In fact this exam strategy (how to prepare for the Combined Higher Secondary (10+2) Level (CHSL) Exam or any other exam) is for every competitive exam like the Combined Graduate Level (CGL) Exam, STENO, CPO, SI Delhi Police, IBPS, Grade -II DASS, etc.


[How to prepare for the Combined Higher Secondary (10+2) Level (CHSL) Exam]


The Combined Higher Secondary (10+2) Level (CHSL) Exam consists of one online Objective Paper of 60 minutes of 200 marks for all posts, one exam of Descriptive Paper of 1 hour of 100 marks for all posts and SKILL TEST/DEST.

TIER-I: Online Objective Paper
It consists of 100 questions of 200 marks to be attempted in 60 minutes.

1. Reasoning 25 questions 50 marks
2. General Knowledge 25 questions 50 marks
3. Mathematics 25 questions 50 marks
4. English 25 questions 50 marks

TIER-II: Descriptive Paper
It consists of 2 questions of 100 marks to be attempted in 1 hour

  1. Essay (200-250 words)
  2. Letter/Application (150-200 words)

NOTE: The minimum qualifying marks in Tier-II would be 33%. The performance in Tier II would be included for preparing merit. The paper will have to be written either in Hindi or in English. Part paper written in Hindi and Part in English will not be evaluated.

TIER-III: Skill Test
Skill tests are held in the following manner:

1. DEST for DEO in CAG @50wpm

2. DEST for DEO in other departments @27wpm

3. TYPING TEST for LDC & Postal Assistant/Sorting Assistant @35wpm

NOTE: Skill test would be of qualifying nature. The final merit of the successful candidates would be determined on the basis of total score obtained by them in Tier-I and Tier-II.



For better preparation for the exam, do one question paper of  any of the last year’s exam (not any model paper as exam paper is always standard) at home in exam conditions. The reason is simple—-the best thing for an aspirant is to know his actual status of understanding of the various topics of each subject and exact level/type of questions asked. By doing so he can easily find his weak areas; and thus will have better chances to frame the best strategy to overcome them.

Candidates are to remember here that they don’t have to give even a minute time extra for solving the paper/s. Now I come to the approximate time that one should spend on doing each subject component of Tier-I (objective paper). Here it is:

spend on doing each subject component of Tier-I. Here it is:

1. Reasoning 18 minutes
2. General Knowledge 7 minutes
3. Mathematics 26 minutes
4. English 9 minutes



i) On GK
I think you should read GK for 3 good hours a day at least. One hour for GK books, one for a good monthly magazine and one for good daily newspaper. PRATIYOGITA DARPAN is really a very beautiful magazine and THE HINDU the newspaper.

Now the books, I think you should read Lucent’s GK book thoroughly. In addition NCERT Science books from class 6th to 10th as well are a must if time allows as GK can really be made very strong then, but if you don’t have that much of time the descriptive GK book of LUCENT will do beautifully. If this is done with utmost sincerity it will also help in building one’s vocabulary part of the CHSL English i.e. antonyms/synonyms/idioms & phrases/one word substitution etc  stronger if his or her medium of studies is English.

For reasoning practice of previous SSC papers and model/practice papers is sufficient in general. Also don’t forget to consult any good book if you find a question not under your control. One should also take help of a book on reasoning for the type of questions which are not in practice sets while they fall into a topic of the syllabus provided.

But, no matter if you don’t find a topic or two of REASONING in any of the book/s you have; better to leave it cause dealing many a book at a time could really spoil the things. Whatever you do; do it with mastery. That way you could score better marks as I personally feel. Yeah if you happen to get time after; try to find a proper book for those left out topics.

I’d advise you that you should not spend much time on antonyms and synonyms. The reason is that they are endless in number and therefore you can’t learn them much. Any word could be there in the question paper, so it will be better if you utilize that precious time in making your other areas of the paper stronger.

Dear friends, word power can’t be made strong just by cramming words for a few months; rather it’s a long term process that starts from one’s school days itself. I mean only to say if you are behind words more than the actual requirement, output won’t be that good.

The same thing applies to IDIOMS/PHRASES and ONE WORD SUBSTITUTION, but here you can spare some of your time for going through them from a good source/study material.



