Thematic Apperception Test-TAT Of SSB Interview

Thematic Apperception Test is the second objective test employed by the SSBs to test the personality of the candidate. It is also a test of the candidate’s imagination. If an outline or hazy and vague picture is shown to a candidate, he will interpret it according to his imagination. These pictures, therefore, stimulate the thought processes of the candidate and he is able to weave around it a story.

It is an attempt to let the candidate have flights of imagination. It is a method of exploring matter from a person’s subconscious mind by stimulating his fantasy and interpreting it. The candidate is encouraged to come out with ideas and inner hidden or latent material which will not be available to us normally.

Why  Thematic Apperception Test?

This pictures originally employed for this purpose were very vague. There was a great play of projection or inner subconsciousness in the interpretation of these T.A.T pictures  Pictures with greater  details and needing less play of projection and imagination were introduced by two psychologist, Murray and Margon, who used these in 1903 and the same are generally in use in India.
In TAT, the picture used by the SSBs are on the model of Murray’s pictures, but they are almost clear and not hazy. A set of 12 pictures is generally used including one blank slide. A slide of each picture is shown on a screen with the help of a magic lantern for half a minute and the candidates are required to write a story based on the picture in a period of four minutes in the particular space provided on the answer sheet.
These test is based on the theory that in the construction or stories around ambiguous pictures, the candidate organize material from his own personal experiences, partly as a result of the stimulus that he receives i.e. what he finds in the picture and partly his associations with such stimuli recalled from his past experiences.

Characteristics of the Story

The candidates must remember that there are certain essential elements or components of a well constructed story. These are:
  • The Hero: Each story must have a hero or the chief character with whom the writer identifies himself. The hero should exhibit qualities which an officer of the Armed Forces should possess. He should act and behave like a normal human being and not like a supernatural being.
  • Other characters who help the hero in the execution of the task undertaken by him.
  • Situation in the Story:
    • What it is ?
    • How it came into being or what events led up to it?
    • What will be the outcome or conclusion?
  • The them or plot:
    • It is an attempt by the hero, assisted by other characters to organize the story by pooling all the resources at this disposal in order to successfully solve the problem by him.
    • The plot should be interesting and end successfully.
    • It should be self-evident. The reader must not remain in doubt about it or keep on guessing it.

Sample Pictures in TAT:

Three sample TAT pictures are given below, you can post your story in the comment box below and also read other’s story to get an idea of TAT.
 Thematic Apperception Test
TAT Picture 1
 Thematic Apperception Test
TAT Picture 2
 Thematic Apperception Test
TAT Picture 3
There are certain differences in TAT and PPDT, candidate must not confuse between TAT and PPDT, to know more about PPDT read ” Picture Perception and Discussion Test
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  • picture 1.

    Ashok, an athlete, was in the final year of his graduation in engineering. He was very keen to run in marathons. A marathon was going to be held in his city. He decided to participate and enrolled for the same. He consulted his coach and started the preparations. He woke up early in the morning and silently went for practise without making any noice. He kept targets in for of him and ran to complete it in estimated time. At the beginning he was falling short by few minutes, which he improved over days. He increased his diet, did stretching exercises after the run. day by day improved the performance. On the appointed day he participated and performed very well.

    Picture 2:

    Shoeb was an enginering student in Ramnath college of technology. He had a hobby in trekking. After his exams he wished to take a brake and go for trekking from nagra hill to pithora garh. He talked to his friends and they all agreed upon the idea. He made all the arrangements and they left on the next morning. They started the hike and were enjoying the beauty of the surroundings. Suddenly the way forward was seen blocked due to landslides which had come the last night. Shoeb analysed the situation and took a decision to move forward by making way out of the malba on the track. With great difficulty and teamwork they managed to cross the hurdle. They continued and reached their destination successfully. Tough difficult, the tour was adventurous and memorable for the group. They felt energised and joined their schedule tasks again.

    Picture 3:

    Ranjan had just finished his doctorate and was posted in rampur village. One day, while on duty he was told about a man having severe heart attack. Patient was at his home right at the corner of the village. Ranjan quickly took all his instruments and rushed towards the spot on his scooter with an assistant. Reaching there he examined the condition of the man, and concluded to operate the man at the spot. He asked his assistant to make the arrangements and then operated on the patient. Blood was arranged from a person in the locality. With great difficulty, Ranjan was able to recover the person after hours of pain. From this incident, Ranjan took a lesson and worked for better evacuation arrangements like ambulance, blood bank in the village. With his efforts no such case emerged in the village in the future.

