Hi everyone, this piece of blog is about my experience at 2 AFSB Mysore for AFCAT 2 2013 entry. I cannot explain how great experience it was but yes indeed it was an experience of lifetime. I chose 18th November 2013 as my date for AFSB, as I live in Hyderabad it was an overnight journey by bus, so I took a bus and reached Mysore on 17th November morning, took a room for my stay and went outside to visit some famous places in Mysore, it’s indeed a very clean city with lots of places to visit like Mysore Palace, Chamundi Temple etc.
DAY 1 AFSB Interview
Next day i.e 18th November I reached the railway station at 6:30 a.m. There was a huge line of people standing for boarding the Air Force Bus, some were in formals some were in casuals, but I think dressing doesn’t matter much till screening. We were about 180 people in total .We needed to show our call up letter before boarding the bus. After reaching the AFSB we all kept our luggage at one place and took out our documents, went to testing hall and were briefed about the procedure for that day and filled the given documents.
After that we were told about the OIR [Officer Intelligent Rating] test, it was just a simple test divided in two parts, having 50 questions each and the time allotted was approximately half an hour each. I think this test does not play a significant role in screening but may be marks of this test are counted while preparing the merit list therefore give your best.
After that we were briefed about PPDT[Picture Perception and Discussion Test], a hazy picture was shown for about 30 seconds and in the next 1 minute we had to write mood, age, sex of the identified characters and what we see that is going on in the given picture in the ABOUT section, so considering you have 1 minute you have to write everything to the point, you don’t have to write anything elaborate in the ABOUT section. After that you are given 4 minutes to write the story, so considering the shown picture make it as a frame of your story and mentioning past, present and future with some hero in the story doing an act which is benefiting the society compile a story, it was my approach and it can certainly vary for every individual. This was followed by GD on the story we were a group of 15, we were given the chest numbers in the meanwhile. In the GD room there were 3 officers among them was our DSO also. We were then instructed to introduce ourselves, so while introducing try to address the group not the instructors. After that everybody is given approx. 60 seconds to tell their story to the group and immediately after that group discussion starts, so you should not wait for the instructor to give any intimidation about it. Mostly everybody in my group made a story on some natural disaster, mine was different from everybody so it was evident I couldn’t push my story, therefore I tried to help in deciding the checkpoints of the story, thankfully there was no fish market in our group may be because we were all fresher, I was able to speak logical points 3 to 4 times. 8 people were screened in from our group.
In all 60 people were screened in. After screening, document verification started, it is a tedious time consuming process. I was called and told that I did not have some documents therefore I was sent back on the same day. Although screened in but I was feeling screened out at that time. But the good part was that I was not alone, 10 guys were there with me for the same reason or the other. So I went back to Hyderabad on the same night. I got the required certificate from my college in some days and applied for a different date, I was given 13th January. I was considered as Stage 1 cleared candidate, therefore I was free on the first day, this time again they told me I needed 1 more certificate but DSO allowed me to go through the complete AFSB procedure by taking an undertaking from me. Do check if you have some spelling difference in your name or your parents name in certificates and admit card and get some affidavit accordingly.
This time in this batch 67 people were screened in counting me. After the Document Verification we were given PIQ forms to fill, this activity needs to be done with utmost care because interview may involve what you have written in PIQ and does that match with your responses. After this we were divided into groups of 8 and were directed towards the given room, soon after that everyone went for dinner. After the dinner there was a fall in call in which activities for the next day were told.
DAY 2 AFSB Interview
Next day after having breakfast we were called to testing wing around 7.30 am for PABT[Pilot Aptitude Battery Test]. First part of the test involved a written test in which an officer gave details about 6 instruments which indicated the altitude, speed, horizon, banking etc, tests are easy. If you clear the written test then there is a machine test in which there are two computer based games/exercises which checks your ability to handle machines and your reflexes. For each test 3 chances are given.
After this, everybody was called in the testing hall and instructions for psych tests were given. Psych evaluation included 4 tests:
- TAT[Thematic Apperception Test]: Series of 12 pictures one after another were shown and last one was a blank slide. Pictures were shown for a duration of 30 seconds and there after 4 minutes were given to write a story. Same technique to be used as PPDT but you just need to write the story and not the mood, age etc, I tried to form stories which provided benefits more at societal level rather not at personal level.
- WAT[Word Association Test]: 15 seconds for single word and in total 60 words will be shown one after another, you just need to write what comes to your mind first, after seeing the word. Make words which shows your awareness about current affairs, your positive attitude. As sentences are to be written on answer booklet 15 seconds are given after every 20 words for turning the page.
- SRT[Situation Reaction Test]: It’s not important to complete all the SRT’s but it’s the quality of your response, you should cover the apt measures taken to tackle the situation and the future result. I did 38 out of 60 but certainly a lot more can be done in 30 minutes of time. Try to write feasible and intelligent solutions for the situations.
- SD[Self Description]: You have to write what your family, friends/colleagues, teachers/Managers think about you, what you think about yourself and what kind of person you want to become. Time allotted is 15 minutes. SD is also a very nice opportunity to show your personality to psychologist.
After Psych test we were taken for CPSS( I don’t remember the full form), it is a substitute for PABT. It’s a more regressive test, an aptitude test is held for the first phase which goes on for about 2-3 hours, it’s completely computerized test, instructions will be there and multiple choice questions would be there and you have to complete that in the time limit. As far as I remember 9 different types of test comprising of reading instruments, reading shapes, aptitude, logical reasoning etc were there.
2nd phase of test was machine test. Cockpit looking machines were there and 10 types of machine exercises/games were to be completed. 4 chances were allowed for each exercise to score maximum points. It was a fun activity but we were told that only PABT results will be considered for Flying branch, CPSS is being conducted for consensus.