In my opinion a person who is not in job should devote at least 7-8 hours time each day to his preparation according to the time shown against each component of the syllabus for CHSL though it’s purely suggestive.

1. Reasoning 30 minutes
2. General Knowledge 2-3 hours
3. Mathematics 2 hours 30 minutes
4. English 2 hours

In addition to this if an hour or so is spent on some activities of sports and some time on programmes of entertainment on TV etc; will really be nice for maintaining mental state in good condition. But not more than it.

NOTE-I: A person already in job too should try to spare more and more time for the preparation; I think almost 4 hours a day in addition to the full day timetable for the days of holidays.

NOTE-II: Now SSC has also introduced Tier-II in addition to above. In Tier-II a descriptive paper of 100 marks on English or Hindi language will be given in which one’s essay and letter/application writing skills will be tested. You cannot learn it all just in a month or two well, so it will be better if you start building this from the very beginning, though in the beginning you can afford not to give much focus on that.



It’s my sincere advice that you should prepare for the exam by books only. The net can’t ever compete with a real book. Several reasons are there! A book is always very convenient in use as compared to the net. You can take a book anywhere in the house or to any other location also whereas it’s not applicable to a computer. A laptop even can’t help all the time.

Sometimes one has to go to a certain page for referring to any other topic which can’t be so comfortable while using that book on the computer. Also books (specially those for SSC exams) not so expensive that a person can’t afford. Sitting on computer screen for long also is a big cause of one’s tiredness; the eyes especially. Many more reasons in addition.

Yes the net is important but mainly when a book is not easily available or when one wants to see some particular topic/s as to purchase so many books of a kind is certainly not advisable.




1. Maha English Grammar for Competitive Exams (Written by Maha Gupta)

2. Maha English Practice Sets for Competitive Exams (Written by Maha Gupta)


1. Quick Arithmetic of Aashish Aggarwaal (Geometry & Trigonometry both included now)

2. NCERT & R D Sharma (IX & X standard–Editions of 2004 or before) for Geometry, Trigonometry & Graphs of linear equations. As they are only descriptive in nature you must practise objective questions on these topics from Ashish Aggarwal or/and any other good books available in the market. But remember you can’t be a master in ‘Maths Objective’ unless you are good in descriptive.

NOTE: SSC CGL/CHSL: Important Properties/Concepts of Geometry 

Geometry is extremely important in SSC or other exams today. I have seen people good in Maths as a whole but not so good in Geometry. Hence I have compiled some important properties/concepts which are integral part of Geometry. If one understands and memorizes them well, I’m sure he will definitely do very good in it. Highly advisable it is that friends take the print-out of the matter and keep it along while practising questions on Geometry.

English Medium download Hindi Medium download


1. GK of Lucent or any quality book on GK for the CHSL as you can find LUCENT’s book a little heavy for this.

2. NCERT books for Science from 6th to 10th (if time is available)

3. Monthly Magazine ‘Pratiyogita Darpan

4. Any good quality newspaper like ‘The Hindu’


Practicing of past papers and the model papers should be enough or you can refer to a good book on Verbal and Non Verbal. But never forget to practise previous papers and model papers to master it all. Papers of Kiran Prakashan are better than others in my opinion.

Also read the contents of the following link on Reasoning 


How to do Comprehension Passage & Cloze Test

For both comprehension passages and cloze tests your basic understanding of English language should be right. Without this, things are going to be really difficult. For comprehension you should have sharp and quick mind. If you want your comprehension of a passage improved you should read the passage very carefully once only, or at the most twice, and keep in mind the content of the passage so that while answering questions you do not need to go back to it time and again. In an objective exam the speed is very important. So read sufficient number of passages and cloze tests from a good source well in time.

Comprehension Passage

1. Read the passage first; not the questions. If we’ll read the questions first our whole concentration then will divert on finding the answers of those questions, and thus we’ll be unable to understand the passage, which is so important. Without understanding the passage well we can’t answer the questions well.

2. Students normally think that reading the passage 1-2 times is a sheer wastage of time and won’t fetch them desired results. But in my experience – and when I say experience it comes from thousands of students and a decade of time that I have been in this profession – reading the passage first is the best strategy as it not only will save your time but also will help you get more and more marks.

