Understanding SSC CGL & Bank PO Mathematics Question Section
SSC has been quite experimental in the last 34 years. Just skim through the last 5 year Math question papers and you’ll exactly know what that means. There has been a sharp contrast in the areas, the quality, and the difficulty level of the questions being asked in the examination. It goes without saying that one should practice all the topics under SSC’s umbrella (all topics are listed at the end of the article). However, the wiser way would be to observe the changing pattern, understand SSC’s mindset and direct one’s efforts accordingly.
“You know what the difference is between a dream and a goal? …A plan.”
4 Most Scoring Areas to Focus on:
About 60% of the Math paper (both Prelims and Mains) is concentrated on the following 4 topics. Practice them rigorously to get the most out of your Mathematics paper.

Algebra
SSC CGL’s favorite areas : include questions on Algebraic Identities, Factorization & Simplification of Polynomials, Simplification of Fractions and Age Determination. Practicing all types of questions from these topics is a must.
The trick : Keeping tables, squares and cubes of numbers up to 30 at your tips will help you a great deal in saving both time and energy in the examination. Remember that the one second you save will enable you to encircle one extra question, which might be the turning point of your career. (The decisive line between cut off/ IPNIP/ Income TaxAssistant).
 If a * b = 2a – 3b + ab, then 3 * 5 + 5 * 3 is equal to :
(1) 22
(2) 24
(3) 26
(4) 28
Ans : 1
Explanation
a * b = 2a – 3b + ab
Þ 3 * 5 = 2 × 3 – 3 × 5 + 3 × 5 = 6
5 * 3 = 2 × 5 – 3 × 3 + 3 × 5
= 10 – 9 + 15 = 16
Therefore, 3 * 5 + 5 *3
= 6 + 16 = 22
 p and q are positive numbers satisfying 3p + 2pq = 4 and 5q + pq = 3. Find the value of p.
Ans : 3
 For what value of ‘a’, the polynomial 2x3+ ax2+ 11x + a + 3, is exactly divisible by (2x – 1) ?
(1) 7
(2) –7
(3) 5
(4) –5
Ans : 2
 If a + b + c = 15 and a2+ b2+ c2 = 83, then a3 + b3 + c3 – 3abc = ?
(1) 160 (2) 175
(3) 180 (4) 100
Ans : 3
 What will be the value of (x – a)3+ (x – b)3+ (x – c)3 – 3 (x –a) (x – b) (x – c) if a + b+c = 3x ?
(1) 1 (2) 3
(3) 0 (4) 5
Ans : 3
 If p = 2 – a, then a3+ 6 ap + p3– 8 = ?
(1) 0
(2) 8
(3) 6
(4) 5
Ans : 1
 If 4x2+ 4y2+ 4z2 = 12x + 12y – 18 then x + y + z = ?
(1) 3
(2) 4
(3) 3/2
(4) 2
Ans : 1
 What are the factors of the following expression ?
Ans : 1
 If a + b + c = 5, ab + bc + ca = 7 and abc = 3, find the value of
(1)
(2)
(3)
(4)
Ans : 1
 If = a + b, the values of a and b respectively are :
(1) a = –11, b = 6
(2) a = 11, b = –6
(3) a = 6, b = 11
(4) a = –6, b = –11
Ans : 2
2. Geometry
Geometry was hardly asked in SSC CGL until 2012 prelims. However, it was this particular topic that resulted in a significantly lower cut off and left aspirants struggling in 2012. Since then, it seems Geometry has become SSC’s most beloved child and SSC proudly wants the world to know the same. From Lines and Angles to Triangles to Circles to Quadrilaterals, practice each and every question from previous year papers.
Some of SSC CGL’s favorite questions : are asked from the concepts around Circumcenter, Incenter, Centroid, Orthocentre, Congruence & Similarity of triangles, Chords & Tangents, Diagonals of a Quadrilateral, etc.
