‘Mere jazbaato se kuch iss qadar waqif hai meri kalam ke ishq likhna chahu to inquilab likh jata hai’
Dear Aspirants and Readers, I have been recommended, through NCC Special Entry, by 11 SSB Allahabad to join Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai. I secured All India Rank 21. This article is written with a purpose of motivating aspirants and a sort of guidance on the methods of preparation required in your endeavor to join this coveted service and serve the motherland. Let me first give you my family and academic background. Further, I will talk about strategies that I followed in course of preparation and then return to my experiences during the selection process. This is followed by few suggestions for the aspirants.
- I belong to Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. I am a Commerce graduate from Vikramajeet Singh Sanatan Dharma Mahavidyalaya. I have been an NCC cadet and passed my ‘C’ certificate in the year 2017. I was brought up in a lower middle-class joint family which is religious as well. Brought up in such an atmosphere, I have an inclination towards spirituality. From the very beginning, I had a thirst in me to join the forces to serve the motherland and put on the Uniform.
- My hobbies are drawing, singing, playing guitar, cooking, reading and writing. I have been writing my thoughts in the form of quotes and keep it posted on social media and various other online platforms.
- I love sports. I am a wrestler and a powerlifter and like to play badminton.
- I used to take up leading role in extra-curricular activities since my school day. In College, I took up responsibilities as a student leader.
- I worked at a gym for my monthly pocket money and expenses.
Let me tell you, preparation for any examination is not easy but becomes easier if we recognize our strengths and weaknesses. My strategies in the preparation for the SSB was thoughtful, innovative, recognizing my fallouts and opportunities. This was my second attempt. In the first attempt, I got screened out from the 14 SSB Allahabad.
My experiences suggest that you do not need only extreme dedication towards SSB. Apart from dedication, you need mental and physical practice. This cannot be done in a month or two rather it shall be the part of your everyday activity. Your mental and physical practice shall be regular and you need to be tough and strong. After I was screened out in my first attempt, I was bit disheartened. For a few days, I kept on mulling over that I prepared a lot with full dedication then what went wrong, why I could not achieve my dreams, I am delayed by 6 more months, how would I support my family if I am not selected and several other questions on my potential. However, you need to believe on yourself, you need to imbibe: “Naavik ki dharya pariksha kya, Jab dharaein pratikool na hon”. It is well said that your friends are good guide. My friends Anand, Akhilesh and Sandeep were also repeating preparations. They came as a great help. I benefitted by their experiences and planned my preparations again.
The best thing I could do was to check myself for OLQ’s. I wrote all OLQ’s on a sheet of paper and pasted it in my room and regularly checked myself.
I was physically robust and to maintain the same I worked out in 2 sets. In the morning I went for a jog (for stamina) and then GYM (because I worked there). And in the evening I went to my ‘akhada’ for regular practice sessions. For psychology, I regularly wrote TAT on any random picture and discussed it with my friends. For lecturette and GD I read newspapers, watched videos surfed internet (I would like to thank SSBCrack for their regular updates on latest topics and questions I also purchased book from ssbcrack) which also served the purpose of preparations for other competitive exams. Being in student politics public speaking never bothered me. I regularly did reasoning practice for other competitive examinations which helped me in my OIR. We friends also went to PSTC & NCC group headquarters where Brig. P.M. Rath(our group commander) and Dr. Anita Trivedi guided us for the practice of GDs and other tests.
Mean while I was also selected by Indigo airlines as security executive which I never joined but had as an option.
I also reduced my weight about 10 to 14 kgs as I was overweight because of bulk I developed from weight training.
My experience during the selection process was quiet different from others. In the beginning we were made to fill necessary forms and then given OIR sheets to solve. In PPDT we were shown a picture of a car surrounded by people I made a story on manufacture of an electronic car. I was lucky to have a supportive group and we had an excellent narration and GD. During the results I was the last one to be called and got chest no. 20.
After filling PIQ’s and other forms we went to our lines and I informed my parents and then dialed my friends Anand, Akhilesh and Sandeep to discuss the next day we discussed few common pictures. Next day to my astonishment I had 3 common pictures with a pre prepared story. Rest of the tests were also fine. I did about 51 SRTs and only left 2 WATs. I was informed that I will be having my interview just after my GTO day 1.
GTO DAY 1 was very smooth. We had a healthy discussions and hailing from a religious family I was handy in shlokas and dohas which I naturally used during my GD.
Snake race and PGT were fun we played as a team and enjoyed a lot. My team knew about my strength and we efficiently used it. My lecturette went for more than 3 minutes (told by my fellow candidates) and my topic was population explosion.
After GTO I directly went for my Interview. A smiling face welcomed me with a warm handshake. My Interview was longer than other candidates . Major part of it was related to the financial conditions of my family like even after having govt. job why my father’s salary is low and how do I try to support him. What type of financial issues I personally face.
I also had few GK and mathematics questions. He asked me about my work and my political posts during my education as mentioned in my PIQ and also gave me few situations. He asked me about my hobbies and why do I want to join the forces etc.
Every time the interviewer tried to increase the stress in the room, I encountered it with my funny responses. Few examples were.
I.O. How many friends do you have and who are your best friends?
