The Service Selection Board(SSB) is responsible to identify the potential future officers of the Indian Armed Forces through 5 Days SSB procedures from various psychological, GTO, and Interview tests.
The technique adopted in the SSB is an interview technique, group testing technique & psychological technique.
On Average, about 80% & above candidates are being screened out on the first day of reporting at Service Selection Centres due to many reasons including unprepared reporting for SSB.
In most cases, even they are unaware of the entire procedure of 5 days of SSB.
This is why this article will help you familiarise yourself with the SSB 5 days activities once you report any SSB centers as mentioned below.
List of SSB Centers with Boards and Training Center of Indian Armed Forces
Here is the list of SSB Centers you will be called to:
>> Indian Army SSB Centers:
- Service Selection Centre East (SSCE), Allahabad(11SSB,14SSB, 18SSB,19SSB & 34 SSB)
- Service Selection Center Centre (SSCC), Bhopal(20 SSB, 21SSB, 22 SSB)
- Service Selection Centre North(SCCN), Kapurthala(31 SSB & 32 SSB)
- Service Selection Centre South(SSCS), Bangalore (17SSB & 24 SSB)
>> Indian Navy SSB Centers:
- Naval Selection Board(NSB), Coimbatore(INS Agrani, Red Fields of Coimbatore)
- Service Selection Centre South(12 SSB), Bangalore
- Service Selection Centre Centre(SSCC), Bhopal(33SSB)
>> Indian Air Force SSB Centers:
- Air Force Selection Board(AFSB), Dehradun
- Air Force Selection Board(AFSB), Mysore
- Air Force Selection Board (AFSB), Gandhi Nagar
- Air Force Selection Board(AFSB), Varanasi
The system of selecting suitable candidates through SSB’s envisages, is to find out the individuals who can become a successful officer of average caliber after training.
After that, with experience, maturity, and familiarity, it is expected that he would attain higher goals.
What is the SSB 5 Days Process?
Day One – Arrival day & Screening Test
Day two – Psychology Test
Day three – GTO Test
Day four – GTO Test
Day five – Conference Day & Dispersal.
Day 1 – Arrival Day & Screening Test
Based on the Call-up letter issues by the Service selection board (SSB), you will be called to one of the above mentioned SSB Centers.
The candidate should report to the Movement Control Office(MCO) located at the railway station as per the dates mentioned
The timely arrival at Reception Centre established by Service Selection Centre on the day mentioned in the call-up letter is mandatory.
This timely arrival can avoid the initial adjustment problem in a new place and environment.
The staff of the Service Selection Centre will arrange your conveyance from Railway Station to Service Selection Centre.
Service Selection Board : The Initial Activities
The following actions need to be followed at the time of the arrival of SSB center:
- Actions on precautions and preventive actions based on COVID-19 advisory issued by the Government of India (including medical certificate, no risk certificate).
- Checking & verifying of Documents, including all academic results in original, as mentioned in the call-up letter by SSB.
- Certificates including Permanent Body Tattoo as specified by the call up letter.
- You may need fill up Personal Information Questionnaire(PIQ)(May be done on 2nd Day).
- You should carry a sufficient number of passport size photographs and basic necessary items including Masks, sanitizers, etc.
Please keep all documents sufficient copies(including photocopies) in a manner you will have a relaxed feeling to stay cool in the initial one hour.
Also do not forget to carry all the daily personal stuff and other items specified by a call-up letter especially due to this present COVID-19 situation.
After verifying the original documents of the candidates on reporting, the candidate will be called for a screen test.
Screen Test would be the most important & simple yet a crucial test for you.
Because your actions during this test will be watched, assessed and evaluated by all the three assessors together.
Screening test will be divided into four parts:
>> Officers Intelligence Rating (OIR) Test
- The officer in charge will brief about the details of how to appear the OIR test.
- OIR will have two papers containing around 50 questions each.
- Average time @ 25 seconds per question.
- A separate answer sheet will be given to provide an answer.
- Rough sheet, mobile, calculator, watch etc are not allowed.
- No negative marking.
- OIR test consists of verbal & non verbal
Note: It is a very simple and mark scoring test in case you practice for the test.
>> Picture Perception And Discussion (PPDT) Test
- A picture will be shown to a candidate for 30 seconds for observation.
