Owing gratitude to the Almighty, I feel honored to write my success story today. An ordinary boy with extraordinary dreams was I a few months before when a call letter from SELECTION CENTRE SOUTH changed my life forever. So, here I am, Siddharth Vajpayee belonging to Lakhimpur-Kheri, a very remote district of Uttar Pradesh. Currently, I am pursuing my B.A. from HINDU COLLEGE, University of Delhi. Nothing worth having comes easy and so was my journey from being an ordinary intermediate pass-out to a recommended candidate flying with the hopes of wearing maroon beret in future. But this journey was not my alone; it was a struggle of many people who were present throughout the ups and downs of my life. To mention a few,
- First of all, my parents, my elder brother-cum-mentor, my teachers and few other special ones in my life – They have always been my pillar of strength motivating me to do all the hard work required.
- SSBCRACK – You just cannot miss this site if you are a serious defence aspirant. It kept me updated with all the recent national and international affairs.
It all began when I was in my 12th Standard and made up my mind that,” YES! I want to join armed forces.” I read many success stories on SSBCRACK to keep myself motivated and always thought that one day I would also share mine, and I guess here it is.
My SSB for the NDA was scheduled to begin from 28 September 2017. I boarded my train at 8 o’clock on 26 September from Hazrat Nizamuddin junction, Delhi. After a journey of 2 nights and a day (crossing 4 States ) finally, I reached my destination,i.e. KSR Railway Station, Bangalore. It was my first SSB interview so I was a bit nervous but as I met other candidates, I started to feel light.
DAY 0: REPORTING
2:30 PM, The bus arrived to take us to Selection Centre South. We were a total of 42 candidates on the bus (Ours was the last batch for NDA 139 course). Showing our ID cards, we got entry into the bus. We all reached SCS by 3 PM. Then started Documentation and Form filling. After that we were given chest numbers (mine was 21) and our phones were taken away from us. Then we were shown our accommodation and after that we had our dinner (Trust me, it was really tasty). We, a total of 42, spent our first night at the barracks. It was real fun as most of us shared our experiences, stories, jokes. I was already comfortable by then without any nervousness.
DAY 1: SCREENING
We all reported at the testing area. The first test was OIR (verbal and non- verbal tests).I attempted most of the questions in due time.
Test 2 was the PPDT, a picture was shown for 30 seconds and a time of 4 minutes was given to write a story, which was then followed by individual narration and group discussion (so as to make a common story). The picture was a bit blurred and it portrayed two people sitting opposite to each other on a table discussing something. I wrote a simple story of two friends who went to a park with lake in order to relieve themselves after the hectic schedule of their Board Exams. My narration was good, clear and bold (Tip:-while narrating try to make eye contact with other candidates). Then as the last candidate finished his narration, I initiated the Group Discussion. It went very peacefully, as most of us gave our ideas and we made a common story as well. Then the Testing Officers asked us to leave the room.
Results arrived, and 20 candidates were screened in . My new chest number was10.
DAY 2: PSYCHOLOGY
The whole series of psychology tests was a bit tiring for me as I was giving these tests for the first time. In WAT, a word was shown for 15 seconds and we were supposed to write the first thought that came to our mind in a form of a sentence (Tip: It’s not a sentence formation test, just write the idea that strikes your mind on seeing the word) . I attempted all the 60 words in WAT well in time . In Situation Reaction Test, I was able to attempt only 41 SRT’s out of 60. I was able to write all the 12 stories comfortably(12th picture was a blank one). In the Self Description , every individual has its own way of writing about himself, I wrote in the paragraph form whatever I feel about myself. (Tip:- Don’t bluff, just speak the truth .Giving an insight of your personality is what’s expected of you. Your lie will be caught sooner or later!)
As a fresher, I was happy with my performance in the psych tests.
DAY 3 & 4: GTO
GTO tasks were completely different from other tasks in SSB Interview. The GTO series is purely based on our communication skills , physical fitness and our ability to take decisions and lead from the front. 3rd day started with Group Discussion. We were given two topics, one after the other. In both the GDs I gave ample points and most of the members of my group agreed with my points.
In GPE ( Group Planning Exercise), I was able to write my individual solution within time. And after GD, the common solution was mostly in accord to my solution.
In the PGT (Progressive Group Task), our group cleared all the 4 phases. Most of the candidates gave ideas . In HGT (Half Group Task), I was leading my team from the front with basic ideas and we completed the task comfortably. GOR and the Lecturette went well for me. In the individual obstacles, I was able to complete 6 obstacles in 3 minutes.
In Command Task, I was called by 3 members of the group as a subordinate. And my Command Task went all well. I gave my idea and the GTO asked me to leave. And in FGT too, I performed well.
Here in GTO series, we have to work as a team and coordinate together.
On Day 4 , I had my Interview too. After the GTO tests , I was asked to report in the candidates waiting hall for Interview at 1 in the noon. I reported there, after waiting for half an hour or so I was called (mine was the last interview). I wished the IO (President of the 12 SSB )and entered the room. At the beginning, the IO asked me some really easy questions about my surname to make me comfortable. Then he asked me about my performance in my Tests. After some time he grilled me with a rapid-fire consisting of 12-13 questions about my education, family, friends, and future career options. I replied most of the questions but I knew that I had forgotten few questions so I gently asked him to repeat, which he did. He continued to grill me with rapid-fire questions throughout the interview. He asked about diplomatic relations of India with other countries, The Panama Gate issue (Of which I had no idea so I told him with a smile “sorry sir I have no idea about it.”) , Referendum in Europe and recent Defence deals. He also asked me why I want to join the defence forces ? He seemed to be satisfied with most of my answers. With this, after one and a half hour my interview came to an end. (Tip: Smile! It always helps)
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DAY 5: CONFERENCE
At last, the day came when our fate was going to be decided. After the closing address by Deputy President, we were called one by one. The conference is the day in which a candidate’s fate is decided in front of the panel of Assessing officers of selection centre . After some time, I was called to face my first (hopefully last) conference of my life. The conference started with some normal questions about my experience at SSB. Then they asked me to rate my performance. They also asked me how I prepared for my first SSB Interview? Then they asked me about my stay and any suggestions, and the conference came to an end.
Now comes the most difficult part of the SSB, in which you can expect to find many of the candidates praying to God, with their fingers crossed. Then the officer came and announced the result .When he spoke chest number 10, I was completely blank, emotions overpowered me, somehow I managed to spell out my name. I cannot explain that moment in words . As I am writing this, I still recall that moment , rather a lifetime experience for me. Out of 20 screened in candidates, 5 got recommended, and I was the only Fresher. It makes me believe that-
If you can dream-and not make dreams your master;
If you can think-and not make thoughts your aim;
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And-which is more-you’ll be a Man.
Although after Medical Tests, due to eyesight issues, I had to shift from NAVY to ARMY but the merit list is still awaited so fingers crossed.
Still being a recommended candidate, I can proudly say that yes, I HAVE IT somewhere IN ME!
I AM NOT THE SAME, HAVING SEEN THE MOON SHINE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD.
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