SSC Stenography Exam STRATEGY


[How to prepare for the for the Stenographer Grade Exam]

Full name of the exam is Stenographer Grade ‘C’ and ‘D’ Examination. Now we’ll discuss how to prepare for this exam best way.



i) Written Objective Paper (online)
It consists of 200 questions to be attempted in 2 hours.

S. No.  Subject Number of Questions Marks
1. Reasoning 50 50
2. General Knowledge 50 50
3. English 100 100
Total 200 200

ii) Skill Test

The candidates will have to appear for the stenography test. The candidates will be given one dictation passage for 10 minutes in English/Hindi at the speed of 100 wpm for the post of Stenographer Grade-C and 80 wpm for the post of Stenographer Grade-D. The matter will have to be transcribed (typing back) on the  computer only. The transcription time is as follows:

  • For Stenographer Grade-D: 50 minutes (English); 65 minutes (Hindi)
  • For Stenographer Grade-C: 40 minutes (English); 55 Minutes (Hindi)



In my opinion one should start preparation of this exam by doing one question paper of the last year’s exam at home in exam conditions, means in exactly two hours (not more than that). But it should not be any model paper as exam paper is always a standard. 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. By doing so he can easily find his weaker areas; and thus will have better chances to frame best strategy to overcome those weaker areas.

Now I come to the approximate time that one should spend on doing each subject component of  the exam. Here it is:

1. Reasoning 35 minutes
2. General Knowledge 15 minutes
3. English 50 minutes

The practice of doing past/practice papers should be kept to follow all through. But if one wishes it could also be done once in two weeks in initial stages of preparation; say the first 1-2 months.



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 Stenographer Exam 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.



As I think a person who is not in job should devote at least 7 hours time each day for his preparation according to the time shown against each component of the syllabus for the Stenographer Exam though it’s purely suggestive.

1. Reasoning 1 hour
2. General Knowledge 3 hours
3. English 3 hours

In addition to this if an hour time 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. And 1 hour at least for practicing of STENO.

NOTE: 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.



We have only one paper in written in the Stenographer Exam unlike the CGLE where there are three, and three subjects namely GK, Reasoning and English to prepare for. There is no Maths in the steno Exam. In any exam quality books/study material matter much. In my opinion the following books/study material should be right:


1. GK of Lucent (descriptive)

2. NCERT books for Science from 6th to 10th (If time allows they are really fantastic)

3. Monthly Magazine ‘Pratiyogita Darpan

4. Some good quality English 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 


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

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

But never forget to practise previous papers & model papers to master it all.




2.  What is Stenography Test?

The candidates will be given one dictation passage for 10 minutes in English/Hindi at the speed of 100 w.p.m. for the post of Stenographer Grade-C and 80 w.p.m. for the post of Stenographer Grade -D. The matter will have to be transcribed (typed back) on computer only. The transcription time is as follows:

a) For Stenographer Grade-D: 50 minutes (English) OR 65 minutes (Hindi)

b) For Stenographer Grade-C: 40 minutes (English) OR 55 Minutes (Hindi)


a) If a candidates does not indicate the medium of STENOGRAPHY TEST in the relevant column of the Application Form, the Commission will consider ENGLISH as the medium of STENOGRAPHY TEST for such candidates and the candidates will not be allowed to change the medium at a subsequent stage.

b) There is no exemption from skill test for steno for any category of candidates.

c) Candidates who opt to take the Stenography Test in Hindi will be required to learn English Stenography and vice versa after their appointment.

d) VH candidates will be required to transcribe the matter in 75 minutes for English Shorthand or in 100 minutes for Hindi Shorthand for the post of Stenographer Grade ‘D’ and in 70 minutes for English Shorthand test and in 95 minutes for Hindi Shorthand test for the post of Stenographer Grade ‘C’.

4. A word of advice on Typing/Steno and time required to learn steno: Very very Important

Generally it’s seen that many of the aspirants for CSS or TA or LDC or DEO or STENOGRAPHER ignore to learn typing or steno at right time. They become serious to it only after the declaration of CGLE tier-II result or CHSL exam written result or the Steno Exam result as the case may be. I’m of the opinion that they do so with an intention that they can learn these things in that short period of time that is left for the skill test of their respective exam. Dear friends, let me say here that these things always take their own time to be learnt. 5-6 months for typing and 1 to 2 years for steno, you can’t learn them before it how hard you should try. For speed of 80 wpm it takes 1 full year, for 100 wpm it takes 2 full years.

The other illness is use of laptop keys for typing purpose. The keyboard in the exam is that we use on the PC. Though the key pattern in both types of keyboards is same, one can’t ever type on the laptop the way one should be doing in the exam. So why is it so? If you have to type on the laptop arrange the keyboard that we use on the PC. In the end I’ll say you must start learning typing at least 6 months before the expected date of the skill test and do it on the keyboard of the PC if you are serious to a post associated with typing.

5. Time required to learn stenography

a) 1 complete year for 80 wpm
b) 2 complete years for 100 wpm

6. Admissible %age of mistakes in the Steno Test/DEST/Typing Test

Normally 5% for UR and 7% for others; relaxable to 7% for UR and 10% for others if adequate candidates are not available.

7. SSC STENOGRAPHER Exam–Method of Evaluation of STENOGRAPHY scripts


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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)