Hi everyone, the only reason I am sharing my story with you all is because I feel somewhere or other many of you will be able to relate your life story to mine.
I was born and brought up in a small city of Rajasthan, Bikaner. I will briefly share with you, what I really feel helped me during my SSB.
I had no armed forces background in my family, but what really helped in SSB me was the right amount of confidence and positive attitude. I remember I was working with one of the top IT firms of India in Mysore when one day I got a call for SSB (CDSE-Non Tech entry). Knowing my centre was Allahabad, I requested for a change of my SSB centre to Bengaluru since there was no direct train to Allahabad. I wrote to the SSB headquarters over mail and fax that I need to get my centre change.
Having no hopes, One fine day, at 9 pm in the night I got a mail from SSB that my centre was changed to Bangalore and I had to report early morning tomorrow to the station.
I left for Bangalore without knowing what exactly I had to in SSB. I had zero idea about the tasks that I have to do there. I personally feel , being raw and having no prior training really helped me get through. I had no pre-assumptions in my mind, everything that I did there came right through my heart.
The only preparation I did was going through all the online articles I could find related to SSB procedure, candidate stories, their experience in that 3-hour train journey from Mysore to Bengaluru.
All I aimed for, out of my first SSB was a great experience and a chance to at least get screened in, so that I get to stay there for next 5 days.
PIQ Form- Everything starts with Personal Information form. Not many people take it seriously but believe me, It is THE second most important thing in SSB, first is obviously food :P. Write down each and every detail about you in that form with utmost honesty. This form will be your first impression and it better be impressive. Write down all the achievements you have gained, throughout your life, be it small or big. Try to cover all areas of your life (sports, literature, arts, and academics). This will show your versatility.
Personally, I had a lot of things to write down since, I am a black belt holder in martial arts, won medals at state and national events. I was into NCC for 5 years and had ‘A’ ‘B’ & ‘C’ certificates. I had served as an under officer for my platoon. I also mentioned about my good academic record, being an office bearer in school, getting district level recognition in Arts. I mentioned it all.
OIR & PPDT– OIR exam is going to be a very easy one with questions related to basic maths and logical reasoning. Don’t panic. Don’t stick to one question for long. Try to fill the answers before time.
Coming to PPDT, 1 hazy picture will be shown to you on a projector and you have to create a story out of it. What everybody will tell you is that it has to be a positive story with one of the characters doing some kind of heroic thing, which is all true. But try to relate every picture with some kind of personal experience that you ever had. Things did not necessarily happen to you, may be with your friends or in your neighbourhood. The more genuine your story is, the better you will be able to express it and faster you will be able to write it. I remember when I wrote all those stories and looked back in my answer sheet, I was surprised, how unintentionally I had written a lot of my personal experiences in form of a story. In the last blank slide, I had created a story which revolved around a girl who wanted to get through armed forces and was waiting for her call letter and her mother being her true support, basically again related to my personal experience.
Group Discussion– You are going to have a series of GD in your 5 days stay at SSB. One will be just after your PPDT test. According to me, Key to every GD would be keeping your arguments crisp and to the point. While narrating your story, look at each of your fellow candidates and tell your story with confidence. Do not look at the panel sitting in front of you. In between discussions, look for a pause or I would say, correct moment, Keep your argument ready in mind and then shoot. Trust me it all a myth that one who initiates the GD gets an extra benefit.
Psychological Tests– I consider these as the most easy tests in SSB. All you have to do is write down whatever comes in your mind. Do not try to deliberately write something which doesn’t define you or your behaviour, just to impress the panel. I remember during the PPDT, when they show you 12 hazy pictures (including one blank slide) I wrote all those stories and looked back in my answer sheet, I was surprised, how unintentionally I had written a lot of my personal experiences in form of a story. In the last blank slide, I had created a story which revolved around a girl who wanted to get through armed forces and was waiting for her call letter and her mother being her true support, basically again related to my personal experience.
4). Self-Description Test (SDT)
Group Tasks– These will be held for 2 days including no. of different tests. Don’t lose your calm, try to show your team spirit wherever possible. Remember, it is not a one-man show that will take you places in defence. It is and will always be how good a team player you are. Another important thing that comes to test in these tasks is your bonding with fellow candidates. Gel with them and create a rapport that whenever they need someone for help, your name should be the first to cross their mind.
I will not go into detail about each task because seriously it doesn’t matter. Just keep your ears open while the GTO gives you an overview of the tasks and be focussed. Also, these tasks will test your stamina so you got to be physically strong. Prepare accordingly.
In Individual obstacles task, there is just one mantra, never give up! If you are not able to cross one, move to next. Do not wait. If time permits come back to the ones that were difficult for you to cross and give another attempt, but only if time permits.
Personal Interview– I remember how excited I was about this. We hear so many interesting stories from different candidates about their interviews. Preparation wise, you need to be aware about current national and international issues. Whatever topic you talk about, you should know in and out about it. Rest, try to be honest with your interviewer and do not try to fake anything.
You might be asked about the place you belong to, about your best friends, about your fellow SSB mates, your strengths, and your weakness. Basically all about you. Do one thing, while you will be there in SSB without your phone, you will get ample of time to be with yourself. Take a pen and paper and recall all your life experiences (good and bad) and try to write things that define you. You will get your answers. That’s what I did.
It was tough to tell you about such a fantastic experience in a nutshell, but hope I did justice.
Note– I was merit out due to the scarcity of seats for women in defence but my SSB marks were 99 (more than what the AIR-1 had scored).
Remember-Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from chasing your dreams. All the Best!
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