Is competition for SSC CGL overhyped? Is SSC CGL really that tough?
How do we define the competition in an exam? How do we define the toughness or ruthlessness of competition? Obviously it is based upon facts. Out of those facts, there are two basic facts that have the highest impact in determining the level of competition. Those facts are
- Number of students who applies or fill the form
- Number of final vacancies
We can safely calculate or determine the extent of competition through these two numbers but the real thing lies between these two. If you really want to know the “actual” competition and whether SSC-CGL tough or not then you should be able to read between these two numbers.
Before I start breaking down the facts and reveal the actual face of competition, I want to write a few assumptions that I am making. These are
- You are an average aspirant
- You are aware of the pattern of examination
- You are serious about SSC CGL.
If you do not satisfy the above conditions (especially the last one), then you should stop here only rather than wasting your precious time. Because then you will find SSC-CGL Tough.
So, let’s start.
Every year, more than 30 lakh people fill the form. The number of vacancies these days is around ten thousand. Vacancies sometimes touch eleven thousand marks but sometimes falls down even below nine thousand. For our calculations, let’s assume it to be ten thousand. By applying simple mathematic calculation, we see that chances of selection are around 0.3%. Sounds pretty low, right?
But let’s try to break this down. Out of more than 30 lakh candidates who apply, around half of them do not even bother to appear for tier 1 exam! Only 15-17 lakh people actually appear for it. So here your chances of selection directly double i.e. around 0.65%.
Now cut off for tier 1 in SSC CGL 2017 was 126.5. If you are an average aspirant like I have assumed then you might be very well aware of how easy or tough it is to score around 126.5. Although normalization had been announced by SSC even if you face the toughest shift, then it’s not that tough to score this much. Around one lakh and ninety thousand candidates qualified tier 1 in SSC CGL 2017. So if you score more than 126.5, which can be very well achieved with a little bit of hard work, then your chances of selection increases to 5.26%. It doesn’t look that scary now. Right?
Now if you are willing to work a little harder then stretching your marks from 126.5 to 150 is again not very tough. Based on the kind of papers SSC has been set in recent years, it’s not a huge task to score 150. With a little bit of “smart” hard work and through a proper strategy, you can very well score this much. In SSC CGL 2017, only sixteen thousand candidates scored 150 or above. If you can pull your score to 150 somehow, then your chances of selection go beyond 60% (here lies a catch too which I’ll explain later in this article). I admit it’s not that easy to score 150 but believe me, if you are an average aspirant then with the right guidance, you can score above 150 without much difficulty. Scoring 150 doesn’t guarantee selection and neither does it mean that you can’t be selected with a score of below 150 in tier 1, it’s just a general argument here. If you are getting below 150, then you need to be very good in Maths and English to excel in tier 2. If you get below 140 in tier 1 then you need to perform outstandingly well in at least one of maths and English in tier 2.
There are basically two types of candidates. One, who is about to actually clear the exam and second are those who are just forming the crowd. If you are among the crowd, then SSC CGL will always be overhyped for you. You will not find SSC-CGL tough if you have clear goal in your mind.
Now, let’s come to the real thing. What are those thing/things which differentiates a serious candidate from rest of the crowd? Most of the candidates fill the form for SSC CGL just for the sake of doing it. There is no planning, no strategy, no priority in their preparation and their life in general. They are doing things just because everyone is doing it. Do you want to be a part of them? Obviously, your answer will be a big NO. Let’s ask this question a little differently. Ask yourself “how am I different from those people who just form the crowd?” If you answer this question honestly then you will know where you are lacking. Honesty with oneself is the key. It’s quite important that one should ask these questions to oneself in order to understand whether they will find SSC-CGL tough or not.
You might have heard or read that the real competition lies among just fifty thousand serious candidates who actually prepare for SSC CGL. How can you be sure of being in those fifty thousand candidates? What can you do to become a part of those fifty thousand students? Those are the things that you actually need to do.
Also, smartness lies in keeping a back-up option if pursuing SSC-CGL Exam.
Concluding Note:- This article was not meant to discuss some tips or strategy for SSC CGL. All I wanted was to show you the reality of competition which not many of you are aware of. To summarize, all I can say is that if you work hard with a good strategy then you can crack SSC CGL with flying colors even if you are a below average aspirant. Without these two you will find SSC-CGL Tough. The syllabus and pattern of SSC CGL are very limited and not very difficult to understand. Your perseverance and consistency are checked here rather than your inherent intelligence. SSC CGL actually gives quite a lot without demanding anything substantial in return.
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