Combined Graduate Level Examination
TypeOnline standardized test
Knowledge / skills testedGeneral knowledge, reasoning, quantitative aptitude, English
PurposeSecuring jobs in government organisations
Year started1975 (49 years ago) (1975)
Countries / regionsIndia
Annual number of test takers2.7 million
Prerequisites / eligibility criteriaBachelor's degree
Fee100 (US$1.20)

Combined Graduated Level Examination (also known as CGL Exam or CGLE) is an examination conducted by the Staff Selection Commission to recruit Group B and C officers to various posts in top ministries, departments and organisations of the Government of India. The Staff Selection Commission was established in 1975.[1][2]


Candidates applying for the various posts need to have a bachelor's degree from a recognised university at the time of applying. Applicants must be between 20 and 30 years of age.[3][4] The age limits may vary depending on the position applied. For instance, the position for Inspector of Central Bureau of Narcotics, which originally had an age range from 18 to 27 years, was extended to 30 years in September 2018.[5][6] The application fee for 2017 is Rs. 100. All women, people in Scheduled Castes or Scheduled Tribes, physically disabled people, and ex-servicemen eligible for reservation are exempted from paying the application fee.[7]


The examination has four major tiers which are conducted over different days, with results posted after each tier. Previous exams also included an interview tier, but following a government order, interviews were removed for all non-gazetted posts in the central government as of 1 January 2016. A computer proficiency test or a skill test was also added as a tier for some posts.[8][9]

Tier I: Preliminary

The Tier I exam consists of a written objective multiple-choice exam with four sections, covering the subjects of:

The exam is typically scored with a maximum of 100 marks per section, for a total of 200 marks.[10][11] Based on results from Tier I, qualified candidates can then take the Tier II and Tier III exams.[12]

Tier II: Mains Exam

Also known as the Mains Exam, the Tier II exam consists of a written multiple-choice exam, in three sections:

Most positions require the candidate to take only the first three sections, but certain positions require the fourth or fifth sections.[10][11][12]

Other exams

Other exams are required or were previously required for certain positions.[10][11] The types include:


The 2016 exam was held in 44 batches across 96 cities.[13] There were 3.8 million applicants, of which 1.48 million took the Tier 1 exam. 149,319 candidates passed Tier 1,[14] and 35,096 candidates passed Tier 2.[15] The final number of positions for the 2016 exam was estimated to be roughly 10,661.[16]

Candidates were allowed to view their answer sheets and point out errors in the grading of answers for a fee of Rs. 100 per question.[17][18]

For the 2017 exam, 3,026,598 candidates filled in the online application,[19] of which 1,543,418 candidates took the exam. 226,229 candidates passed Tier 1,[20] and 47,003 candidates passed Tier 2.[21]


On 21 February 2018, it was reported that the screenshots of the question paper of the 2017 SSC Tier 2 exam appeared on social media before the exam began.[22][23] This led to massive protests.[22] The authorities canceled the exam and the Central Bureau of Investigation conducted an investigation, releasing a first information report that named several entities including employees at Sify Technologies that allegedly participated in the leak.[22][24][25] The Tier 3 exam for that year was also postponed. The 2018 final results were announced in early 2021 after a delay of almost 3 years.

Exam delays

Postponements in exam dates and/or results have been a regular occurrence. In addition to the delays in launching the 2017 Tier 1 exams,[26][27] the 2016 exam final appointments were delayed.[16] and the 2018 Tier 1 exams are being postponed.[28]

See also


  1. ^ "SSC Exam 2016: Eligibility criteria and registration details : Notification". India Today. 6 February 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  2. ^ "SSC exam 2016: Check notification on Feb 13". The Indian Express. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  3. ^ Menon, Puja, ed. (5 May 2018). "SSC 2018 Notification Expected Today, Know Eligibility Criteria, Age Limit, Pay Scale & Selection Process". News18. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  4. ^ "SSC CGL 2018 Notification: Check SSC CGL 2018 age limit, salary, selection procedure and more". Times of India. 20 April 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  5. ^ "SSC CGL Tier I Exam 2018: SSC makes amendment in eligibility, check details here". Times of India. 7 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  6. ^ "SSC CGL exam 2018: Age limit for Inspector post increased, check details here". The Statesman. 9 September 2018. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  7. ^ "SSC CGL Tier-I exam 2016 to held on May 8 and 22". The Indian Express. 13 February 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  8. ^ "No interview for non-gazetted govt jobs from January 1: PM Modi". The Indian Express. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  9. ^ "SSC CGL 2016: Registration date extended : Notification". 23 March 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  10. ^ a b c "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 March 2018. Retrieved 29 March 2018.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ a b c "Staff Selection Commission – Notice – Combined Graduate Level Examination, 2016" (PDF). India: Staff Selection Commission. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 March 2016.
  12. ^ a b "SSC CGL 2017 Tier 1 result declared: 1,50,404 qualify; check cut-off marks online at - Firstpost". 31 October 2017. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  13. ^ "SSC CGL Tier II Results 2016: Declared at". India Today. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  14. ^ Ramball, Tripti (17 November 2016). "SSC CGL 2016 tier-1 results announced". Retrieved 24 August 2018 – via Business Standard.
  15. ^ Khurana, Kanika (1 March 2017). "SSC CGL Tier II Exam 2016 Results Declared, 35,906 candidates shortlisted for Tier III, IV". Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  16. ^ a b Pioneer, The. ""Speed Up the Appointment Process of 10,661 SSC Qualified Candidates" Says Staff Selection Commission to the Government". Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  17. ^ Ronamai, Raymond (7 October 2016). "SC CGL results 2016 likely to be out on Friday: How to check CGL Tier 1 Results". International Business Times. India. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  18. ^ "SSC CGL Tier 1 exam result 2016 set to be declared soon, check for latest update". The Financial Express. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 24 December 2016.
  19. ^ "SSC CGL 2017: Commission receives over 30.26 lakh applications". 19 June 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  20. ^ "SSC CGL Tier I exam 2017: Revised results, cut-off released at, 2,26, 299 qualify for Tier II". The Indian Express. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  21. ^ "SSC CGL Tier II Result 2017 out on; 47,003 Candidates Qualify, Tier-III Exam on 8th July 2018". News18. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  22. ^ a b c "What Is the SSC 'Scam' & Why Did it Lead to Massive Protests?". The Quint. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 30 March 2018.
  23. ^ "'Malpractices' lead to cancellation of SSC CGL Tier II 2017: Important notice released at". India Today. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  24. ^ "CBI files case against 17 people on SSC paper leak". 23 May 2018.
  25. ^ "CBI questions Sify COO in SSC paper leak case". The Indian Express. 26 May 2018. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  26. ^ "SSC CGL Official Notification 2017 delayed: Expected to be out soon at". India Today. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  27. ^ Livemint (19 July 2017). "SSC CGL 2017 tier 1 exam dates postponed, says notification on". Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  28. ^ "SSC CGL Notification 2024: Check Application Dates". 27 April 2024. Archived from the original on 28 August 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2024.