Hello! My name is SOUMIN KUMAR SADANGI from Delhi. Today, I’m going to share the best experience of my life i.e getting recommended for my dream institution, NDA. It all started on 17 September 2017 when I gave my first attempt for TES 38 Army and got conference out. Then I had an SSB for Navy 10+2 BTech which I could not attempt. My SSB for the NDA was on 28 September 2017, in the remaining time period from 21 September to 28 September, I made myself mentally prepared for the next competition through introspection.
On 28 September 2017, I had a different point of view from the last SSB. I was getting positive vibes that I will make it in this time. With all my dreams and passion I touched the Bangalore City Railway Station.
Day 0: Reporting
2:30 PM, The bus arrived to take us to Selection Center South. There were a total of 42 candidates on the bus. We were asked to show an ID card and got entry to the bus. I took the front seat and we all reached SCS at 3 PM. All the formalities started from there and we were set free at 7 PM after documentaion and form filling. Our phones were taken away from us and we all were sent to barracks for some rest. We, a total of 42, spent our first night at the barracks. There was a guy from Sainik school who was really funny. We enjoyed the first night by cracking some jokes, forgetting about next day’s nightmare, That night was legendary.
Day 1: Screening
So called the toughest day of all the 5 days at SSB, but to be honest, this time I was not afraid. We all reported at the testing area. My chest number was 5. The first test was OIR, since I had practiced enough for this test all the two tests of OIR were a cakewalk.
Test 2 was the PPDT, a picture is shown for 30 seconds and a time of 4 minutes is allotted to write a story, which is then followed by individual narration and GD. The picture was of two men discussing something. I wrote a simple story of a boy seeking help from his brother for clearing his doubts. During the narration, I had a really impressive narration, clear and bold. Next thing was GD since I was a repeater I was a part of the group of 8 repeaters( out of which 2 recommended) and 1 screened out, so obviously one can imagine the fish market. Seeing a chaos, the GTO divided our group into two parts. each group came to a consensus and at the end, I merged the idea of both groups and decided the common theme. And that’s when the GTO asked us to leave.
Results arrived, and 20 candidates were screened in out 42. My new chest number was 12.
Day 2: Psychology and Personal Interview
I woke up early in the morning and got ready for the first test of phase 2 testing as I had already prepared well for the psychology, the whole test of psychology series was really easy for me. In WAT, a word is shown for 15 seconds and one is supposed to write whatever thought comes to one’s mind in a form of a sentence. I attempted all the 60 words in WAT and done 49 Situations in SRT. I was able to write 11+1 stories in time. And in the SDT, which every individual has its own way of writing about yourself, I gave 2 points in favor of my personality and against in all the sections. I was happy with my performance in the psych test. For the aspirants I will say writing mugged up ideas in this test won’t work. Giving an insight of your personality is what is expected.
After the psych test, I was asked to immediately report the candidates waiting for hall for Interview at 11:40 AM. I reported there on time and I was called for the interview at 12:00 PM sharp, as soon as the LED display showed my chest no. I wished the IO and entered the room. At the beginning, the IO asked me some really easy questions to make me comfortable. After some time he grilled me with a rapid-fire consisting of 11-12 questions( excluding cross questioning) about my education, family, friends, and future career options. I replied all the questions but got stuck in the last question about my alternative options. I gently asked to repeat, which he did. He continued to grill me with rapid-fire questions throughout the interview. He asked about diplomatic relations of India with other countries, about Rohingya people and recent Defence deals. At the end, he asked me about the efforts that I have put in to get there when I told him that I used to travel 40 kms a day to prepare for the NDA written. He seemed satisfied with my answers. With this the interview came to an end.
Day 3 & Day 4: GTO
GTO tasks are completely different from other tasks at SSB. The GTO series is purely based on communication skills and physical fitness. The day started with GD. In both the GDs I gave 3-4 valid points and most of the members of my group were convinced with my points.
In MPE( Military Planning Exercise), I was able to complete my individual solution within time. And in GD every member agreed with my points and 70 % of the group solution was in accordance with my view.
In the PGT, due to a different point of views, we got stuck in the 3rd phase. But I gave sufficient ideas in the PGT. In HGT, I was leading my team from the front with basic ideas and we completed the task within time. The snake race and the lecturette went well for me. In the individual obstacles, I was able to complete 9 obstacles in 3 minutes.
In Command Task, I was called by 5 members of the group as a subordinate. And my Command Task went brilliantly I gave my idea and the GTO asked me to leave. And in FGT, I performed well.
Here in GTO series, I would like to say that this very part of SSB depends on you here you should focus on your performance rather than comparing it with others’ performance.
Day 5: Conference – D Day
At last, this day came where our fate was going to be decided. After the closing address by Deputy President. We were called one by one. The conference is the day in which a candidate’s fate is decided in front of the panel of Assessing officers of selection center. After some time, I was called to face my second conference of the life. The conference started with the meaning of my name, then about my experience at SSB. Then the President of 12 SSB asked to rate my performance. But then he asked me ” Where do you see yourself in two and a half hours?” to which I replied, ” wearing a medical chest number, calling my father, teachers, friends and my girlfriend to inform them about the good news”. Everybody laughed by hearing the word girlfriend. Then he asked me about my stay and any suggestions, which I replied, and the conference came to an end.
Now comes the most difficult part of the SSB, in which you can expect to find many of the candidates praying to god, with their fingers crossed. Then the Tech. The officer came and announced the result in a random order. In the beginning, he didn’t announce my chest number, I got horrified but at the last, he called out my chest number and asked me to spell my name. I was completely blank at that time but managed to spell it out in my second attempt. ” And that’s all”, he said. I cannot explain that moment in words, a complete flashback of my past came into my eyes. After 1 failed NDA written attempt, a lot of criticism from haters, 4 months of struggle, 1 Conference out, this day finally came. Two weeks before that day I was sitting at the Allahabad Railway station waiting for my train after getting confernce out, thinking and worrying about my future, two weeks later here I was.
Although the merit list is still awaited, I’m happy to find that I have those 15 OLQs( Officer Like Qualities) somewhere hidden in me.
So here is what I wrote on my medical chest number, a modified version of Captain Vikram Batra’s line, PVC :
Live by choice,
Love with Passion,
Kill with aggression.
Future Sub Lt. Soumin Kumar Sadangi
All the best to future aspirants.
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