How to Prepare for GTO in SSB – Step by Step Guide


All about How to Prepare for GTO in SSB

Different Types of Obstacle Test faced by Candidates During GTO Test

Method of Test and How to Achieve Best Results in every test

Ground Testing Officer(GTO) test is one of the most important assessing methods to find out potential officers of the Indian Defence Force.

The Group Testing Officer(GTO) of the Service Selection Board also has a pivotal role to play during the selection of the candidate into future officers of the Indian Defense Services.

GTO apart from the other two assessing officers such as the Psychologist and Interviewing Officer will assess and test the defense aspirants at the SSB center during five days of SSB.

They will use various methods of testing tools available at present to find out the suitability of the candidates in the uniform force.

how to prepare for gto in ssb

Who is a GTO and their Role?

The Ground Testing Officer (GTO) is the individual who spends maximum time with candidates (approximately two days out of five days) to assess the suitability of candidates in various ground testing methods.

The GTO is generally a defense service officer with adequate service and experience in professional and life experience. Most of them are Lt Col of the Army and equivalent ranks in the Indian Navy & Airforce.

He is a qualified individual who has undergone training at the Defense Institute Of Psychological Research(DIPR).

DIPR is responsible to impart training to defense personal to develop selection & placement tools apart from other activities.

The officer who becomes GTO will again undergo practical training at SSB before appointed with the assigned tasks at any of the Service selection Boards as GTO.

During the two or three days of SSB, the GTO will devote his time to assess the candidate’s personality, attitude, leadership, physical & mental stamina, and courage, etc.

GTO will spend adequate time to assess the candidate”s power of expression, sense of responsibility, speed of decision, social adaptability & ability to become a group leader.

Recommended: A Complete Guide to Clear Screening Test In SSB (With PPDT Examples)

How to Prepare for GTO in SSB: A Basic Reminder for Candidates

  • Keep abreast of all that is happening around you including general awareness of political, social & economic importance.
  • Be clear, happy, pleasant, original & fluent in the expression of thoughts.
  • Have logic & reasonable while expressing views.
  • Listen & understand the instructions of officers and other instructors of the SSB.
  • No blame game & accept whatever you are provided with.

What Does The Different GTO Test Assess in You?

1. Focused on individual’s Caliber

  • Lecturette
  • Individual Obstacle Race (GOR)
  • Command Task (CT)

2. Accommodate or Social Behavior

  • Group Discussion
  • Half Group Test
  • Progressive Group Test
  • Final Group Task
  • Group planning Exercise

3. Physical and Mental test

  • Individual Obstacle Race (GOR)
  • Group Obstacle test

4. Speed of decision & organizing ability

  • Half group
  • Progressive group Task

5. Intellectual and Presence of Mind

  • Lecturette
  • Group Discussion

These Tests would eventually see if you have the Officer Like Qualities and can become a capable officer after undergoing academy training

This also requires you to have a good personality. Build an Officer Like Personality from Day 1 with the Officers recommended Personal Development Books

Types of GTO Test

The following are GTO tests conduct to assess the candidate’s suitability into uniform forces:

  • Individual Obstacle Test (OT)
  • Group Obstacle Race (GOR)
  • Lecturette & Group Discussion
  • Group Planning Exercise(GPE)
  • Command Task (CT)
  • Half Group Test (HGT)
  • Progressive Group Task (PGT)
  • Final Group Task (FGT)

Note: There is a number of articles that you can find on the web about details of the test.  But we will only discuss how to process or appear the test from the GTO point of view.

It also mainly discusses the approach of each candidate towards the test in a nontechnical way. It is our endeavor to explain the GTO test in the simplest way without going into technicalities

>> Individual & Group Obstacle Test

how to clear gto individual group obstacle task

There are a certain number of individual obstacle tests that will be conducted to identify the candidate’s physical, mental, and medical fitness.

Keeping in view of defense force employability during peace and war, it is very natural that physical and medical fitness is one of the key requirements.

This tough & hard approach is very essential to maintain the highest peaks and broader areas of our country during times of War & Peace.

Method of test

A very simple, interesting, and entertaining physical activities need to be carried out under the supervision of the GTO.

GTO will brief the method of attempting each obstacle without physical wound or hurt.

A casual approach to this obstacle may lead to injury and body pain unnecessarily.

Hence, listen to the GTO what he wants to say about it. Few candidates may be a repeater or familiar with these obstacles.

But what is important that candidates should see and watch the peculiarities of each obstacle. Familiarise the obstacle and do as per your physic.

If you are physically very good, do it fast and repeat it if possible. GTO will get an opportunity to assess your physical stamina during this time.

Need not worry much about this obstacle test. Because it is a moderate exercise pattern testing method in which any candidates who are appearing for SSB can complete it on time.

Attempt all obstacles one by one and cross as per your choice with a relaxed mind is a small and reasonable approach to this particular GTO Test.

A few of the candidates are better in physical due to regular sports and games.

