Service Selection Board (SSB) is a team of selection board which conducts various Personality development and general aptitude based tests and interviews for candidates applying to Armed Forces. SSB is generally conducted after clearing first level of selection process, which is generally NDA or CDS. It’s a 5 to 6 days process which consists of various activities and is collectively called as SSB.
The activities in SSB range from Public speaking, decision making, team-work, social aptitude, group discussion, quizzes etc. In this article we have broken down the process of SSB and specified the day to day routine in SSB interview.
Day 0 (Day of Reporting)
Cadets are supposed to report a day before the interview starts. Time and place of reporting would be specified to you by call letter.
On reporting day, Cadets are picked from railway stations and bus stations and brought to the selection center. After reaching to the center, cadets are required to verify their documents and other paper work. The supporting staff helps students in settling down and brief them about the schedule of test and other general instructions.
Every cadet gets a chest number which works as an identity for him for next 5 days.
Day 1 (Screening test)
On day 1, cadets are given several Verbal and Non verbal tests, where the cadet is supposed to use his intelligence and give his thoughts about the problem. Then, there is a picture perception test, where a picture will be showed to cadets for 30 seconds, and then they will be asked to write their perception about the situation in the picture or the story behind it. After writing their own stories, students are asked to sit with a group and deliver their stories. This is the group discussion (GD) part, where all the students will listen to each other’s stories and will finally come down to a common story. This sequence of activities is known as Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT).
The students who couldn’t clear the above test are asked to go home. The remaining students are retained for next four days and are asked to fill Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ). PIQ is very important and serves as a personal information data for the interviewer later on.
Day 2 (Psychology Tests)
The day starts with Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT). In this students are shown various slides and then they are asked to write their ideas about the picture. Students are shown a total of 11 slides and then will be given 30 seconds for each slide to write about. Finally they will be shown a blank slide and are asked to write a story from their own imagination. This process is very similar to PPDT but in this there is no group discussion on it.
After TAT, students are tested on Word Association Test (WAT). WAT is another psychological test, in which students are shown various words on the screen. After every word, they will be given 15 seconds to write their thoughts about the word. A total of 60 words are shown one after the other. Students are provided a sheet of paper and are not given additional sheets. Students are not supposed to do any cutting or scribbling mistakes.
The words shown in TAT, are normal daily used words and students are supposed to write their general thoughts about the words.
Then comes the Situation Reaction Test, in which each student is given a situation and will be asked to deal with the situation. This is followed by a Self Description Test where students are supposed to describe themselves from their parents or relatives point of view.
Day 3 and Day 4 (GTO Tasks)
On this day, students are given certain tasks which they have to complete under Group Testing Officers. The following tasks are given to the students by the GTO:
- Group discussion
- Group Planning Exercise (sometimes known as Military Planning Exercise)
- Progressive Group Tasks
- Half Group Tasks
- Individual Obstacles
- Group Obstacles Race or Snake Race
- Command Task
- Final Group Task
Personal Interview: Personal interview will be held on the afternoon or evening hours of day 2/3/4. Every student will be called individually and a panel of officers will interview him. The personal interview can be of anywhere 10 minutes to two hours. The questions asked are general life questions. The main motive behind the interview is to test confidence and honesty of the student.
Note: Students can choose to get interviewed in English or Hindi Language.
Day 5 (Conference)
On the final day, all the students are asked to gather at a common point. There will be a board meeting where all the examiners including; President, Deputy President, all the psychologists, all the GTOs, and Technical officers will be present.
After the board meeting, the results are declared and the selected students are asked to go for their medical which takes anywhere from 4 to 5 days. The remaining students are asked to go back home and are dropped to the railway stations.
Q.1. Can I give SSB interview in Hindi?
Ans. Yes, You can give your personal interview in Hindi language but for other activities like story writing, you have to follow what everybody else is doing.
Q.2. What is asked in personal interview in SSB?
Ans. Personal Interview at SSB is a general interview where the interviewer asks questions related to your life, family, achievements, future aspirations etc. There is no hard science asked in it.
Q.3. What if a student can not clear screening part?
Ans. If you can not clear screening process, you can not advance to next level. You are asked to leave immediately.
Q.4. What is asked in Group Discussions at SSB?
Ans. In group discussions, students will be given general or trending topics and will be asked to write their individual perception about it. They will be then asked to discuss it with a group and convince people of their points. Through GD, they also access your leadership skills.
How to prepare for SSB?
- Be fluent in English Language.
- Practice essay writing and then delivering it.
- Work on your speaking skills. Speak loud and clear.
- Be aware of current trends and happenings.
- Be confident.
- Learn to work in a team.
For all the tasks a student has to face at SSB, confidence and expression is the key note. The way a student delivers his thoughts is most looked upon by the assessors. The honesty in personal interview is most important.
Even after all this hustle and activities, SSB is nothing but how an individual views his life. It’s a wonderful experience for people who clear it and also who can not.