AFPA

Below given is the success story of an SSB aspirant K. Srivastan who was recommended for OTA course in his first attempt.

Start of the Journey

My journey towards joining Defence Services of India started when I was pursuing my graduation degree. In the third year, I gave CDS-I 2014 and cleared the written examination in the very first attempt.

Preparation for SSB

I really had no clear-cut idea as to how to prepare for SSB interview. Which is why, I read several articles online from different websites and also read success stories of recommended aspirants.

From the very first day, I knew that clearing screening test of SSB is very crucial. So I started working on the Intelligence Test. I bought some books, one of which was by R. S. Aggarwal on ‘Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning’. Every SSB candidate will benefit from this, right from Day-1.

After that, I read about all the recent information regarding Armed forces of India.

Actual SSB interview

Once I arrived at my centre, there were only 35 candidates present out of 125 candidates who were called.

Out of these 35 candidates, many were fresher, some were screened outs, some were conferenced outs and others were up for their last attempt.

Even though we were just a team of 35 candidates, I knew the SSB interview is not going to be an easy game.

Day 1 : 

Reporting time for our batch was 7.00 am. We were headed to a hall, where they explained complete Day-1 procedure. First test was PPDT and we were shown 1 clear image.

Fortunately, I was able to write a good story based on the image. The real concern is the Discussion Round.

  • Every candidate is trying to put forward their views but you should never give up. Maintain your temper, don’t get too aggressive and try to convince your teammates by giving valid points.
  • Being calm and being silent are two different things. You need to express yourself with calmness, but that does not mean you remain silent all throughout.

Out of 35 candidates, only 19 were screened in.

Day-2 : 

Don’t take Psychological tests for granted and perform poorly. This will create a wrong image of YOU.  

Never think that Psychological tests have no significance.

One can easily get conferenced out due to NOT showing right psychology needed in an Officer of Armed Forces of India.

All of the Psychological tests- TAT, WAT, SRT and SD need to portray the image of real YOU. Don’t fake it, just be yourself.

Day-3 : 

First session was of Group Discussion. Our group was quite cooperative, so we never really argued or made a chaos.

On the contrary, GPE (Group Planning Exercise) was really quarrelsome and dominating. We did not really maintain calmness and didn’t come at a common conclusion.

Progressive Group Tasks went easy, everyone was cooperative and expressed their views properly without much domination. All of the teammates were put to use and we crossed the obstacles. Same with HGT.

In Group Obstacle Group we helped each other to cross obstacles, which showed good team spirit. Our team was the first one to finish the test.

Day 4 : 

First thing on Day-4 was Individual Obstacles. I was only able to cross 9 obstacles and I fell down. One tip for the candidates, if you fall down, just get up and go ahead. Don’t worry about getting injured.

To be honest, I was not really happy with my performance in Command Task. I did not speak loud enough and got addressed by the GTO for the same issue.

Then came Lecturette, which was easy as I chose to talk on ‘Equal rights to Women’.

Next, Final Group Task was not very difficult. All in all, I was not really content with my Day-4 performance.

Personal Interview :

Luckily, my PI lasted for only about 15 minutes. It was quite the opposite with the other candidate who gave minimum 1 hour of interview. Only two candidates were interviewed on Day 4.

Though the interview lasted for 15 minutes, IO got the most out of me. Questions were mostly factual and were about the army such as HQs, commands, rank structure, weapons, etc. I think this really made an impression on IO and showed my passion for the Indian Army.

Day-5 :

Finally, the day of Conference arrived. I was excited about it. As I entered the hall, I saw about 15 Officers in Uniform waiting for me. I got nervous but tried my best not to show it.

IO asked about the Weapons and Services in Indian Army. The President asked questions regarding my college, friends and checked my psychology. All of this lasted for about 2 minutes.

At last, all of the students were asked to wait in a hall. An Officer of the Lt. Col. Rank arrived and consoled us to give another attempt if anyone failed this time.

I was Chest no. 8 and as much as I couldn’t believe it, I was first one to be called out. To say I was shaking would be an understatement. Everyone clapped for the recommended candidates.

Main Takeaways:

  • There’s no point in being fake or copying others. Just be unique. Find out what makes you stand out from others. Tell that to your IO.
  • Never boast or praise yourself in front of the IO. Also, don’t try to gain his sympathy.
  • Never try to dominate other candidates during Group discussions, but also don’t be silent. Give 2-3 good points and listen to others.
  • Psychological tests, it is not about how many stories, number of words or situations you attempt. It is about how you perform in it. Try to be logical, precise, effective and optimistic.
  • In Individual Tasks, try your best to finish it in one go. Don’t hesitate while crossing the obstacles.
  • Get to know pretty much EVERYTHING you can, about Armed Forces of India. Trust me, it will help you a lot during the PI and also in Conference sometimes.
  • Be physically fit. It will help you be energetic during Group Obstacle and Individual Obstacle rounds.
  • Lastly, try to inculcate OLQs in yourself. You should act like an Officer in your behaviour, dressing, walking, talking, body language, grooming, etc.