Tamandeep Singh got recommended for TGC 127 course of the Indian Army which shall be the last course of the Technical Graduate Course from 31 SSB Kapurthala. Tamandeep belongs to a family of officers who have been serving the nation since generations and takes pride to be a part of such a great family. Tamandeep like his elder brother will be a 4th generation officer and continues the family’s tradition of safeguarding the nations boundaries. His great-grandfather served in the British Army and later the Indian Army, his grandfather retired from the Indian Air Force as a Wing Commander and father is currently serving in the Indian Army and is a Gunner Officer. His elder brother who passed out June 2017 from IMA is also a Gunner Officer. He too was dedicated towards achieving his goal and worked really hard for it and his success reflects it. He took guidance from his father, his elder brother and continuously worked towards being a part of the Officer fraternity and getting into the noble profession of arms. His parents said “They were really happy about their son’s achievement and are proud of both their sons”. He cleared the SSB in the first attempt and looks forward to joining the academy as soon as possible and passing out with flying colours. All his family members are proud of him and look forward to June 2019 to see him donning the 2 Stars on his shoulders.
Bumpy road to get shortlisted for SSB :
Right from Class 12th I had started to prepare for SSB as I was quite hopeful to crack the NDA Exam, but I couldn’t. Whenever I used to check the final score I used to find out that overall cutoff I was able to make through, but individually in mathematics, I was always short by less than 5 marks. Then I got into B.Tech. I chose it because I knew that if I did well I could get shortlisted for SSB on the basis of semester marks. So I kept working hard in engineering then in my prefinal I had a % of 71.4 and applied for UES Army, to my bad luck the percentage for my branch(IT) was 72 % that was the time I decided enough is enough. 5th and 6th semester I scored 80.1% and 81.1% respectively pulling the three overall %till 6th sem to 74.23%. I applied for TGC-127 got shortlisted and was scheduled to report at SCN Kapurthala on 1st February 2018.
Preparing for SSB:
I also got to know that this may be the last TGC entry. I knew this is 1 chance and I’ve to grab it. Right from 1st January, I started. I started by practicing TAT, timing my stories writing stories on anything and everything I saw around me, also I bought the SSBCRACK’S Ebook of original pictures of TAT. Then moving on to other parts of psychology like WAT, SRT and Self Description. I followed a strict schedule waking up early in the morning running 2kms to get stamina on point then hitting the gym to strengthen my body and also to loose weight, took advice from a cousin who is master in this to help me with my physique. After that I made sure that I attempt the whole psychology test in a quick succession in a time bound manner, the night before I asked my father to make PPT of 12 random pictures, 60 words and 60 SRTS, that would automatically change after 4 mins and 15 seconds respectively, after gym I used to attempt these. Initially, I was running out of time but later I was quite okay. I took advice from my father and brother about these stories and then kept improving. In the afternoon I used to practice for lecturette, initially looking myself in the mirror and speaking to myself then calling people and making them sit and listen to my lecturettes. I also downloaded different ssb apps to see the structures used in GTO then I understood the basic principle behind it was that of a cantilever and then I started applying this to any thing I saw in daily life, this honed my skills for GTO. For interview I used to question myself, usually while I brushed my teeth looking myself in the mirror and asking the questions and answering them and then think about what I said, “Will an officer answer this question like this?” so that also helped and taking advice for my brother and father was always there.
5 days at SSB :
I reported with my friend and buddy Jaskaran Singh to SSB Kapurthala at 5.30am 1st February.
I was given the chest number 41 and my buddy got 46.
Then we entered the testing hall where our Intelligence test (better known as OIR test) was taken. My test was average, that time I got a little tensed as I didn’t want to be screened out in my very first attempt. So I calmed myself down and said I’ve to nail the PP&DT
During PP&DT we both were in the same group and we made stories and adequately participated and to my surprise our group was able to reach at a common story as I had read that that generally doesn’t happen. And I was nominated by the group to give the common story and I did so to the best of my abilities. Then we were sent out and asked to wait for the results. During the announcement of results my buddy’s chest number was called before me and I thought that 46 has been called and I’ve not been called, that time I thought this is it, “Man you couldn’t even make it to the Stage 2”, but right inside me there was still a hope that man is performed I should get in and then my number was called, I shouted my name and went and wore my chest number which was 15.
