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SSC CHSL 2021 Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Marking Scheme and Books

Updated On -

Jan 13, 2021

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Nikkil Visha

Exams Prep Master

SSC CHSL is conducted in 3 tiers and candidates preparing for the exam should have good knowledge of exam pattern. SSC CHSL Tier I exam will be a computer-based and objective type exam, where the SSC CHSL Tier-II exam will be a descriptive type exam. The test will be conducted in pen and paper mode. On the other hand, the SSC CHSL Tier III exam will be the skill test/ typing test. 

Get FREE SSC CHSL 2021 Mock Tests, Sectional Quiz, Previous Years Papers. Click Here

Highlights of SSC CHSL Exam Pattern

  • The first Tier is an objective type paper conducted in online mode only.
  • Tier 2 is a descriptive exam conducted in Pen and paper mode while Tier 3 is a skill test for DEO and typing test for LDC, PA/ SA, and Court Clerk. 
  • As per SSC CHSL, tier 1 will have 100 questions in total that need to be completed in 60 minutes. For every correct answer, candidates will get 2 marks and 0.25 marks will be deducted for wrong answers.  Check Tier 1 Preparation Books
  • Tier 2 is a descriptive paper and it will be conducted offline and no negative marking will be there.  
  • Candidates qualifying in one tier will be eligible to sit in the subsequent tier. Final merit will be based on the combined scores of Tier 1 and Tier 2 only as Tier 3 is qualifying in nature. A minimum of 33% marks must be obtained in order to clear Tier 2. Check SSC CHSL Cut Off  

SSC CHSL Exam Pattern

SSC CHSL 2021 Exam Pattern 

SSC CHSL is held in three tiers mentioned below:

  1. Tier 1: Computer-Based (Objective Type) 
  2. Tier 2: Written Exam (Descriptive Paper)
  3. Tier 3: Typing Test/ Skill Test

SSC CHSL 2021 Tier 1 Exam Pattern

Tier 1 is strictly objective in nature (MCQ) and the mode of the exam will be online. The question paper will comprise 4 sections:

  • Section 1- General Intelligence
  • Section 2 -English Language
  • Section 3- Quantitative Aptitude
  • Section 4- General Awareness/General Knowledge.
ssc chsl exam pattern

  • Tier 1 Exam will have 100 questions with a total of 200 marks.
  • Duration of the exam is 60 Minutes.
  • The question paper will be set in both English and Hindi for every section except English Language section.
  • Negative marking of 0.50 marks will be applicable in the exam. 

The table below shows each section with their allotted marks:

Parts Sections Number of Questions Maximum Marks
1 General Intelligence 25 50
2 English Language 25 50
3 Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
4 General Awareness 25 50
Total 4 Parts 100 Questions 200 Marks

SSC CHSL 2021 Tier 2 Exam Pattern

  • Tier 2 will be a descriptive exam to be conducted in offline (pen & paper-based) mode.
  • Candidates will be asked to write essays/ letters/applications on any topic.
  • The exam will be of 100 marks which must be completed within 60 minutes.
  • The exam must be written in either Hindi or English.
  • The qualifying marks set by the conducting body in Tier 2 of SSC CHSL 2021 is 33 percent.

The table below shows the allotment of marks, word count, time and topics in Tier 2:

Topics Word count Maximum Marks Duration
Essay writing 200-250 100 60 minutes
Letter/Application Writing 150-200

Practice Sectional Tests as much as possible during your SSC CHSL Preparation

Read- SSC CHSL 2021 tier-1 Answer Key is now available.

Must Read How to Prepare for SSC CHSL Descriptive Paper?

SSC CHSL 2021 Tier 3 Exam Pattern

  • Tier 3 will be a Skill Test/Typing Test for the qualifiers of Tier 1 and Tier 2.
  • Typing Test would be conducted only for candidates applying for Data Entry Operator (DEO). 
  • Candidates will have to qualify the test at the prescribed speed on Computer, provided by the Commission at the Centre/venue so notified.
  • Typing Test: For English, typing speed of 35 words per minute is required. For Hindi typing speed of 30 words per minute is mandatory. Typing Test will be applicable for Postal Assistant/Sorting Assistant, LDC, and Court Clerk posts.
  • Skill Test: Data Entry Speed of 8,000 key depressions per hour on the computer. Skill test is conducted for Data Entry Operator post. For DEO in C&AG office speed of 15000 key depression per hour is required. The duration of the test is 15 minutes.
  • Your final admission would be governed on the basis of the total score obtained in Tier 1 and Tier 2 only.
  • Only Candidates who are VH/OH (afflicted by Cerebral Palsy) and OH with a deformity in writing hand will be allowed 35 minutes including compensatory time 20 minutes for the skill test.

SSC CHSL Marking Scheme

SSC CHSL 2021 Marking Scheme

The Tier I exam has 4 sections. Each section consists of 25 questions and all the questions carry equal marks. Candidates can refer to the table below for distribution of questions and marks allotted for each section.

