Cleared CDSE SSB Interview In 8th Attempt – AIR 85

Hello Friends, to quickly introduce myself – My name is Priyash Pandey. I recently secured AIR-85 in CDSE. I also work as an Advanced Auditor in EY. I hope my story may seem interesting to you in knowing that how I managed to clear SSB in 8th Attempt along-with job. Well, I cleared SSB for the first time in 6th Attempt from 1AFSB, Dehradun but got merit out then.

My journey started on 31st January 2012 when I got SCREENED OUT from 21SSB, Bhopal for NDA.

A little kid then, I was dejected and completely shattered but constantly introspected that what went wrong. I resolved on that day that I will now dedicate my entire energy, focus, and efforts to constantly build myself each second for an OFFICER-LIKE PERSONALITY.

I got future opportunities to appear in SSB only in my final year of graduation and here are quick synopsis of my SSB journey:

  1. AFCAT – 1AFSB, Dehradun, 17th January 2015 – Conference Out
  2. CDSE – 34 SSB, Allahabad, 13th March 2015 – Conference Out
  3. AFCAT – 1AFSB, Dehradun, 18th July 2015 – Conference Out
  4. CDSE – 14SSB, Allahabad, 12th August 2016 – Screened Out
  5. AFCAT – 1AFSB, Dehradun, 31st December 2016 – RECOMMENDED
  6. AFCAT – 1AFSB, Dehradun, 23rd August 2017 – Conference Out
  7. CDSE – 18 SSB, Allahabad, 29th July 2017 – RECOMMENDED.

The entire journey didn’t go as quickly as we can read it here. Throughout my time since first C/O in Jan 2015, I spent each and every second in Introspection. I used to find out where am I going wrong and what could have been better. I used to come to some solutions to my own questions but with doubt. Hence, by the time I reached to my IIIrd C/O result, I had read enough literature on SSB but never implemented it.

What still lacked was – Right Direction to Efforts.

I always read about the OLQs, their role in Army, their importance in life but what I was really missing was to IMPLEMENT THE OLQs in PRACTICAL LIFE.

Exactly my friends, the real KEY TO SUCCESS OF SSB – DEVELOP QLQs IN YOUR PERSONALITY. How to do this must be your next question? Same was mine when I got enlightened enough that this is the exact area I need to work upon.

So, to share my experience, I started implementing OLQs in the minutes of the task that I used to perform each day and to accomplish this what gave me the greatest exposure was – MY JOB.

At my workplace, I made it a habit to ensure that I make 8 hours of my day 100% productive. In order to make that happen, I PLANNED, PRIORITIZED and ORGANIZED my activities in a manner that I become 100% efficient. Also, to achieve my daily goals at workplace, I used to keep MYSELF MOTIVATED, ENTHUSIASTIC and always remained SELF – CONFIDENT on my STRATEGY. Gradually, my quality of work started improving and my seniors were convinced that I’m a RESPONSIBLE guy.

After returning from office, I used to prepare for CDSE and AFCAT applying the same strategy that I used to apply for my office work. Not limiting myself to studies, I used to apply the same set of skills in all the family responsibilities and roles entrusted to me.

How To Prepare for SSB Interview:

Effect: Gradually, I was not just imbibing OLQs in my personality. I WAS LIVING OLQs EACH AND EVERY SECOND OF MY LIFE.

And trust me friends, this entire grooming took time for at least 6 months but post that I started getting the intuition that next time I get an SSB, I’ll get recommended definitely. But, much to my surprise, in my next attempt I got Screened Out (although in Screening we don’t get any chance to show OLQs). However, here comes the role of OLQs – Upon introspection of my failure, I was convinced that I performed really poor at OIR tests and hence Screened Out.

For next 4 months, until I got call for another SSB, at 1AFSB Dehradun, I made it a point to devote time for OIR questions separately and prepared really hard for it. (According to me this was real life SSB: Identified my weakness and improved it with regular practice).

Result: Got Screened In. After Screening, Got RECOMMENDED as well!!!