The trick : The more you practice the more you’ll remember some standard, direct results and apply them right away. Just by looking at the question, you’ll be able to create a mental figure and find the correct answer in a matter of few seconds. Also, you will be amazed to know that a lot of questions from geometry can be solved just by making the figure according to the question and guessing the approximate values (angles or lengths). Do take up some questions and find it for yourself.
 ABC is a right angled triangle with a right angle at A. Points D, E are the middle points of AB and AC respectively. Which of the following relations is correct ?
(1) 3 (BE2 + CD2) = 4 BC2
(2) 4(BE2 + CD2) = 5 BC2
(3) 4(BE2 + CD2) = 3 BC2
(4) None of these
Ans : 2
 DABC is an isosceles triangle in which AB = AC. Side BA is extended to D such that AB = AD. What will be the value of ÐBCD ?
(1) 90°
(2) 60°
(3) 30°
(4) 45°
Ans : 1
 Two circles whose radii are 10 cm and 8 cm, intersect each other and their common chord is 12 cm long. What is the distance between their centres ?
(1) 11.27 cm
(2) 12.29 cm
(3) 12.27 cm
(4) 13.29 cm
Ans : 4
Explanation
 In D ABC, AB = 6 cms, BC = 10 cms, AC = 8cm and AD ^ BC. Find the value of the ratio of BD : DC.
(1) 3 : 4
(2) 9 : 16
(3) 4 : 5
(4) 16 : 25
Ans : 2
 In D ABC, a line parallel to BC intersects AB and AC at D and E. If AE = 3 AD, find the ratio BD : EC.
(1) 1 : 3
(2) 1 : 2
(3) 2 : 3
(4) 3 : 2
Ans : 1
 PQRS is a cyclic quadrilateral. The bisectors of the angles ÐP and ÐR meet the circle ABCD at A and B respectively. If the radius of the circle be r units, then AB = ?
(1) r
(2) 2r
(3) 3r
(4) 4r
Ans : 2
 In any triangle ABC, AD, BE and CF are medians. What is the relation between the perimeter of triangle and sum of all three medians ?
(1) AB + BC + AC < AD + BE + CF
(2) AB + BC + AC > AD + BE + CF
(3) AB + BC + AC < AD + BE + CF
(4) AB + BC + AC > AD + BE + CF
Ans : 2
 In any triangle PQR, PS is the internal bisector of ÐQPR and PT ^ QR then ÐTPS = ?
(1) ÐQ – ÐR
(2) (ÐQ + ÐR)
(3) (ÐQ – ÐR)
(4) ÐQ + ÐR
Ans : 3
 If the ratio of numer of sides of two regular polygons be 2 : 3 and the ratio of their interior angles be 6 : 7, find the number of sides of the two polygons.
(1) 6 and 7
(2) 8 and 9
(3) 6 and 9
(4) 6 and 8
Ans : 3
 PQRS is a rhombus in which ÐSPQ = 64°. Equilateral triangles PXQ and QYR are drawn outside the rhombus on sides PQ and QR. Calculate the magnitude of the angle ÐQXY.
(1) 26°
(2) 28°
(3) 30°
(4) 45°
Ans : 2

Trigonometry:
It is the topic that needs minimum time and can fetch you maximum marks. This is because a lot of concepts that you learnt in Algebra can be directly applied in solving Trigonometry questions. Having a good grip on Algebra would make most of these questions a cakewalk.
SSC CGL’s favorite areas : include questions on maximum & minimum values, Trigonometric ratios & identities, simplification, complementary identities and heights & distances.
The trick : Trial and error method works best in Trigonometry. You will be able to solve a number of questions using trial and error. Also, with practice you’ll be able to make the right guesses.