Section Subject Total No of Questions Maximum Marks
1 General Intelligence 25 50
2 English Language 25 50
3 Quantitative Aptitude 25 50
4 General Awareness 25 50

Marking Scheme of SSC CHSL 2021 – Tier 1

  • Every correct response: +2 marks.
  • Every Incorrect response: -0.5 marks
  • Unattempted question- no mark will be awarded or deducted

Marking Scheme of SSC CHSL 2021 – Tier 2

The marking scheme for the descriptive paper is not specified by the commission. Only the total marks allocated for exam is specified by the commission.

Tier 2 (Descriptive Paper) Total Marks

SSC CHSL Important Syllabus

SSC CHSL Syllabus 2021

There are three tiers in the exam. Tier 1 includes 4 sections. There are many topics from each section which must be prepared by the candidates thoroughly. SSC CHSL Syllabus includes:

Section 1: General Intelligence

Section 1 will have questions of both verbal and non-verbal type, so focus on major topics provided below:

Analog Number/ Alphanumeric Series
Syllogism Direction/Ranking
Non-Verbal Reasoning Odd One Out Embedded figures
Coding and de-coding Critical Thinking
Problem Solving Word Building

Read How to prepare General Intelligence for SSC CHSL?

Section 2: English Language

Section 2 will have questions from all the major topics of the English Language. Some of the topics are provided to help candidates in their preparation:

Spot the Error Fill in the Blanks
Shuffling of Sentence parts Shuffling of Sentences in a passage
Cloze Passage Synonyms & Antonyms
Spellings/ Detecting misspelled words Idioms & Phrases
Active/ Passive Voice of Verbs, Conversion into Direct/ Indirect narration
Reading Comprehension One-word substitution

Section 3: Quantitative Aptitude

The syllabus for section 3 is quite vast and hence must be prepared thoroughly. The important topics are:

Number System Fundamental Arithmetical Operations
Algebra Geometry
Mensuration Trigonometry
Statistical Charts -

Section 4: General Awareness

This section of the paper is designed to check the candidate’s awareness of his surroundings. The paper will comprise questions:

  • Related to India and its neighboring countries
  • History
  • Culture
  • Geography
  • Economic scene
  • General Policy and scientific research
  • Awards and Honour
  • Books and author, etc. 

SSC CHSL Best Books

Best Books for SSC CHSL 2021 Preparations

Candidates can check below some important books recommended for SSC CHSL. Since, the questions are primarily based on 10+2 syllabus, candidates can refer to the textbooks of class 11 and 12 for understanding fundamental concepts.

However, the reference books still prove handy when candidates look for in-depth information and guidance on specific topics. All the books mentioned in this section cover specific aspects of each topic. Candidates can refer to only particular books from the list provided below while preparing for SSC CHSL 2021.

SSC CHSL Books for General Intelligence

Topic Author/Publisher ISBN Number
Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning  R S Aggarwal 8121905516
Analytical Reasoning M K Pandey 8190458914
A New Approach to Reasoning Verbal and Nonverbal (English) B S Sijwali, Indu Sijwal 9351765105

SSC CHSL Books for English Language

Topic Author/Publisher ISBN Number
Objective English for Competitive Examinations Tata McGraw Hill 0070151954
Competitive General English Kiran Prakashan -
Objective General English S P Bakshi 9351768449
Quick learning Objective General English RS Aggarwal & Vikas Aggarwal 8121915317

SSC CHSL Books for Quantitative Aptitude

Topic Author/Publisher ISBN Number
Quantitative Aptitude R.S. Agarwal 8121924987
Quicker Mathematics M. Tyra 8190458922
Elementary and Advanced Mathematics Kiran Prakashan -

SSC CHSL Books for General Awareness

Topic Author/Publisher ISBN Number
Manorama Yearbook 2021 (English and Hindi) Malayalam Manorama -
Lucent’s General Knowledge (English and Hindi) Lucent’s -

Download SSC CHSL 2021 Practice Papers

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


how to prepare for ssc chsl descriptive paper?
kavita rani

Hi Priya. The Tier II exam is also known as the Descriptive Paper. Understand the kind of questions asked in the exam to prepare. Refer to the best books while preparing for this exam. Refer here for more details.

Tier 1 is over now ? 19 dec is last date for tier 2?
arvind kumar

Hi Mariyah, Greetings from Collegedunia. SSC CHSL is conducted for recruiting postal assistants, sorting assistants, data entry operators, lower divisional clerks and employees for several departments. The exam will be held on 14 February 2021. For more details visit: SSC CHSL

sunny pandey
Where can I get detailed SSC CHSL Exam Anlaysis 2020?
kavita rani

Hi Sunny. SSC CHSL paper analysis assist the candidates in knowing important facts of the exam like difficulty level, total questions, weightage, etc. You can check all the important information related to SSC CHSL exam here.

sadim ansari
What is the skill test in SSC CHSL?
kavita rani

Hi Sadim. Skill Test is qualifying in nature and the marks obtained in this phase will not be considered while preparing the final merit list. The skill test examines applicants’ speed to apply 8,000 key depressions per hour on the computer. 

