A DETAILED PREVIEW OF SSB INTERVIEW
Stud of all competitive procedures, nightmare of thousands and the chorus of all Defence aspirants, SSB is a jaw breaking session compiled of numerous tests.
Here is an encyclopedic insight of this crucial session as it bridges you to your ultimate mission.
Service Selection Board- SSB is a multifaceted organization formed to assess righteous candidates for Indian Armed Forces. From Indian Navy to Army to Air Force, the spectrum of SSB is quite wide. In all there are 13 SSB centers spread across India. What happens here? Who constitute it? Your big brain must be piled up with multitude of such questions. Well the answers are simple.
SSB comprises of Psychologist, GTO (Group Task Officer) and Interview Officer who have served at the position of Officer in any branch of Indian Armed Force and are prodigious in their respective subject of specialization.
Their task is to accomplish the objective of SSB, that is, they carry out such tests which access your Officer like Qualities (OLQs). There is a versatile queue of tests including written, verbal and physical assessment.
Oh not to forget, 5 days is the usual schedule of SSB. Yes it’s not a one day procedure but an excruciating, lengthy round of assessment but it’s worth entering Defence.
All those candidates who have qualified written UPSC exam have to appear for the SSB. There are some other entries apart from UPSC as well such as JAG, NCC, UES and TGC who directly come for SSB without any written exam.
Without wasting any more time lets proceed with the procedure of 5 day SSB and you better scan it deep inside your brain if you really want to ace it:
5 Dys Testing Procedure in Details
SSB Interview DAY 0
To commence with all candidates have to report timely to their designated SSB centers. The day begins with a briefing about how the 5 days will proceed, the challenges involved and some do’s and don’t’s. Following this the applicants are required to submit their complete documents which get verified and they are allotted with a series number named as ‘chest number’.
Succeeding these formalities there comes the PIQ form. Consider it not an ordinary form but a step to furnish your base. Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) enquires about your personal details, educational, family, hobbies & interest, and achievements.
Often the interviewer consults your PIQ and puts up cross- question from the same to trick you. So answer genuinely in PIQ.
SSB Interview DAY 1
Also called as Screening tests, Day 1 comprises of the first bunch of tests. Intelligence test lies first in the list. This is a written test which involves Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs). It is both verbal and non verbal and the time allotted to finish it is 30 seconds. 50 verbal and 50 non- verbal questions with a time limit of 30 minutes each is the complete structure of Officer Intelligence Test.
Next follows up the all time famous and multiple terms heard PP&DT. An acronym for Picture Perception and Description Test this is perhaps the most googled test of SSB. As hinted from the name you have to see a picture, perceive it, and then describe it. The catch is you will be shown a picture which will be hazy and blur for 30 seconds. You have to fill in a box foremost with such information as: age, sex, number and mood of characters. Follow it by penning down a relevant story within 4 minutes. Jump to the last step by clearly narrating the story. Once all the group members are done with their narration they decide and reach up collectively to a common story. The results reveal a list of ‘screened in’ and ‘screened out’ candidates. If you fall in the former category then you get accommodation and prepare for day 2 while falling in the latter category expels you from further procedure. The objective of PP&DT is to probe into your thoughts, perception, belief, emotions, logic and reasoning. Make sure your story and narration leaves a lasting impression!
SSB Interview DAY 2
The blood- soul- backbone of SSB is the Psychology test and day 2 has a packed schedule of all sorts of Psychology tests. Central motive herein is to dive into your pschychology and assess your Officer like Qualities (OLQs). It is a conglomeration of TAT, WAT, SRT, and SD.
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) resembles PP&DT quite a bit as here too you will be shown picture and furnish a story on its basis. Difference lies in the details such as: unlike PP&DT here you will see 11 pictures for 30 seconds each and you are supposed to write a story in 4 minutes based on the picture. The 12th slide will be blank and you have to frame a story of your own choice.
