(Article) Scoring High Marks in English From SSC CGL Topper Avinash Kumar Mishra (AIR-16)
Avinash Mishra secured all India rank 16 in SSC CGL 2018. He has scored 206/200 (with normalization) in tier 1, 192.35 in Quantitative Abilities in Tier-II and 193.8 in English in Tier-II, as well as 64 in descriptive English in Tier-II, bringing his score to 657/700. He is a 2017 Science Graduate from Kanpur and originally a UPSC aspirant.
SSC CGL English Strategy
Avinash had a very detailed plan for English. As someone from a Hindi Medium background, English was not his strong suit. He recommends starting with Plinth To Paramount by Neetu Singh as this book, meant for Rules for Grammar Rules, explains English grammar from an SSC CGL perspective and in the medium of Hindi, making it simpler for Hindi medium aspirants to grasp. Since vocabulary is the building block of any language, Avinash followed this up with the complete SP Bakshi for Vocabulary.
Although he did not find the time to read the popular Word Power Made Easy, he still recommends it for beginners. He suggests one follows it up with Mirror Of Common Error and MB Publication Previous Years’ Questions. And if one still has time, they can look into Kiran Previous Years’ Questions for practice papers. If you have the time, please read Daily English newspapers, or novels, watch news and debates to grow deep understanding and develop an intuition on the subject.
Avinash highly recommends Lucent’s General Knowledge Book for covering general awareness for SSC CGL. He covered Polity and History exclusively from Lucent’s. For Geography, he backed it up with Class 9 and 10 NCERTs. Since there is a heavy weightage on Science, Avinash also picked up Lucent’s General Science Book to cover that area. Being a maths student, Biology was one of his weaker areas. He covered it using Khushboo Chakraborty’s Biology Lecture Series on Youtube. For Economics, as the material provided in Lucent’s book was not as per the questions asked in SSC, he relied on Unacademy’s Youtube channel’s Economics Video Lecture Series.
Avinash recommends starting with Previous Years’ Questions as practice papers. This will allow you to develop an understanding of the kind of questions asked in SSC CGL. If you still have problems with basic concepts, try completing the Class 9 and 10 NCERTs for Mathematics and then coming back to the papers. Once you are done with Kiran Publication, follow it up with Rakesh Sir’s SSC class notes. If you still have some time, pick up any standard CAT book and solve Level 1 and 2 questions from it. And take as many mock tests as you can as this helps you develop the ability to tackle surprise elements in exam conditions.
Avinash used to take one Reasoning Quiz every day and analyze which topics he got wrong. He worked on quickening his pace and looked up topics from Rahul Mishra’s Reasoning Pathshala videos for his weak areas. He completed Reasoning very selectively.
Message To Aspirants
Divide your daily practice hours based on the weightage SSC CGL gives to each subject. Keep at least 2 hours each for Maths and English, given these will follow you through multiple tiers. Try and limit GK and Reasoning to an hour a day. With the right strategy, you too can succeed in this exam.