Recommended In 5th Attempt For Indian Army

Hello friends my name is Anish Desai and I got recommended from 24 SSB Bangalore for IMA-144 DE. I have completed my graduation in Mechanical Engineering in 2016 & currently, I am working in a Pvt firm. This was my 5th attempt, the previous attempts were as follows:

Jun-2016 AFCAT 1-2016 (Mysore) Conference out
Dec-2016 AFCAT 2-2016 (Dehradun) Conference out
Jan-2017 SSC GS (X) (Coimbatore) Screen out
May-2017 AFCAT 1-2017 (Gandhinagar) Screen out
XXX CDS 1-2017 (Bangalore) Recommended

So the journey was long and demoralizing, but with persistence and determination I kept on working hard and eventually nailed it.

I would like to quote that:

“Each struggle, each defeat, sharpens your skills & strengths, your courage and your endurance, your ability and your confidence and thus each obstacle is a comrade-in-arms forcing you to become better……or quit.”

And one more;

“When heaven is about to confer a great office on any man, it first disciplines his mind with sufferings”

So, I would divide this in 3 parts:

  1. My success story
  2. How did Dr Cdr Natarajan Sir’s video lectures help.
  3. Personal inputs.

So my story goes as follows;

I had to report @ 2pm to Bangalore. 50 students reported out of which 2 were sent back due to lack of documents and then we were allotted our barracks.

Day 1: Our screening process started @6.30 am. The OIR was difficult. In 1st test (Verbal) I could attempt only 30/45 {There were people who could complete 15-20 and were screened in) and in 2nd test (Non-verbal) I attempted 42/45. After OIR it was time for the PPDT. We were shown a quiet clear picture (a man playing with his child) and I was not able to think a story on it. I started with a bad story and when 3 mins were done, I had a different story in mind. So I messed up completely during writing the story. My story was only of 5-6 lines. After 4 mins our paper was taken back and told to wait for DT. During this time I kept on making a different and meaningful story in my mind. After around 30 mins we were called in for DT. We were 13 in our group. We were given our story paper to read the story. I didn’t open it and after 20 secs the paper were taken back and the narration started. My turn was 3rd and I narrated my story confidently and maintained a smiling disposure. After everyone’s turn the GD started and it was complete fish market. I kept calm and tried to contribute. After around 50 secs one of the officer got up and told us to stop and said ‘the discussion was chaotic, it could have been better. You may get up and leave now’. And our discussion was over in a minute.

After around 1 hr results were declared and 24/48 students were selected. Out of 24 only 6 were fresher’s/screen-out. (From our group 4/13 students were screened in.)

{In my story, I focused on details and narrated it confidently by proper introduction and voice modulation & completed my narration in 1 min.}


Later we were given new chest numbers and told to fill up PIQ and other forms and allotted barracks. My chest number was 11.

ssb interview

Day 2:  Psychology & Interview (Of 12 candidates)

We were told to report at 7.30 am and our tests started at 8.00 am.

The psychologist came in and explained us about the various tests which will be conducted. Later he told us to close our eyes and relax by taking deep breaths for about 20 secs after which he started with TAT.

TAT: Out of the 11 pictures 3 were accident scenes, 3 were of camping/trekking, 2 were related to group-studies, 1 was people working in a group, 1 was of a person climbing a ladder and 1 was of a person rushing out of his house. I observed the pictures carefully for full 30 secs and wrote short and crisp stories by focusing on the details. In blank slide I wrote about the road trip which I went with my family.

WAT: 60 words back to back…..boom the test was done in 15 mins. I could write about 50-52 sentences only. I couldn’t think about sentences on many words, so I skipped them and went ahead. I wrote what came to mind first and took care that my beliefs, GK and opinions are reflected in my responses.

SRT: I could attempt only 38 SRT’s in 30 mins, but my responses were crisp and complete.

SDT: We were told to write paragraphs on:

  1. What your parents think of you
  2. What your teachers/employers think of you
  3. What your friends think about you
  4. What you think about yourself
  5. Qualities you would like to improve

This time I had not prepared my SD before-hand. I wrote all the responses on the spot. I wrote about my strengths in the 1st four paragraphs and weaknesses only in the last paragraph.

Overall my psychology was not so good but I had followed the thought “Quality matters over quantity” and hence I was optimistic about my performance.

