Recommended By 24 SSB for RVC Entry, Merit List Rank 1. Getting into Army was my dream as my father was in the Army. He was retiring this year as an honorary captain and while standing in front of the mirror, while wearing his ARMY coat, I thought to myself that I will try my best to continue this. Father retiring as a Captain and son starting as a Captain. I boarded the Swarn Shatabdi from Jalandhar City to NDLS. My connecting train was at night, so I went to my friends at Delhi to enjoy. I boarded the train at night. My train reached the Bangalore city station at 0830 I changed to formals and met my UG classmates. The arrival of the army bus to take us to the SSB centre was at 1400hrs. Outside the station, there were about 100 students. Few were in formals and few were in casuals. Army bus arrived at the station with the conference out candidates. After getting in the bus, we headed through the city to SSB centre. As soon as I got down from the bus, I got little emotional as my father had given his SSB through SCO 26 years ago, but met with leg sprain on day 4(GTO) (That’s why he gave me good sole Nivea shoes for my SSB instead of PT canvas shoes).
Then we filled our PIQ form and travel allowance and got chest numbers. After receiving our travel allowance, we headed towards our dormitory. White bedsheets with white pillow covers were on the beds. We took little luggage out as tomorrow it was screening test, which meant in or out. I couldn’t sleep properly as the candidate next to my bed was snoring. Somehow I slept and got up at 0445 in the morning, got fresh, shaved properly, got into formals and took my luggage to reporting area.
Verbal and Non-verbal tests.
We sat according to our chest numbers for the test. The test seemed easy for me and in my opinion I did more than 90% correct. Here about 60 questions, 30 mins are allotted but as there is no wrist watch allowed or any wall clock, time flies away at double the pace.
( So be quick. If you can’t answer anything at once, skip it to next and come back later)
We were given instructions for the test. The picture shown to us was very blurry. I saw one man like Salman Khan ( Of Ek tha Tiger) with a gun. I perceived that he is in some special forces, so made a story that Arjun was a resident of the border area. He saw infiltration rate at rise, so he decided to join Army. He worked hard, asked his already joined friends, gave SSB and cleared it. After that he joined special forces. “Now he is posted in Akhnoor sector and serving the nation”.
- A story should have a background.
- Action must be seen.
- There should be a continuation to the story which shows its present situation.
After this, we were given refreshment break of about 10 mins and then we were called back for group discussion. A group of 15 students each were called into different rooms. We sat in a semi-circle. I was at the middle and in front of us were 2 Psychologists and 1GTO.
- Sit confidently and relaxed.
- Sit straight with a smile on face.
- Never look directly to the testing officers, because you are discussing amongst yourselves in a group, not with the officers.
All of us started our stories individually. We were given approx 45 seconds to narrate our story. When it came to me, I started by greeting my group members and begun my story and completed it in approx 40 sec.
- Cut short your story during the break and memorise it. Never let the officers stop you and say “NEXT” because of lengthy story.
NOTE: – I saw a few candidates with beard and pony tails. This doesn’t look good. Although I don’t think this affects your selection but this doesn’t look good. As they are expecting to choose gentlemen for Army, be a gentleman. Clean shave, combed hair and formals will add to your personality.
After our individual stories, we were asked to discuss amongst ourselves and arrive at a common story. As soon as the officer said start, I took the lead and said that out of 15 candidates, at least 8 have made stories on defence background, so let us all discuss on that.. few candidates agreed with me and few didn’t. After this a fish market begun. I tried to calm down the situation, but nobody listened, so I kept quite and smiled looking the chaos. We couldn’t arrive at a common story and we were asked to leave.
TIPS FOR GD:
- Never be harsh.
- If you don’t have a new point, add a good addition to the previous point.
- Keep a smile on face
- Never point fingers or touch anyone with hands.
- Try to give the base to the whole discussion as I gave in my case.
after lunch, we were again called back for the screening results. Out of 84 candidates, 22 got in. We were given new chest numbers. This time I got number ‘3’. We selected picked our luggage and went back to our dormitory with the smile on face as if this was the final selection. To our surprise, the bedsheets had changed from dull white to flowered ones<LOL>. Many of the candidates in our room were reading sample stories. I ate my dinner and slept quietly as I didn’t want to stuff my mind with stories in books. I wanted every story be a geniune product of my mind.
- Never stuff your mind with stories from books the night before the psych. Test. Be original, because that will interest the Psych. To read your story. Don’t try to copy paste a story because they are Godfathers. At one glance, they will get to know your personality.
After breakfast, we assembled and headed towards the testing rooms. A booklet with spaces for TAT, WAT, SRT and SD was provided to each candidate. Instructions were given.
