Hello Everyone! My name is Madhusudan Pandit and I am form Delhi. I feel really proud and happy to share my story and hope this will earn a credit by paving a way for all defense aspirants, as it did for me. Unusual form other stories – my story is little different because this story includes both success and failure at the same time and reminds us that how much versatile our life is.
I am an MBA and I am 24 years old, therefore this was my 1st and the last attempt for a SSB because I was about to get overaged for defense services. In July 2015 I received a letter to attend a SSB for “Indian Navy PC(LOG) – Jan 2016 COURSE”. I was selected for SSB as per my graduation marks, on merit basis. The letter included all details of the process and the things to bring along. My humble advise to all aspirants is to please read your letter carefully and do not miss anything that is asked to present at the time of reporting. I was asked to report at MCO Coimbatore railway station at 0600 Hrs on 6th of July 2015. I flew form Delhi and reached Coimbatore a day before and prepared myself for day 1. The only thing in my mind was that I didn’t want to return on Day 1 of the process so prepared myself for screening test and practiced some cube questions and few other logical reasoning questions. Next day morning at sharp 6:00 Am a bus boarded us to INS Agrani.
As soon as we reached INS Agrani, they asked us to keep our bags to a side and form 2 lines. One for the fresher’s and other for the repeaters. The main purpose of these lines is just to decide that who’s going to get the travel allowance and who will not get it. And yes they pay the amount of AC 3tier even if you have travelled by Air.
Things to remember on Day 1 –
- Make sure that you are in formals else they don’t entertain you and may ask to change in front of everyone and that can be really embarrassing.
- Always arrange your documents in a proper file and in a proper sequence.
- Listen to the instructions very carefully and do not talk among yourself because if you miss things then they don’t leave a chance to shame you.
Day 1 – Screening Test – Verbal & Non Verbal
There were 2 sets and 45 questions in each test. Total time 40 mins – 20 mins each. Most of the questions were related to cubes, family tree and few other logical reasoning questions. Although the scores are not declared but as per my gut feeling I did at-least 80 correct out of 90. They were quite easy if you have ever prepared for CAT or any similar competitive exam.
Tips: – Stay focused and attempt all questions within time limit.
PPDT – Picture perception and description test
A hazy picture was shown wherein I saw a man with a blanket and he was in a crowd. As per me it was a local fair on the country side near a village. So I wrote a story of a village panchayat Pradhan who visited the village fair to buy some urea neem coated seeds that can increase the yield of his crops.
My suggestion is that the narration is most important part of this activity. No matter if you have done a few mistakes while writing your story but if you are confident enough to present it well then you have just nailed it on the right place. If your presentation skills are poor then please work on them seriously before attempting for any SSB because you are going to require it during the whole process.
Tips: Confidence is the key. Your narration should be clear, loud enough and structured. Never interrupt any other speaker and follow all group discussion techniques during this. Everything is important. You always get enough time to speak.
Soon after the process we were asked to have lunch and this is the right time to gel with people around and know each other. I knew that I did well but still I was extremely nervous because there were more than 150 candidates and the rejection rate on day one is very high.
The results were announced by afternoon and as expected I was there 4 more days to complete my SSB process. Out of 150 only 45 candidates were selected and rest were send back to home on Day 1. We were given new chest numbers and barracks to sleep.
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Day – 2
TAT – Thematic Apperception Test
Simple – 12 Slides – 11 Images and one blank slide to your any story that you want.
A slide is displayed for 30 seconds then a bell rings and you get 4 minutes to write your story.
Tips: – Now form day 2 the serious stuff starts. During the 30 second time do not start forming a story, rather look at the picture carefully pay attention to every detail that is displayed in the picture. Your story is expected to have all necessities of effective writing.
The story should be structured, crisp, concise and complete. Avoid simple grammatical mistakes and make a proper story line that makes some sense. Always remember that a psychologist reads this story to understand your psychology and if your stories are cooked up and not original ideas then there is no way out. “Please write your original ideas only”. They need to decide what kind of a person you are so don’t confuse.
Always remember the blank story and try to make it simple and related to your life. Psychologists are looking to get into your personality and decide for your recommendations, so give them a proper room to explore you.
WAT – Word Association Test
60 words – 15 seconds for each word to read and then write a sentence including that word.
