Recommended For Indian Army in 2nd Attempt – Indian Military Academy

Hey there future young officers, I am Cyril Saji and I got recommended for the Indian Army through TGC-129 (2019) in my 2nd SSB attempt. SSBCrack has helped me throughout the years with its posts and the success stories of other aspirants who like me have attained their objective what they set out to achieve So its even my duty that I do the same and may just randomly end up helping my successors the same way as my predecessor did.

My SSB journey or if I may, my dream to join the forces did not start or end in a few months but was all a series of decisions and events that followed from my 10th (that’s when I decided that I wanted to earn those OGs one fine day)

My success story is divided into 4 parts –

  • ROAD LEADING TO SSB
  • SSB ATTEMPTS 
    • SSB ATTEMPT NAVY (CONFERENCE OUT)
    • SSB ATTEMPT ARMY ( RECOMMENDED)
  • PERSONAL TIPS
  • THE NCC EFFECT
  1. ROAD LEADING TO SSB

Hailing from an army background and my dad being the second gen officer, obviously I was preview to what the army as an institution was and what an army life had to offer, but just like any other kid I had no clue as to what I wanted to do when I grew up. It was after my 10th when other officers and people I was surrounded with started asking me what I wanted to do in life and to just dodge that question I told them that I wanted to join the forces like my dad and his dad before him. But slowly and slowly what started as an excuse to dodge the question thrown at me by others about my future became a serious deal and that became my only aim.

Please do keep in mind that once you have set a target, all the decisions you make from thereon should be all aimed at hitting that target if not immediately then eventually.

So now that I had an aim and knew exactly what I wanted I opted for science in my 11 , as it would help me in NDA exams and also open the TES entry scheme for me. But after my 12 I wasn’t able to clear NDA and due to some unseen circumstances could not apply for TES.

Then I had to make a decision whether to do a normal graduation or a technical degree. I chose to go in for a technical degree and let me tell you that decision was also taken keeping the forces in mind as I wanted to keep the doors open for entries like UES(ARMY)(now scrapped), UES(NAVY),TGC, SSC TECH,NCC SPECIAL ENTRIES and other NAVAL ENTRIES LIKE GSX, PILOT/ATC/OBSERVER etc alongside the other available options of CDS or NCC SPECIAL ENTRY(provided if the college had NCC in it) after graduation.

 So I joined KARUNYA UNIVERSITY ( TAMILNADU ) as it was meeting all my requirements. Here I joined NCC in the 1st year itself which helped me earn my B certificate and my C certificate in the years to come. Learned a lot and had a lot of fun and enjoyed my college life. Also took part in student run bodies and participated in the college events and fest that helped me gain a lot of exposure, confidence and improve my communication skills with the masses. In my 4th year, I applied for the defense entries.

  • SSB ATTEMPTS
    1. SSB ATTEMPT NAVY (CONFERENCE OUT)
    2. SSB ATTEMPT ARMY (RECOMMENDED)

I gave a total of 2 SSBs one of both navy and army.

UES NAVY –  NSB COIMBATORE –  02/02/19 – 06/02/19 – CONFERENCE OUT

TGC ARMY –  SSB ALLAHABAD –  08/03/19 – 12/03/19       – RECOMMENDED

  • SSB ATTEMPT NAVY ( CONFERENCE OUT):

It was my first SSB attempt and like any other fresher I was nervous and not that much prepared, but I made it through my screening and so did two of my college mates and the rest is history, neither we prepared nor we let anybody else prepare. But in the days to come, I understood how the entire procedure of SSB works and tried to participate and do the activities there with the best of my abilities. By the 5th day the conference I knew the points where I have messed up and didn’t expect to get recommended. So I was not dejected when I got conference out, but now I knew what I had to do and in which all aspects did I lag and I knew I had to work on them for my next SSB which was coming up the next month and yes that’s exactly what I did.

PREPARATION FOR THE 2ND SSB ATTEMPT:

Thetime table I followed is as follows:

0700:1000 – SLEEP

1000:1300- NEWSPAPER(TOI,THE HINDU)

1300:1400-LUNCH

1400:1700- INTROSPECTION AND OTHER INFORMATION

1700:1930- GAMES

1930:2000-DINNER

2000:0600- GK, CA, BASIC TIME DISTANCE AND VOLUME NUMERICALS

0600:0700- TOI E-NEWSPAPER

This was the timetable I followed rigorously for the next 25 odd days and trust me as the days grew nearer I wished that somehow there would be more hours in the day there was so much to cover.

