculation and 10+2 level
Time allotted120 Minutes/160 Minutes for VH and Cerebral palsy candidates.

Paper 2 (English and Comprehension)

Number of Questions asked200
Type of questionsMCQ type
SyllabusMatriculation level
Time allotted120 Minutes/160 Minutes for VH and Cerebral palsy candidates.

Paper 3 (Statistics)

Number of Questions asked100
Type of questionsMCQ type
SyllabusGraduation level
Time allotted120 Minutes/160 Minutes for VH and Cerebral palsy candidates.

Paper 4 (Finance and Economics)

Number of Questions asked100 (40 from finance and 60 from economics and governance)
Type of questionsMCQ type
SyllabusGraduation level
Time allotted120 Minutes/160 Minutes (for VH and Cerebral palsy candidates).

In total the exam would comprise of 4 papers of 200 marks each with a total duration of 2hours/2 hours 40 minutes (for VH and Cerebral palsy candidates).

To make candidates familiar with the exam pattern SSC type online tests and mock papers are made available on various websites. Candidates can access these tests at any time by visiting the respective website. Candidates can also visit our website for updated mock and sample papers.


SSC Tier IIIMaximum MarksTime Duration
Descriptive Paper in English /Hindi1001 Hour

SSC CGL Tier III is a Descriptive Exam, and it is conducted offline. The candidate needs to write an Essay/Letter /Precis. This is the test of candidates writing skills in Hindi/English.

  • The Time duration of Tier III is 60 Minutes.


SSC Tier IVTime DurationSyllabus
Computer Proficiency Test (CPT) for the post of Assistant Section Officer in CSS & MEA only45 MinutesWord/Excel/ PowerPoint

SSC CGL  2021 Marking Scheme

Total marks scored by a candidate in SSC CGL 2021 (Tier 1 and Tier 2 exams) would be calculated based on the calculation of questions attempted and marks per question minus the negative marks scored by the candidate for the wrong answer. The following marking scheme is applicable for SSC CGL 2021 Tier 1 and Tier 2.

  • Every objective question would carry an equal mark. Marks will be awarded if the answer is found to be correct.
  • More than one answer to a question would be treated as an incorrect answer, and no marks would be awarded in that case even if one of the marked answers is correct.
  • There would be negative marking to the tune of 1/4th of the total marks allotted for the question. Negative marks would be added while calculating the final score of a candidate.
  • In Tier-3 marking scheme would be different due to its descriptive nature.
  • Negative marking is not applicable for this Tier of the exam.
  • In regards to Tier 4, SSC has stipulated that it would be of a qualifying nature only.

SSC CGL Marking Scheme For Tier I

Masks Awarded Per QuestionNegative Marking

SSC CGL Tier-II Marking Scheme

SSC CGL Tier-IIMarks Awarded Negative Marking
I2 marks0.50 marks
II1 marks0.25 marks
III2 marks0.50 marks
IV2 marks0.50 marks

Document required for SSC CGL Document Verification (DV)

The Following are the documents are required for the document verification.

  • Class 10th Certificate
  • Class 12th Certificate
  • Caste/Category Certificate
  • Graduation Certificate
  • Passport Size Photograph
  • Age Relaxation Certificate
  • Educational Qualification Certificate
  • ID Proof

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