Relevance Of Individual Obstacles In Group Testing Dr. Cdr NK Natarajan (Retd.)

Several aspirants ask me as to what do we see in Individual Obstacles? This question stems from the fact that a candidate who has just done 5-6 obstacles also pass and many times candidates who complete all the 10 obstacles also fail. Hence, this question is very relevant. Firstly, Individual Obstacle is not a physical test as believed by most and hence quantity is not as important. In fact in each of the tests be it Psychological or Group testing it’s the 15 qualities that are tested. However, in every test, all the 15 OLQs may not be getting revealed. For example in Individual Obstacles, qualities like Power of Expression, Social Adaptability, Cooperation, Ability to Influence the Group does not emerge. But the remaining 11 OLQs can be easily seen in this test. Let me explain this.

In this test, one is required to tackle a series of 10 obstacles in an allotted time of 3 minutes and can repeat any obstacle provided he/she has completed all the 10 obstacles in the allotted time successfully. Further, he/she is allowed to start from anywhere and finish anywhere and need not follow any sequence even though the obstacles are numbered from 1 to 10. From this what emerges is that the candidate has to choose a path and maximise his points within the time constraints which requires through the application of mind. When he/she chooses a path they need to consider a lot factor factors such as the layout, time that each obstacle may take, their own assessment of their physical abilities etc. Finally, when one takes a particular approach it clearly indicated to us about his or her Effective Intelligence, Reasoning Ability and Organising Ability.

As one progresses through the obstacles, the dash one maintains, his actual performance over the obstacles, the body/mind coordination, approach when failed to do a particular obstacle etc. will clearly reveal his/her determination, courage and stamina. The drive that one shows reflects his initiative, self- confidence and decision making skills. Thus, within a span of 3 minutes, the GTO is able to decipher 11 out of 15 OLQs in one single task. Thus, to assume that Individual Obstacle is a physical task is completely wrong.  

It is possible that a candidate who is obese is unable to all the obstacles but his approach has been right and he showed enough ‘dash’ can easily be trained for higher stamina in the academy as physical stamina is the easiest to train. Thus, such candidates may sail through, subject to others things being alright. However, there could be another candidate who has done 9 out of 10 obstacles but went up the commando walk and came down without attempting will never clear as he lacks courage due to fear of height. Since Courage is a core quality such candidate will never be cleared as courage can’t be trained.

To know what should be the right approach to follow in the Individual Obstacles and what to Do and what not to do, watch my Video Tutorials available in

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