How to prepare One Word Substitution SSC CGL

Updated On -

Jun 20, 2017

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Shivani Tiwari

Content Curator

English Comprehension is the common topic in both the Tiers i.e. Tier 1 and Tier 2 and one word substitution is one of the key topics in SSC CGL English Comprehension section. The difficulty level of the questions ranges from easy to moderate.

  • One Word Substitution consists of 3-5 questions in Tier 1 i.e. 6-10 marks.
  • The topic consists of 12 questions in Tier 2 i.e. 12 marks.
  • Questions check candidate’s command over English Vocabulary and knowledge about various fields such as medical, science and current affairs.

Difficulty level of the questions ranges from easy to moderate so proper practice and knowledge can save your much precious time. Important tips and previous year questions are provided in the article.

Read More About SSC CGL

SSC CGL Important Tips for One Word Substitution

1) Proper Vocabulary: Questions require high vocabulary and proper knowledge about different English terms.
For Example:
Of the highest quality


1) Productive
2) Reactive
3) Superlative
4) Relative

Lack of skill


1) Inertness
2) Insistence
3) Ineptness
4) Insolence

  • For improving the vocabulary, candidates must read newspapers, English novels, poems, as much as they can.
  • Try to understand meaning of every new term you come across. Also try to search for the term’s antonym.
  • Use different terms in your daily routine, it will increase your communication skills as well as your vocabulary.

2) General Knowledge: Questions are asked from other fields such as medical, transport, technology, religion etc. to check candidate’s general awareness and knowledge.
A remedy for all diseases


1) Antiseptic
2) Antibiotic
3) Narcotics
4) Panacea
A place of shelter for ships


2) Helipad
3) Port
4) Barrack

  • To answer such questions, Candidates must keep themselves updated with all the new researches, technologies and current affairs
  • They should have knowledge about not only English language but also related to different fields such as science, medical, instruments, religion etc.

3) Some questions can be solved by looking at the options/choices.
For Example:

Too willing to obey other people
1) Subjugate
2) subservient
3) Sublimate
4) subaltern
Subservient and subaltern mean a subordinate.
Sublimate means to refine or purify.

A song sung at the death of a person
1) Liturgy
2) Elegy
3) Sonnet
4) Ode
Liturgy means a form of public worship
Sonnet is a poem
Ode is a lyrical poem

An error or misprint in printing/ writing
1) Axiom
2) Erratum
3) Jargon
4) Agenda
Axiom means a self- evident truth
Jargon is a language of vocabulary that is evident to a particular truth
Agenda means a lost or plan for a meeting or discussion

4) Practice Previous Year Question Papers: Candidates must solve as much previous year questions as they can. They will get to know the pattern of the questions and their difficulty level. Most of the time questions are same or related to the previous years. So practicing is must.

SSC CGL Previous Year One Word Substitution Questions

1) A large body of people playing various musical instruments.


2) Solemn religious acts


3) That which cannot be averted


4) Stick with a thick end used in a mortar for pounding


1) Thistle
2) Stifle
3) Scepter
4) Pestle
5) An act when people vote in order to make a decision about a particular subject or policy rather than voting for a person


1) Election
2) Exit-poll
3) By-election
4) Referendum
6) Drug which causes people to sleep easily

1) Poppy
2) Soporific
3) Beguile
4) Pedant

7) The branch of philosophy concerned with the study of the principles of beauty, especially in art

1) Artistic
2) Aesthetics
) Ethics
4) Metaphysics
8) The study of skin

1) Dermatology
2) Dermatoglyphics
3) Stratigraphy
4) Oncology

Challenges Faced by Students

  • Questions Difficulty: Questions belong not only to English language but also are related to various other fields. So control over English does not matter much for solving such questions. Candidates are advised to grab as much information as they can, whether its related to medical or science or current events
  • Confusing Options: Sometimes more than the questions, answer disturbs the students more. They are confusing and are difficult to understand. So candidates must practice and solve previous year question papers for more understanding.

Books Recommended for SSC CGL One word Substitution

Book Writer
Vocabulary Building Manik Joshi
Idioms, Phrases and one word substitution BB Sinha

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