OSSC CGL Exam Pattern 2023: An In-depth Analysis

The Odisha Staff Selection Commission’s Combined Graduate Level (OSSC CGL) exam is a significant competitive test for graduates aiming to join Odisha’s civil services. The examination pattern, recently updated for the 2023 cycle, serves as the blueprint for aspirants to strategize their preparation and approach. This detailed guide will navigate through the intricacies of the OSSC CGL exam pattern 2023, informed by the latest notification dated 07th October 2023.

Latest Notification Insights

The OSSC CGL 2023 exam pattern has been carefully structured to assess candidates across a variety of competencies. The notification, released on the official website, delineates the framework for both the preliminary and main examinations, including the types of questions, marking scheme, and time allocation, all of which are crucial for candidates to understand in their preparation journey.

OSSC CGL Exam Pattern 2023: A Detailed Analysis

Preliminary Exam Pattern

Structure and Format

  • Question Type: The OSSC CGL preliminary exam will feature 150 multiple-choice questions (MCQs), each designed to test the candidates’ general aptitude at a level comparable to the 10th standard curriculum​​.
  • Marking Scheme: Every question carries a mark, culminating in a total of 150 marks. Candidates must navigate through these questions with precision due to the negative marking involved.
  • Negative Marking: For each incorrect response, 0.25 marks will be deducted, emphasizing the need for accuracy in answering​​.
  • Duration: A period of 2.5 hours is allocated for the preliminary exam, requiring efficient time management skills from candidates​​.

Strategic Approach to Negative Marking

Understanding the negative marking is critical. With 0.25 marks deducted for each incorrect answer, candidates must balance speed with accuracy. A single wrong answer can impact the overall score significantly, especially in a tight competition.

Mode of Examination

  • Online Exam: The preliminary exam will be conducted online, requiring candidates to be well-versed with a computer-based test environment​​.

Understanding the Selection Process

The selection process for OSSC CGL is multi-tiered, starting with the preliminary exam. This stage is designed to filter candidates based on essential skills and knowledge before advancing them to the more rigorous main examination. The prelims, therefore, are not merely a formality but a significant hurdle to cross.

Mains Examination Framework

The mains examination consists of two distinct papers, each designed to test different competencies:

  • Paper Composition: The mains exam features two papers. Paper 1 assesses quantitative aptitude and logical reasoning, while Paper 2 tests general knowledge and language proficiency.
  • Question Types: Candidates will encounter both objective type and short answer type questions, demanding not only quick thinking but also a clear and concise expression of ideas​​.
  • Marks Distribution: Each paper carries a weightage of 100 marks, summing up to a total of 200 marks for the mains examination​​.
  • Duration: Similar to the prelims, each paper must be completed within 2.5 hours, challenging the examinees to manage their time effectively​​.

Detailed Insights into Papers

Paper 1
  • Objective Questions: These will primarily cover quantitative aptitude and logical reasoning, areas that require strong analytical skills.
  • Short Answer Questions: Here, candidates must articulate their responses with brevity and accuracy, demonstrating depth of understanding.
Paper 2
  • General Knowledge: This section tests the candidates’ awareness of their surroundings, current affairs, and essential historical and geographical knowledge.
  • Language Proficiency: Candidates’ command over language, both Odia and English, will be assessed through comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary.


Technical Competencies

For certain posts, such as Auditor, Inspector of Supplies, and Junior Assistant/Clerk, a computer skill test is mandated, adding an extra layer to the selection process. This test evaluates the practical capabilities of candidates in handling day-to-day tasks required in government services​​.

The Significance of Mains Examination

The mains examination is not just a test of knowledge; it’s an assessment of a candidate’s ability to apply that knowledge in practical, real-world scenarios. It’s about demonstrating critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills, all within the constraints of a timed environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many questions are in the OSSC CGL Prelims?

There are 150 questions in the preliminary exam​​.

Is there negative marking in OSSC CGL Prelims?

Yes, incorrect answers will attract a penalty of 0.25 marks​​.

What is the selection process for OSSC CGL?

The selection process includes Prelims, Mains, and Certificate Verification stages​​.

What is the time duration for OSSC CGL Exams?

Both the Prelims and Mains exams have a duration of 2.5 hours each​​.

Final Words

The OSSC CGL examination is a challenging yet rewarding hurdle. A thorough understanding of the exam pattern equips candidates with the necessary insights to plan their study schedules and refine their examination strategies.