(Article) SSC CGL Strategy & Booklist by Topper Ravi Shankar Singh 2015 (AIR-1)
Ravi Shankar Singh from the small town of Aurangabad in Bihar has secured all India rank 1 in SSC CGL 2015. He has studied in Delhi Public School from Bokaro and followed it up with a dual Btech+Mtech degree from IIT Kharagpur.
Preparation started for Ravi Shankar with Mathematics as his background in Science and Tech meant he already had a good hold over the subject. He mostly concentrated on solving previous years’ questions. This allowed him to learn the pattern as well as understand which pattern of question could use some time-saving techniques, saving him a lot of time during the examination.
As mathematics forms the core of both cgl tier-I and tier-II, special emphasis must be given to it. Solving any standard math book series from classes 8 to 10 is a must. Once you have done that and have conceptual clarity, move to learn tricks to solve these problems even faster. Supplement it with solving mock papers and you should score high in the quantitative abilities section of each tier.
Being from an English Medium background, English was not a very difficult portion for Ravi Shankar. He mostly kept up reading newspapers extensively, solving grammar questions online, and practicing previous years’ questions for this portion of the test. Wren & Martin is an excellent grammar rulebook to follow for this stage.
From Plinth To Paramount by Neetu Singh is one book Ravi Shankar highly recommends for all students to solidify their grammar and vocabulary. Try to find 10-15 words each day and add to a vocab of 1000+ by the time you sit for the examination. English is a part of all three tiers for SSC CGL and needs a solid understanding of you to qualify. Read as many newspaper articles as you can to improve your comprehension skills. If you have the time, read a few novels along the way.
Ravi Shankar solely relied on previous years’ papers for his reasoning practice. He looked up topics he faced difficulties in solving online. But other than that, solving papers was enough for his attempt. Pick any CAT book and solve the first few levels. You need not solve too difficult questions but try to prepare till the middle levels at least.
GK in SSC CGL is unpredictable. To get a solid hold on the subject read NCERT Books from classes 6 to 12 for economics and geography, classes 8-10 for History along with Lucent’s General Knowledge Book’s History sections, and General Science book by Lucent’s. You can supplement the current affairs knowledge needed here from your daily passage reading practice from newspapers.
Tips For Aspirants
Solve as many mock tests as you can to ensure you are ready for all kinds of surprises. Taking tests allows you to better your time management as well as realize which sections are taking more time and where you can reduce the effort and where you need to practice more. Use online resources to your fullest.
Remember, as important as reasoning and GK is for the exam, Maths and English combined offer 600 out of the 700 marks in CGL. So set your priority accordingly.
Best of luck!