Weaving A Good Story In PP&DT Dr. Cdr. NK Natarajan

Often candidates dread the Screening Test at SSB and most believe that it’s a matter of chance and their individual luck to clear it. The biggest hurdle as they say is weaving a good story and has asked me to write a blog on this. Firstly, let me clear the myth that success in screening is based entirely on one’s luck. Secondly, weaving a good story is not that difficult if you have understood the concept. Let me try and explain the trick in this blog.


 Most candidates while referring a SSB book try to read the story to memorize it and when they see a new picture they only get those themes that they have read and no new imagination comes out. This is the limitation of our brain. First understand how the brain works. Every experience, information, images etc, that we see during our normal course of life is stored in our brain. Every time the brain is faced with a situation it swifts through its repository to see if it has experienced anything similar in the past and if yes, immediately it suggest similar action to overcome it. Accordingly, all those who read stories given in the book time and time again, it gets deposited in the brain’s repository and next time someone sees a picture, all those themes will come and not the new ones. Perhaps brain is also lazy by nature like us. It’s precisely this reason that I have explained the concept using few images and did not give many stories in both my book and the Video so that you can understand the underlying concept and practice writing original stories of their own for the given pictures.


Why is the image Blurred?

A psychometric picture is one which will allow people to perceive the image in many different ways. See the image given below. This is a very clear image and most candidates can perceive the picture where in a character is running in a picturesque place and make a story which will be very similar.  



Now the same image has been blurred to a great extent and I am sure many of the candidates will miss out the person running altogether and their stories will revolve around the mountain of Kashmir. It will be only a very few who will be able to spot the character running and make a story based on him and in that too there could be a lot of differences in their themes. This is the test of grasp and most of us lack in this. We only see the broad picture and don’t have sharp observation and hence go astray. Unless one has a good grasp, he is not likely to have good reasoning ability and hence will not be intelligent. 

What is a Good Story?

As I have always said in my Videos, a good story is the one where we can get to see several OLQs of the main character. The main character is nothing but ‘you’ and hence indirectly those are your OLQs. Therefore, project maximum number of OLQs through the story. This requires you to know the OLQs by heart. Unfortunately, even after my stating this in several blogs, candidates don’t read the OLQs. If there is anything to be memorized in preparation for SSB other than GK, it’s the OLQ.

How to Project OLQs?

The first step towards projecting OLQs is to involve the main character in action. Unless the main character does any actio0n, how can one know what he is capable of doing in our day to day situations? Therefore, involve the main character in action. In the PP&DT you are asked to write the tory in three parts namely what is the situation in the picture, what lead to it and what is the likely outcome. The image normally reflects the middle part and you need to add what lead to it and what is the outcome which should be happy always. If we take an example of the image given above, we can conceive several themes as follows:-

  1. A person was on a routine run through the valley and suddenly saw some suspicious movements of armed terrorists.
  2. A person drowning in the river
  3. Want to take part in a charitable marathon, practicing hard
  4. Appearing for SSB but was sick for some time. Now regaining his strength by hard work.
  5. A good cross country runner preparing for international cross country event

Using all these themes one can make excellent story that will help 

Why is Discussion Important?

I just said in the previous paragraph that action is more important. The story may at best project about your qualities in the abstract sense. But ultimately, I want to see you converting that into practice. This is the difference between selection in the Armed Forces and elsewhere. Here, unless you participate and contribute, the assessors won’t be happy about your performance. Hence a good story followed by a good discussion will win you the chance. From now on, I will post one good psychometric picture every week in my facebook page . I will try and give feedback to your stories. Come learn with me on how to weave a great story. It isn’t difficult if you learn from a good mentor.   

You may attempt to write at least three themes for this image.


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