However, I got merit out later on 15th June 2017. Feeling the pain of Heartbreak, I took a printout of the Merit List and pasted it in my study room, right on the wall opposite to my bed and resolved to replace it with a New Merit List that will contain my name. Accepting the failure that came my way, I re-appeared at 1AFSB, Dehradun on morning of 19th June 2017 (within 4 days of merit out) with negligible amount of preparation. This time I got Conference Out. (Note: My introspection had already revealed me after my Conference that I have done few mistakes and I’ll not clear this time)

Now, I had just one month left to reappear for another SSB, this time for CDSE – ARMY. Learning from my mistakes at the previous SSB, I started on with SSB preparations. This time again, I had gained the self confidence that I will clear it. I was waiting desperately for the SSB to come (just like a starving tiger waits for it’s prey to come). I knew that I will project my personality suitably well to showcase my OLQs


I would like to share my GTO’s de-brief (exactly his words) – “We are looking for candidates who can put up their best show as per our requirements. In order to do this, you need to enhance your planning and organizing abilities – Group Planning Exercise apne aap sudhar jayegi. Undu fundu solutions ni laoge fir. Improve your Communication skills – cheekhna chillana band ho jayega GD mein or “I agree with you gentleman” b ni bologe. Observe your mom working in kitchen – Feel her pain, See her enthusiasm and realise her sacrifices – That will bring team spirit in you, let your ego down and you’ll become more cooperative, energetic and full of life. Beta hindustaan me or koi organization ni hai jo 9 ghante interview leti ho. We do and We know you deep. So, work on these skills and come back with an improved personality. SSB apne aap clear ho jayega”.

Friends, I believe this is 100% true and to identify what you need to improve – it is by INTROSPECTION. Sometimes, we see candidates clearing SSB in 1st attempt. This is because they have already devoted their share of time in developing themselves as a LEADER. One such was my friend who was an active participant in sports, debates and academically bright too. Now, if we go little deeper in his life he would have experienced days when he would have had to attend school for 6-6.5 hours, then manage 2 hours for tuitions, then 2-3 hours of homework and lastly 2-3 hours of daily practise for debates. So, he has already learnt the “ART OF MANAGING TIME”, “IMPORTANCE OF SELF-DISCIPLINE”, “PLANNING, PRIORITIZATION and ORDER”.

We all have that one way to keep ourselves engaged in productive activities and develop ourselves as GREAT LEADERS for life.

An epic example of how INTROSPCETION paved way to my success at 18 SSB. As, I had developed the habit of constantly doing introspection, I used to evaluate each day that how well I performed in my tests at each day with aim to improve myself and perform better in the next test. After all the tests had been completed, I was convinced that I have given my best in all of the Psychology Tests, Interview and GTO tests as well. A thought was constantly troubling me that in PGT, HGT and Command Task. I had mistakenly broken the 4-ft distance rule because of my tall height. (Repeaters might be knowing this rule. Freshers will come to know about this rule soon). Hence, I was prepared about the same that I may be asked questions in the Conference round and I had prepared a suitable answer as well. Next day, at the conference I waited for 10-15 minutes outside the hall waiting for my turn to come. Out of 3-4 questions that I was asked one was Rate your performance in GTO on the scale of 1-10 where 10 is highest nad give reason as well. I replied 8/10 because I wasn’t able to complete all the Individual Obstacles. Secondly, I broke the 4ft distance rule unknowingly. However, I ensured Sir, that whenever my friends pointed out the same, I came with an alternate solution or cooperated with their’s whichever suited the best for the group.

Meanwhile when I was answering – My GTO picked up his pen and started writing something. I don’t know what he had written but I hope he would have written something in favour. After conference I got intuition that I have positive chances of getting recommended.

So friends, as per my experience of life and in SSB, I would say – “Real Guide to Clear SSB is YOU YOURSELF – INTROSPECT DAMN DEEP.”

“Understand the Importance of OLQs in life visa-vis their requirement in Armed Forces. OLQs are WAY OF LIVING LIFE not just a “Requirement”. So, introspect a lot and identify your areas which need improvements. Aim to become a better and more productive person each day. Refine your personality each day by living these OLQs in your life. Be patient. Be ready to persevere. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Learn from your failures in life. Wait for your right time to come. Victory is waiting for you.”

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