Cleared SSB Interview In 1st Attempt For Indian Army OTA

Being a defence aspirant and a diehard fan of SSBCRACK, I am feeling immensely happy sharing my success story here. For the past few years I have read and felt inspired from the success stories of various other successful aspirants.

So now a bit about myself, I am Chaitanya Singh Bagoria and I come from Gurugram and have done my graduation (Bsc.Biotech) in 2017. I appeared for CDS (2)2016 last October and cleared it for OTA. Now the real challenge, the eternally feared SSB. My SSB was scheduled in Allahabad on 19th May. Now I’d heard a lot about Allahabad being the REJECTION CENTER and naturally was, a bit anxious about what would happen.

I started working on establishing a daily routine to make myself organized as soon as I got my SSB dates. This included getting up at 0500hrs, going for a jog and some bodyweight exercises, followed by meditation and then my daily chores. I had always had a problem when it came to time management and punctuality. So, I consciously started making efforts to be better at it. Now being a fresher, I had no idea about what tests were part of the SSB, so I bought the book Let’s CRACK SSB INTERVIEW and it helped me a lot with understanding the SSB in its entirety and especially the psych tests. 

Even after I went through the book twice, I felt something was missing and upon recommendation by various other aspirants, I went ahead and purchased Cdr.Natarajan’s video course on SSB. This helped me in two ways:

  1. I could watch the videos according to my own schedule as there was no hassle of fixed timings.
  2. Despite watching the recorded videos, I felt totally involved because of the wonderful way Sir had explained everything.

Now coming over to my SSB:

19th May (D-Day)

I reported at the MCO at Allahabad railway station at around 1300hrs. There were around 20 candidates already waiting there and I engaged in small talk to get to know about them. At around 1400hrs we were asked to put our luggage in a truck and get into the bus. I got into the truck and helped everyone load their luggage up and by the time I was out, I was drenched in sweat; although I felt happy after helping everyone.

After about 15 minutes , we reached SELECTION CENTER EAST. Post a bit of rest, we were asked to get our documents verified and were then issued chest numbers and a board – 18 SSB. I was initially given chest number 5 but there was some problem in my documents. After resolving the issue, I was given chest number 35. We were then given a welcome address by one of the GTOs of our board and his address filled me up with “josh “and instant energy. There were 37 of us and then we went to our Candidates’ Lines. We had dinner and then talked on until 0200hrs.

20th May (D+1)

We had our OIR and PP&DT on 20th may and were asked to report at 0600hrs. One of the officers came and briefed us about the test and wished us all good luck. The OIR was quite easy and in both the booklets, I did 47-48. After a short break we were shown a picture and asked to write a story. The picture showed a girl sitting on a chair with her back towards us, facing a cabinet like structure. I perceived it as a piano and wrote a story about an 18 year old girl who aspired to be world class pianist and despite many hardships, made it through.

We were divided into 2 groups of 18-19 people and were further divided into 4 sub groups of roughly 10 each. As soon as we were done narrating our stories, I initiated the GD. We quickly agreed to a common story and the GTO the asked everyone to go to the conference hall and wait for results. After about 1 hour, the results were announced and 24 of us were screened and given new chest numbers. My new chest number was 7 and my dad said it’s a lucky number, so I was happy. Unlike the previous night, I slept early as our GTO had told us that a well slept mind was the key to doing well in psych.

21st May (D+2)

Our psych test started at 0800hrs and mine went fine. I had done all 13 in TAT, 60 in WAT and 45 in SRT. I think I could have done better in my SRT had I been a little faster. My SDT was good and after a tea break, we were asked to wait for further instructions. After about an hour we were informed that the first 10 candidates will be having their interview on the same day. This brought mixed feelings of excitement and anxiousness to me. The average that the interview went on for most of us, was around 25-30 minutes. So, after waiting for 3 hours, my chest number flashed on the LED screen and I went to the washroom, looked at myself in the mirror and flashed a smile and said “you’re the man”.