3. When you are through with the passage and its contents you are ready to read the questions and answer them without ambiguity and with complete clarity of what the examiner is asking. That read between the lines concept works very well in comprehension while answering the questions, and that can only be developed by investing a couple of extra minutes by going through the same passage at-least 1-2 times.

4. Read the passage 1-2 times to grasp it well; only then you’ll be able to answer the question comfortably.

5. Read the questions one at a time and answer it immediately after. If you are not getting the answer, leave it to attempt it at a later stage, and go on the next question. As you have read the passage already you will get some idea of the location of material in the passage that answers the questions.

6. After doing all the questions of a particular passage read the left out questions carefully, they might be analytical in nature which requires the analysis of a certain part of the passage, and you might need to use your logical mind.

Cloze Test

1. In a question on CLOZE TEST we are given a text passage with some words missing; and we have to replace the missing words from the given options. For this one needs to have a strong command of grammar along with good vocabulary.

2. In order to fill in the missing words, we should read it slowly 1-2 times first without filling up the blanks. Certainly this will help us to develop an idea about the topic and figure out what the text is about.

3. Once we are known with that we should fill in only those blanks we are 100% sure of. This process will enable us to fill in the remaining blanks well.

4. A Cloze Test is a passage with sentences that are logically connected to each other, so we should keep it in mind that we must not treat each sentence individually while filling in the blanks. Instead we should think of logical connections that link up the sentences together.



1. QUERY: Ronnie how can we be fast in calculation?

Heena one has to learn quick Maths for increasing the speed. But every technique of doing questions fast is not given in a book; we too have to devise our own formulas of solving a question with speed. Learning tables of multiplication, squares, cubes help a lot. While solving a question one must keep his eyes on the answer options as sometimes this help in solving a question with speed (sometimes in seconds). There is actually many a thing which helps.


1. Minimize the use of pen and paper while doing a sum.

2. Devise your own techniques as every quick trick isn’t there in a book.

3. Understand a question by its basics/concept-wise. If the concept is clear you can really do the sum in possible quickest time.

4. Some questions can be solved with answer options given in no time; so always try to do this while practising, and always keep your eyes on them.

5. More and more sincere/dedicated practice from a good book/study material.

2. QUERY: There is no mention of chapters on H.C.F and L.C.M, boat and stream etc. in this new syllabus. Can we infer that no question will be set from these chapters?

REPLY: They are a must to do; they all are parts of other chapters given in the syllabus. For example, H.C.F. & L.C.M. are parts of NUMBER SYSTEM and Boat and stream is part of TIME AND DISTANCE.

3. QUERY: Say something about note-making for the CHSL.

REPLY: I disagree with you in one thing. Note making is so time consuming; it can work if it’s a descriptive paper; that too other than Maths. In Maths we should prepare notes only of limited things like multiplication tables (Up to 25 is more than sufficient), square tables (up to 25 again), cube tables (up to 10 or so), some useful identities, theorems and sub-theorems, important formulas etc. Otherwise I think it’s total time waste. Better if you spend that time in learning the things. After a time everything will be on your tips I’m of the opinion.

4. QUERY: How to do Geometry and Trigonometry in best way?

REPLY: Doing geometry and Trigonometry from the start is very very important. They are not the topics that you can start from any chapter. Both Geometry and Trigonometry are well understood if practised from the first chapter itself. If you do like this you’ll succeed surely you’ll see.

5. QUERY: Please tell me something to improve Maths score. Last time you said NCERT books from Class VI-X should be read. But NCERT books do not have much Arithmetic part, specially in Class IX-X, I think (correct me if I am wrong) . But their explanation of Maths is really good. But I was looking for that type of Maths which is asked in SSC.

REPLY: Please believe you need to understand Maths from the roots; its basics. Unless you do that you also won’t find Maths interesting. So forget if the NCERT books from 6th to 10th cover SSC syllabus or not. They are a must to learn Maths. Once you will start feeling this subject interesting you’ll see how quickly these books are finished. But it’s important how you manage the contents of these books. Whatever type of chapters you find in these books; do them

6. QUERY:  Bhai main English mein aajkal grammer hi kar raha hun, thoda time lag raha hai but I am gaining confidence in topics like Blanks and Sentence Improvement and Finding the error also. Par mujhe aisa lagta hai ki comprehension or cloze test questions weak ho rahe hain, aap thoda time de sake to mujhe ye bata do ki mein daily kya kya karun?.