DAY 3 AFSB Interview
From next day interviews and Ground Tasks were scheduled for all the groups. Half of our group was free
and other half had interviews. Mine was scheduled in the first slot around 8 a.m. I got ready in my formal dress and reached the testing wing. I was instructed to wait outside the interviewer’s office in the waiting room, One officer took my certificates and after some time I was called inside the interviewer’s room, he asked me about my education, family background etc, as I was from tech background he was interested in my projects, favorite subjects etc, Keep in mind IO has the psych test results with him as I did less SRT’s he asked me different situations to know my reactions, he asked me about my hobbies which I mentioned in the PIQ and why I wanted to join defense services etc, luckily he didn’t ask anything from General Knowledge and overall interview was very good for me.
Later I came to know that my interviewer was President of the board.
Being confident and truthful will always result into a good interview, if you are not good at G.K or any other activity clearly mention it as Interview is an activity in which mostly you will speak so take it as an opportunity to show everything good and positive you have it in you and being weak in something is very normal but do show you are strong at various other activities. Try to have as much eye contact as possible that shows the confidence.
Rest of the day was free for all of us so we went to Mysore Palace in the evening and came back.
DAY 4 AFSB Interview
Next day remaining 4 of us had their interviews. After interviews and lunch we went to Chamundi Temple, it was around 15 kilometers away from the city. Direct bus transport was available, whole day we enjoyed and came back by the evening.
DAY 5 AFSB Interview
Next day we had our Group Tasks, GTO asked us to give brief discussion about ourselves, remember again address the group not the GTO. Then he told us about the total number of activities that would be involved in complete group tasks.
Ground Tasks are all about the bonding you developed with your group mates in the past few days and nights, I think therefore GT starts from 3rd or 4th day, so try to communicate with others as much as possible because you will remember the experience you had with these friends you made and not the psych tests or Interview you gave (yes these tasks are important too but for me those friends made my experience awesome.)
First we had two GD’s, topics were:
Role of Indian Peace Keeping Forces.
Indian women in Private Organizations as there leaders.
GD’s went smooth, everyone got chance to speak their points, credits to the whole group. After that we moved to GPE[Group Planning Exercise], 4 problems were there, after writing our plan on given sheet we started the discussion and immediately decided the priorities of the problems. As it is natural to have different strategies to come to a solution, we as a group eventually concluded to give a final solution, I explained our final solution in the end.
After GPE we moved to PGT[Progressive Group Tasks]. There were 4 levels of obstacles in increasing difficulty level, time allotted was 45 minutes. Just try not to suppress solutions given by others, if you are not able to come up with an idea, help to implement the idea given by others. Here it is necessary to keep in mind that what you should NOT do. Try to make use of every helping material given, they are given just to check your ability to use them.
Then we moved to HGT[Half Group Task], one obstacle with time limit of 15 minutes was given, but now group strength is reduced to half so we had better chance to push and implement our idea.
Next task was Snake Race, you need to have a group war cry, ours was Vande Matram and we needed to carry a snake type object made of jute. There are 6 – 7 obstacle you need to cross and while crossing at least 3 people need to hold the snake. Generally there is no single winner in the race since GTO’s try to balance every team’s pace by imposing certain time penalties for any rule violation. Just keep in mind to sing you war cry and keep the group together.
Next task was Command Task. GTO called us 1 by 1 and asked to introduce our self, he may ask some questions, in my case he asked me about my job, salary, why I wanted to leave my job etc. After showing me the task he asked me to call subordinates [maximum 2], I called one subordinate and did the task, he gave me various conditions like if some support is painted yellow/red instead of white etc. Keep in mind do not keep ordering the subordinate what to do, help him while implementing your ideas, generally if GTO is varying the difficulty level for you than clearly he has strong expectations from you.
Remaining 3 tasks were Lecturette, Individual Obstacles and Final Group Task. They were scheduled for the next day.
DAY 6 AFSB Interview
Next day started with Lecturette, we were given 3 minutes to speak on the topics written on the card given to us. 4 topic were written on every card, I chose the third topic, because I was feeling confident on that topic only.
After that we moved to Individual obstacles, I think in this activity GTO evaluates that you are trying your best to do the obstacles without any fear and you do not give up easily because in my batch people doing 10 or more obstacles were not recommended but people doing 4 or 5 obstacles got recommended although recommendation depends on overall performance but doing less obstacles with full determination can also get you recommended.
After that we had FGT[Final Group Task], we were given 15 minutes to do that.
Next we were instructed to be present in testing hall within an hour for Conference. We took bath and went to testing hall in our formal dress. One by one people were being called in for their conference, for some it took about 2 minutes whereas for others it took up to 20 minutes. About 20 officers were sitting around a U shaped table, one of the officer asked few questions about my interests, hobbies, again Job and salary and why I wanted to join Air Force. It took around 5 -6 minutes and then he asked me to leave.
After the lunch our DSO announced the results by calling out the chest numbers. I was very happy as well as astonished after hearing my chest number . Although it gives immense joy after getting recommended but at the same time you feel sad for your friends who could not get recommended. In all 10 people were recommended from the batch.
I would say that Recommendation is one thing but going through the complete SSB procedure definitely helps to figure out our weaknesses and strengths and one should never worry about the result, only thing that should be kept in mind is to give our best in whatever task that comes next. The everlasting experience will be remembered through all those 6 days and nights that you spent with some of those awesome people who were completely unknown to you on the first day but became close friends in just a week.
Author: Abhay Vinayak
I am Abhay Vinayak, recommended from 2 AFSB Mysore, I did my B.TECH from IIIT-Hyderabad and currently I am working as a R&D Engineer in a private MNC.