Hello everyone, I’m Cephas Chetan from Hyderabad and I got recommended by 24 SSB Bangalore for the Indian Army TES-30. I’m a regular visitor of ssbcrack.com and I must say that some credit of my success goes to this amazing site which reaches out to all the SSB aspirants. I would like to share my experience in a step by step way, so that it can be of more help to the candidates aiming to clear the SSB.
I was called to attend the SSB for the last batch of the TES 30 in Bangalore, by 24 SSB on 10th November. We completed all the formalities by evening, and there were a total of 118 aspirants who reported, out of which one was sent back as he had a percentage of 81.6 whereas the cut off was 82. We had our dinner and went to sleep waiting for the first day.
First Day – Screening
On the first day, we had the screening test. The intelligence tests were quite easy, but the dice questions were
a bit tough. I followed just one book, Arihant SSB which helped a lot. Almost everyone was pretty happy with their own performance.
Next, we had the Picture Perception test. We were shown a picture of two girls/women and a doctor in between them. Everyone wrote the story to the best of their imagination. Next, we were called for the narration wherein each of us had one minute to explain our story in brief in front of the 4 assessors and 10 other candidates. As soon as we completed our narration, we were asked to have a group discussion and reach a common story. As expected, it turned out to be a huge mess, with each person trying to dominate the group. At the end, almost everyone got a chance to speak at least once and we were quite happy as a group. In the end, 38 out of 118 got screened in and from our group, 7 out of 10 got in, including me. We were allotted new rooms and I was allotted the chest number 18. At the end of the day, we were given a PIQ (Personal Information Questionnaire), in which you have to write details about yourself. Be careful; do not bluff about anything as the interviewer will ask you questions based on your PIQ.
My experience and Suggestions- Obey the instructions and follow them implicitly. Some people cook up stories associated with the NDA, or the Army background. It is good to have a story with a positive background but don’t overdo or stress on the defence background, because it might look too dramatic.
I wrote a plain story, that there were two MBBS students who had a doubt in their subject, got the doubt clarified by their doctor and passed the exams. Remember, the key to get screened is the narration. If you’re fluent enough and don’t fumble, you’re sure to get screened in, even if you add just one point in the group discussion. The role of the group is very important, hence be on good terms with everyone in the group.
Regarding the PIQ, just be honest in writing about yourself and your hobbies. If you bluff, they’ll find out somehow and you’ll be at a loss.
Second Day- Psychological Tests
Time Management is The Key. On the second day, which is regarded as the most important day, we reported by 6:15 and our tests began by 6:45.
We were briefed about each test in advance, after which time was allotted for doubts.
The first test was the THEMATIC APPREHENSION TEST (TAT)- 11 pictures and 1 blank slide were shown, and we had to write a story on each of them. It’s quite an easy task, but be mindful of the time, as watches aren’t allowed and only 4 minutes are allotted per picture. The final slide was a blank one, as we had to write a story based completely on our imagination.
Experience and suggestions – As always, don’t start nor end the story on a negative note. In the final slide, after which you have to write a story of your own, keep it simple and not too cinematic. Start writing fast from the word ‘go’. Time management is the very important.
Next test was the WORD ASSOCIATION TEST (WAT) – 60 words were shown one by one and 15 seconds were allotted for each word. We had to form sentences using each word. Quite a stressful activity, because by the time one thinks about the sentence formation, the time allotted would get over.
Experience and Suggestions – I attempted 58 words, but quantity isn’t the key. It does give you a fair advantage, but quality of the sentence plays a vital role. Don’t frame sentences like ‘ We should not fight’ or ‘ We should not smoke’. Instead try to keep it simple and try to keep it innovative – For example, consider the word ‘love’ . Most of them write ‘ I love my country’ and stuff like that. Instead, you could write something like ‘ I loved Sachin’s farewell speech’.
Next, we had the SITUATION REACTION TEST (SRT) – 60 situations were given and legitimate responses were supposed to be given by us in 30 mins. Stressful activity again, and requires quick reflexes and quick decision making.
Experience and Suggestions – This is one test where quality and quantity are directly proportional. The more you answer, the more you talk about your quick reflexes. At the same time, keep the responses legitimate. I attempted 58-59 out of 60, but except for me everyone completed only 45-50. Anything between 45-55 legit responses could be considered excellent.
Self Description – The easiest (but the most dangerous task of the day). We were asked to write the truth about what our parents, friends, teachers and we ourselves think about us. Around 15 minutes were allotted. We were asked to write our minus points too.
Experience and Suggestions- This is a dangerous test, because, based on this the interviewer will ask questions. I wrote my negative points too, saying that I am egoistic. Please be honest, because if you’re not, the interviewer will somehow find out.
I was interviewed by Brig of the Dogra Regiment. The interview continued for almost an hour (or maybe evens more). It was quite friendly, with some personal questions. He asked me if I was egoistic, (that’s what I wrote in my self-description), and I said yes. At the end I was quite happy with my interview.
Experience and Suggestions-
Be honest, there may be some personal questions, the interviewer may shout at you, but just be cool. Have a slight smile all the while.
Sit upright and look straight into the interviewer’s eyes and answer confidently.
Day 3 & 4- GTO Tasks
The most eventful days in SSB.
First we had two group discussions, as usual ending without a conclusion. The topics were -
- Corruption in India, causes and how to curb.
- How to reform education system in India.
There were huge arguments but all of us got quite a few chances to express our views, so we were happy.
Next was the group planning exercise (GPE). We did quite well in it, reached a pretty legit conclusion. Our GTO seemed happy so we heaved a sigh of relief. Next we had the lecturettes, where each of us had to speak individually on a given topic. I spoke on the topic Dignity of Labour.
Physical Tasks- We then had the group tasks, namely Progressive Group Task (PGT), Half Group Task (HGT), Command Task and the Final Group Task. I didn’t perform well, but I made up for it by performing really well in the Group Race and my Individual Obstacles.
I completed 13 obstacles in my allotted time of three minutes. ( 10 obstacles + 10th + 1st + 4th) In the end, I was quite happy with my GTO tests’ performance.
Experience and Suggestions- Never go against your group in the GTO tasks. Practice running for the Individual Obstacles as they require a lot of stamina. Aim at completing 15 tasks, you’ll end up completing at least 10. Take the initiative in the Group Obstacle Race as it is observed keenly by the GTO.
Final Day – Conference
We had our closing speech and then, we were called one by one to attend the conference of the board members. There were around 10-12 officers in uniform. All my friends were asked just a couple of questions and were asked to leave in barely a minute. Surprisingly, I was interviewed for almost 10-15 minutes and various questions were asked regarding my family and current affairs. After lunch, the results were announced. I was pretty confident and got recommended. 4 guys were recommended by 24 SSB and at that moment it felt like we conquered the world. I thanked God and my group mates for their assistance in all the tasks.
We were then taken to the Command Hospital Air Force in the following week, where I was examined for 5-6 days, after which, I was declared fit.
SSB is all about confidence and standing firm under pressure. If you can withstand the pressure put on you by the assessors, you’re sure to clear it.
All The Best
- Recommended from 17 SSB Bangalore for TES-30 10+2 Army and NSB Coimbatore for 10+2 TES Navy
- Recommended at 2 AFSB Mysore
- Recommended In My 5th Attempt for IAF Flying Branch