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Monday, April 22, 2024

How To Write Selection Grade TAT Stories In SSB?

Writing a good story in TAT is very important as it weighs for 50% of your Psych marks. In the Psych Tests, the TAT and SDT are the main tests and WAT and SRT are the confirmatory tests. That means, whatever you write in your TAT and SDT need to match with your responses in WAT and SRT. Then you are being true.

What is tested through TAT?

The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) gives an opportunity in the form of a Stimulus to the individual to project his personality in terms of free verbal Responses with regard to the pictures he see and the plot that he may weave around the picture.

It is not a fact based test, rather it is based on opinion, emotions, value and attitude of the person. What color and combination are given to the story, which aspects are dominated, does the individual show value, emotions, helping attitude, sacrifice, faithfulness with full of challenges, is all seen through this test.

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Things to closely keep in mind

  1. The psych asks you to image what has happened, what is happening and what is going to happen in 12-14 lines. Divide this into 4 parts and follow this format –
  • Introduction (2-3 lines)
  • Problem (1-2 lines, what has happened)
  • Solution (5-6 lines, what is happening)
  • Conclusion (1-2 lines, what is going to happen).
  1. Make sure all your stories are related to your PIQ. Each and every story must reflect an aspect of your PIQ.
  2. There should be a match between you and your hero, because the hero is your alter-ego, your deployed leader who should represent you 100%.
  3. There should be a similarity between age, sex and character of you and your hero. There may be a possibility of difference in perception, emotions and ability, but not in terms of the achievement. To be precise, your hero’s achievement is the manifest of your own achievement.
  4. Divide your responses into 5 categories based on perception –
  • Individual (Preparing for the exam, sports event, etc)
  • Planning/Organising (Helping others, planning picnic, organizing event, etc)
  • Emergencies/Rescue/Life Saving (fire in a building, sewage overflow, flood, crime against women, etc)
  • Scientific (LPG, biogas, bio-petrol, solar windmill, digital India, etc)
  • Social Welfare/Brotherhood/Nationality/Patriotism (representing country, international achievements, etc)
  1. Read a lot. Reading will not only give you immense knowledge but it will also shape your thoughts. It will help you to express yourself easily.
  2. For having themes, refer The Better India. It has a lot of positive and realistic stories. Pick out the stories which match your PIQ and practice theme revolving around it.



The Story: The conglomerate of Indian Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Management has actively participated in the Student Exchange Programs between India, Japan, Germany, France and many other nations. Suraj Dev, a first-year student from IIM Ahmedabad enrolled in the Post-Graduation Diploma course in Management, represented the Institute and was a team leader in the IIM conglomerate for inter athletic meet in Japan 2017.  Suraj has been a meritorious student graduating from the Sri ram college of commerce, New Delhi, and DPS R K Puram. He always has been enthusiastic about participation in sports, debates, event management and was very keen for Motion photography. In his graduation days, Suraj won the best photograph in Motion Category from the National Geographic channel. He understood the concepts of physics and the relevance of timing in such genre of photography.  As a part of the team lead, Suraj was responsible to be a part of the organizing committee of the athletic meet in Japan along with the Management Institute of Japan.  His merit, experience of teamwork enabled him to gel easily in the overseas culture and set the event to perfection along with all delegates. The event started with the run where Suraj photographed the person from the most prominent position.  After returning to India, Suraj was felicitated for his exemplary dedication to the event and this picture was framed in the “Hall of Fame “wall of IIM Ahmedabad sports zone.

Story Interpretation:

Officer Like Qualities Relevance to the mentioned story
Effective Intelligence This story does show effective intelligence in various forms. Suraj’s candidature in IIM Ahmedabad, his representation at the International Student exchange program, his quick adaptability in the overseas culture etc and the narration as well.
Reasoning Ability Suraj got correct hold of the situation, understood what needs to be done, went ahead with cooperation with other delegates from Japan and set the event to perfection
Power of Expression The story expresses each event in a proper way.
Self Confidence Confidence is shown here by virtue of participation and winning. Also representing something at an international level and concluding it with perfection shows the blend of confidence.
Determination Suraj is determined to conclude things with perfection. He is also determined to make the best out of the situation. As for the case of this story, his dedication to participation, winning in National Geographic Photography Competition, making the best in organizing the Inter athletic meet in Japan etc shows the level of determination
Organizing Ability Suraj is well acquainted with the availability of the resources and his ability to organize the event in cooperation with other delegates from other country shows this trait.
Initiative This officer like quality is also displayed in the story but in a minimal amount
Courage Representing our own entity at a global level needs a good amount of courage. This story exudes courage at that level where Suraj represented and participated in the athletic meet at the international level
Cooperation This trait is observed in the part of the story where Suraj is organizing the event in cooperation with the other delegates who are from Japan
Sense of Responsibility This trait is visible in multiple points as Suraj, being a team lead, exhibited a responsible position
Stamina Organizing something and keeping it going with perfection till the end takes a lot amount of both physical and mental stamina
Group Influencing Ability The hero’s experience of teamwork enables him to exhibit this trait as well
Liveliness This trait is shown by the interest of Suraj to participate in all type of activities right since his childhood etc.
Social Adaptability Social adaptability is shown by his interest and ability to participate in organizing activities.


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While there are many tips in the market to attempt TAT, the key idea behind this is to keep the stories in line with the PIQ and reflect the same set of thinking in WAT and SRT. For better formation of themes, divide pics into 5 categories and apply one category to any pic shown in the test. For having a wide range of theme as per your PIQ, refer The Better India and adopt themes related to your PIQ from there.

SSBCrackExams is a comprehensive online platform dedicated to assisting candidates in preparing for the Services Selection Board (SSB) interviews and various other defense-related examinations in India.
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