Psychology test was held as I was well prepared for it I did well, made good positive and realistic stories. WAT also did almost all the words I suppose I would have missed 5 words. SRTs I gave detailed responses and was able to do 40 only. That day my interview was also scheduled but was changed and I got interviewed on the 4th day after GTO-2.
How To Prepare for SSB Interview:
GTO started off early and I was very excited for it too. We had the GDs and GPE our group performed well. In snake race I suggested that we have our group’s war cry as “Har Maidan Fateh” after some discussions it was accepted as the war cry of the group, other war cries that were suggested were “Kar k dikhayenge, Haa bhai haa” & “We are? Champions! “. We did well everyone helped each other and got through obstacles easily and were far ahead of other groups even with one 5 seconds penalty and when completed the last obstacle the other groups were still doing the last one, so our GTO asked for volunteers to repeat the last obstacle so we did it again and then the race ended. In PGT since I had applied the fundas to everyday things that I saw our group was able to sail through the PGT as well as HGT. While I heard other groups weren’t able to do PGT-3. In lecturette I chose the topic “Media Trails”, among others that were mentioned were “Dwindling Oil prices”, “My favorite pet”, “Global Warming”. I spoke boldly yet at a medium pace with clarity quoting real life examples of the topic and then concluded when the second bell rang.
- In GTO-2 we kicked off with Individual obstacles, I followed the sequence but my sequence was broken as the chest number 14 was still doing the burma bridge when I was tu start it, so I skipped that and went on then I came back to it did it and then went to the zigzag balancing beam this changing sequence costed me time so first time I slipped from the beam the second time when I went to do it whistle rang and I was able to 9/10 obstacles. In command task GTO took me to a complex CT it was about diffusing the bomb it had 4 ways to do it, 3 ways I was able to do it easily but in the 4th I did with the help of GTO sir’s hint. Final Group Task our group was able to do easily and right after GTO Sir’s debriefing my interview took place I didn’t even get time to change my dress. My interview only went for 30 mins and the rapid fire was asked and then questions on what I answered were only asked. Like I said that I loved cooking so IO Sir asked me how to cook Galoti Kebabs and to my luck I had recently cooked kebabs so I told him the recipe and then he asked me how do you make the meat soft and tender at the middle, so I answered by reducing the heat,he said fair enough and my Interview was concluded.
So finally the day of conference came. All of us dressed formally went to the conference hall and were asked questions. The first thing sir said, “Tamandeep you’ve got an unusual name what does it mean?” so I explained him the meaning of my name, this question was even asked to me by the Interviewing Officer and then I was asked to rate my performance as the best and not so good tasks, so I told him the best as GTO and not so good a Psychology because I was only able to do 40 SRTs. So he crossed questioned me by asking, “were you trying to be politically correct that’s why it took you time?” I replied “No Sir it’s because I was writing detailed responses that’s why” he said, “Ok”.
Then another sir came to the testing hall and kept what I counted as 4 chest numbers with a plus sign. So then an officer of Col. rank came to announce the results and asked how do you want me to announce the results in order or random the crowd shouted random and in my mind I said “No, not again just say it in order”. The crowds decision wad adopted and chest numbers started to be announced after 4 calls he took a pause I thought this is it, you weren’t good enough buddy better luck next time and then Sir said, “anyone else, sweating?” then he called another chest number that wasn’t me then I thought now it’s final, then again he said, “Anyone else? Still sweating?” then he called chest number 15, everything paused for me I was so happy I thought finally! I’ve done it. I’ll be able to carry the tradition forward and serve this great nation, I got up shouted my name and roll number and joined the recommended candidates and my chest number was the last one to be called out. He concluded the conference wished everyone the best and congratulated us all.
How To Prepare for SSB Interview: