Updated on 17 April 2016.
Huge thanks to all our readers for the tremendous response to this post 🙂
In this post we will discuss books for SSC CGL Tier 1, if you came here looking for Tier 2 details – go to this link. Also, before reading this post, I hope you are aware of the basic SSC CGL notification details.
Many people waste their time on the internet under the pretext of downloading study material and books for SSC CGL exam. I hope you are not one of them.
Step 1 – Stop Wasting Time Looking For Free SSC CGL Books
If you are smart, you will appreciate that a book is more than just information. It is “organized” information.
Just imagine, even if you were to get all the study material for free, you will waste a huge amount of time to simply organize it. But of course, how much ever you try you will not get everything for free in the first place 😀
Also, time is money! Don’t waste it. Buy a few good books. And use them to prepare for your exam. The only way you can beat your competitors is by solving and practicing questions.
You have to understand, SSC CGL is a very competitive exam.
A large number of candidates are preparing very diligently for it. You may be talented. But without hard work, you will go nowhere.
SSC CGL Paper Pattern
It is better to actually read and practice a few good books than to download several and read none. I take it that the only reason you are continuing to read this post is because you really want to know about SSC CGL Tier 1 books!
But before you buy books, it is important that you know about the SSC CGL Exam syllabus and the SSC CGL exam paper pattern. In case you know it, very good. Otherwise, just go through those links.
Let us proceed now. I’ll take you through a brief summary of SSC CGL books suggestions, and them we will look at the books section wise.
Safest SSC CGL Books — If You Are Confused
If you are really in a hurry and can’t read the whole post, I am providing a summary of the best books in one place. You can not go wrong with these books.
But if you can read the sections, you will find a good comparison of multiple books.
At the time of writing this post, Amazon had the best deals (zero shipping charges on a number of popular books). So be sure to compare the prices on Amazon and Flipkart before you order. I have provided links for both wherever available.
|Math/Quant||Arihant’s Fast Track Objective Arithmetic||Buy||Buy|
|English||Objective General English by S P Bakshi (Arihant)||Buy||Buy|
|Reasoning||Analytical Reasoning by M K Pandey||Buy||Buy|
|General Awareness||Manorama Yearbook 2016 (English)||Buy||Buy|
|Previous Years Solved Papers||Arihant’s SSC CGL Solved Papers (2010-2015)||Buy||Buy|
Now let us get to through books for each of the four sections in detail.
Books for SSC CGL Quantitative aptitude section
Your level of comfort with math will decide which book is suitable for you. If the word ‘maths’ does not scare you, and you are OK with the subject up to high school level, then there is nothing to worry about.
Does Math Love You?
If thinking about math does not give you a nightmare, I would suggest that you simply revise using NCERT books from class 8 to 10. In case you don’t have NCERT books, Just go to NCERT website and download the PDF files. If you want to download complete NCERT books, check the links on this page.
If you are confident about these topics, then you can simply practice previous years papers to increase your speed in solving exam oriented questions. Something like M Tyra (check links below) will however still be useful as you can learn a number of useful shortcuts.
You Like Maths, But Need Practice
In case you think you know most of the topics, but need to practice a lot of problems, then you need – Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations by R.S. Aggarwal. It is the largest selling book in this category.
It provides lots of practice questions. However, the only problem you may face is that the explanations may not always be very detailed. But if you only need practice, this should not be a problem.
In case you think R S Aggarwal is a little costly, then you can go for – Arihant’s Fast Track Objective Arithmetic. It is an equally (if not better) good book, at a lesser cost, with great reviews on Amazon.
You Need More Than Practice?
So math gives you butterflies? Don’t worry. Whenever I hear people say that they don’t feel confident solving math problems, the solution is always the same — al they need is practice.
You just need to understand the basics and also practice problems.
In terms of book recommendation, your best bet would be – Magical Book On Quicker Maths by M. Tyra. This book covers the basics, and also covers two ways of solving a problem – normal method and short cut method! That is why it is MAGICAL.