Ans. Sir, I am a friendly person but I have 3 best friends Harshit, Rahul & Salman.
I.O. What are your 3 qualities which Harshit will tell me?
Ans. He would tell that I am disciplined, hard working and soft spoken.
I.O. And what about Rahul what will he tell me about you?
Ans. Sir, he will tell that I am helpful, fun loving and I give excellent advices.
I.O. “abhi tak tumhre kisi dost ne nahi bataya ke tum fauji afsar banoge?”
Ans. Bas Sir, Salman bolne hi wala tha aapne pucha hi nahi usse.
I.O. How do you think you were able to influence your group?
Ans. Sir, we were 20 candidates and atleast 15 of them try to imitate my language and tone ( basic U.P. wala kanpuria and banarsi touch in my tact).
I.O. If not selected this time what will you do?
Ans. Sir, abhi tak to all my tests have been fine and I think I am having positive chances to make it this time but if not I also got selected for Indigo Airlines as security executive and I will be joining it.
I.O. “tum pakka bouncer banoge”
Ans. No sir, I will be looking after the luggage section.
(There were many more but this would make the post lengthy.)
Day 4 was the hardest.
We had individual obstacles, command task and FGT. During IO GTO started with me I was only able to do 8 obstacles and on the other hand my group mates were even able to repeat few (and I was considered to be the fittest)
Then CT was a nightmare I was not even able to complete even a single stage. I got a light scolding from the GTO and one of my subordinate was sent back. Even after all this I tried to complete it. I was called 4 times as a subordinate.
FGT was like a formality.
Once we reached back our lines I dialed my friends and told what happened and they instantly told me that the GTO was interested in me and was checking me.
We went to Hanuman Temple that day (after GTO day2 ab to baba hi kuch kareinge)
The final day was the best. I was made to wait for at least 5 minutes before I was called for conference. And again smiling faces welcomed me and I felt relaxed the only thing running in my mind was ,”ya to rakheinge ya to nahi rakheinge guru jo man me aaye wahi bolna”.
The interviewer knew that I give funny answers he only initiated the talks. First he asked me the questions which he gave me for conference (all related to GK) then I was given a kind of situation,
I.O. You are having this Milton bottle now tell me the maximum uses of it?
Response. First I will drink water then I will take out the cap and play catch-catch, I can fill it with refreshments, the bottle is hard so I can use it as a hammer I can also use it as a weapon.
I.O. tell me 2 more uses?
Response. The bottle is shiny so I can use it for signaling, at the end I will play truth and dare with it.
Everyone started laughing, I was asked, “kahi ghoomne gye the”. I told them the minutest details of our visit to the temple. He asked me about the friends made during stay and how did they helped me.
They asked me to rate my performance I told them about my weak performance at the Individual obstacles and CT. At the end I was asked about any suggestions for the mess I told them to improve the variety of veg food as I was served karela two days. No sooner did I say this than, everyone started to giggle.( after this reply I was cursing myself!). They wished me best of luck for the results and I left them giggling in the room on my kiddish responses.
The results were declared by tech officer. He gave a small speech and then called Chest Number ‘20’ I went emotionless I Stood up called my ‘name and roll number’ aloud and went to the stage (this was the most precious moment for me, I wanted to preserve each and every bit of it.) In the back of my mind I thanked my parents and The Almighty for letting me chase my dreams.
With me two more friends Amit and Anand Mohan got recommended who would for sure be friends for life. Everyone applauded for us and then we were allowed to inform at our homes and report back for paper work. I informed my friends and went to fill forms and then went back to our lines. We were alloted new chest numbers with a red ‘+’(the dreams do come true). Now comes the emotional part I dialed my parents who were eagerly waiting for a call from me.(it was difficult talking to my mother, I knew this requires time so I delayed it).
For 4 days we had our medicals and I was declared medically fit and we came back to our homes.
Things what I learnt from this experience:-
- Enjoyment and learning must be at your priority.
- You usually don’t need any coaching but you for sure need guidance and practice.
- You need to be mentally and physically fit for this.
- The overall procedure of ssb can be summarized as ‘stress test’. They check how much stress can you bear.
- Be yourself because you are most experienced in being that.
- Smile is the best thing you can wear.
Suggestions for aspirants
- Read regularly and practice for extempore.
- Develop a group which can help you in practicing and listens you.
- Regularly solve reasoning questions not only for OIR but for improving mental ability.
- Start writing at least 1 month before appearing so that you can be habitual with psychology tests.
- Indulge in some sort of physical activities.
At the end, I would like to thank SSBCrack, PSTC & NCC Group HQ Kanpur, Brig. P.M. Rath, Dr. Anita Trivedi and my friends Anand, Akhilesh, Sandeep, harshit, salman and Junaid for their unconditional support & guidance. ‘Vo khete hai na bina parishram yash kahan aap logo ke bina mere parishram ko yash nahi mil sakta tha.’
इस पथ का उद्देश्य नहीं है श्रांत भवन में टिक जाना,
किंतु पहुचना उस सीमा तक जिसके आगे राह नहीं।
Thanks for reading it till ethe nd . Hope to see all the aspirants in the forces.
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