  • SSB ATTEMPT ARMY (RECOMMENDED):

For this attempt, I had worked on my GK, CA, INTROSPECTION, TECHINCAL and basic TIME AND DISTANCE AND VOLUME QUESTIONS.

My reporting was on 8th March, but for me, SSB had started from 5th March itself from the time I boarded the train from Coimbatore ( the place where my college is located) to Allahabad (SSB centre). in the train I started communicating with my fellow passengers to get to know more about them, the train details(number, name, route), stations in the journey, distance totally covered from the boarding to the arrival etc ( just in case the interviewing officers asks me about my journey).

Then I reached the Allahabad Cantonment 7th evening and I was staying in the Cantonment just 500mts from the SSB centre, as soon as I reached the Cantonment and the guestroom I kept my stuff and went to play basketball( one my hobbies ) and also got familiar with the place like the names of the officer messes there, monuments present, and read about them and other places in the Cantonment ( just in case the interviewing officer asks what did I do after reaching the Cantonment (its always good to be proactive) )

SSB Allahabad

DAY 1 .

MARCH 8TH ( SCREENING):

Reporting was at 0600 hrs. TGC 129 , 325 candidates reported

After all the documentation, the screening began.

  • OIR – (it was very easy)

Attempted – SET A – 50/50 SET B – 50/50

  • PPDT – 4 minutes ( completed writing entire story)

Narration ( to the point,keep it short, simple)

  • GD –  contributed 2 to 3 points (Key: confidence, good posture, vocabulary, pronunciation,proficiency, sharp, firm,crisp,focused)

Note: It is very important to give a very good narration, and listening to other candidates story as well. SCREENING RESULT 68/325

DAY 2

MARCH 9TH (PSYCH)

  • TAT : Attempted – all 12 ( keeping all the stories positive)(with components like whats the problem, steps taken to overcome that, and present-day scenario)
  • WAT – ATTEMPTED – 60/60  (The sentences were my first responses and to the point and simple)
  1. SRT  – ATTEMPTED – 60/60  ( The same as WAT)
  • SDT – We were asked to write about
  1. What my parents think about me?
  2. What my teachers think about me?
  3. What my friends think about me?
  4. Who is my role model and why?

I filled the entire answer-sheet given to me by the board.

DAY 2

MARCH 9TH (INTERVIEW):

As soon as my psych got over, I had to report for my interview,which was taken by the deputy president.

He first tried to lighten up the atmosphere by introspective questions about me, my family, my strengths and weaknesses and trying to contradict my answers and trying to provoke me , but I remained calm and composed and answered everything with a sense of calm and an elaborate reason as to why I think what I just said.

Then he threw random CA questions at me and since I was well prepared I was able to answer 7 of the 8 questions he had asked

Luckily no technical/mathematical questions or questions on my hobbies was asked. My interview lasted for some 30 odd minutes.

Just remember one thing the interviewing officer will try to get you tensed, panicky and try to pressurize you but whatever you answer, be calm and don’t panic , your body language matters, also for every answer you give, be sure you have real life examples to support the same , and also the why , how , what, so, elaborate, type of questions prepared for every response you give. Also when the IO asks you a question, answer him in depth.

Example: if he asks where have you studied?

Answer him: full name of school, Place, District, State.

DAY 3

MARCH 10TH (GTO- DAY 1)

GTO is all on how you perform as a group. Remember in GTO you will be subdivided in a smaller group like 10 candidates in each group, and now you are not 10 individuals but a single unit/ individual. Do all the tasks together, do not be bothered about whether you are the first to clear an obstacle or the last, your only aim should be to make sure that your team clears the obstacle at hand.

  • GD:

     There were two GDs

1st topic was should there be a monitoring committee in India, if yes who is the main , THE PARLIAMENT , THE JUDICIARY OR THE MEDIA ?

The 2nd topic was how can people of our country contribute to its development?

The main objective of these GDs is that you put across your views confidently and sensibly, there is no need to reach any conclusion, but the way you express and put across your point should be good. I contributed by giving at least 4 to 5 points in each GD with facts and figures to support my point.

  • GPE:

In this a scenario was thrown to us with problems like a convict is escaping from the jail , his accomplices are trying to bomb a village , the convict plans to murder the inspector , poachers are trying to shoot down a tiger in the nearest forest , one of the forest officials is shot and bleeding after a conflict with those poachers , a giraffe has fallen in the well nearby.

