Do you know the topics for the English Language paper in SSC CGL Tier-II?

Do you know the topics for the English Language paper in SSC CGL Tier-II?

Your preparation for SSC CGL Tier-II exam 2016 must be in full swing. Those of you looking forward to the Tier-II exam would be searching for some useful tips to score well in the English Language and Comprehension paper.

Your search ends here, this post talks about strategy that you should follow for the English Language and Comprehension paper for SSC CGL Tier-II exam.

Overview of the English Language and Comprehension paper in SSC CGL Tier-II

  • English Language and Comprehension is paper-II in the CGL Tier-II exam. There are 200 questions of 200 marks. Each question would carry one mark. 0.25 marks would be deducted for each incorrect answer.
  • The common misconception that prevails among aspirants is that it is the toughest subject and cannot be prepared easily. However, the fact is that it is the most scoring subject in SSC CGL exams.
  • This paper aims to evaluate candidates on their English grammar, comprehension skills and vocabulary.

First, let’s go through topic-wise breakup of the English Language paper in 2014 and 2015.

Topics No. of questions in 2014 No. of questions in 2015
Synonyms & Antonyms 06 06
Spellings 03 03
Idioms and Phrases 10 10
One Word Substitution 12 12
Direct-Indirect Speech 27 27
Active-Passive Voice 20 20
Sentence Improvement 22 22
Error Spotting 20 20
Cloze Test 25 25
Fill in the Blanks 05 05
Reading Comprehension 30 30
Para Jumbles 20 20


We can conclude that the English grammar and comprehension based questions carry more weightage as compared to vocabulary based questions.

Topic-wise strategy for the English Language and Comprehension paper in Tier-II exam

To perform well and boost your score in the Tier-II exam, we bring to you topic-wise strategy.

Vocabulary, Idioms and Phrases

  • Remembering a long list of word meanings, idioms and phrases is a daunting task. A smart way to prepare this part doesn’t require mugging up the long list, instead going through previous years’ papers.
  • In case of idioms, try to understand the context as it all depends on vocabulary.
  • The best practice is to take mock tests and sectional tests.
  • You can enroll for CL’s SSC CGL Tier-II test series.
  • Here are a few common problems faced by a majority of candidates. Hope this will help you to master vocabulary.
    • Problem 1: Retaining a long list of vocabulary based questions

The best way to memorize these questions is to read and practice daily. Allocate 15 minutes to this section in your time table.

  • Problem 2: Confusion in words

Your confusion can be sorted out if you try to remember the root, prefix and suffix of the word. This will help you to understand more words of similar nature.

For instance- The root ‘iso’ means ‘equal’. ‘Crypt’ means ‘hidden’.

  • Problem 3: Another problem faced by candidates is to decide which words are worth learning. For this, previous years’ papers are the only solution.


  • Direct-Indirect Speech & Active Passive Voice: Go through important rules in these topics and practice as many questions as you can.

In the exam, when you are not sure of the correct option, follow the elimination rule based on your concepts. Don’t make wild guesses.

  • Tips to solve Sentence Correction and Spotting Error: Read the sentence carefully and try to spot errors. You must check the subject-verb agreement. As you locate the error, eliminate all the choices with that error.
  • How to crack the nut of Cloze Test and Fill in the Blanks?
    • Read the paragraph or the sentence to get an idea about the theme.
    • If it carries positive connotation, look for affirmative options and eliminate the negative ones.
    • Practice at least 4-5 cloze tests to check your performance. You can take CL’s FREE Cloze Tests.

Reading Comprehension

  • In the Tier-II exam, there are 4-5 passages of 500-600 words from various topics. Pick up the one of your interest and start with that. The advantage is that you can understand it easily.
  • Never assume facts. Confine your understanding to the given passage only.
  • Try to match the question stem with the passage and look for correct option.
  • For vocabulary based questions, eliminate and not select.

Enroll for CL’s SSC CGL Tier-II test series and accelerate your preparation.