Ladies and Gentlemen, I find it to be an immense pleasure to share my SSB experiences with you all. Firstly I would like to thank the Almighty God, my family for their blessings and the faith my family had on me; i would also like to thank SSB CRACK for it helped me in providing important tips related to the whole SSB process and of course the guest posts column which motivated me at each step to realize my dream. I hope that the experience that I have gained giving all the SSBs should be put to good use and provide important information to the defense aspirants.
Of course the whole journey to the recommendations is not all smooth. Before these 3 recommendations, i was conference out in NDA SSB and then we (my brother and me) forgot to fill up the forms for the next NDA. By the time we realized this; we were quite late and so dropped the idea and moved on to complete engineering. But one thing that got all over my mind after rejection is about joining defense services only and the rejection provided me the impetus and made me focused towards it.
I filled up the form for Air Force, gave AFCAT (went & scored well) and got call for SSB on 9th Dec., 2013, Dehradun. The desire to again go to the SSB and correct all my previous mistakes was quite intense and i prepared for each and every event of the SSB well enough as a result of which i felt quite confident, optimistic since the time I sat foot on the Dehradun platform. Ladies and Gentlemen believe me, if you have a strong preparation, then no matter what happens, you will never be able to lose your cool and confidence. Another thing is that for Air Force SSBs, do have your well updated CV along with the important certificates that you’ve earned in school or college with you, they ask for it just before the interview.
At the SSB center, Dehradun, my GD of the first stage went well; I spoke 2-3 times and was contented with
my performance. A helpful tip is that don’t point out other members of the group when asked whom you will nominate to conclude the discussion, instead nominate yourself since it shows your confidence and imitativeness. The verbal and non verbal tests were somewhat tricky wherein I felt that I could have improved. There is always scope of improvement which can be achieved by practicing the questions back at home and tackling the problems in an efficient manner so as to waste no time fumbling at the questions. So, with the blessings and hard work, I got in and felt quite relieved. Later I was allotted room with the freshers & I was the only repeater in that room and it was a good thing because I made a lot of good friends.
The next day, before the psychology tests, I along with the fellow gentlemen were called for the PABT (despite spectacled, I decided to fill up for pilot so as to give and have the experience of the once in a lifetime test: the PABT. Even the officer also asked me regarding my choice to give PABT). After PABT, the psychology tests were held which went well. I was able to complete all TATs, WATs and SRTs well in time. The trick that lies in SRTs is that the conclusion of all the situations, if thought of carefully, are somewhat related to each other. Also in SRTs, your focus should be on the action that you’ve taken and don’t create imaginary scenarios. About TATs, they are quite easy to write upon and of course, the outcome has to be positive and with a message. In WAT, be natural and also in some cases, you may face some words which are repeated, so it is important to write the same sentences for the such words as it shows stability of mind. Self Description should be written with honesty in a clear format as you will find questions related around your Self Description.
The next day & day after it, Group Tasks were held. Since in my group all were repeaters, so GD and GPE went quite heated. To some degree, fierce; but still I was able to put up my points. An important tip is that if you have a good point in GDs or GPE, then don’t wait for the “CHANCE”, because no one will give it to you unless you happens to be a kind of person who hasn’t spoken for the whole time and out of pity, others members of the group and as well as the officer points him/her out to speak; don’t let that happen to you because it will definitely dim your chances to a large extent. Everyone comes to the SSB to make his/her career, so don’t keep on waiting for the right moment, the whole moment is the right moment for you. In GPE, after putting your points, try to nominate yourself for giving the conclusion (if nominated, clearly include timings and number of person performing a particular task while you tell the officer and the other members of the group the GPE conclusion). In FGT, PGT & HGT if you have an idea, then only go to the front, otherwise it will be just wastage of time. IO, I was able to complete 8. Of course higher the numbers of tasks, more points you get, but try not to do which you can’t do. It’s important to leave a task which you cannot do than to go for it and then retracting from it mid-way, clearly irritating the GTO and reducing your chance of selection. Command task is important and during the task, try to be interactive by continuously motivating your subordinates and thinking smartly to overcome the obstacle. The timings should also be taken be taken care of. Lecturette is all about the practice. Do as many as you can before coming for SSB.
The next day was my interview. The officer was very friendly and good natured. The first thing he told me after I settled down on the chair that “This is not an interview, just a formal discussion”. He asked me about AWACS, I was not able to give the answer properly, he said “The general knowledge can be learnt, anyways lets go over to you”. Then he asked about me, friends, family, girlfriend and Sunday schedule (last question). An essential tip related to the interview is that don’t ever try to brag, lie and being over smart during interview. The officer knows everything about it and will catch you no matter what counter measure you take afterwards. Also try to learn about the organization that you are going into. GK is also equally important (both about the organization & the about the general country/world news). I was pretty confident of getting recommended after the interview. The next day was free, if your interview takes place in between or at the end of the SSB, then it’s better to go out, watch places, note them down and a gather some information about them as they will help you in interview and in the conference.
The final day was the conference, it took a reasonable time before I was called in, a few basic questions related to the stay, food, places and that’s all. Later on the result was declared. Before the main result, PABT result was declared and I along with many others cleared that exam. For the main result, i was already hopeful of getting in and so I was called in at 4th place, felt very happy, thanked God. Total 6 out of 80 were selected. Later on we were taken for form filling which was hectic as it took us 6 hours. We dined at AFSB mess and then we were taken to bus stop from where we boarded to our home. We were given the date for the medicals as AFCME.
For all those who wanted to know my AFCAT score, its 185. I believe that regular practice of the mock papers, previous year papers and you can easily raise your score above 200/250. Moreover, regarding coaching, I haven’t taken any, I won’t restrict you to take/don’t take coaching but I will just say that it’s all about the right attitude which if you have, then nothing can stop you.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this ends the first part of my SSB experience. I will be posting about my Navy SSB experience soon. Wish you all the best for the SSBs. Any queries related to SSB, you can mail it to me at: email@example.com
About Nomit Sharma: Failure’s not an option for a dream I wish to achieve. Resides in Himachal Pradesh. Recommended in Air Force, Navy and Army. JAI HIND.