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Best Books for SSC CGL English Comprehension

Updated On -

Feb 26, 2021

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Sudeshna Bhar

Exams Prepmaster

The candidate must know that English is one of the crucial section or part of SSC CGLE. English Section is of 250 marks out of 600 including both Tier 1 and Tier 2, it constitutes 40% share of total SSC CGL marks. Thus, one should prepare for English thinking of it as a decider of one’s selection in the SSC CGL Examination.

Candidates, who are preparing for SSC CGL, must start their preparation with a good plan and in a timely manner because if they prepare well between notification publication and Preliminary exam, they can easily qualify and if they work harder, they might even get better marks. This examination is conducted by the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) for fulfilling vacancies in various government departments/ministries. The selection of eligible candidates is done through four tiers. A large number of graduates appear for this test but only a few are able to qualify all its tiers.

The exam is approaching fast and the candidates who are going to appear for the exam would be looking for some useful advice and tips to score well in the English section.

Paper Analysis

SSC CGL English Comprehension: Paper Analysis

The main aim of the English section in SSC CGL is to judge the candidate’s ability to understand correct English. Grammar, Comprehension, Sentence Completion would be tested through the questions included in the examination.

Many candidates are comfortable with the Reasoning and Quant section but they somehow face difficulty in attempting the English section, as it is the least prepared section of this examination. English gets mixed answers from CGL aspirants depending upon their educational background as well as the 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.

The number of questions from each topic and their difficulty level has remained similar over the years. As you know this subject contains 25 questions. In this section questions will be based on:

Topics Number of Questions Marks Distribution
Spotting Error 3 6
Fill in the blank 3 6
Synonyms 1 2
Antonyms 1 2
Idioms/Phrases 3 6
One word substitution 3 6
Spelling Mistakes 1 2
Sentence Correction 5 10
Reading Comprehension 5 10
Recommended Books

Recommended Books for English Subject

Following books are recommended for the preparation of English subject in SSC CGL:

  1. Quick learning Objective General English by RS Aggarwal & Vikas Aggarwal
  2. Perfect Competitive English by V. K. Sinha
  3. Competitive General English by Kiran Prakashan
  4. Objective General English by S P Bakshi
  5. Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

Most importantly one should follow the previous year examination papers as model test papers to be aware of the pattern and speed required during the actual examination.

Topic-wise Discussion

Topic Wise Books and Preparation Strategy

Spotting Error:

You have to find the grammatical error in the sentence. Four to five questions are expected to come in the Exam.

Recommended Book: A mirror of Common Errors

Tips: One should carefully read the complete sentence. In most of the cases, error can be detected in the first go itself.

While reading the entire sentence, you must carefully check the subject-verb agreement. If you are not able to detect the error or you are still unsure of the correct answer, then one must read each distinct part of the sentence and closely inspect or scrutinize which part consists of an error.

Fill in the blank:

In this section, it is expected that there will be questions with only single fill in the blank.

Recommended Book: English Advanced Vocabulary and Structure Practice

Tips: Read the statement carefully and choose the word from the options which is suitable for the answer. Method of elimination can be used by simultaneously checking which of the options best satisfies both the entries.

Also one must make sure that the word inserted in the blank allows reading the sentence smoothly and correctly.

Synonyms and Antonyms

Following are the recommended books and preparation tips for Synonyms and Antonyms:

Recommended Book: One Word Substitution

Tips: Learning at least 10 new English words daily can be a doze to have a good vocabulary. One can note down the meaning and example of each word you find unfamiliar or difficult to remember. Make shortcuts, tricks to make the learning of words easy, and try to use them in your daily life. The most important thing is to study all the Synonyms and Antonyms from the previous paper as you know that SSC usually repeats a lot of questions.

Idioms/Phrases & One Word Substitution:

Following are the recommended books and preparation tips for Idioms/Phrases & One Word Substitution:

Recommended Book: One Word Substitution

Tips: Sum up all the one-word substitutions and Idioms and phrases from the previous yearbooks and learn them to score well in the English section in the SSC CGL Exam 2017.

Spelling Mistakes

Following are the recommended books and preparation tips for Spelling Mistakes:

Recommended Book: English Spelling Practice Test for SSC CGL (Disha Publication)

Tips: From this topic, you can easily get all the marks in your pockets. Learning some rules for spelling errors is very important to have an understanding of the usage of spellings in English Grammar.

Sentence Correction

Although, finding the correct alternatives may improve the sentence, sometimes there is no correction required then your answer will be no improvement.

Recommended Book: Sentence Improvement Practice (Disha Publication)

Tips: One must try to spot grammatical errors by reading the original sentence carefully and identifying if something “sounds” wrong. If the novel 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. As you look through all the choices, start eliminating all of the choices that contain that error. One must not read each answer choice back into the sentence individually as that only wastes time and invites inaccuracy.

Reading Comprehension

Read more and More Passages, this will improve your speed in reading and understanding English.

Recommended Book: SSC CGL English Language & Comprehension Tier-II

Tips: Identify the tone of the paragraph; it helps in answering questions very quickly. Read questions first so that you know what you are looking for. Previous year’s question papers are a must to practice. This will help you understand the type and style of questions asked.



Ques. What is the weightage of Vocabulary in the SSC CGL English section?

Ans. the vocabulary covers at least 40% of the SSC CGL English section. 

Ques. Is a manual dictionary better than a digital dictionary for SSC CGL English preparation?

Ans. any sort of vocabulary enhancing practice is good for the English section. It can be any manual dictionary or a digital one. One can use both as well. You must be comfortable with it. 

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.