- One minute may be given to mark characters‘ age, gender, mood etc.
- The next three mins will be allotted for writing an imaginary story with the following three characteristics such as the background of the situation, the present activities & future implications.
- Most of the pictures may be some inappropriate/actions that need to be analyzed, identified.
- As the main character, you are supposed to write based on your own experience to deal with this & find out a solution.
- The solution should be acceptable with the other characters of the picture.
- Few qualities of leadership traits and officer-like qualities(OLQ) be incorporated into the story.
I highly recommend you to check out How To Clear Screening Test In SSB (With PPDT Examples) to help you crack your screening test on your first day of reporting at SSB
Day 2 – Psychology Test
The psychological test is basically a written test (using English as the medium) to assess your:
- Balanced Personality
- Attitude & Aptitude
- Leadership Traits
- Planning & Organizing ability
- Social Adaptability
It need determination, motivation and speed of decision & sense of responsibility.
Psychological Testing Technique
Psychological tests are designed to assess officer like qualities in a candidate by observing original and spontaneous responses.
This technique involves administering intelligence and personality tests.
A few tests enable to ascertain the intelligence level of a candidate, which helps the psychologist match the candidate’s responses.
Therefore the candidates should be attentive throughout the briefing of the psychologist.
Personality tests are based on the spontaneous and original behavior of a candidate.
There is the stress of time factors in various examinations.
If a candidate evades spontaneous response, he /she will miss out on a portion of the test.
So It is advised that a candidate should give out original and spontaneous responses to any questions asked
Following personality tests are conducting as part of Psychology Test:
- Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT)
- Word Association Test (WAT)
- Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
- Self-Description (SD)
>> Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT)
This is a test of the imagination of a candidate.
A set of ten or twelve pictures are shown to candidates including the last picture, a blank one, where he/she has to imagine a picture of his own and write the story in almost half a page of the answer sheet without disturbing the sequence.
Each picture is shown for 30 seconds and candidates are asked to think of a plot/story which is written in Four minutes.
A story should have the following three important parts:
a) What might have led to the situation projected in the picture?
b) What is going on without describing the scene?
c) What will be the outcome?
TAT is a test of the imagination of a candidate who perceives the factors leading to the situation and then describes the plot which he/she might have thought of in order to find a practical and workable solution.
The candidate should be optimistic to find a solution.
A candidate should identify himself/herself with one of the character and write a story.
>> Word Association Test (WAT)
- It is a test of imagination and not sentence framing, so there are sixty words to answer.
- Each word is projected on the screen for 15 seconds.
- On seeing a word a candidate is asked to write the first reaction coming to his mind preferably in the form of a meaningful sentence.
>> Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
There are sixty situations contained in a booklet.
- The situations are framed to bring forward the imagination of candidates.
- A candidate has to attempt the situations in thirty (30) minutes
- One should attempt maximum situations.
>> Self-Description (SD)
The test is meant to find out the level of insight of a candidate.
One should be aware of one’s strong points and weaknesses.
If a candidate is aware of his /her strong points, he /she can make use of the strength for further growth and improvement.
If one knows one’s weaknesses, one can always improve with conscious efforts.
If one lacks insight, one cannot benefit from opportunities and training.
A candidate is asked to write five paragraphs in 15 minutes based on the following heads:
a) What is the opinion of your parents about you?
b) What is the opinion of your teachers/boss about you?
c) What is the opinion of your friends about you?
d) What do you think about yourself giving out your strong and weak points?
e) What qualities would you like to develop?
A Sample Self Description is written by a Defense aspirant, presently working in MNC after Engineering is under :
My parents consider me as a self-sufficient and responsible child.
They appreciate my care and concern toward my younger brother.
They also consider me to be a role model for him.
They take my suggestions in all family decisions.
They always remind me to be confident and determinant in the tasks I pursue
My teachers consider me to be a smart and jovial student.
I was the Ladies representative of my college.
Since I was very outgoing I used to be included in various team activities.
They have faith in abilities and hence I have received sufficient moral and emotional support.
They always advise me to rethink before I make any important decisions
My friends consider me a good listener and a trustworthy friend.
They always come to me, in case of any issues.
They understand that I value friendship in high regard and hence are very close to me.
They always advise me to be more lighthearted.