Here are the different types of individual obstacle test you till need to perform:

1. Single Ramp

2. Double Barrel

3. Balancing Beam

4. Screen Jump

5. Burma Bridge

6. Tarzan Swing

7. Double Platform Jump

8. Double Ditch

9. Commando Walk

10. Tiger Leap

>> Group Obstacle Race(GOR)

GTO will closely monitor each candidate’s personality in relation to cooperation, willingness to share their own comfort and resources with other group members, and stamina.

It is all about how the candidate is able to work together as a team.

how to clear gto group obstacle race task

Victory in group games like Volleyball or basketball depends upon the mutual trust among team members.

During Group Obstacle Race, all members of the group should complete the competition together.

Hence, the more physically fit candidates should come forward and taken on weaker candidates of the group.

Remember the defense force is a big organization where all kinds of people are available and their caliber are different.

But all are the same when a purpose is defined. Hence, group obstacle tests will take group activity and will extend wholeheartedly for the benefit of the group members.

GTO briefing is very important because he may change some modifications and methods to face the obstacle as an individual or group.

How to Achieve It

Regular physical exercises and participation in sports and games from the school level or college level are sufficient to clear these obstacles test.

You can easily develop a physical fitness program as per the choice suggested in this article.

Three to six months of moderate exercise will definitely balance your aim to clear both Individual & group obstacle tests.

Recommended: Increase Mental Stamina to Perform Better in SSB Tests

>> Lecturette & Group Discussion

how to clear gto lecturette

GTO will assess the candidate’s confidence level, power of expression & general awareness during Lecturette and Group discussion (GD).

If you are socially active and have a keen interest to know what is happening at the National & Internation level, then no need to panic because it is again a very simple test by GTO.

But if you are unfamiliar with the latest happenings at both the national and international, you should definitely brush up your general knowledge with these recommended books before attending SSB

A Few Tips to Improve Yourself to Attempt Lecturette.

Select a topic such as Farm Laws and divide it into three parts ie,
Main Body &

Note down each point you can think about in the background (with a little history, the intention of the government).

Law which is passed by the parliament, advantage & disadvantage as part of the main body of the lecturette

Explain to the audience as they are hearing it for the first time. You should add some emotions and incidents that happened during farm strikes.

You should tell the opinion about the subject in which you are addressing the audience(ie conclusion). Do not worry whether your friends are accepting or not.

Some of the Lecturette as given below:

  • Mongolia Russia relationship
  • Terrorism
  • Regional Conflicts

How to Achieve It

If you are a regular participant in college or school cultural and sports events, you need not worry. Everything comes automatically.

If not started to date or you feel like you are an introvert, then do speech practice by standing in front of the mirror daily & start practicing to help you boost confidence and increase your communication skills

Remember, Practice Makes a Man Perfect.

Recent Lecturette Topics to Prepare On

  1. Health Care Preparedness in India
  2. Minimum Support Price (MSP)
  3. Agricultural or Farm Crisis in India
  4. UAE-Israel Peace Treaty & India
  5. India China Border Dispute
  6. Substance Abuse in India
  7. Cybercrime
  8. World Health Organization (WHO)
  9. US-India Relation under Joe Biden
  10. Paris Agreement
  11. Minimum Marital Age for Women
  12. Condition of Labourers in India
  13. Uniform Civil Code
  14. Coastal Security
  15. Interfaith Marriage in India
  16. Cyber Security
  17. Terrorism and the World
  18. Joe Biden
  19. Chandrayaan I
  20. Vaccination Challenges
  21. Illiteracy
  22. Labour Reforms in India
  23. Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA)
  24. Anti Conversion Law
  25. Water Scarcity
  26. India Japan Defence Relation
  27. Rural Women Empowerment
  28. Jobless Growth in India
  29. China’s Rising Dominance in Southeast Asia
  30. Social Media
  31. Women in Armed Forces
  32. Honour Killing
  33. Atmanirbhar Bharat
  34. AFSPA – Armed Forces Special Power Act
  35. India as a Defence Manufacturing Hub
  36. Space Security 
  37. Migrant Workers in India
  38. Nuclear Waste
  39. Electric Vehicles
  40. Economic Impact of Covid-19
  41. World Health Organization (WHO)
  42. QUAD
  43. Corruption in Politics
  44. Interstate water disputes
  45. E-Commerce 
  46. Privatisation of PSUs 
  47. Issues concerning Elections in India
  48. Challenges in Civil Aviation Sector
  49. Ethiopian Crisis
  50. India’s Rise after the Pandemic

Here is a Lecturette Shared on the Topic “Does Union Budget 2021 Enhance the Educational Sector?”

>> Group Discussion (GD)

how to clear gto group discussion

It is an interactive session where two topics may be discussed among candidates.

The GTO will assess the candidate’s accommodative and constructive arguments and logical expression of thoughts.

It is simple for those candidates who participate in school/college debates, extracurricular activities including NCC, NSS, etc.

It is quite easy for the students who are spending their time in reading newspapers daily.

Make a group of friends and encourage them, participate to discuss any issues affecting you or group members starting from water, electricity, food, education, democracy, etc.

A few group discussion topic are as under:

  • The world is facing a lot of problems today. What is the single most problem that all countries should address?

