After both unsuccessful attempts at SSB, I knew I had to start giving serious thought to my preparation for SSB. My next SSB call up was for UES-Navy (Pilot) in Bangalore on Republic Day i.e. 26th Jan 2013. I started my journey on 23rd Jan 2013 from Nizamuddin Station to Bangalore City railway station. It was a long journey, but my fellow passengers were really nice and we exchanged information regarding each others’ professions and work in Bangalore. They were entrepreneurs from New Delhi and asked me about SSB. I told them everything about it and they wished me good luck for the same. Since the starting of my journey from Mathura only, I was feeling very positive from inside. I reached Bangalore on 25th Jan 2013 and and stayed at Pioneers’ Corps Guest House.
The next day at 1430 hrs, I had to report at 12 SSB Bangalore. It was very near to the place where I stayed so I just took the cab direct to SSB. I found there were already 5 candidates present. Soon, rest all came in the bus and it was a huge crowd of around 310 candidates. At 1530 hrs, TA and other forms were distributed. That day was passed just in docs verification and filling up of a PIQ form.
Friends, PIQ form is very essential as it’s the only written doc of your personality and comes into use when you are not present physically. Hence, fill it correctly and accurately.
The next day, we had to report at 0630 hrs.
Friends, from here, I shall be telling you about both 11SSB (in which we reported for UES-Army on 2nd March 2013) and 12SSB procedure.
First we were made to sit in a large hall and were given OIR to attempt.
Friends, before every test, there will be proper instructions given. Heed to all the instructions very carefully.
OIR consists of 2 tests, Verbal and Non-Verbal and are very easy to do correctly. Just keep in mind that we have to do those questions first, the answers of which can be deduced directly without any computation.
After that, PP&DT took place and we all were shown a dark picture in which there was a person looking outside a window. Some of us thought of the person as a girl as there was long hair and some thought of the person as a boy.
We had to mark the position of the people in the picture with their age, gender and mood. After that we had to write the Action which we had percepted as happening in the picture. After that 4 minutes were given to write a story. Friends, make sure the story you write must be practical and having a positive outcome.
Soon after, we were divided into groups of 20 and were made to discuss the story among ourselves and reach to a common conclusion. There were 3 assessors sitting in front of us. Initially, everybody started shouting but some of us reacted and made the group to calm down and discuss logically. We were giving out points when again everybody started shouting and the entire group was divided into 2 halves. I gave 2 points for the story and found another candidate’s point very relevant and told the group to implement his point as well. The discussion ended after 5 minutes.
After an hour, the results were announced and mine was the second chest number the announced. That day we had to fill another PIQ form which was slightly different from the first one in terms of the format. Rest of the day was free for us.
Allahabad: - The procedure was same. The only difference was the picture in which there were 2 persons sitting and talking to each other. The discussion was again very loud and we were divided into 2 groups.
Here, my chest number was announced on 49th number.
It consists of 4 tests WAT, TAT, SRT and SD.
WAT:- We were shown 60 words on slides . 15 seconds were given for each word to write an idea upon.
Friends, the sentence must be the first thought that comes into your mind on reading that word. It can be a single word also.
I completed 58 words in this test due to the saved time from SD which is written about later.
TAT:- There were 12 slides shown to us. This test is just like PP test in screening. The only difference is that we do not have to mark the characters and write action. We directly had to write stories. On 11 slides there were pictures and the 12th slide was blank and we were free to make the story of our choice. You could make a story beforehand and write it over there, too.
SRT:- The most interesting test in Psych Test is this test in which there are 60 situations given to us in a booklet and we have to write our reaction to them. The time given to us is 30 minutes, i.e. 30 seconds for each situation.
Friends, we must write the logical response to all the situations as what a normal and intelligent human being would do in those situations.
I could do 56 of them.
SD:- It’s a chance to market yourself. We had to write our parent’s, teacher’s and friend’s views for us. Also, we had to write what kind of person we think we are and what kind of person do we want to become. This too can be prepared beforehand to save time.
Allahabad:- Here, I could do 59 words and all the SRT’s.
Friends, remember about PIQ form. Here, that form comes into the scene.
