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All you need to know about the SSC-CHSL exam 2018

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The SSC-CHSL (SSC Combined Higher Secondary Level) is a nationwide exam conducted for recruitment to vacant posts in various Central government departments and ministries. It includes posts such as:

  • LDC (lower division clerk)
  • Data entry operator (DEO)
  • Postal assistants/sorting assistants (PA / SA)

In this article, we bring to you all the details regarding the SSC CHSL exam. This will cover Vacancies, important dates, eligibility, selection process, exam pattern, syllabus, application fee and salary.


  • Candidate should be 18–27 years of age as on August 1, 2018.
  • Age relaxation is provided for various categories as per government regulations
  • Candidate must have passed Class 12 (or equivalent examination from a recognized board or university
  • For data entry operator’s post in the Office of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG): Candidate should have cleared Class 12 (10+2) in science stream with mathematics as a subject from any recognized board or equivalent.

Selection Process

The candidates must go through the three phases to get selected:

  • Computer-based examination (Tier-I)
  • Descriptive paper (Tier-II)
  • Typing test/skill test (Tier-III)

Exam pattern and syllabus

Exam Pattern of General Intelligence & Reasoning

  • No. of questions: 25
  • Total marks: 50
  • Marks per correct answer: 2
  • Negative Marking for the incorrect answer: 0.5
  • Paper Mode: Online
  • Question Type: Multiple choice objective type

Tier-I exam pattern and syllabus

Objective computer-based examination

This examination consists of objective type (multiple-choice) questions. The questions will be set both in English and Hindi for part-II, III and IV. There will be negative marking of 0.50 marks for each wrong answer.

General Intelligence

It Includes questions of both verbal and non-verbal type. Following are some important topics:

  • Semantic analogy, semantic classification
  • Symbolic operations, symbolic/ number analogy
  • Trends, figural analogy, space orientation
  • Venn diagrams, symbolic/number classification
  • Drawing inferences, figural classification
  • Figural pattern – folding and completion
  • Semantic series, number series, figural series, embedded figures
  • Critical thinking, problem-solving, word building
  • Emotional intelligence, social intelligence
  • Coding and decoding

English language

Candidates need to cover the following topics:

  • Spot the error, cloze passage
  • Reading comprehension
  • Fill in the blanks
  • Synonyms/homonyms, antonyms
  • Spellings/ detecting misspelled words
  • Idioms and phrases
  • One-word substitution
  • Improvement of sentences
  • Active/passive voice of verbs
  • Conversion into the direct/indirect narration
  • Shuffling of sentence parts
  • Shuffling of sentences in a passage

Important Vocabulary

  1. Egg-headed- intelligent
  2. Anomaly- something that is not normal
  3. Equivocal- neutral, uncertain
  4. Lucid- very transparent, clear
  5. Precipitate- to bring down
  6. Assuage- to satisfy someone, to pacify, allay
  7. Erudite- directly related to knowledge
  8. Opaque- not clear
  9. Prodigal- wasteful, extravagant
  10. Enigma- a mystery that cannot be explained
  11. Fervid- intense emotion
  12. Placate- to satisfy someone
  13. Zeal- enthusiasm
  14. Abstain- to stay away from something
  15. Apathy- an absence of feeling
  16. Adulterate- to mix with the impurity
  17. Audacious- very bold that becomes a negative quality
  18. Laconic- very brief, to the point
  19. Capricious- given to sudden behavior change
  20. Vagarious- given to sudden behavior change
  21. Laudable- applause
  22. Loquacious- talkative
  23. Corroborate- to sustain something
  24. Mitigate- to reduce the seriousness
  25. Desiccate- lacking spirit
  26. Pedant- formalist
  27. Engender- give rise to something
  28. Pragmatic- practical

Quantitative Aptitude

  • Arithmetic
  • Number systems
  • Percentages, profit and loss, discount, partnership business
  • Ratio and proportion
  • Averages mixtures and allegation
  • Simple and compound interest
  • Time and distance
  • Time and work
  • Algebra
  • Geometry
  • Mensuration
  • Trigonometry
  • Statistical charts

General Awareness

The Questions are designed to test the candidate’s general awareness and to test his knowledge of current events and on the economic and scientific developments.

  • History
  • Culture
  • Geography
  • Economic Scene
  • General policy
  • Scientific research

Tier-II exam pattern and syllabus

Descriptive examination

  • Tier-II Paper will be a descriptive test of 100 marks
  • Will be conducted in pen and paper mode
  • The duration of the test will be of 80 minutes
  • Paper will comprise an essay (200-250 words) and,
  • Letter/application of approximately 150-200 words
  • It can be taken in either Hindi or English

The paper has been introduced to assess the writing skills of the candidates. The minimum qualifying marks in Tier-II is 33 %. The performance in Tier II is included while preparing merit.

Tier-III exam pattern and syllabus

Typing/skill test

Tier-III of the examination is a skill test/ typing test which is qualifying in nature. It is conducted for those candidates who qualify in the computer-based examination (Tier-I) and descriptive paper (Tier-II).

  • Data entry speed of 8,000 (eight thousand) key depressions per hour on Computer for DEO
  • For the post of data entry operator in the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (C&AG): A speed Test of not less than 15,000 key depressions per hour for data entry work will be ascertained through speed test on computer
  • Typing test will be conducted in English or Hindi and candidates while applying for the examination will have to their choice/ option for skill test medium in the application form.

Application fee

  • Fee payable: Rs.100/-
  • The fee can be paid through SBI Challan/ SBI Net Banking or by using Visa/ Master-card/ Maestro Credit/ Debit card


Lower division clerk (LDC)/junior secretariat assistant (JSA)

  • Pay band -1: (Rs. 5,200 – 20,200)
  • Grade pay: Rs. 1,900 (pre-revised)

Postal Assistant (PA)/sorting assistant (SA)

  • Pay band -1: (Rs. 5,200 – 20,200)
  • Grade pay: Rs. 2,400 (pre-revised)

Data entry operator(DEO)

  • Pay band -1: (Rs. 5,200 – 20,200),
  • Grade pay: Rs. 2,400 (pre-revised)

Data entry operator, Grade ‘A’

  • Pay band -1: (Rs. 5,200 – 20,200)
  • Grade pay: Rs. 2,400 (pre-revised)

Exam Date

Staff Selection Commission or SSC would be holding the CHSL exam from 4 March 2018 to 26 March 2018 in a computer-based pattern. This exam consists of a General Awareness (GA) section with 25 questions. It plays an important part in getting the score required to cross the cut off marks.

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By Asad yar Khan

Asad Yar Khan is Former Chairman of AMC, an educational NGO. A passionate proponent of education development, his favour...more

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