{I was totally free-minded and positive during the entire test which helped me write down my thoughts in a natural flow. I wrote down whatever came to my mind first and thus it projected my originality.}

Later on from 12pm, interviews started and 12 candidates were interviewed.

We interacted with them and got to know about the GK and technical questions been asked by the IO.

Day 3:GTO-1 and Interview (Of 9 candidates)

We were divided into 3 groups of 8 each and our testing started at 7.00am.

GD-1: Topic 1: To make India a better economy which of the system will be better.

  1. Make all transactions cashless
  2. Scrap all denominations above Rs100
  3. The current system

           Topic 2: For India to be a superpower which country would be better?

  1. USA
  2. China
  3. Israel

We decided to speak on the 1st topic. We had a healthy GD and everyone got chance to speak. All were having good points to say. I entered the GD early and kept on adding points. I contributed to the group 5-6 times and appreciated others view as well. We discussed for about 20 mins after which sir told us to stop.

GD-2: Topic: To make Swaach Bharat Abhiyaan a success which one of the following is required.

  1. Recycling waste
  2. Severe punishment for those who throw away the wastes in open
  3. River cleaning

I initiated this GD by supporting my point with a fact. Later on I kept contributing to the GD and spoke for 6-7 times. This GD was also very good and we could give out good points. Again I appreciated good points of others. This GD also went for about 20 mins.

{In both the GD’s I continued to speak on one lead only. I followed Cdr Natarajan Sir’s advice; speak crisply, come back, let others speak, again speak crisply and so on……}

GPE: Sir explained us the setup and read out the story. Then we were given out the narrative to read and figure it out with the layout in front. Then we were given 10 mins to write down our individual story. I wrote the story by mentioning the Aim, Priorities, Resources, Solution. After writing the story our sheets were taken back and discussion started. Initially it was fish market but later on everyone was discussing nicely. Again I contributed to the discussion about 6-7 times with logical points. After 15 mins sir told us to conclude our discussion and nominate one person from group to explain the solution to sir. My group nominated me to narrate it and I did it properly by considering everyone’s point. No one objected the common story.

After GPE our sir told us that we didn’t discuss about time as distance and also scolded us that despite been repeaters we didn’t do it and continued his scolding for about 5 mins.

PGT: After GPE we were taken to GTO grounds for PGT. Sir explained us about the task and also briefed about the rules. Then we were given 45 mins to complete the PGT. The 1st task was very easy and everyone had ideas. I also gave an idea once and helped others to place the planks and ballis and also gave a helping hand to people going ahead. We completed 1st obstacle in 5 mins. The 2nd was little difficult. I gave ideas but I couldn’t go inside as everyone was trying to go in. I decided to stay out and give my ideas and help team members as much as I can. We completed 2nd obstacle in 10-15 mins. Then we went ahead on to 3rd obstacle which was very difficult. Again everyone wanted to go in. I helped and started giving ideas from start line. Then 3 candidates who were inside were not getting ideas, so sir told them 2 of them to come back and told that those who have ideas please go ahead and implement it. I went ahead along with 2 other and as we were 3 in total, sir shouted at me and told, chest no. 11 who told you to come ahead, go back! That was devastating. I thought my chances of been recommended by GTO have ended. But never the less I kept on giving ideas from the start line and helped the group to clear the obstacle. After we completed the 3rd obstacle, sir told to stop and PGT was over.

HGT: We were divided in 2 groups according to odd-even chest no. So I was in group with odd no. Our task started and 1 guy was continuously saying I have an idea. I tried to give ideas but he dominated. We went ahead with his idea and our HGT was done in 5 mins.

GOR: The most exciting GTO task. 3 groups were told to race against each other and tackle a total of 6 obstacles. Our war cry was ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ and the GOR started with full josh. Our group was stuck for long in 2nd obstacle (8 Shaped) and other groups went ahead. None the less we were cohesive and continued with same josh. Eventually during high wall obstacles we went ahead of both the groups as we tackled those very efficiently and completed all the 6 obstacles. As we were much ahead of other groups(By 45-50secs), our GTO told 4 members of our group to repeat an obstacle and even after that other groups were behind us, so he told us to count reverse from 10-1 and then after all group completed 6 obstacles we ran towards the final line and all groups completed the race at almost same time and thus GOR came to an end.