M Tyra, however, does not have a lot of practice questions. After learning from this book, you will have to practice questions from actual previous years papers, which I have covered in the second last section of this post.
|What’s Your Level||Book Recommended||Flipkart||Amazon|
|Superb fundas and need little practice||NCERT books||Download NCERT books from the links above|
|Okay fundas and need to practice||Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations (R S Aggarwal) OR||Buy||Buy|
|Arihant’s Fast Track Objective Arithmetic||Buy||Buy|
|Need help with fundas||Magical Book On Quicker Maths||Buy||Buy|
Quantitative Aptitude Bonus Section — What To Study & From Where
We have also compiled this fantastic table for you which has details on how to study.
NOTE: Use the NCERT book (link above) and the book you decided to buy. I have only written R S Aggarwal because more people use it. In case you are buying Arihant, use it wherever I have suggested Aggarwal.
|Chapter||Topics||Books To Refer|
|Average, Ratio & Proportion||
|Time & Distance||
|Profit & Loss & Interest||
Books For SSC CGL English Section
English section is quite easy, and should not take a lot of time to prepare. In the post linked above (the one I asked you to read), we have given a detailed breakup of the expected questions for English, as well as other sections.
If your English is mediocre, just practice using the solved previous years question papers. If, however, you think that you need more focused practice, let me recommend you some books.
English Books For Exam Pattern Questions Practice
There are two good exam-oriented English books which adequately cover different types of questions. Choose any one and you are good to go — Objective General English by S P Bakshi (Arihant) OR Quick learning Objective General English by RS Aggarwal & Vikas Aggarwal.
Apart from these, there is another book which has great reviews — Objective English for Competitive Examinations by Hari Mohan Prasad, but I have not had a chance to try it.
Are you confused, about which English book to choose?
Well, I think all the three would be of a similar level. To be honest, if your basics are clear, all you need is practice. So choose anyone which is most recently updated and is also within your budget.
|Objective General English by S P Bakshi (Arihant)||Buy||Buy|
|Quick learning Objective General English by RS Aggarwal & Vikas Aggarwal||Buy||Buy|
|Objective English for Competitive Examinations||Buy||Buy|
Do You Also Need To Revise Grammar?
In case you need to work on your basics, then you HAVE to revise English grammar. There is no other option.
And to revise grammar, there has never been a book better than Wren And Martin (it has remained the top seller in multiple categories on Amazon for as long as I can remember). The book is available in two editions – one has colorful illustrations the other one is the regular black and white.
High School English Grammar and Composition by Wren and Martin – Buy on Flipkart (Old Version) or Buy on Amazon (New Version). For some weird reason, at the time of writing this post, Flipkart is only selling the new version in a pack of 3.
Need To Build Your Vocabulary?
Books For SSC CGL Tier 1 General Intelligence & Reasoning Section
There are two important factors which will decide how fast and accurately you can solve reasoning problems — a logical thought process, and exposure to different types of problems.
If you are naturally good in mathematics, chances are high that you will do great with reasoning as well.
Practice, as you will learn, is very important. Your brain’s capacity to solve reasoning questions increases exponentially when you try to solve different types of questions.
R S Aggarwal is the highest selling book. It is a good choice if you don’t need a lot of explanations and are mainly looking for practice questions. If you need more explanations, I suggest you go with M K Pandey.
Another book with rave reviews is Sijwali & Sijwali, available from Arihant Publishers.
|Analytical Reasoning by M K Pandey||Buy||Buy|
|Verbal and Nonverbal Reasoning by R S Aggarwal||Buy (NEW)||Buy (OLD)|
|New Approach to Reasoning Verbal, Non-Verbal & Analytical by B S Sijwali, Indu Sijwali||Buy||Buy|
Books Available For General Awareness
General awareness (more commonly called as General Knowledge or GK) is not something you can expect to master in a day. But from an exam point of view, if you spend time consistently, you will reach a good level in a month or so.
But it is very important that you base your preparations around a good book. Otherwise, you will be wasting time here and there collecting a list of this, and an article on that.