TEST 1. TAT- Thematic Apperception Test
Total 12 slides shown. 11+ 1(blank). I made stories mostly related to innovation and my life. The blank story was also related to innovation.
TEST 2. WAT- WORD ASSOCIATION TEST
The word shown for 15 seconds. You have to write a meaningful sentence of a thought which comes first to your mind. I did a total of 56 words out of 60.
TEST 3. SRT- SITUATION REACTION TEST
You are provided a question booklet in which situations are given and you have to write your responses in the booklet provided. For 60 SRT you get 30 mins. Here i did about 53 SRT.
TEST 4. SD- SELF DESCRIPTION
For SD, I had already prepared along with my family, friends and teachers. I wrote simple things like my parents send me for railway reservations, bank work, arraanging home functions , which were true and reflected myself..
- Write only what you actually are. Don’t copy sentences from books because that will project a wrong personality to the officers.
I was called for interview after this. I went to my room as i had time and got into my best clothes and went happily for interview.
INTERVIEW: It was a great experience for me as it was my first interview. As a Army brat, i was comfortable with my interviewing officer. He asked me questions about my life, my education, my family, my hobbies, my religion and many more things. When i came out of the interview, everyone said that it was the longest and it was for more than an Hour. I didnt feel the time inside as i was comfortable. ONLY ONE TIP: JUST BE HONEST. DONT LIE EVEN A SINGLE POINT. JUST SPEAK YOUR HEART OUT, COZ THEY DONT WANT LIARS FOR ARMY.
DAY 3. GTO TASK-1 ( ADRENALIN RUSH)
This is the most exciting day for all of us, as the tasks were outdoor. We got into our nickers, white t-shirts, shoes and white socks and headed towards the GTO area. We were divided into group of 8 each. Then we were adrressed by the GTO. The officer had a charasmatic personality with Ray Ban aviators, Enfield Jacket and royal Enfield Thunderbird.
TASK 1. GROUP DISCUSSION
Topic a- The youth today are unemployable.
Topic b- something related to food saftey.
We were asked to choose between the topics for discussion. Here i took the lead and said that, as we all are students, it directly relates to us. All the candidates agreed with me.
- Listen carefully and understand the topics.
- Try to give god points to the discussion with examples to support your view.
I spoke 5-6 times on the leads and gave examples related to my college life and life experience.
TOPIC 2: The menance of stray dogs is increasing day by day. How to reduce it.
As we all were veterinary doctors, this topic was related to us. Everyboday gave good points. I gave one point in this discussion, which in my opinion was valuable. Everyone agreed to the point of adopting the strays and not buying breed dogs. Even the GTO was impressed because later he said that even he has 2-3 breed dogs.
TASK 2. GROUP PLANNING EXERCISE
We sat in a semi circle and the map board was in front of us. The gto explained us the map and narrated the story. The he gave us the story to read for few minutes. The we were given 10 minutes to write the story. I completed my plan in the given time frame. Then the GD begun. I gave in a few ideas and tried to assemble everones points in a sequence. At some point a candidate suggested to send one person in jeep with the injured. At that time i said” my father is in Army and he says Army never send one man on a task alone. Everyone agreed to my point, but we couldn’t arrive at a definate plan.
TASK 3. PROGRESSIVE GROUP TASK
Now the actual ground tasks begun. We were taken to the testing area and shown the obstacles. There was a set of 4 obstacles. GTO explained us the rules.
NOTE:- LISTEN CAREFULLY TO EACH RULE AS THEY WILL BE APPKLICABLE EVERYWHERE FOR NEXT DAY ALSO.
As the GTO asked us to start, we began. But as the candidates were more, it was difficult to exicute ideas. I tried to give in few ideas, which were workable.
TASK 4. SNAKE RACE
We were divided into group of 11 candidates each. We were briefed about the task. I was in group 1 and we were asked to shout a war cry for our group. As soon as the GTO asked for war cry, n one said anything. Then i shouted my lungs out “BHARAT MAATA KI ” and everyone at once shouted “JAI”. I chose this as war cry because its the war cry of my father’s regiment JAKLI. Then the race begun at the count of 10. We had different obstacles in between. I kept on shouting the war cry throughout the task, helped other candidates to get over walls by pushing or pulling them.
THIS IS TO SEE YOUR LIVLINESS, TEAMWORK AND COOPERATION, SO BE ENERGETIC THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE RACE.
TASK 5. HALF GROUP TASK.
Again the group was divided into 8 each. Whwn our HGT begun, out of 6 total ideas, i gave maximum ideas.
THOSE WHO CAN’T SHOW THEMSELVES IN PGT, SHOW HERE.
TASK 6. LECTURETTE
We were aske dto sit in semi-circle and one by one asked to answer the following:
- Father’s occupation
- Place you live at
- Favourite actress
NOTE:- I thought to myself that this actress thing in between has definately something to do. I was right and it was needed in one of the Individual obstacles.