My Manager appreciates my work commitment.
She appreciates my initiative to take up new takes and my approach towards them.
She always advises me to update and improve my technical skills
I consider myself to be a strong and determinant individual.
Who is capable of completing tasks at hand.
Also, my inquisitive and outgoing nature helps to acquire new contacts and learn new facts.
Always eager to learn and never shy away from obtaining knowledge from any resource provided at hand
I tend to make plans without proper execution details.
I am working on the same by being more specific and detail-oriented are my decisions and thoughts
Note: You need to prepare a proper self-description to write up and evaluate. This will also help you with writing the Personal Information Questionnaire(PIQ).
Day 3 & 4 – GTO (Ground Testing (Technical) Officer) Test
>> Individual Obstacles
As the name indicates, this task is an individual task.
The candidate has to go over a course of 10 obstacles during the time period of 3 minutes. the obstacles are numbered from 1 to 10.
The number of obstacles denotes two things:
a) The serial numbers.
b) The marks you score, if you do it successfully.
Things to Remember for Individual Tasks:
- Though, they are numbered, yet are not arranged in a serial fashion on the ground.
Hence you will find that no 1 is in one corner and no 2 may be in the other corner.
Meaning thereby that they may be arranged or laid in a haphazard manner.
- The candidate can go over the course in any sequence that he wishes to do.
- Supposing a candidate completes all 10 obstacles successfully he can start repeating the course again not necessarily serially.
Tips for Individual tasks:
- Do not try to do it serially.
- Plan your course in such a manner that you do all the ten obstacles moving from easy to difficult.
- Show urgency and a sense of purpose in your effort.
>> Command Task
This system is an individual task. Here, each candidate is given an assignment.
In this, you are responsible for planning, executing, and completing the given task in the given time of 15 minutes.
So you can take 2-3 colleagues as his subordinates from the group to do the task.
The rules governing the task are the same as in other outdoor tasks but the group rules does not apply here since there is only one obstacle, and as it is done by an individual.
Tips for Command Task:
- Understand the task thoroughly, when the GTO explains it.
Clarify, if some features are not clear, but do not question the rule. This will only reveal the fact that you are incapable of remembering simple instructions/comprehension.
- Before you begin the task, explain the task and rules to your subordinates briefly.
After the task, when they are going, thank them.
- The helping material should be related to the structures and must be utilized for the same.
- Choose your subordinate not because you travel together or he is your country cousin. But because he could be a useful subordinate for you.
Further, I know you may like to choose a suitably hard-working follow. But it’s better to avoid the rigid diehard persons, who may question you.
- Try and retain ideas from the previous task and if they are handy, use them.
But do not use them blindly or in an unimaginative manner.
- Be conscious and do not allow anyone to break the rules.
A good commander is one, who will work along with his subordinates if required.
- Treat your subordinates with politeness and if somebody has done a good job encouraging him.
- If you get stuck due to some reason, or because GTO has denied some resources, do not ask for suggestions from your subordinates and work out the solutions yourself.
Remember all the outdoor tasks have a minimum of 2/3 independent workable solutions.
- Some times, the GTO may do away with some resources or helping material or certain structures.
This is only to pressurize you. Do not get nervous and be cool and find a workable solution.
- The endeavor should be to complete the task.
But do not worry, if you could not complete the task because it may also be due to the fact that the GTO has put impediments in your way.
So, when he asks later, explain clearly, as to what you have planned to do.
- Never blame your subordinates for your inability to complete the task.
>> Group Discussion
The candidates are tested in two phases:
1. In the first phase, the GTO gives two subjects to the group and the group is asked to discuss one subject
2. While in the second phase the GTO gives them one subject from his side.
The subject is also discussed for about 15-20 minutes and the aim of GTO in the group discussion is to understand candidates, potentials in the following fileds:
- The candidate’s power of expression (not necessarily English)
- The manner of speech
- The awareness of the topic
- The ability to put across reasons in support of his views.
- The ability in grasping details, facts, and figures.
- If you are respectful to other’s views in regard to his views?
- Whether a candidate gives up or succumbs under opposition to others when he knows he is right?
- If the candidate encourages others, especially weaker candidates to speak.
>> Group Planning Exercise
A situation is given to the group, in which there maybe four or five problems.