    Sir what about these stories. Do tell me the improvements required……..

    • good stories……….

    • the third story looks unrealistic because one cannot operate heart in such an open environment including a house which may risk him to a number of infections…also there are lot more methods to survive a heart attack rather than operation.also the skin of the upper abdomen is been cut and not chest and if u are operating the heart u need the chest to be cut open. the third picture also shows a presence of rifle which has not been seen in story. you need to rethink on the 3rd story.

  • picture 1
    Rahul a college student . he used to go out to play with his friend amit. one day while he went to call his friend he found that amit was having high his parents went to their relatives.he immediately give him paracetamol and took him to hospital .doctor gave him medicine after his fever came down he was discharged. on that day rahul slept which his friend so that he can take care of his friend at night.he him time to time medicine and his friend finally overcome his illness.and they started playing together.

  • sir can u please tell me about my story and also tell me about my mistake and improvement
    i m having my ssb on 4 th

  • Nikhil was a 12th class science student. His boards were near and he has prepared too well for exam , he wanted to top the exam. Unfortunatly he fell ill few days before exam because of taking too much stress. He lost hope thinking he would not be able to sit in exam he was depressed. He saw his father coming towards his room, he put his hand on nikhil’s head and said ‘Son,I know you have capability and you will surely do good and make me proud’ His father’s words worked like magic for him, made him raise his confidence again. He gathered his courage and said to himself that he will recover from the illness as such petty issues cant hinder him from getting the success for which he has worked so hard. This will made him recover from his illness in a short time. Now he was full of confidence with bouts of dreams in mind. He gave the exam and passed with flying colors.

  • Picture 1 :
    Rajeev is a student. He lives in a hostel with his friends. His exam is scheduled from 01 Mar. Two days before the exam, he felt that one of his friend Ravi is laying in bed and shivering with high fever. He goes to him and touch his head and ask him what else is he feeling. He goes to the doctor and takes him to the hostel. The doctor gave him injection and medicine and told him to take rest. Rajeev goes to see off the doctor and when return back, takes care of his friend. He wash his face and body with wet clothes, give him food and medicine in time. Meanwhile, he brings his book and study there with discussing with his friend. He explains him the topics in which Ravi had difficulties. On the exam day, he took him to the exam centre. Ravi is cured in next 5 days. When the result is announced, both of them pass with distinctions.

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  • Picture 1:
    Rahul was a resident of Mumbai and he was studying in class 12.One day when he was in the school it started raining heavily.After the school was over he waited for the rain to be abated before he left for his home.While he was on his way back to home it started raining heavily again.Seeing this he took shelter under a banyan tree.While he was there he saw a car that met with an accident with another car.People rushed to the spot and tried helping the victims.He too joined them and helped rescue a small girl ,her parents and a driver of another car and rushed them to a hospital.Amid all this he did not realize that he was completely wet.After he reached home he had developed a high fever.His father called a doctor who came and examined Rahul. After 3 days Rahul was fit and fine to go to school and complete his studies.

  • Admin,Please let me know how my story is ??

  • Aman Maheshwari

    sir, pls interpret the 3rd picture… nt getting any sort of idea about it

  • Yogesh Sharma

    heart attack is sever one no buddy can operata such patient on spot so dear the situtation that u have descdibed is unrealastic so my view is that you can ake person was injuired by bullet while he was go for hunting in jungle…….

  • Rajan

    in first story you didn’t tell whats going on n what leads to the situation. 2nd is fine.

  • Rajan

    u had mentioned that he is ill… y do you mention a negative point when you add tha they are coll frnds and one is at home and sleeping and another came and give him surprise and so on..

  • Rajan

    you cant operate any body internally at unhygienic place …major draw back.

  • Abhishek Singh Ujjain

    picture 1

    Ram was a doctor and was currently serving in Palampur Village. He got a call in the morning at around 2 Am that Swetha, who was living in the adjacent village was suffering from high fever and needed immediate medical help. Even though Ram had met with an accident day before yesterday in which his hand and left leg got injured badly and wasn’t able to walk properly. Without much caring about his condition he went to the her house and gave the required medical treatment.

  • arun thakur

    picture 3
    Major navjot was in Indian Army..he was posted in asom..major with some soldiers was patrolling near border..some infiltrators were there and there started firing from both sides..maojr navjot was successful in capturing the infiltrators..but one soldier was hit by bullet in firing..major with the help of soldiers immediately rushed that soldier in the camp where the soldier was cured by the doctors..the bullet was successfully taken out from the body..major navjot was happy to know that the soldier was out of danger.