Among the options available here, nothing comes close to Manorama Yearbook. It is THE best book to prepare for GK section in competitive exams. Check out our detailed review of the book. If you are allergic to Manorama, then you can try Lucent’s GK Book.
|Manorama Yearbook 2016 (English)||Buy||Buy|
|Manorama Yearbook 2016 (Hindi)||Buy||Buy|
|Lucent’s General Knowledge 2015 (English)||Buy||Buy|
|Lucent’s General Knowledge (Hindi)||Buy (2013)||Buy (2015)|
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before buying GK book, carefully check the year of publication. And I don’t mean the year published in the name! For marketing purpose, publishers sell books with next years name in the current year. For example, a book may have its name as “General Knowledge 2016” even though it was published in 2015! . So look for the actual ‘year of publication’.
Newpapers these days are not worth the paper they are printed on. So even though many people would advise you to read papers (even I have done in my several articles, but I’ll remove those when I get a chance to update those articles), it’s better that you use your time more efficiently elsewhere.
What About SSC CGL Solved And Practice Test Papers
CAUTION: Solved-papers books tend to have some errors and mistakes, higher as compared to sectional books. But people don’t complain because of the price at which these things sell. Just keep this at the back of your mind.
If you are not buying ANY of the books above, you have to buy, study and thoroughly practice through solved papers. Questions that are asked in SSC CGL repeat from year to year – just like many other exams.
So by practicing solved papers you will prepare yourself for exactly the type of questions which are asked in the exams.
Kiran’s SSC CGL combined Graduate Level Exams Question Bank 1999-2014 (45 solved papers of previous year exams) is undoubtedly the best book for solved papers – Best Deal On Amazon.
However at the time of writing, the most updated book for solved papers is Arihant’s Solved Papers (upto 2015) – only available on Amazon. It cover’s 17 solved papers covering 2010-2015.
Solved papers are available in two flavors – full length solved papers and solved questions from previous years papers which are categorized chapter wise. Which one you should use will depend on when you plan to solve previous years questions.
Some people like to study all the sections individually and then they start practicing full-length previous years papers. The other kind of people, read the fundas of a chapter in a section, for eg. Algebra in Quantitative aptitude, and then they practice solving previous years questions from this topic.
I would personally prefer the second method. But what really matters is that you actually practice solving previous years questions.
Full-Length SSC CGL Previous Years Solved Papers
Arihant and Kiran, both provide a large number of solved papers. These are full length papers organized year wise.
|Solved Papers SSC CGL Combined Graduate Level Pre Examination Tier-I by Arihant (2010-2015)||–||Buy|
|Kiran’s SSC CGL combined Graduate Level Exams Question Bank 1999-2014||Buy||Buy|
|SSC CGL 50 Practice Papers Combined Graduate Level Tier-I Examination||Buy||Buy|
SSC CGL Solved Papers – Organized section-wise
As I said earlier, some people (including me) prefer that previous years papers are arranged section wise – topic wise. Especially if your fundas are good, you are comfortable with the syllabus and you feel that all you need is practice – it makes sense to choose the books listed below. Of course, if you want solved questions from all the sections better stick to the options above (single book to buy).
|Section Covered (Previous years solved questions arranged topic-wise)||Book||Flipkart||Amazon|
|Only Quantitative Aptitude||SSC Mathematics Chapterwise Solved Papers 1999 – Till Date by Kiran Prakashan||–||Buy|
|Only English Section||SSC English Language Chapterwise Solved Papers 1997-Till Date by Kiran Prakashan||Buy||Buy|
|Only General Awareness||SSC General Awareness Chapterwise Solved Papers 1997 – Till Date by Kiran Prakashan||Buy||Buy|
|Only General Intelligence & Reasoning||SSC Reasoning Chapterwise Solved Papers 1999 – Till Date by Kiran Prakashan||Buy||Buy|
What Not To Do
If you want to know what to do, it is equally important to know what not to do. Even though I am suggesting you to buy books, I want to explicitly caution you to not buy “all in one” type of books (apart from solved papers). The problem with these all in ones is that they don’t cover the subject material properly.
On the other hand, section/subject books will come handy for multiple exams. And you can pass them to your juniors, or keep them with you later reference.
The other thing which you should not do is buy too many books and not study them at all. Be realistic.
I have tried to compile a useful list of, what I believe to be the best books for SSC CGL exam preparation. Hope you will use this to prepare well for the exam. Please share this post with your friends who you think will benefit from it.
In case you have any questions, suggestions or remarks – let me know in the comments below.
Best of Luck.