My interview lasted for 25 minutes in which all the questions ranging from my personal experiences and adventure faced in life to my achievements and my choice of service were asked. I answered all of them confidently maintaining a good eye contact with my Interviewer. In between my interview, my interviewer got a call on his phone in which I got some time to analyze my performance and gain more confidence. I was feeling good about my performance in the interview.
Friends, all the answers given in the interview must be to the point and properly framed. Sometimes, the interviewer asks 15-20 questions at once. In this case, we must maintain the order in which the questions are asked. Also, do read about the organization you are applying for. I was asked a lot of questions on Navy.
Allahabad:- Here my interview lasted for just 20 minutes in which basic questions related to my PIQ and questions such as “what is the size of this room?”, “on what principle does an aero plane fly?” were asked. I was extremely confused after my interview as not many questions were asked in comparison to Bangalore.
It consists of 9 tests in which our individual behavior in a group is determined.
We were given 3 topics to discuss upon, which were,
- Who’s a better cricketer among Sachin, Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni?
- Who’s responsible for crime against women, Men, Women, Society?
We couldn't do that well in the first topic as instead of discussing Naxalism, we were discussing upon the steps to solve it.
In the second topic, most of us could speak up but everybody was talking about only Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev. I took up the points for MS Dhoni and then GTO himself stood up and told us the possible points we could have used in our discussion.
In the third topic, there were many examples given by everybody and the discussion was concluded.
Allahabad:-There were 7 of us in the group. We were given 2 topics to discuss “America’s dominance over the world.” and “Should NATO forces be withdrawn from Afghanistan?” We chose the second topic. The group was very cooperative and everybody got a fair chance to speak. There was just one discussion as GTO had already mentioned that if he feels that he has understood everybody’s personality in the first GD, there would be no second GD.
Friends, it doesn't matter in the GD that you have to speak all the time. We must speak just twice or thrice but the points spoken should be relevant and must not create any confusion in the discussion.
Group Planning Exercise:-
There were 5 problems given to us and we had to solve them simultaneously. First, the GTO spoke the situations. Next, he gave us the note on which all the situations were written. And in the next ten minutes, we had to write our individual solutions. Next, we had to discuss among ourselves a common plan for all the problems and in the end a candidate from the group was made to give the group’s plan.
Bangalore:-Here, we discussed all the problems priority but were unable to make a successful plan.
Allahabad:-Here, the discussion was started very nicely but then out GTO intervened and said “Gentlemen, it’s a discussion” and then everybody started speaking at the same time but eventually plan was made successfully and in the end the chosen candidate gave the plan.
There are 4 tasks to be completed in a time period of 45 minutes using various helping materials such as Balli, Plank and Rope. There’s also a load to be carried with us till the end.
Bangalore:-We had just one day for the entire GTO tasks so our GTO instead of making everybody discuss together the plan, made all of us stand facing the other side and one by one asked us to face the task and give the plan. Initially, I couldn't give a feasible plan as I had not listened to the instructions carefully.
Friends, following instructions make up a lot of your personality. So, listen to all the instructions carefully.
But, after the 10th candidate, my GTO again returned back to me asked me to do it. This time I did it well.
Allahabad:-As there were just 7 candidates and also everybody was cooperative, the PGT was very nice and we all gave our ideas and good ideas were agreed upon.
The group is divided into half and there is just one task to be done.
The group is divided into half and there is just one task to be done.
Bangalore:-As I couldn’t do well in PGT, I was ready for HGT and gave ideas for the task which were agreed upon by everybody and we did it in just 3 minutes.
Allahabad:-HGT wasn't very good as all 3 of us couldn't really find out any plan to complete it. But, we were continuously trying out different plans.
Group Obstacle Race:-
We had to carry a “snake” made out of gunny bag passing through various obstacles with rules such as;
Snake must not touch the ground.
At a time, at least 3 of us must be carrying the snake.
Snake must follow the same path as the group.
Bangalore:-Our war-cry was Bharat Mata Ki Jai and we all were shouting very loudly. Initially, the obstacles were easy but gradually, they got difficult. There was a wall to be climbed and some of my team-mates were finding it difficult to climb up. So, I helped them by pushing them up. At one point, our GTO asked any 3 of us from the group to repeat the task of climbing through a plank having cuts and sliding down. So, I along with the other 2 rushed and did it in good time.
