Hello everyone! I am Ayan, recommended for Indian Navy (Pilot). It is my immense pleasure to share with you my success story. I am thankful to Almighty God, my parents and my friends who kept inspiring me. I would also like to thank SSB Crack where I learnt so much about the SSB process. In my first 2 attempts I was screened out and which was a huge disappointment for me, especially the first one because it was for the Flying branch in Air Force. That was my first and last attempt for Flying Branch as from next entries I was not eligible. I was feeling down as I was seeing my dreams of flying in the sky getting drowned. There was hardly any day when I didn’t think about what I missed in my life. I used to pray to the God that if only I could get one more chance.
Ten months later, the God fulfilled my prayers. I went through an advertisement from the Indian Navy and I was overjoyed to see it because it was for the flying branch as a pilot and I was eligible. I saw my dreams reviving. I filled the form without wasting a moment and sent my application to Navy HQ. I was shortlisted and called for the SSB at 12SSB Bangalore. The date was 22nd June and the reporting time was 1400 hours at Bangalore City Junction (SBC). The way of my preparation was I brainstormed to bring out the major events I have had in my life and the major decisions I had taken. I knew in interview these things have high probability of being discussed. Also I started making opinions about my present job like why I like it and what I would like to change about it. Also just 2 days before leaving for the SSB, I practiced the Verbal and Non- Verbal question for the intelligence test. I am currently working in a private company so I maintained a decent routine for my days so that being organized and being disciplined reflects in my attitude. Rest my job had taught me well how to take charge of the things and be a leader to execute them properly.
D-Day: I reached Bangalore on the same day in the morning and went to my friends place, freshened up and reached SBC. Just outside the station a huge crowd was waiting. Then the vehicles came and it took us to the selection center. There we were greeted by the CHM saab and the tester JCO saab. Then usual form filling was done. After that we were allotted our chest numbers, chest number 1 to chest number 140. In the evening an officer came and welcomed us and briefed us about dos and don’ts, the facilities we can use and the next day procedure. Then we were taken to our lines and from there we headed the mess. We all had our dinner and came back and went to the bed. The next day the reporting time was 0630 hours, so almost everyone woke up by 4 and started getting ready.
D+1 Day: Next day the first round was Intelligence Test and it continued for somewhere around 2 hours. The test was simple and I could do more than 95% of the questions. After that, it was the turn of PPDT. The picture shown was very hazy and I could only see 3 identifiable big spots on the screen. Somehow I managed to write down whatever came to my mind in about 10 lines. Before discussion we were supposed to narrate our stories one by one. I narrated very well and it was also much better than the last two times. While we were waiting outside before the Discussion test started, I had gone away from the group and practiced speaking out my story to myself. I tried that for 5-6 times and I think it helped me a lot in a fluent narration. As soon as the discussion started, it went out of control. I tried to speak my point 2-3 times but then the situation was such that I thought not to add the count of shouting people. And in just one minute, the GTO (one among 4 officers) told us, “get up and get out”. We had our lunch and then an officer came to announce our results and he gave a motivational speech. Although initially I was very nervous in the morning owing to my result in my last attempts, I gained some confidence because of the intelligence test and my narration. The results were announced and yes I was in. I WAS IN. 35 candidates were screened in. I was happy for myself and my new friends who made it but was sad at the same time for those who couldn’t. In the evening we went out and timing was 1430 hours to 1830 hours.
D+2 Day: The next day testing started with psychology. The first test was TAT followed by WAT, SRT and SD. In TAT, I couldn’t write one story. In WAT, I could do around 50 and in SRT I could do only 42. For SD we were given 15 minutes. In the afternoon I had my interview. The interview was totally about my past, present, education and the people associated with me. I answered everything very confidently and spoke the truth. But sometimes you need to cook stories on the spot to justify yourself, happened with me :P. At the end of the day I was having a mixed feeling. I felt I wrote very good stories but I was afraid about the story I hadn’t written. Response in SRT, WAT were normal as I have read many experience with same kind of response. The interview was also great as I answered the questions very well but there were many questions which I skipped (Actually the IO was asking a series of questions and then in your turn you have to answer them)
D+3, D+4 Day: So the next day was the day for GTO. Our day started with scolding from the GTO as none of us had done shaving properly. Anyways the first task was GD. Even in one of the two GDs, we got another round of scolding for drifting off the topic. But then after that we managed to get back on track. Next was GPE. My plan that I had written was literally shit. It didn’t have any plan at all but thanks to the discussion, we discussed and made a really good plan. Next were PGT, snake race, HGT, IO and lecture. In lecture, I could only speak for 2 mins and after that I had nothing to say but I stood there trying and thinking and then returned after concluding as I heard the warning bell. Also during PGT, I got scolded many a times by the GTO. But the next day was a surprise for me. We had our CT left. During my turn the, I felt the GTO talked with me for a really long time as compared to others. He was asking about my parents, my job, my earlier attempts in SSB and the NDA exam I had cleared but couldn’t attend the SSB. We really had a very long discussion about the naval ships, then types of air craft carriers in Navy and the difference between them, about WWII and he also suggested me some movies to watch. Then he gave me a very simple task which I was able to finish in couple of minutes with the help of my team mates. Then we had our FGT. So at the end of day I was having positive vibes.
D+5 Day: The next day was the conference day. I was nervous. They simply asked me about what are my thoughts about my performance and how will I improve them for the next time and what rating would I give myself. I gave myself 7 but later many people told that you should always rate yourself full. They asked about the stay and any suggestions to which I replied I had a very pleasant stay and no suggestions. When the result was announced I was overjoyed by the fact that after getting screened out twice I made it straight to the recommendation. I felt really proud of myself to hear my name among the 3 people recommended. But then had to say goodbye to all the new friends I had made. Next in my mind was the journey to 2AFSB Mysore for PABT.
We 3 took rest for a few days and then we reached Mysore on Monday evening. The test was supposed to take place the next day (PABT takes place on every Tuesday in Mysore). So we were given a room in candidates’ line in AFSB. The next day, for the PABT we were joined by 16 more screened in candidates from AFSB and as I was earlier screened out from AFSB, this time I got the opportunity to stay in AFSB too ;). In the first part of test which was a written test, 4 among the AF candidates couldn’t qualify. The next was machine test. All 3 of us qualified it, don’t know about the AF candidates as we were told our results separately and were sent back immediately. So we returned happily and from the next day the medicals were supposed to start.
Getting recommended for flying branch is a huge turning point in my life. It helped me forget the pain I faced every single day for not being able to succeed.
What I think was the reason of success, I wrote the stories in which I presented myself in front of the reviewers (thanks to the brainstorming I did). I told the IO what I really am. I simply told him that I want to improve my current affairs and there was no question from him on that at all. After continuously getting scolded by the GTO, I kept trying and didn’t show any mark of disappointment, at least to him. My only suggestion to the aspiring candidates is be aware what you are inside and what you have done in your life. This is what they want to know.
I hope my experience will help the fresher in getting some idea about the procedure. If you want to know anything more about the process you can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
TAT: Thematic Apperception Test
WAT: word Association Test
SRT: Situation Reaction Test
PGT: Progressive Group Task
HGT: Half Group Task
IO: Individual Obstacle/ Interviewing Officer
CT: Command Task
FGT: Full Group Task
About Ayan Mandal: I am Ayan Mandal. Recommended from 12SSB Bangalore for Navy SSC (PILOT).