Then one by one we got up for lecturette. Total 3 mins. Bell rings at 2:30, the candidate giving the lecture gets alert that only 30 secs remaining and the candidate preparing gets to know that after 30 secs he has to deliver. So its a cycle.
When my cance came, I went with my card. It had 4 topics. First topic was INDO-US relations. I could speak on it but the topic next to it caught my eye. It was changing weather pattern. I started preparing my topic. When i came to deliver the lecture, I greeted everyone and started my topic by giving the sub-headings.
- First of all introduction
- What are the causes
- What are the effects
- How to minimise it
I ended my topic in time and only 3-4 secs were remaining.
- Choose a topic on which you can speak clearly for 3 mins.
- Look at each candidate because you are giving them the lecture and not the GTO.
After this the day ended for a new beginning and I was happy and satisfied with my performance. We all went out to market and malls. As it was Lohri that day, we all had food together. After dinner we slept to refresh ourselves for next day.
DAY 4- GTO 2
It was a new day and new set of exciting tasks were waiting for us.
- Individual Obstacles
- Command task
- Final group task
After breakfast we reached the GTO area. Our GTO came after a while on his Royal enfield TB. We did a little warm up before the tasks. We were then taken to the I.O area.
TASK 1. INDIVIDUAL OBSTACLES
We were explained each and every obstacle. Each obstacle had a number next to it, carrying scattered equal marks. There were 10 obstacles scattered randomly. We were given the choice to start from any place and repeat the tasks again if once all have been performed succesfully.
- Start from any place. I started from the place from where my GTO started explaining. I heard from few candidates that they kept running from one obstacle to other serialy. NEVER do that. This wastes your time. Start in a planned way. Make a paln in your mind while the GTO explains the tasks. Make your brain work in multi-tasking mode.
When my chnace came, I ran and stood at obstacle no. 10. As the GTO blew whistle, I started. In the commando tower, while climbing the ladder, I accidently touched a red line. i honestly got down, took few steps back and again started with the task. As the GTO blew whistle at 2:30, i had completed all the tasks. I still had 30 seconds with me. I again did Commando tower and Burma bridge. So i did a total of 12 obstacles in 3 mins.
TASK 2. COMMAND TASK
We sat in as emi circle and the command task area was behind us. We were briefed about the task by the GTO. We were called one by one randomly for the command task. I was called twice to be sub-ordinate. When i was called for the task, my GTO asked me few questions that despite having a defence background, why I didnt try for NDA. I honestly replied that I had less marks in maths in 10th and I couldn’t clear the exam.
The GTO briefed me the task. To my surprise i was given a different helping material. One FATTA, one BALLI and one TRIANGLE instead of the usual rope. I thought to myself “BETA YOU CAN DO IT”. Then i called my 2 sub-ordinates and briefed theem the details briefed to me by my GTO. Then i gave an overall look to my task and begun by asking my sub-ordiantes to pick up the material and start by placing it wherever i was telling them to put.The task was no doubt difficult but i did it with ease. I gave about 6-7 ideas at one place. Then the GTO asked me few more ideas at a differnt obstacle. He said what if that point becomes red, what if I remove that. I was ready with ideas as soon as the GTO asked me. My GTO got impressed with me and sai ‘EXCELLENT COMMANDEER EXCELLENT’. I thanked my sub-ordinates and went back.
TASK 3. FINAL GROUP TASK
As all the members were together again, it created a mess. I gave in a few ideas but nobody listened and someone even snatched helping materrial from my hand.I gave in a few good ideas at the end and they were helpful.
DAY 5- CONFERENCE DAY
We all got up. As it was d-day , it was obvious that all werelittle nervious. We dressed up in the best dresses we had and assembled at the reporting area. We were then taken to the Conferencce hall to show how it looks like. After a while the conference began. One by one candidates went in according to their chest numbers. I went in, wished the board President and then I was asked by my Interviewing officer to sit down. I thanked him and sat comfortably on the chair.
Q= HOW WAS YOUR STAY??
A= Sir it was wonderfull. It was a learning experience for me.
Q= WHAT NEW DID YOU LEARN??
A= sir i learnt team spirit, how to work in a team and how to work under stress conditions keeping your mind calm.
Q= ANY SUGGESTIONS YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE??
A= No sir.
He said OK Zaheer, best of luck. I said thank you and walked out confidently.
Then the results were declared and when my chest number was called, I felt like I’m in some differnt world and my dream has come true. I was given a new chest number which had a PLUS + on it showing that I was recommended. This followed the medical tests from which i was declared medically fit. My training begins next month.
All the best SSB aspirants. JAI HIND