Tips: Read the word carefully and do not miss any word.
Make simple and small sentences.
Practice more and more to be very efficient in this exercise because it is actually very difficult to attempt all 60 words.
Remember the sequence. Sometimes people read word no. 15 and write it against word no. 16 in the sheet and this can be the most stupid mistake one can do.
SRT – Situation Reaction Test
60 Situations and 30 minutes.
Each situation is a problem related to day to day life and the objective behind this test is to check that how quick and practical solutions you give in adverse situations.
It checks your problem solving skills. Always remember that you are not a super human or Rajnikant. You need to give practical solutions to the problems. Do not fabricate your responses. This test checks your common sense and reasoning abilities.
You need to write Parent’s opinion, Teachers opinion, Friends opinion and your self-opinion. Although there is a time limit but still they give you enough time for this.
Well I should not say it but please practice it very well before you approach for any SSB. I believe this is the baseline for any psychologist to give a call for you. Based on this he will judge you and your answers to see if they are genuine or just cooked up stories that you have literally mugged. Even in interview this sheet is extremely important. In this test only originality can lead you.
With this the hectic day 2 end and you need to surrender all your mobile phones or any other electronic devices that you carry.
Day – 3 GTO -1/ Interview
Well depending on the time and availability either your interview can be scheduled on day 3 or day 4. My interview was on day 4 so I will go with the GTO process first.
This was most exciting part for me. Yepiiii – I was so excited for my GTO that I couldn’t hold to get on the ground and start the tasks.
It is a group task so don’t be ‘James Bond’ as if you know everything and give equal chances to everyone.
Help everyone in the group and be involved – don’t be lost.
Be super active and show a positive body language to the GTO officer.
Don’t try to prove yourself as a leader, if you have it in you the group will automatically accept your leadership.
Climbing on a 9ft wall and crossing the 8ft ditch is not easy please be very attentive else you may seriously hurt yourself.
Snake race was so daam good. I kept the mane of my Team as SPARTANS!!! And when we did the Spartan ahoooooo ahooo together – OMG that was simply amazing and the GTO was really impressed by the idea.
Day 4 – GTO -2 & Interview
Well Interviews make me really nervous and this one was the very important for me. My interview lasted for about 45minutes. Yes, I said 45 minutes and the interviewer asked me almost everything. Like even my relationships, what all I gift her, who pays for the bills, how do I treat my brother, what is the width and length of an Olympic size swimming poll, all neighboring countries that share border with India, all ranks of all three defense forces and what not. My experience of the interview was great. He asked me about Indian economy, the problems of European Union etc.….
Day 5 – Conference
Ahhhh finally the day has come that was long awaited and to our surprise the CNC – chief of naval staff himself was there on a visit to INS Agrani and he was sitting in my conference round. OMG I was so nervous. There was a panel of atleast 10 Navy offices in front of me and they started asking questions like, the meaning of my name, the solutions of European Union crisis and the Pros and Cons of GST if implemented in India.
When the results were out only 2 Candidates were selected out of the 150 that approached the SSB on day 1. I can never explain the feeling when a sailor came out and said Chest no. 23 speak your name loudly and Spell it and it stood up and with all my energy said MADHUSUDAN PANDIT sir, it was Loud enough that I can hear it for years to come.
All other candidates were send back home and I said goodbye to all my friends that I made there. Only 2 of us stayed back and we need to report to INS Sanjeevini in Cochin next day. A white color Gypsy came to escort us till the railway station and I was so happy with the experience that for first time a got a railway ticket that described – For Soldiers.
Well life is not so easy and as I said earlier, it can take a U turn at any time. I got rejected in Medicals due to Cubitus valgus and Genu Recurvatum. Just in few seconds all my happiness was gone because of something that I couldn’t help. That was the day that made me deeply believe in destiny and I wasn’t able to complete my dream because of a tiny natural ailment. I was an athlete and a National level Hockey player. I never ever considered myself unfit for anything but just a 10 degree out of elbow can destroy all your dreams.
No regrets! – Naseeb m nahi tha jo humko mila nahi. But that 5 day experience was so overwhelming that I can never forget even a single moment of that in my entire life. The happiness and proud feeling is that I made it and I was recommended for the defense forces.
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