One Word Substitution for Competitive Exams

One Word Substitutions (OWS) questions test the ability to replace a phrase or sentence with a single precise word. For example, "a person who avoids social interaction" can be substituted by the word "recluse".

OWS questions enhance vocabulary knowledge and understanding of nuances between similar words. Expect around 5-6 OWS questions in the SSC CGL Tier 1 English section.

OWS Syllabus for SSC CGL

Although not explicitly mentioned in the syllabus, OWS is covered under "Synonyms and Antonyms". OWS questions can involve:

  • Replacing phrases with single words
  • Identifying synonyms
  • Understanding subtle differences between near-synonyms

Strategies to Master OWS

Important Strategies:

Strategy Details
Vocabulary Building Focus on synonyms, antonyms and OWS specific word lists
Practice Solve previous year papers and mock tests
Logical Thinking Understand nuances between similar words
Avoid Traps Analyze options carefully before selecting answers

Some key strategies to master OWS include building a strong vocabulary, practicing with previous year papers, thinking logically about nuances between similar words, and avoiding trap answer options.

Final Tips

When attempting OWS remember that:

  • Accuracy is most important
  • Proper time management can help maximize score
  • A positive attitude and dedication leads to success

By following these tips and putting consistent efforts, one can truly master OWS for SSC CGL.


In conclusion, understanding the concepts behind One Word Substitutions, having robust strategies to tackle them, building vocabulary, and practicing with a positive attitude will help SSC CGL aspirants master this section, contributing significantly towards the final score.


Q1: How many OWS questions can one expect in SSC CGL Tier 1 exam?

A1: You can expect around 5-6 OWS questions in the English section of SSC CGL Tier 1 exam.

Q2: Is OWS specifically mentioned in the SSC CGL syllabus?

A2: No, OWS questions come under "Synonyms and Antonyms" in the syllabus.

Q3: Why is vocabulary building important for OWS?

A3: A strong vocabulary enhances your ability to substitute phrases with appropriate single words.

Q4: How can previous papers help in mastering OWS?

A4: Practicing with previous papers helps understand exam patterns and improves speed and accuracy.

Q5: Should one memorize replacements for OWS?

A5: Rather than just memorizing, focus on the underlying logic and subtle meaning differences.

Q6: What role does time management have in OWS?

A6: Proper time management ensures you don't spend too long on any single OWS question.