How to study SSC CGL General Awareness section for a beginner's level

How to study SSC CGL General Awareness section for a beginner's level

General awareness is scoring but a broad subject especially if you are a beginner. We are providing you a step by step guide along with some tips to help the students, especially beginners, to prepare General Awareness section for SSC CGL Exam.

Start by making a study plan.

(i) Your strategy for preparation of GA section depends upon how much time you have/or willing to devote which in turn depends upon how strong your other subjects (Quant, Reasoning, English). Another factor which forms the basis of your study plan is the assessment of your current hold on the subject. We recommend taking up at least two/three online mock tests before making a study plan. By comparing your score with the cut-off/overall score of the toppers you will get an idea of where you stand which in turn will help you to decide what you need to do.

(ii) Don’t make a study plan when you are externally motivated. A lot of times people get so pumped up after watching motivational videos reading quotes/books etc. that they make unrealistic plans. But when the source of their motivation is external it tends to die in a day or two. They realize that this and end up deflating themselves in the process.

(iii) Get an overview of the syllabus.
Now, let's take a look at what you need to study for preparing this section.
By analyzing the pattern of previous year’s questions, we have observed that around 60 percent of the questions are based on static GK. Lucent is helpful for this part. Around 30 percent of the questions are based on general science. You can also opt for NCERT books if you have sufficient time. Around 5 percent of the questions are asked from current affairs. You should allot a week or two for this part and you can download our free monthly digest (available at gradeup) which consists of all the relevant events/news which are important for the exams. It is better to leave this part for the end preferably two weeks before the CGL tier 1 exam as your short-term memory will be sufficient for this part and you will able to go through all the recent news and updates.
Your study plan should have all the details including the target dates on which a particular topic is to be completed

Stop procrastinating
Do not choose something else instead of the task which you have according to your study plan. It will decrease your likelihood of giving up on the plan.

Here are some tips which would help you in preparing for GA.

1. Timing:
        Be it GK or any other topic which involves learning a new concept, it is better to start afresh in the morning and afternoon.
        As for practicing Quant/Reasoning, evening or night time is best. Don’t avoid pushing your boundaries during the preparation stages.
        The harder you push yourself, the more efficient you will become. This notion that it is necessary to relax after regular intervals is only effective in increasing your short-term output but not so effective in increasing the capacity/endurance of your brain.
        The best time to practice Quant/Reasoning is when you are most tired.

2. Start with your favorite topic.
        It will help you in giving an initial boost of motivation and increase the likelihood of following your study plan.
3. A regular revision
        It will make sure you don’t forget what you have learned.
        You must allot time for regular revision in your study plan.
        It should be comprised of three stages. (a) Daily revision- You should devote at least 10 percent of your daily time for this part preferably at the night right before bedtime. Similarly, incorporate weekly and monthly revision in your study plan.

4. Convert words to pictures.
        Most of us remember visual cues better than words. 
        Try to create a visual image for the given topic that you are trying to memorize.
For example, Vijaywada town is located along Krishna River (Visualise Lord Krishna guiding Pandavas to victory).

Following methods can be used for this:
(i) Splitting: It involves splitting the words and finding a link between them. You can use a highlighter for this purpose.
For example, Capital of Northen Rhodesia is Zambia (Imagine that there are lots of traffic jams on the roads)

(ii) Linking: It involves using the first alphabets of the words and creating a hypothetical sentence which you can remember. It is helpful when the sequencing of the words are to be memorized.
For example, for memorizing the layers of the atmosphere in decreasing order of height  Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Stratosphere, Troposphere (I M Spiritual Teacher).
(iii) Try to make what you want to remember as visual as possible. No matter how absurd your visualization is. In fact the more absurd is your visualization is, the easier it will be to remember that particular event or fact.

(iv) This visualization technique is also helpful with the concentration part as it makes learning fun and enjoyable. The concentration power of your brain depends upon your passion or liking for the task you are performing. You might have observed that you have great concentration while playing a particular video game. But when it comes to doing maths, your concentration might not be that great.

(v) This technique might prove to be time-consuming during initial stages, especially if you have a poor imagination. But you will master this very quickly as you develop your visualization power.  Devote two to three days on learning with this technique and see if it works for you.

5. Rule of probability
        It might not be so useful for other topics, but for General Awareness, it can boost your score.
        This technique involves going through all the option and finding out the ones which are useless.
        If you can find two such options, make sure you take the risk and do the guesswork as the number are in your favor i.e. there is a 50% chance of you getting rewarded with one mark or penalized by 0.25 marks.

6. Find out a peaceful place to study.
        It is necessary especially while learning new concepts or preparing for GK to find a peaceful place to study.
        If you are not able to find such place, then use earplugs/earmuffs or a combination of both.
        You can also put on your headphones and listen to white noise as it will cancel out all the noisy distractions outside. 
        Use a highlighter to mark the important topics/words while studying GA will also enable you to concentrate longer.

7. Pamper your brain.
        Get enough sleep. A research found the sleep-deprived students obtained lower grades due to the fact that it impacts memory and concentration.
        Practicing meditation, listening to binaural beats or the sound of tanpura, spending time in nature will also be helpful in improving your concentration and memory.
        Try to limit your internet/gadgets usage for the purpose of studies only. As these gadgets have a negative impact on your concentration and fill up your hard-disk(memory) with irrelevant information.

8. Eat right:
        Avoid having calorie dense food/junk food, especially before the examination, as it causes drowsiness and effects your concentration. It also increases your sleep requirements.
        There are some foods that can help boost your memory in the long term like green vegetables and omega-rich foods like almonds, walnuts etc.
        Try to eat frequent small meals during the day, instead of three big meals. But do not increase your calorie intake in the process.
        Reducing your calorie intake for one or two months before the exams is also a good strategy as it will reduce your sleep requirement. Research suggests that calorie restriction increases your cognitive functions.

9. Exercise
        It is important for the vitality of all the organs of your body including your brain.
        Short sprints are not only effective in pumping oxygen-rich blood to your brain but are also a time-saving exercise.
        Even five minutes can be sufficient depending upon the intensity of the sprints.
        Inversion exercises like headstand or shoulder stands are also effective as it increases the blood flow to the brain, providing more oxygen and nutrients and making the brain function faster and better.
        This improves concentration, memory, observation and boosts clear thinking.

10. Use your time wisely.
        As each and every minute counts so make sure you find out the ways to learn in inconvenient places/environments.
        For example, while traveling you can put on your headphones and listen to some GA videos. We have many such videos available on our YouTube channel.

If at any given point, you find yourself falling sort of your targets you set up in your study plan, you can use our study notes which are based on important topics and previous year questions.

Download SSC CGL app in hindi, and get free study material, notes, quizzes, online mock test, & previous year question papers.

Please check our NCERT Solutions app which we have released recently for Class 6 - Class 12.

How to study SSC CGL General Awareness section for a beginner's level How to study SSC CGL General Awareness section for a beginner's level Reviewed by Target Study IQ on May 23, 2018 Rating: 5

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