{I always helped others while tackling the obstacles.}

Lectt: After GOR was our lecturette, the most stressful tasks in the GTO series. We had to select a card one by one and speak on 1 topic. My topics were:

  1. Charity begins at home
  2. Movie censorship
  3. Journalism in India
  4. Endangered Species

I choose to speak on endangered species. Out of the 3 mins time given to prepare I spent almost 2 mins to decide the topic. Then I decided to speak on 4th topic and finalize 4 parts in which I will deliver the lecture. I started with full confidence and continued speaking anything that was coming to my mind. After 2.5 mins the GTO rang the warning bell and I started concluding and then to my disappointment he rang the final bell after 10 secs and I couldn’t conclude. I was shocked and couldn’t believe what happened. After lectt GTO-Day1 was done.

9 candidates were interviewed after GTO-1. My Interview was still pending……

Day-4: GTO-2 and Interview (Of 3 candidates)

IOR: We were told to report @6.30am and then started with IOR. Sir explained us about all the 10 obstacles and gave us 1 min to go around and decide the sequence we would like to follow. After which the test started in sequential manner. I started with balancing beam and completed all the 10 obstacles in 3 mins. Everyone in our group completed 10 obstacles. (We were told by the JCO in the initial briefing that do balancing beam at start or the end.)

CT: After IOR we had our Command task. The most important task in the GTO series. Sir told us that he will be calling us randomly. So the tasks started and I was called as sub-ordinates 2 times. Later on my turn came 7th in the group. While taking me towards the task sir asked me about my current job, previous attempts and what improvement have I done in this attempt. I answered them properly and then sir told me call 2 subordinates. I wished good morning to my subordinates and then briefed them about the task and also explained them the rules. My task was little difficult. It had 3 paths to cross the obstacle. I choose 1 path and worked along with subordinates to bridge the gaps. I had to make improvised cantilever to cross over and sir also created little pressure by reducing my time. Thus I completed the obstacle in around 10 mins. Later on sir told my subordinates to go back and asked me to cross the obstacle using other path. During this time he put lot of pressure on me. He also told me to assume certain structures to be red. After all this I was able to complete the task in 10 mins after which sir told me to keep the helping materials at start line and go back. I was very satisfied after my CT.

[In our group there were 3 candidates (including me) to whom sir told to send back their subordinates during CT and work alone; and we 3 were recommended from our group of 8.]

FGT: Our FGT was done in fast forward mode and completed in 2 mins.

With this GTO ended.

{During the entire GTO series I adhered to the instructions given by the JCO and the officer. I was careful not to be break any rule during the outdoor tasks. I always stayed with the group and did not dominate in any task}                                                                                      

Interview: Now only 3 of us were left (chest no 9, 10, 11). Chest no 9 was called immediately after the GTO and 10 and I were told to change into formals and report back in 10 mins.

I was called in for interview immediately after reporting back in formals. I was totally relaxed and calm. I entered the room with full confidence with permission of sir. Sir came to me wish me good morning and we had a handshake. He told me to take my sit and the interview started.

He started by “Tell me something about Mumbai” to which I was thoroughly prepared and spoke for 5 mins. Later on he started rapid fire questions. 1st rapid fire was related to my job and answered everything properly by sticking to the sequence as far as possible. He grilled me over my management of salary when I said that I save specific amount of my salary. He asked me about all the various investment options which I choose for saving. I answered all the question properly. 2nd rapid fire was about my education, teachers, placement,extra-curricular activities etc. Again I answered all the questions properly. He grilled me over the placement as I choose to join Analytics Sector instead of going for my Core sector. 3rd rapid fire was about my friends….tell me about your friends, close friends, why do you consider them to be close…how do you spend time together etc. He asked me to tell 1 thing which I would like to improve in my close friends and 1 thing which your close friends would like to improve in you. 4th rapid fire was related to family like, how many members….how do you contribute to home…how you spend time together…etc. When I told about the travelling I had done with my family, he started pressurizing me by asking a lot of counter questions. During this I also told about the road trip which we went. Then from this started the technical questions. How much CC car do you have….types of engines….difference between 2 stroke and 4 stroke…..difference between SI and CI engines…..Doppler effect. Then he asked me about the international time line and date line. After this he asked me about my neighbourhood friends and which all activities we do together. Then he asked me about my sports and hobbies. Then he asked me about my college days….how much pocket money I used to get and how I use to spend it. Then he asked about my performance in Psych….how did u perform….how many WAT and SRT did you attempt and then he gave me a SRT and kept on pressurizing me. I answered it properly. Then he asked about my GTO performance….which task did you like etc. After this he said, “Thank you gentlemen it was pleasure talking to you. Now all your tasks are over, go to your barracks and relax. You have done your best. All the best.” And the interview was over.