So we had to write our individual stories down in 4 minutes , but unfortunately I wasn’t able to complete the entire story. After that we had a GD and had to come to a conclusion and I was nominated by my group to explain the solution to the GTO

Try to find a solution that will kills enough problems in a single go and also use the natural surrounding like river , vehicles and also keep in mind the time and the distance factor and also keep your mind open for ideas to flow in and also be open to accommodate others’ ideas and yes, be practical.

  • PGT, HGT, FGT:

I contributed being the part of the team by giving logical solutions to the obstacles at hand , the angle of placing the log, phatta, rope tying etc. Make sure you look at the entire structure in the lava region (where we cant step on land) and apply your brain practically and effectively and clear the obstacle. There are multiple approaches and solution of the same obstacle so don’t be afraid to share your ideas or try something new.

  • GOR (SNAKE RACE):

    Here I was the last person to clear all the obstacles as I was helping my group mates clear it first, make sure the heavyweight individual clear the obstacle first and the physically fit later. Move as a single unit and don’t be bothered about the time or how far ahead the other team is, just focus on your team and work as a team and clear all the obstacles and yes keep shouting the war cry given to you and motivate the team to do the same, show the josh in you and bring out the josh in others. “Josh kam nhi hona chahiye!”.

  • LECTURATE:

         The 4 topics given to me were :

  1. Russian insurgency
  2. Indian army
  3. Global warming
  4. Use of plastics

I was lucky as I knew all the 4 topics, I chose to speak on Indian army and spoke confidently, looking at everyone and smartly and ended in exactly the amount of time allotted to me.

  • INDIVIDUAL OBSTACLE :

             We were given a time of 3 minutes to clear the 10 obstacles. I did 15 of them in the given time ie I finished 10 and repeated 5 again.               For this you have to be quick , keep running once the time starts , don’t you dare jog or walk, chalk out a approach plan for each obstacle and at the same time be safe do not slide on the ropes while coming down , you will end up having rope burns.

DAY 4 .

MARCH 11TH (GTO- DAY 2)

  • COMMAND TASK:

      This was one task in which the GTO tried to pressurize me . At first he explained me the task at hand and asked me to call my subordinates. And I found out the solution in 30 secs. But the GTO put some penalty on it and asked me to find another solution, I took out another solution , he again put another penalty and asked me to find another solution, I took out another solution , he again put another penalty and asked me to find another solution, and also sent back one of my subordinate and tried to pressurize me by reducing the time , but I wasn’t pressurized and maintained my calm and took out another solution , the GTO again put another penalty to it and this time I looked at him and smiled and took out another solution.

So I took out 5 solution to the obstacle in 15 minutes all the while maintaining my calm. And the best part is after I was done the GTO was like “Cyril wasn’t it easy!”, I just smiled and replied it was OK sir. After that I was done with my GTOs and was looking forward to my conference.

DAY 5

MARCH 12TH (CONFERENCE):

On the day of my conference everyone was getting out in 30 seconds , whereas my conference lasted for 20 minutes, I was subjected to SRTs , CA questions which I very well knew and answered them elaborately.

After the conference when the results were announced, hearing my chest number called was a feeling of achievement and fulfilment in itself.

  • PERSONAL TIPS:

 The few things I would like to suggest are :

  1. Be positive about everything
  2. Be logical and practical
  3. Keep calm and remain cool-headed
  4. Be prepared in GK and CA
  5. Participate in sports provided in the board
  6. Be socially acceptable
  7. Be physically fit
  8. Have fun and socialize with your batchmates
  9. Be motivated and motivate others
  10. Share your past experiences with others and help the team grow
  11. Conduct yourself smartly
  • THE NCC EFFECT:

     The first uniform I have ever earned and put on was the khakhi, the one with a green beret and a red hackle. I did justice to this uniform and served in it for 3 years, attending various camps and getting my B certificate and C certificate.

NCC Days

Being in NCC taught the real meaning of unity and discipline, how all of us in a single platoon are nothing but one unit having one individuality. All for one and one for all , from all the ragda to the brotherhood we shared inculcated the OLQs required in an officer without me even trying, it was all imbibed as an integral part of NCC. Aspects like punctuality, rank hierarchy and following the orders was all put in my system right here .

NCC has played a very integral part in my life in bringing me where I stand today and being a part of this organization and wearing that khakhi uniform was a privilege that I am glad, I was worthy enough to have.

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