My interview began with a question about why gurgaon was renamed as gurugram and the historical significance. After that, my IO asked about my education, family, friends, interests and hobbies and future prospects. Then he asked me the question I was expecting, why Short Service Commission?  I said, “Sir I want to serve a permanent commission but want to go through OTA as my dad went through the same academy and it would be like continuing the legacy”. 

Then I was asked if my sister chose a suitor for herself and was adamant on marrying him, but my parents opposed them what would I do. I said I would support my sister and convince my parents because, two people who have thought of taking such a huge step must be having good compatibility and hence had higher chances of successful marriage. Whereas someone whom my parents would select for my sister, may or may not have a good compatibility with her, hence leaving the success of the marriage to fate.

Then the IO asked me about 2 Indian and 2 international current affairs and I listed GST, M777 howitzer and French Prez elections, North Korea.

He then wished me well for the rest of the tests and then I took his leave.

22nd May(D+3)

The GTO day began with a bit of jogging with my group to get ourselves warmed up and our first task was GPE(group planning exercise). GPE was an interesting task and while writing my solutions down, I made 2 lists; first under which I mentioned the situations in decreasing priority level and second, under which I mentioned available resources. The common way out was quickly agreed upon by our group members without any shouting etc.

After the GPE, we were briefed about PGT(progressive group task) and asked to start whenever ready. It was a bit challenging and I gave 2-3 ideas and here also, more or less it was peaceful.

We were then given a break of 10 minutes to get ready for snake race. The snake race was my favorite part, we had chosen “har har mahadev” as our battle cry, and our group won the race without any injuries to anyone. The GTO then gave us a final pep talk and wished us luck for the next day.

23rd May(D+4)

It had rained the previous night so; the weather was really wonderful with a cool breeze blowing. We reported at the testing grounds in a fresh mood and warmed up muscles. The first task of the day was Individual obstacle and the GTO instructed us to shout the name of our favorite actress on the commando walk. Being a regular exercise person, I was very confident about this. I did all 10 and repeated 4 obstacles within the stipulated time and this lifted my spirits even more.

This was followed by our Command Task, and out of 8 people in my group; 3 called me as subordinate. When my turn came, I was briefed by the GTO and he also talked a bit about my life, hobbies etc. As soon as I completed my first task, the GTO asked me to move onto another set and then another. We completed all of them successfully and thanked my subordinates.

The FGT( full group task) was a simple task and we got done with it in less than 5 minutes with almost everyone actively participating in it.

24th May(D+5)

The conference day started with a closing address by one of the testing officers. Thereafter, we were asked to wait for our chest number to flash on the screen and then go into the conference hall. As soon as my chest number flashed, I went in with a smile on my face and wished the president. Before I could have had a look at the 12+ officers seated in the room , my IO asked me about how well I had done in all 3 assessment techniques. I told him that my best was my GTO and not so good was my Psych. He then asked me to tell 5 uses of a drinking glass. I listed the following:

  1. It could be used to drink water
  2. It could be used to plant a sapling
  3. It could be used to amplify volume of mobile phone by placing the phone in it.
  4. It could be used as a DJ light, by putting in it colored glass beads and a light bulb.
  5. It could be used as a pen stand.

He then asked for suggestions to the board , to which I said that the board is giving us the best possible facilities. At the end he asked me if the hundreds of mosquitoes in our barracks bothered me, I said “the mosquitoes add to the charm, sir”.

He then wished me luck and afterwards we went to a hall to wait for results. After about half an hour, the results were declared and 2 of us got recommended. I felt elated but also was feeling sad because some new friends would now be leaving.

With god’s grace my medicals are also over and I have been declared fit. Looking forward to joining the academy in October.


To all those who are going to face their SSB or any other challenge in life, I want to quote my idol, Guru Gobind Singh ji-

                                               “NISCHAY KAR APNI JEET KARO”

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