These problems are to be solved, using the available resources, which should be practical and reasonable.
Human life must get priority over the material.
It is conducted in two phases:
1. in the first phase, the candidate has to write out his individual solution.
2. In the second phase, the group has to discuss the situation amongst them in about 15-20 minutes.
They have to arrive at a commonly accepted group plan.
Once, having arrived at a group plan, the group has to choose a spokesman, who should give out the group solution.
The exercise is meant to find out the candidates ability to solve day-to-day problems in which a certain amount of risk is also involved and to assess his general awareness,
Like is he able to understand and muster available and imaginary resources, which are practical?; further, is he able to function well in a group in an effective manner?
Technique to Write an Individual Solution for GD
1. Firstly identify the aim of the problem, prioritize and write them down.
2. Then write your plan in narrative form, giving due consideration to time and space.
3. Utilize resources appropriately.
4. To explain hidden resources, it is quite reasonable to assume that facilities like hospitals, railway chowkidar may be there. He may have at least a bicycle or at times even a telephone.
During the discussion stage, always try and be the first/second speaker and explain the plan in broad outline.
Remember to give and take ideas from others also.
Active participation, the contribution of efforts to find a group the solution, sacrificing your ideas for a better one, or to especially arrive at a group solution, making the rigid members understand tactfully and politely, are the hallmarks of effective participation.
>> Progressive Group Task(PGT)
The PGT is the first outdoor task. This is a set of four obstacles fixed in a serial manner on the ground, which the candidates have to cross in a manner of a certain fixed time(45 mins) decided by the GTO.
A few restrictions like group rule, color rule, rigid material rule, distance rule are applicable while planning for group activities.
GTO will assess the candidates:
- Is the candidate able to function in the group as an effective member?
- Is he endowed with enough intelligence and practical imagination to be an effective member of the group?
- Is he receptive to other’s ideas and also able to give his own ideas?
- Is he reluctant to soil his hands?
- Is he a hardworking individual?
- Is he in the area of activity or away from it?
- Is he aware of the rules? does he realize when he breaks rules and does he rectify the mistakes?
- Does he restrain his cool and composure even under stress/pressure?
- Is he scared to take risks? but then is he foolhardy too?
- Is he physically tough?
- Is his work based on practical imagination?
>> Group Obstacle Race
The group obstacle race is basically a group activity and each members’ contribution to planning & execution is important.
Some color rule restricts or facilitates each group member’s work together as a team.
During this activity, GTO will closely monitor the candidate’s team spirit, involvement, attitude, and patience to achieve the successful end of the task or race.
A sincere, accommodate and cooperative individual can enjoy this teamwork test very interestingly.
>> Half Group Task
It is a close interactive session of five candidates to identify and solve a problem within the group.
This will give a fair amount of time for GTO to assess Individual candidates.
Individual performance & activities can be easily assessed by GTO.
All rules of PGT is applicable for the half group task. Hence no major difference in conducting part except members of the group will be a maximum of five.
The GTO will invite candidates to speak about a given subject (general knowledge subjects related) for two to three minutes.
He will be given at least one minute to choose and prepare a subject. It is a very simple and normal subjects.
However, the candidate should try to speak according his own education backgrounds.
GTO will assess:
- The general knowledge of the candidate and the subject matter.
- The general awareness.
- The power of expression and delivery
- Confidence of the candidate.
- Time plan.
Don’ts for Lecturette
- Never resort to mannerisms and notes.
- Never try to put on an artificial accent.
- Stand erect in a balanced manner. even the way you stand and face the group suggests something of your personality and demeanor.
- Do not give wrong facts and figures.
- Do not overshoot the time given and do not give up before time.
>> Interview Technique
The candidate is made to talk frankly without any hesitation and inferiority complex.
The interviewing officer assesses the eligibility of the candidate to become an average officer.
He does not expect the candidate to be a “know well” or a “walking encyclopedia”, but he is only trying to find out if the individual has a receptive mind, which can retain issues in his mind.
Is he a person , who keeps his eyes and ears open and is he a person, who keeps himself aware and almost events and happenings around him.
The conduct of the interview is as follows:
The interviewing officer would already have the candidate’s biodata(PIQ) with him.