kunal thakrar
What is the best way to crack the SSC CHSL all 3 tiers in 1 year?
kavita rani

Hi Kunal. Since the level of competition is much high so it is imperative to study harder. Prepare a defined schedule as it will help a lot in improving your performance and you will crack the examination within the available time. For more details, refer here.

uma goenka
How can I qualify for the SSC CHSL exam?
kavita rani

Hi Uma. Before moving with the topic-wise preparation strategy and tips, it is vital for the candidates to go through the latest exam pattern as it helps formulate more effective preparation schedule. Also, regular practice of solving the sample papers and last year papers would help a lot in cracking the exam. To learn more ways to prepare, refer here.

ammar zaheer ahmed
Is it a good idea to sit for SSC chsl exam, given that I want to persue my career in government sector?
kavita rani

Hi Ammar. You can start with the SSC CHSL as it has great career growth opportunities. The promotion from postal assistant to an accountant also means change in responsibilities and of grade pay as well.

mizna harmain
What is the question pattern for the SSC CHSL?
kavita rani

Hi Mizna. SSC CHSL 2020 has three exams including Tier I, Tier II and Tier II and all of them have different exam patterns. You can refer here to get detailed exam pattern.

dharshini rajendran
What is the minimum percentage required to apply for SSC CHSL?
kavita rani

Hi Dharshini. No minimum percentage is needed in 12th to give the SSC CHSL exam. But you must have cleared class 12th exam.

What's the best coaching institute for SSC in Delhi?
kavita rani

Hi Harsham. Career Power SSC Coaching Delhi, Singh Academy for SSC Exam in Delhi, Motion SSC Coaching Delhi, Vidya Guru SSC Coaching, etc. are some of the institutes from where you can take SSC coaching in Delhi.

bhagyashri kene
What should be the exam pattern in the SSC CHSL if I had taken PCM in 12th and want to write this exam in the commerce language?
kavita rani

Hi Bhagyashri.SSC CHSL exam is taken into 3 tiers and candidates preparing for the exam must have an accurate knowledge of exam pattern. The exam pattern remains the same for all the candidates. To know more about the SSC CHSL Exam Pattern, Syllabus, Marking Scheme and Books, refer here.

vikram dewan
What is the selection procedure for SSC CHSL 2020? Is there an interview after selection? What will be the exam pattern?
kavita rani

Hi Vikram. Staff Selection Commission takes SSC CHSL in three tiers including Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. MCQs will be asked in Tier 1, while Tier 2 is a descriptive exam taken in an offline mode. Tier 3 is a skill test for DEO and typing test for LDC, PA/ SA, and Court Clerk. Candidates who cleared Tier 1 stage will appear for Tier 2 and subsequently for the Skill Test. Candidates who cleared tier 3 stage will be considered selected, however, their marks obtained in tier 3 exam will not be taken into account while preparing the final merit list.
 Refer here to check other details. 

shiya devi
Does the SSC CHSL and SSC FCI have the same exam pattern and syllabus? Can I prepare for both simultaneously?


No. SSC CHSL and SSC FCI preparations and pattern are different. Refer here to know more about the syllabus. 

yash raj singh
What is the exam pattern of the SSC CHSL 2020?
kavita rani

Hi Yash. The SSC CHSL exam will have three tiers including Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. The first Tier is an objective type paper taken in an online mode only. Tier 2 is a descriptive exam taken offline while Tier 3 is a skill test for DEO and typing test for LDC, PA/ SA, and Court Clerk.
You can refer here for more information.

vishal sharma
What is the SSC CHSL syllabus and exam pattern?
kavita rani

Hi Vishal. SSC CHSL recruitment exam is divided into three tiers including Tier 1 (online test), Tier 2 (offline test) and Tier 3 (Typing test/ skill test). You can check the latest syllabus and exam pattern here.

sourajit mukherjee
What is the exam pattern of the SSC CHSL descriptive paper?
kavita rani

Hi Sourajit. Tier 2 exam of SSC CHSL exam is Descriptive Paper whose total weightage is 100. You can refer here to check the detailed exam pattern.

koyena biswas
Does SSC CGL and SSC CHSL exams have the same exam pattern and syllabus? Should I follow the same strategy for both exams and should I study from the same books which I used for CGL?


The main difference between the SSC CGL and SSC CHSL exam is the post for which the recruitment is conducted. The eligibility criteria, vacancies, exam pattern, syllabus and application procedure are completely different for both the exams.

akshaya devaraj
What is the section progress of tier 1 to tier to 2 method


For more details on your query, kindly check; Section Progress SSC CHSL

rahul rao
Admit card kb aayge

Hi Rahul, 

Tier 1 admit card was out on October 8th and Tier 2 will be out in February 2021. 

sandeep das
General Science nehi laagega?
shobhna chaturvedi

Hi Sandeep, yes, the exam will have 25 questions from general awareness. You can check the Syllabus of CHSL in detail from here.