{My interview lasted for around 50 mins. Overall I was very calm and confident and maintained a smiling face and proper body language as well. I was pretty confident about the selection after the interview.}


Day 5:Conference

Finally the day arrived. We were told to report @7.00 am. After which the JCO came in and gave us the basic instructions. He then took us to the conference room and explained us about the proceedings and how to enter and leave the room. After which we were taken to an auditorium where the Dy President of the board briefed us about the conference. He also told that, before applying for any job we first go through the Job Description of the role, similarly the Job Description for joining the Armed Forces is those set of 15 OLQ’s which we look for in candidates. He explained us the meaning of each OLQ and then wished us luck for the conference. Soon after the conference started.

I was made to wait for 4-5 mins outside the room. When the bell rang, I went in confidently and wished the president of the board and he told me take my sit. I was asked 3 questions. How was your stay in Bangalore? Where all did you go during these 5 days? Any suggestions?

I answered all properly. Sir then wished me all the best and I said thank you and got up from my chair. As I was going out, sir wished me all the best again, I said thank you and left the room happily. After this I was sure about my recommendation. After everybody’s conference was over we were called back in the same auditorium. This time different officer came in with a file in his hands. He briefed us a little. Told us not to lose hope if we don’t make it this time and so on……Later he told, now I will announce the results and started with chest no 3….8….10…and I was waiting for number to be called and it came….chest no 11….with tears rolling down my eyes I went ahead, told my name and stood in the line….later he told chest no 13….and that’s it gentlemen.

All our friends congratulated us and they were told to go back to the luggage point. The moment had finally arrived, for which I was waiting from long. I informed my parents and then we were taken for further documentations.

So a total of 5 candidates were recommended out of which 4 were repeaters.

About Bangalore Selection Board: The board is situated in the centre of the city and is very vast and comprises of 3 boards, 12SSB for Navy and 17SSB & 24SSB for Army. There is very good library which vast collections of books and internet room as well. They also have a movie hall where movies are screened. There is ground for volleyball & basketball. Indoor games like pool, chess and carom are also available.

How did Dr Cdr Natarajan Sir’s video lectures help?

Well, I would say that this is by far the best product available in the market for SSB preparation. Each and everything is explained in a lucid manner. I watched the video of OLQ’s many times and ingested those definitions in myself. After coming to know what exactly is seen in the candidate, I started preparing with new zeal. I went through all the lectures and came to know about the points where I need improvement. The GTO lectures proved to be a boon as I came to know about the application of cantilever practically. Also, the whatsapp group created by sir helped in practising Psychology on a daily basis. Other members of group also helped each other by providing the GK material and related stuff. I would like to thank Chetan Kumar for his support and help. Finally I would like to thank sir for such a wonderful product.

Personal Inputs;

Friends, I would like to say that;

  • Always have faith in your abilities, you are the best and you can do it!
  • Be natural and prompt in your responses during the SSB
  • Don’t be anxious about the result
  • Always be positive, happy and motivated
  • Keep working hard and most importantly keep improving. Never stop learning
  • Don’t let your emotions control your mind.

Whenever you feel low watch this video;

Unbroken- Indian Army Officer Motivational video.

I also suggest you to watch the following TED talks:

  1. Your body language may shape who you are by Amy Cuddy;
  2. How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed by Daniel Levitin;
  3. The skill of self-confidence by Dr Ivan Joseph;

And there are many more….just browse over and find relevant videos to keep yourself charged up.

Start reading on Quora, we might get to know a lot of things. Here’s some interesting stories;

  1. Read Jayanth Sai Shiva’s answer:

I would like to end by saying that:

“Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will”

So be motivated and never give up.

Jai Hind!



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