With this in hand, he would try and find out the details of the candidate’s family background, educational background his extracurricular activities, interest in sports, hobbies, and the like.
Questioning on those in details if necessary, he would access the candidates as to whether:
- You are a person with a clean, clear and healthy attitude
- You are a person who wants to improve himself as life goes on
- You are a person who appends his time usefully and thus he generally portraits the image of an individual with an inquisitive attitude
For e.g: amongst two candidates one has the hobby of stamp collecting or photography and the other has none. it goes without saying that the former has a more creative mind.
Thereafter, he would find out the general knowledge of the individual.
Mind your general knowledge should not be mistaken for general awareness.
General awareness encompasses your whole attitude and way of life of which General Knowledge forms only a small part.
He would then start asking questions on various national and international issues and on aspects in which the candidates have a special interest in current affairs.
This is to find out whether your interest in a particular subject is casual and peripheral interest or whether you are a serious student of that particular interest with the will to learn and improve yourself.
Later he would put the candidate through an exercise in planning and organization, like organizing a school/college/office sports events or a picnic, etc.
The idea is to find out whether the candidate can think of obvious and the hidden resources; whether he can organize the trip with due respect to time and space.
During the course of this, the interviewing officer may deny you various resources to put the individual under stress.
This is done only to find out whether the candidate can think clearly under a situation of stress.
For Example: A candidate may be asked to organize a basketball match. now the most important is the court.
If you say that you would like to use the court that is available in the SSB, he would deny it to you.
You must have that much presence of mind to think of another alternative in a local school or college.
He may also pose problems of incompatibility in your team
Like, one of your teammates opposing your appointment as captain. So your reaction should be that an average responsible individual i.e. when firmness is wanted, show it.
In this case, you have been given a task and it is your responsibility to carry it out.
Even if someone is opposing your capacity, you have been appointed as captain by someone in authority and thus you should be firm with your opposition.
But at no time should one lose temper, take law in your hand or be rigid.
The essentials aspects that you have to bear in mind are:
a) Keep side by side knowledge of all that is happing around you.
b) When you discuss any topic or express your views, you should have related reasoning to support your views.
c) Speak clearly. If you cannot speak in English, speak in Hindi.
d) Avoid artificial way of speaking – be original
e) Speak in a respectful manner – be original
f) Be properly dressed.
g) Do not sport a gloomy face.
h) Listen to the questions carefully and do not answer in a hurry. if you have not flowed a question, ask for the clarification politically.
j) Do not bluff
k) Do not set upset or lose your temper.
i) Never show rigidity of views or mentality.
Day 5 – Conference Day
There are four activities will be before dispersal such as Closing Address, Conference, Announcement of result & documentation.
All three activities other than Conference are informative and routine as part of normal administrative requirements.
- Most important and very formal affairs.
- Be punctual, disciplined, smart & confident.
- You will be asked about your stay, activities, other routine activities.
- The board members are generally officers of the Board consisting of the President of the Board, Technical Officer, Psychologists & GTOs.
- You will be asked any situation/activities based on your performance or any thing related.
- Be cool & chill. Give a impromptu answer which is your true character.
“The true character is revealed in the choices a human being makes under pressure-the greater the pressure, the deeper the revelation….”
The 5 days SSB procedure is one of the most memorable experiences one can even never think of. It is indeed a matter of proud moment for those selected.
It is also a matter of proud experience for those not selected also.
The candidates are undergoing very simple and practical assessments based on their own childhood, family background, social and environmental adjustment.
No preconceived ideas are required to appear for SSB. But you should undergo a self-analysis to find out your potential
If you can understand your strength & weakness based on the above aspects, 5 days of SSB is a walkover towards your aim to become an officer in Indian Armed Force.
If you are able to grasp what Chetwode said on 10 December 1932 while inaugurating the Indian Military Academy(IMA), You just assured that you will be cent percent selected and nobody can be stopped to become an officer of the Indian Armed Forces.
First – The safety, honour, and welfare of your country come first, always and every time.
Second – The honour, welfare, and comfort of the men you command come next.
Third – Your own ease, comfort, and safety come last, always and every time.
If you have any query, feel free to contact us via email and we will get back to you as soon as possibe.
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- A Lot of Candidates fail because of low Mental Stamina, Here are Top Tips to Increase your Mental Stamina