Word Association Test (WAT) as the name implies is all about connecting ideas to words. Get used to slides and screen because here too you will be shown 60 words in continuation. Each word will remain for 15 seconds and your task is to write the first sentence that pops up in your mind on seeing that picture. It is an assessment of your responsiveness, thought and ideology.
Situation Reaction Test (SRT) is a test of your moral stance, officer- like attitude and responsible nature. You will be provided with a booklet of 60 situations coming from daily life and you have to give your responses in relation to it. Time allotted is 30 minute. This is a true judgment of a sincere and dedicated Officer.
Self Description (SD) is a descriptive written test, quite synonymous to essay writing. Yes really! You have to give self description by writing about what your parents, friends and teachers think about you as well as your future goal. This is nothing but a self- analytical procedure.
SSB Interview DAY 3 and DAY 4
Huh! Done with day 2? Well if Psychology drained you then get a good rest and a cup of coffee because you need to brace yourself for the tedious GTO session scheduled for day 3.
Group Training Officer (GTO) is a unique mix of physical as well as discussion rounds. The aim is to judge your co-operative skill and group performance. The name itself spells ‘group’, hence the test judges how you behave and co- ordinate with the group. The tests lined up here include:
GD- Group Discussion (GD) is a discussion session wherein two rounds are held. In each round one topic, generally from current affairs, is given and individuals in the group have to put forward their views. Mind it, this is a group task so be harmonious and amiable to other members.
GPE- Group Planning exercise, also known as Military Planning exercise is the 2nd round wherein a situation, in particular a problem from real life is explained through a map and the group has to reach a common conclusion. Again, this test is a judgment of how well you co-ordinate with the group members.
PGT- Progressive Group Test indeed is an exam of your progress. Well this one is a physical round. You are challenged to cross certain obstacle with the help of materials provided such as planks, wood leg etc. along with all the group members. To say simply this is a complete group task.
HGT- Half Group Task lies on a similar platform as that of PGT. You have to again cross obstacles with the help of materials supplied except that the number of group is reduced to half and your chances get easier and doubled.
IOT- Individual Obstacle Task is an outdoor task but an individual one not a group task. Candidates have to attempt 10 obstacles and are marked from 1 to 10.
Command Task– In continuation of the physical tasks comes Command task wherein you are a leader, a commander who has to cross the obstacles through your expert commands. You can choose subordinates for support.
Snake race/ Group Obstacle Task– Must have heard the name in school… snake race, didn’t you? Time to go back to schooldays because this is a round full of fun! Not individual but all the groups compete against each other. The groups are given a snake like rope through which they have to combat obstacles. It’s a complete group effort.
FGT- Full Group Task is nothing but a repetition of PGT except that the difficulty level is higher. You have to overcome the obstacles together in prescribed time limit.
Lecturette round– It is the much awaited session of all SSB. This is an individual task wherein your speech, knowledge, comprehensive skill and confidence is assessed. All individuals are given 4 topics, they have to choose 1 and give a lecture on the same for 3 minutes.
Personal Interview- The name itself has send many in horror but if you have confidence and are true to yourself and the panel then you are in a win- win situation. The objective is to have a face- to- face interaction with the candidate. An expert panel of Interviewing Officers (IO) sits and conduct personal interview of each candidate where they ask questions of all sorts: personal life, education, past experience, aim in life and what not. Also it involves rapid fire round wherein multitude of questions are put up in one go. You have to remember the sequence and answer accordingly. Being calm is the golden key here.
SSB Interview DAY 5
All is well that ends well! Last day involves just a conference and declaration of final result.
In the conference all the SSB officers namely President, Deputy President, GTOs, Psychologists and Interviewing Officers sit together and have a general discussion with the candidate pertaining to their stay and experience. It is done in order to decide who is recommended and who is not.
An hour later the results are announced. If you get to the list then you will have to go for a little medical assessment and that’s it, you nailed it!
No matter how back breaking it may seem, SSB is a once- in- a- lifetime opportunity. It’s thrilling, adventurous and an out- of- the- box experience that will leave its footprint for lifetime so once you get to SSB simply enjoy it!
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