REPLY: COMPREHENSION means understanding of the matter with understanding. If you are good in grammar your comprehension will improve of its own I’m sure. For making your comprehension skills good you can do a passage on comprehension on daily basis. The passages for it should not be unnecessarily long as in a CGLE they are nicely balanced size-wise.

The same thing applies to a cloze question. BETTER YOU ARE IN GRAMMAR BETTER YOU ARE IN OTHER AREAS. But I don’t think you need to read chapters on noun/pronoun that minutely. Just have an idea of them and keep focus mainly on the type of questions asked in the exam.



Typing Test will be conducted only in English or Hindi and candidates while applying for the examination will have to indicate his/her choice/option for Typing Test medium in the application form.

Candidates opting for English medium should have typing speed of 35 words per minute and those opting for Hindi medium should have typing speed of 30 words per minute on computer. 35 wpm corresponds to 10500 key depressions per hour and 30 wpm corresponds to 9000 key depressions per hour.

The speed will be adjudged on the accuracy of typing on the computer of a given text passage in 10 minutes. Visually handicapped candidates (with 40% disability and above) will be allowed 30 minutes. In English the passage to be typed in 10 minutes has 1750 key depressions and in Hindi it has 900.

Passage Dictators will be provided to each of VH candidates by the commission for the typewriting test. The Passage Dictators will read out the passage to the VH candidates within the allotted time period.



DEST is held in the following manner

  1. DEST for DEO in CAG @50wpm
  2. DEST for DEO in other departments @27wpm

Well, if we see the DEST is no different from TYPING TEST. The difference lies in the speed only.


SSC CHSL Exam–Typing is Essential (IMPORTANCE)

In the CHSL exam how high you score in the written is; is worthless unless you are able to qualify the type test/DEST. In CGLE too the post of Assistant in CSS and TA require typing. So to learn typing at the needed speed becomes a must for CHSL exam and for certain posts of CGLE. If a person knows typing already; he too should do practice at least for 20 minutes daily; and if a person is fresher he must start it learning from this very moment for 40-45 minutes at least for daily. Otherwise the things will be disastrous.

It is seen that many of the candidates become serious to their typing after the written result, when much time in not left to learn it. Learning type and gaining the required speed generally requires 5-6 months. So start it well in advance.


SSC CHSL Exam–Time Required to Learn Typing

It actually depends on an individual how much time he takes to gain the speed of typing speed at 35 wpm. But generally it takes 5-6 months. For the DEST the speed required is 27; the time needed to achieve this speed is generally around 4 months. Starting typing learning from an institute does help but if you are not comfortable in finding an institute nearby you can learn it at home too. In both the cases utmost sincerity is required.


SSC CHSL Exam–Is Backspace Allowed in Skill-test?

  • In DEST, do we have to type in MS word or in other software application? If any other application software, is back space allowed in that? The passage given will be hard copy or soft copy?


This is their own software which has been programmed for time-set, recognition of errors and measuring of speed etc. But this is like WORD-PAD; means they give a certain printed (HARD COPY) passage that we have to type like we do in WORD-PAD. Backspace is allowed. In fact this is very simple passage and hardly containing any special characters. Figures too are 4-5 generally. Errors are not shown/underlined. NOT A BIG DEAL OF COURSE!


SSC CHSL Exam–What is Typing Software of SSC?

This is a BLANK SCREEN software which they have prepared for the purpose of exam in which candidates details are recorded. And time etc are pre-set so that it can not be misused. We have to type the matter like we do on WORD-PAD. We are provided with a sheet of printed passage in this method also and one has to type accordingly Running matter means the type of matter that you are seeing rightnow in this message. Means it does’nt have special characters or figures too much.

We can make corrections but errors made are not underlined in this software.

Method of Evaluation of DEST/TYPING TEST (Both English & Hindi)
viewer (1)

Previous post

Sub Inspector (SI) in NIA Job Profile

Next post


Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)