 To a man standing at the mid point of the line joining the feet of two vertical poles of same height. the angle of elevation of the tip of each pole is 300. When the man advances a distance of 40 metres towards one pole, the angle of elevation of the tip of this pole is 60°. What is the distance between the two poles ?(1) 120 metre(2) 110 metre(3) 130 metre(4) 115 metreAns : 1
 Find the simplest numerical value of 3 (sin x – cos x)4+ 4 (sin6x + cos6x) +6 (sin x + cos x)2
(1) 12
(2) 10
(3) 21
(4) 13
Ans : 4
 If cosq + secq = 2, then cos5q + sec5q= ?
(1) 1
(2) 2
(3) –1
(4) –2
Ans : 2
(1) 1
(2) cos A
(3) sin A
(4) 0
Ans : 4
 2 (sin6q + cos6q) – 3 (sin4q + cos4q) + 1 = ?
(1) 1
(2) 0
(3) –1
(4) 2
Ans : 2
 If = m and = n, then (m2 + n2) cos2b = ?
(1) 1
(2) 2 n2
(3) n2 + 3
(4) n2
Ans : 4
 The angular elevation of the top of a tower from a distant point on the horizontal ground is observed to be 30° and proceeding 30 metres from the point towards the foot of the tower it is observed to be 45°. Find the height of the tower.
(1) 15 metre
(2) metre
(3) metre
(4) None of these
Ans : 3
 The shadow of a vertical tower becomes 30 metres longer when the altitude of the sun changes from 60° to 45°. Find the height of the tower.
(1) metres
(2) metres
(3) metres
(4) metres
Ans : 2
Approach to Focus on During Preparation:
The pattern of this examination focuses on two things simultaneously: Time and Accuracy. You’ll get less than a minute to solve a question of Mathematics. In less than a minute you have to read the question, understand it, relate your previous knowledge to it, and solve it. Putting it like that sounds all ruthless and it sure is. During the paper, an above average student with a conventional preparation would score 2530/50 in SSC CGL’s Mathematics. At home, and with time at his luxury, he would have been able to score 4050/50. So what went wrong? He did not follow the rules.
You have to play the game by the rules. The rules of the game do not include words like ‘Intelligence’ and ‘Ego’. It is a test of time management and smart work. In order to maximize your score, it is imperative that you understand this and put it to practice from the first day of your preparation. From the very first day of your preparation your approach should be focused on finding out the shortest way around, practicing it, revising it, in a loop. Following this approach will surely maximize your score.
Approach While Taking the Exam:
As a thumb rule, always attempt those questions first that you are well acquainted with. This is one of the fundamentals of maximizing your score in this format of exam. Realistically, it always gets a tad more complicated with the intrusion of factors such as Ego, Overconfidence, and Examination conditions. SSC always puts in a wrong question or a question with wrong options to test you on these. Accept this nasty yardstick as the fifth section of the examination wherein you have to allot zero time.
Practice Previous Year Papers:
Forget the type; SSC repeats the questions with the exact same figures. Try to solve previous year mock tests which are available at the Study IQ Education. Make a note of new questions that you encounter and keep revising them. Time your mocks, giving 810 minutes for filling 200 circles.
A List of All Topics of Mathematics Asked in SSC CGL:
 Number System
 Test of Divisibility
 LCM and HCF
 Square and Square Root
 Cube and Cube Root
 Power, Indices and Surds
 Simplification
 Average
 Age Determination
 Ratio and Proportion
 Allegation
 Partnership
 Percentage
 Profit and Loss
 Discount
 Simple Interest
 Compound Interest
 Time and Work
 Work and Wages
 Pipe and Cistern
 Time and Distance
 Boat and Stream
 Sequence and Series
 Algebra
 Trigonometry
 Geometry
 Menstruation
 Statistics and Data Interpretation
Conclusion: You can definitely sail through the Math section of SSC CGL exam if you follow the above mentioned tips. However, if you find doing it all by yourself is not possible then you must consider enrolling for Study IQ Education. Doing so will undoubtedly facilitate your preparation and make it much more result oriented.