Allahabad:-Our war-cry was Vande Mataram. The obstacles were slightly difficult over here. But, we all cooperated and completed them. Over here too, wall climb was proving to be difficult to be completed so I along with another team-mate pushed my other teammates and he was pulling them up as he had already climbed up the wall. We did well and there was a lot of cooperation among all.
Friends, sometimes the obstacles are such that not all of our team-mates are comfortable with it. Make sure, you motivate them and help them to complete the obstacles. Also, take initiative in whatever the GTO asks you to do.
There are a total of 10 obstacles such as Double Ditch, Tarzan Swing, Burma Bridge, Commando Walk, and Rope Climbing to be completed in 3 minutes.
Bangalore:-I was doing well when on 7th obstacle when the GTO whistled for the next candidate to get ready. After completing the 7th task, I was returning back when my GTO asked me to do the Double Ditch as I had not performed it. Hence, I did 8 obstacles in total.
Allahabad:-I completed all the 10 obstacles this time and as I was going for one more obstacle to repeat, the GTO whistled.
Friends, it doesn’t matter how many obstacles you perform, just make sure you don’t injure yourself while doing them because the sign of injury shows that you did not listen to the instructions carefully. So, leave the obstacle which you find difficult.
From 4 topics, we have to choose one topic and speak upon it for 3 minutes.
Bangalore:-Soon after Individual Obstacles, we had Lecturette. The topic I chose was “Is co-education a better way to develop a child’s personality?” I completed my lecturette in 3 minutes.
Allahabad:-As I had previous experiences of speaking on stage, Lecturette was easy for me here too and I completed it well in time. After this task, we were free.
We are made the commander and can call any number of team-mates as allowed by the GTO to help us to complete a task in time.
Bangalore:-I had made the plan but wasn’t fully sure of it so I was reluctant to implement it. We were allowed to call just one team-mate. GTO told me to implement whatever was coming into my mind and I did that and was able to complete it.
Allahabad:-The CT was a little difficult for me over here. We were allowed to call 2 team-mates. I couldn’t complete it but kept on trying different methods.
Full Group task:-
There is just one task and the entire group is made to do it giving their ideas.
Bangalore:-It was an easy task to bring the bomb out of a circle at the periphery of which there were different structures which we used effectively and did the task in less than 3 minutes.
Allahabad:-Here too, the FGT was easy and a team-mate of mine gave the plan and we all implemented it and completed it in time.
Like this, our GTO was completed. The next day was the conference.
All the members of the board were sitting together and the interviewer or the board president asks very general questions such as “how was your stay?”, “ did you like the city?” , “ what all places did you go to?” Some of our batch-mates were also asked some SRT’s and questions that they couldn’t answer in the interview. It lasted for less than 2 minutes for me at both the places.
After the conference in Bangalore, we all were very anxious about the results. After everybody’s conference got over, we had to wait for an hour when the results were announced. I was sitting on the very front seat and we were told that all the recommended candidates had to tell their names and dates of birth. And the results were announced and mine was the first chest number he called out. I went blank and simply went up to him told him my name and date of birth. That was moment when it was officially declared that Yes, I had it in me.
In Allahabad, the psychologists came and said the results were there in their hands and asked us to tell if they wanted the results in sequential order or in a random order. Everybody said in a sequential order. Then the Psychologist sir said that he would make it interesting and would tell the result in a random order. He also told that he would need the recommended candidates to tell their roll numbers and their names. The he announced the results. When he called out Chest Number 49 I stood up, told him my number and name and went to stand beside him.
I was declared medically fit by IAM, Bangalore for Flying for Indian Navy and MH, Allahabad for Indian Army.
I am very thankful to ssbcrack.com and LT COL P.BALASUBRAMANIAN (Retd) who runs Shankars SSB Academy in Salem, Chennai and about whom I came to know from ssbcrack.com only. He has been a great mentor to me and though I have never been to Chennai and also have never met him, but just over the phone, he guided me amazingly to clear SSB.
I am waiting for the merit lists to be announced and if it’s Navy, then I’ll be joining in June 2013 else for Army it’ll be in July 2013.
4 AFSB Varanasi: N-R
4 AFSB Varanasi: S-O
12 SSB Bangalore: Recommended
11 SSB Allahabad: Recommended