The Staff Selection Commission’s Combined Graduate Level Exam (SSC CGLE) is conducted each year, and the numbers keep rising! In 2015, there were 18 lakh applicants. In 2016, there are over 35 lakh applications for approximately the same number of posts!
To put it into perspective: for the staggering number of people applying , there are only some eight thousand job vacancies overall. That’s tough. You know for sure that only the best and the most deserving candidates will get through, and you think you can be one of those. Now if only you didn’t have that full-time job, and could do full-time study instead…which brings us to the question – how does one go about preparing for the SSC CGL while working full time?
While it is true that somebody who does study full-time might have an advantage over you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re bound to lose. The stress you feel and the pressure you’re under should drive you to organize yourself better and get the nod over another equally capable person who is disorganized. Here are six tips that we can recommend while you’re on your road to SSC CGL excellence:
Now that you’ve decided your goal, set your sights on it and don’t look away for even a split second. The CGL examination has to be your number one priority. It’s going to be a tough climb, but it’s a rewarding one. When there are moments that you second guess your decision to take the exam, remember your original reasons for choosing this path.
Be practical about your work, study and life constraints
Your full-time job probably takes an easy 8 hours every day, excluding commute time. Sleeping decent hours counts for about 6 hours. That leaves you with 10 hours to eat, commute and study for the SSC CGL. You could say that leaves you with at least eight hours to study every day, which is great… but also impractical. A lot of things could become obstacles: having to work overtime, traffic jams, sickness, family responsibilities… the list in endless. So be very realistic and decide a minimum number of hours that you can study everyday and swear by it. On weekends, this could be significantly bigger – maybe even double the number of hours you manage on workdays.
With less than a month for the exam (and the added advantage of the exam being postponed), you should be almost ready to tackle CGL Tier-1. It is important to review what you’ve already studied while also constantly updating yourself on General Happenings. Read the newspaper at work everyday, or keep yourself updated by following online coverage.
This is super important – you have to be up-to-date on Current Affairs. For the English section, prefer reading blogs that teach you Grammar. Work out a schedule that best manages your time and has breaks in between blocks of study hours. One other thing that is indispensable is taking a mock test, at least once in every ten days. These tests have to imitate the real exam pattern-wise and time-wise. If you choose to do online mock tests, this will already be taken care of. But if you prefer doing the old school pen and paper method, invest in a few good books and be very strict with yourself about timing it.
If you’ve already attempted the SSC CGL before but didn’t make it, then you have an edge over a lot of other candidates. You know your weaknesses, and you know exactly what went wrong. Work on fixing that, but don’t take your strengths lightly either.
Stick to what works best for you
This qualifying exam has four sections which test General Intelligence, General Awareness, Quantitative Aptitude and English Comprehension respectively. Arrange these in increasing order of difficulty, and work your way to the bottom. This way, your strong area becomes your strongest; you’re less likely to mess up here – ergo you are increasing your overall standing since there is no sectional cutoff anymore. Of course, what you’ve placed as most difficult needs to be worked on quite a bit, too. But towards the end, don’t fret over it too much.
You should also decide on what method of learning works best for you: do you retain information just by listening, or do you need to write it down a few times to really get it through? Do you feel you fare better when you study with a group? Whatever works best for you, stick to it.
Take some me time – don’t ignore yourself
Eat greens. Drink lots of water. Don’t sacrifice sleep. Your stress levels will probably be running really high closer to the CGL exam date, and that’s not good for you at all. It effects both your mind and your body, which need to be in excellent form for you to give your best. That is why it is really important to take some time off every now and then. Take a small walk in the park or go for a long jog; or simply go get a meal with that friend you neglected – anything that makes you happy. But you shouldn’t overindulge – at the end of the day, you have to get back to your books and your full-time job.
Arrange for leave from work
It is really important that you talk to your boss about getting some time off work a few days before the examination. You have to do this well in advance to avoid disappointment and unnecessary stress. If possible, takes days off from work every once in a while well before the SSC CGLE to get in more hours of study.
You can almost see the light at the end the of the tunnel. Before you know it, you’ll be at your new job, reaping benefits only a government job can offer.
In this blog post, we have provided you the SSC CGL Exam Preparation tips while you are working, if you liked this article and want to know more about our SSC CGL Course then please click on the link given below. And, share your views in the comment section below.
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