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Friday, January 27, 2023

How SSBs Assess The Trainability of a Candidate?


It is a prominently recognized fact that every individual cannot possess all the masterly traits (OLQs) of his/her overall personality. Henceforth, some qualities may be stronger than the others and even an important peculiar quality may be weak or just missing. It is also not so easy to find a candidate of personality pattern exactly fitting the requirements of an assessor, however, it is possible to find a personality trait which is close to the desired standards.

Armed Forces assessors also face similar situations where it is quite possible to find a candidate who lacks a few qualities, maybe, due to factors which were not in his/her control and if an opportunity is provided he/she may develop these qualities.

SSBs receive candidature of aspirants from all walks of life, and candidates are first assessed by each of the three assessors (the Psychologist, Group Testing Officer, and the Interviewing Officer) on their actual performance with the relevant tests employed. This assessment or evaluation is termed as PRESENT LEVEL and represents the obvious performance of the candidates.

Therefore, each assessor considers the various factors related to candidate’s ability to profit from the training and decides to the extent to which he is likely to improve upon his present level, and awards him the necessary credit for the same. This term is called as TRAINABILITY. It is the ability of the person to benefit from the training imparted to him, thereby developing the possible potential. It, when added to the present level, determines the candidates PREDICTIVE LEVEL. This level is regarded as the true index of the level the candidate is anticipated to achieve after training.

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Trainability factors:

Several studies have been carried out by the Defence Institute of Psychological Research and also members of the selection boards that Trainability depends on the following factors:

  • Demonstrated Intelligence/Officers intelligence rating (OIR): A candidate having a higher intellectual level, higher IQ, Innovativeness, creativity has higher training potential. As we know that we require dynamic officers hence while assessing the trainability, the stress is given on effective intelligence. Trainability is highest in the case of NDA cadets, being very young.
  • Age: Another factor that decides about the trainability of the individual is the age. The younger the age, more will be the trainability, therefore a candidate of adolescent age group is more transformable and moldable than an adult who has already developed his/her distinct abilities, attributes, and attitudes. Trainability is least in the case of Regimental Commission candidates. Moreover, Tech entry/AEC who join after UG/PG also have less trainability.
  • Socio Economic background/Environment: Candidates from comparatively weaker socio economic strata are likely to progress faster during training than others who belong to a financially sound background. This is because at the training institutions they get better environmental facilities for development of their latent abilities than they had at their home/school or college whereas candidates from well-to-do backgrounds have already availed these facilities and cannot benefit much from the training. Individuals with adequate insight learn all the time by mere exposure to an environment. Some have positive influences, while others draw an erroneous conclusion from the same premise. To some extent, it reverses the factors of age, training facilities and duration of training. In our context, this has been proved by a number of cadets whose performance in academics was very low on merit or even relegated by a term or two for being weak but have gone on to become exemplary warriors.
  • Circumstantial “Kick”: There are many amongst us who also learn through compulsions of extreme situations. Many lessons are taught through deaths of near ones, accidents, defeats, separations, depressions, etc. which no amount of imagination can teach.
  • Insight: If the candidate knows his capabilities, aptitude/weaknesses/drawbacks, he has better insight and motivation to not only overcome the same but also improve further. Therefore, an individual who knows himself/herself well is likely to benefit more from training than an individual who is ignorant about himself/herself. So a candidate with a better insight has higher training potential, rather than a candidate who overestimates himself/herself.
  • Motivation: It is the driving force present in the candidate. It can be determined from the goal of the individual, how he/she attempts to reach the goal, what is the outcome, whether he/she is optimistic or pessimistic. The greater the necessity or urge for a career in the Armed Forces present in the candidate, the greater the likelihood of his proficiency in training would be. Swami Vivekananda said, “Awake, arise, and stop not till you reach your goal”.
  • Will to improve: This factor also helps in deciding the trainability as to how enthusiastic an individual is to improve himself/herself. “More the keenness to improve more will be the trainability”.
  • Duration of Training: Duration also affects to some degree as the NDA candidates get more trainability marks than that of other entries because their training period is over four years whereas, an OTA entry would be trained in just 9 months, hence would get less trainability marks.To sum up, Trainability is a crucial factor while recommending the candidate at the SSB. Therefore, while awarding trainability marks the above points are kept in mind. A negative and goalless candidate will not benefit much from the training and hence should not be awarded any trainability marks.


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Pallavi Singh
Pallavi Singhhttps://www.instagram.com/pallavee_singh/
Defence aficionado, curious, writer, humble, explorer, elegant. I am an Electrical & Electronics Engineer who is inclined towards humanities.



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