After successfully clearing Tier 1 and Tier 2, depending on what posts you are applying for, the next step towards your job is to clear Computer Proficiency Test/Skill Test.
This is Tier 3 in the examination process.
The idea is to test your ability to do simple tasks such as type correctly at a decent speed and your knowledge of basic office software tools like the word processor, spreadsheets and slide maker (Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint).
There is not much to worry as these tests are qualifying in nature. So you only need to pass them — marks will not be added to your total score. Even if you fail, you will still be considered for other posts (provided you have marked other posts while filling your examination form).
Obviously, SSC will make arrangements for the computer during the examination. You will NOT be allowed to take your laptop or keyboard inside the examination venue.
Data Entry Speed Test (DEST)/Skill Test
DEST, as the name suggests, is meant to check both your speed and accuracy in typing on computer.
Posts For Which DEST Is Applicable
Tax Assistant (CBDT and CBEC)
How the DEST Is Conducted
In the allocated time of 15 minutes, you need to accomplish the task of 2000 key depressions on your computer. What this basically means is that you need to type passage/text which requires pressing 2000 keys on the computer keyboard in 15 minutes. Space, comma, alphabets, numeric characters – everything gets counted in the 2000 keys. Of course, you also need to be accurate.
Computer Proficiency Test (CPT)
Computer Proficiency Test, or CPT, is a bit more elaborate than DEST.
Posts For Which CPT Is Applicable
Computer Proficiency Test is meant for the candidates who have applied for the post of Assistant Section Officer in Central Secretariat Service (CSS).
How the Computer Proficiency Test is conducted?
Usually, a candidate’s ability to work on computers is gauged on three basic computer applications. So there are three modules each for 15 minutes.
- Module 1 – Test on Microsoft Word
- Module 2 – Test on Microsoft Excel
- Module 3 – Test on Microsoft Powerpoint
Module 1 is similar to DEST. You will be given a printed passage, and you have to type it within 15 minutes (2000 key depressions). This is not really too difficult for anyone who has some experience of typing on a computer keyboard.
In Module 2, you are given a printed table which has to be created in Excel. You will also be asked to calculate some simple stuff like percentage, absolute increase/decrease, profits etc. using Excel formulas. This can be easily done by anyone who has some basic exposure to Excel. No complicated formulas are asked.
Module 3 tests you on making slides (Microsoft Powerpoint). You will be given a printed copy of one (or maximum 2) slides. And then you have to make it on your computer in 15 minutes. There will also be instructions to change the font and size of text, use bullets, change header/footer, insert date, change filename etc. All basic stuff, assuming you have created a few ‘PPT’ files in your life.
Exemptions For Handicapped Candidates
Orthopaedically Handicapped (OH) candidates who have opted for the post of Tax Assistant in CBDT (Income Tax) are exempted from DEST.
However, OH candidates who have opted for the post of Tax Assistant in CBEC (Excise) are not exempted. Also, candidates belonging to VH and HH category have to give this test. VH candidates are allowed compensatory time of 20 minutes. Also, those VH candidates who had opted for scribes in the written exams will be provided passage reader for DEST.
Before Going For DEST/CPT Exam
Please read the official instructions at least once and make sure you follow them. Instructions would include what documents you need to bring, when to reach the venue, how the exam will be conducted and things which you should not be doing etc.
Usually, you will be required to report at your venue an hour prior to the exam or at the reporting time if mentioned in your admit card. SSC can also instruct you to bring relevant attested photocopies of your credentials with you on your examination day.
Keep your documents photocopied and get them attested by a Gazetted Officer. You can also keep two extra photographs with you to be on the safe side. You may also like to see our selection of books for SSC CGL exam.