    Regional conflicts
  • Despite India being an agrarian country, the contribution of agriculture is very less in the economy. What are the single most reasons?

    Government policies
    Awareness of Farmers

Having Poor General Knowledge is one of the main reasons for poor performance during Written Test as well as Interview, Brush Up Your GK with our recommended books

Common Points for Lecturette and Group Discussion

  • It is more of individual performance and therefore, project yourself in such a manner that you are pleasant, happy & positive.
  • The facts and figures of the topic should be correct and there is no bluffing game.
  • Concentrate with the power of expression where some sentences need emotion, force, and concern.
  • Show your sense of urgency and responsibility while addressing the audience(during the lecture)and group discussion.
  • Try to speak in such a manner that all group members should listen and add to your given points.
  • Allow other candidates to speak and participate, and listen to their views.
  • Stand straight and speak in a loud voice the way you speak in a classroom while attending “lecturette”.
  • Show your self-confidence by a fluent, uninterrupted conversation during group discussion.
  • Come forward and take an initiative with your group members to show their willingness in order to proceed further during the group discussion.
  • Wait for your chance to express your personal views on the subject matter in the group.
  • Don’t be critical but certainly constructive and accommodate while discussing any topic during group discussion.
  • The aim should be to go along with the group rather than perform individually.
  • Logic, reasoning, solution, and courage to speak are the hallmark of lecturette & group discussion.

Recommended: If You Lack Speaking Skills which could hinder expressing your views during GD, you can check out some of the Best English Books to help you improve to help you make a better impact in both your GTO Test and Generally in Life

>> Group Planning Exercise(GPE)

how to clear gto group planning exercise

Working in a group is always difficult but it the most important and time-saving activity for a common cause.

The different minds will enhance knowledge and generate knowledge and accommodative relationship.

Group planning exercise will help GTO to assess your reasoning & logical attitude towards achieving a common aim.

It is a very common plot to answer if we think jointly and cooperative mentality.

If the candidate extends his hand to other group members and comes with a common plan of action within the time limit is the best way to get the attention of GTO.

>> Command Task

how to clear gto command task

It is the independent and exclusively individual task given by GTO. The task will depend upon GTO’s assessment of you.

What is most important for this test that the sense of organizing ability, determination, and courage to take the decision. Don’t worry about the result of a decision.

Listen to what GTO wanted to tell, remember the dos & don’ts. Helping hands(resources) from your group members should be chosen by you based on your personal rapport with them.

Good friends and a helping hand will energize your motivation and spirit of achieving the aim.

How to Achieve It

If you have responsibilities in the daily functioning of household activities, parents’ business establishments, social commitment including NCC, NSS, etc, no need for special training.

If not, learn to take responsibility to conduct & carry out birthday parties, household expenditure sheets, future plans of the parents.

This will give an idea of how to carry out responsibilities with the firm and determined minds.

GTO’s tests are very much related to our daily to daily affairs in a different setting. Otherwise, GTO will test your personality and officer-like qualities by giving independent tasks.

>> Half Group Task, Progressive group Task, and Final Task

how to clear final task in gto ssb

It is reassessing the candidate’s ability & sincerity towards responsibilities in the professional field as well as in personal life.

Correct and reasonable choice for resources, positive attitude during difficulties, a simple plan of action will assist the candidates to achieve the plan successfully.

How to Achieve It

Be calm, go-getter, accommodative, and the ability to influence the group whenever the group needs an idea.

Go along with a group or team is the basic line. However, reasonable contribution of practical ideas during half group, progressive & final group task will give attention to GTO while assessing the candidates.

How to Improve my GTO For SSB?

  • A pleasant positive approach & smart body language creates feel-good environments in the group.
  • Interaction with group members(whenever time permit) will definitely score additional points to the winning candidates. Be a good soul always and at all times.
  • Being a good listener is always a sign of a good member of a group
  • Pay attention to the briefing given by the GTO before the start of any obstacle. Never violate the rules (it is the basis of G.T.O tasks), and in case if you violate the rule, just repeat the task
  • Choose only the topic you are well aware of and conversant with, choosing a high-level topic will not impress anybody if you’ll not speak well on it.
  • Be judicious in the selection of your subordinates. They will be the ones who have to help you to finish the job.
  • As you have spent a few days with your group, you may know the weakness and strengths of each Group member.
  • Don’t sit/stand back and wait for the opportunity to come your way – grab the opportunity.
  • Playing sports will also improve your team spirit and probably you’ll enhance your leadership, quick thinking and team spirit qualities in you.
  • While answering a question put to you, always be polite. Even if it is a leading question and you differ with the questioner, express your difference of opinion.


A sincere self preparation, knowledge about ground rules(as explained by GTO), expressing clear thoughts, attitude of sharing & accommodating and realisation of own abilities are best and easy ways to obtain maximum chance to clear GTO Test.

The above article gives you an insight on how to prepare for GTO in SSB and the right approach towards various tests conducted by your Ground Testing Officer.

An everyday preparation for both your physical and mental stamina can give you an edge to easily clear most of your tests.

All The Best!

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