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SSC-CGL 2016 Topper Interview – Gaurav Singh – AIR 894

Its really difficult to prepare for SSC-CGL Exam, if you are a working professional,

Are you a working professional who is facing same problem every single day? Don’t you know how to set strategy for SSC-CGL exam?

Introducing to you Gaurav Singh (AIR 894, 2016) who managed his office and SSC-CGL preparation in such a way that he got a good rank in SSC-CGL 2016 exam. Let’s ask him what was his preparation strategy.


Hi, SSC-CGL Aspirants. My name is Gaurav Singh. I have done my B.Tech in Software Engineering from Delhi College of Engineering and I got placed at Samsung R&D Institute as a Lead Engineer. After 2 attempts, I got AIR 894 in SSC-CGL 2016 exam.

Exam specific questions

Interviewer: How was SSC-CGL paper this year? Give us some insights into SSC-CGL 2016 paper and compare it to past year question paper.

Gaurav: I did not appear for CLGE-2017. But based on the questions papers shared by the candidates on different portals, it felt like the paper was good.

On some days General Affairs section was a bit difficult and on another days Quant section made it difficult for the candidates. All in all, given the fact that the Exam time was reduced from 75 mins to 60 mins this year, the level of paper was good.

Interviewer: How did you feel after seeing first few questions? Did you feel relaxed and calm or you were anxious during first few questions? If you felt anxious then how did you calm yourself?

GauravIt was a new pattern and a new interface so initially I was a bit nervous. But after going through 5-6 questions, I was relaxed and focused on completing different sections in the given time frame.

Honestly speaking,

I did feel anxious but on the other hand SSC was kind on giving 75 mins for the exam. Also being a student of Engineering background, I have good amount of confidence in Quant. So I moved on to the quant part and it really helped in feeling relaxed.

Interviewer: How did you go about attempting the paper? How did you distribute time among various sections? Please give a detailed description of time management strategy you followed?

GauravI was not good in General Affairs, so my focus was to devote time for Quant / Reasoning for getting a good score. So, my time distribution was based on this thing only.

My Strategy was like

CGLE Tier -1 Exam duration: 75 mins

General Affairs: 10 mins

Quant: 25 mins

Reasoning: 13~15 mins

English: ~12 mins

Practice helped me in executing my plan really well.

Preparation Strategy to get a Good Rank in SSC-CGL exam

Interviewer: What was the motive behind you appearing for SSC-CGL exam?

GauravI work for an Electronics Giant as Software Engineer, the life is pretty dynamic here. But with the workload that we have in this field, its not easy to have a good social – professional life balance if you want to do good in your career.

So, one of my motivation behind appearing in SSC-CGL was to get a decent govt. job where we can have a good salary and relax life so that I can spare time for my social-civil life.

Plus, the power that you feel in Govt job is something that is not there in 9 to 5 job at MNCs 😉

Interviewer: When did you start preparing for SSC-CGL exam?

GauravI appeared in CGLE-2015 without any preparation, and could not clear Tier-1.

So in CGLE-2016, I did some preparation. I did prepare for around one and a half month on my English and Quant practice for Tier-1. And approximately one month for Tier-2 as well, again the benefit of having a good understanding of mathematics allowed me to manage things in one month.

Interviewer: Up to what date were you able to complete the course once? What was your target as to how many questions to practice in each section? What was the sequence in which you prepared the sections?

GauravFor Tier-1: I completed my course two weeks before the exam date. And practice one sample paper daily.

For Tier- 2: I completed my course 1 week before the exam. And for two weeks, I did practice one sample paper daily.

Sample paper practice helped me to work on my speed and to figure out the type of questions I am facing difficulty with. Henceforth, I practice around 30 questions of that type (that caused problem in sample test).

Interviewer: Which sections according to you require more practice than the others and why?

GauravEnglish and Mathematics require lot of practice to improve accuracy & speed front.

Also I will tell you a secret.

SSC has a tendency of repeating questions, so practising lot of questions helps in that part as well. You always have a chance of seeing 4-5 known questions, which really saves some time for you.

Interviewer: Which study material and standard books would you recommend for SSC-CGL Aspirants in each section?

Gaurav: So, for G.K.: Lucent & daily newspaper. Reading newspaper helps in improving English & covers current affairs section part as well.

English: If you have ample time, then please read Word Power Made Easy (Norman Lewis).

If there is time constraint, Go for Neetu Singh’s English book & For practice ‘Mirror of Common Errors’. If time persists, Practice from S.P Bakshi as well.

Interviewer: How did you keep the subjects fresh in your memory the entire time? Did you revise the subjects regularly or you left the revision for last few months? What was your strategy for revision in the last few months?

Gaurav: Again for keeping the subjects / topics fresh in memory, practising sample paper helps a lot. And one should revise things once in two week time.

As I had to give time in my job as well, so I did not have much time to revise. Hence, I opted for practising. Whenever I studied any topic, I used to mark/highlight the important facts, formulae, etc. While revising, I went through the highlighted portions only.

Interviewer: What is the role of mock tests in your success in SSC-CGL exam? How many mock tests did you attempt? When did you start attempting mock tests?

GauravMock tests played very important role in my case. It gives us an idea about the type of questions asked, helps us to build a strategy for attempting the exam.

It helps in building exam temperament and learn some tricks for attempting MCQs that comes handy in examination.

For Tier-1, i did around 20~25 tests.

For Tier-2: I did around 15 tests both (for English & for Math).

So I must say practising mock tests for SSC-CGL makes a remarkable difference.

InterviewerHow was your score in Mock Tests? Is there any correlation between mock test performance and actual SSC-CGL performance?

GauravFor Tier-1: I used to score around 150.

For Tier-2: I used to score around 330 (English: 160, Math: 170).

What I noticed during my preparation was that the mock tests are bit more difficult than actual paper.

In the Actual Exams, i got

Tier-1: 161.50

Tier-2: 324 (Math: 185.50, English: 138.50)

Personal Questions

Interviewer: How did you motivate yourself for such a long journey towards SSC-CGL?

GauravFrankly speaking, my Current job used to motivate me for getting a good Govt. job. And some of my friends got selected in CGLE-2015, they also used to give me their inputs for keeping the energy up there.

Interviewer: Did you expect such a result after giving the SSC-CGL exam?

GauravI did expect something good after giving the exam. But the dept. I got was not expected, it was better than what i thought

Interviewer: How did you feel the moment you saw the results?

GauravI felt excited and a bit relaxed. Even though, you are sure of getting something good but we usually are anxious until the results come.

Interviewer: What is the role of family and friends in your success in SSC-CGL exam?

GauravMy family & friends supported me throughout one year of examination. I had to travel US, Bangalore in between my different exams so to gain the momentum again and regain the focus at the exam time my friends helped me.

Interviewer: Who would you dedicate this SSC-CGL result to?

GauravThis result should be dedicated to my family, specially my mother. She really supported me 24×7.

Interviewer: What is the success mantra that you would like to give to other SSC-CGL aspirants which has been critical for your preparation as well?

GauravFor SSC CGL practice hard and analyses the short-comings and then practice.

So this was his story. Hope it inspired you a lot and will help you in setting the strategy. If you want to ask some questions, do let us know in the comment section below.

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