“The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times” ~ Paulo Coelho. Hello and Jai Hind Aspirants. It’s a privilege and honour to share my journey of success on this very platform from where many of the aspirants of the defence forces gain confidence and get motivated to achieve what they have dreamt of, yes to don that coveted and prestigious uniform of our elite armed forces. I am one among you all. Yes, I have also read all such inspiring and motivating stories and learned the never say die attitude here itself. Very warm wishes to all of you, myself Shubham Kumar, I belong to Samastipur district of Bihar, a proud Indian Airforce Brat, NCC CDT ( 8 KAR AIR SQN, The Flying Flacon 🛩️) and recently completed my MSc in Physics from University of Mysore, Karnataka. After many failures, to be precise 2 screen outs and 5 conference out I finally made it and got recommended in my 8th attempt from 2AFSB Mysuru for MET branch, IAF on 18Oct,2019. Well, the best part was it all started from 2 AFSB back then in 2017 and it happened at 2AFSB finally 😁 . It truly wasn’t a cakewalk, rather a journey full of ups and downs and it requires to grit one’s teeth and keeps moving. It requires your determination and above all your patience as you might have heard “Keep your head up, God gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers”. Yes, you are one of his strongest so keep the faith and keep fighting.
I too have faced those heartbreaks of getting screened out, conference out, that numbness of failure, joining all strength to call back home and tell ” Nahi Hua”, leaving the selection centre with all the grief and pain hidden inside those wet eyes, listening from peer and relatives ” kuch aur bhi soch le defence ke alawa”, that travelling in unreserved train compartment, rejoining strength for the next attempt, crying alone in a silent room, and with the fightback attitude, burning the midnight oil, having those sleepless nights, gruelling path with these setbacks as bed of thorns finally comes the success 😇.
Well indeed SSB has the part in transforming my personality from where I was in the beginning till where I am today. I often tell to a person going for SSB that there is nothing to lose in it, failure may just be the result but the outcome will be what it’s worth going for. You will definitely find some changes in yourself irrespective of the result of the test. So never give up.
Let me now share my experience from not only the successful attempt but a combined experience of all my attempts and give you all an inference of it.
Stage One: The testing includes the OIR and PP&DT.
Now for OIR test it totally depends on your cognitive skills and aptitude as designed by Defence Institute of Psychological Research(DIPR). It doesn’t require to bang your head out and prepare for it daily but a basic practice and brush up from some samples available on various sources out there will keep this test to move on smoothly. There will be 2 sets of OIR test with 50 questions each and time allotted 27-30 mins each. ( No negative markings and you can amend your answer, so do attempt all ques)
For PP&DT which holds the majority of chances of getting screened in, the points to remember is to write the story which resembles the given stimulus as closely as possible and keep it realistic. This will also keep your narration to come out with confidence and if you come up with this you will be in eyes of the assessors and even a fish market kind of discussion with a point or two from your side will mostly hit your target of getting screened in.
( Now it happens many a time even deserving candidates gets SO, as even assessors believe that this stage-1 process is not a scientific process, so don’t get disheartened of its result because your best teacher is your last mistake. )
Well, it begins with some form fillings and documentation, but most importantly the filling up of your PIQ. It’s a very important piece of paper, it goes to the Interviewing Officer as well as the Psychologist so it plays a big role in your assessment and so one must pay attention while filling this form.
- This test is nothing but a dossier of a set of 4 testings namely TAT, WAT, SRT and SD.
- For TAT as said for PP&DT same case applies here keep your story to resemble what is shown in stimulus, a realistic one and cover the details of it.
- For WAT make sentences resembling your thought process.
- For SRT again your cognitive skills will come into play, keep your response clear cut and try to attempt a maximum of it.
- SD one can prepare beforehand and the genuine response will be appreciated, so take advice and write it without any ambiguity.
( It’s all time-bound testing so practice is a must for it )
Personal Interview :
Here in PI, I will tell you all in short, it’s like a seismic wave (😅 indeed an earthquake), I mean it’s a process of emerging waves starting from a focus and going outwards. Now to make you understand the focus is ‘YOU’, so know about yourself then family, friends, society, place, state, country, world and the waves continue. So this should be the strategy to prepare.
Well, Ground Testing is the lengthiest one as it takes two days to complete all the task in it. Now here you see it requires both your mental and physical efforts. To start with the GDs and for that case Lecturette too, you need to be updated from what’s happening around and so keep yourself prepared for it, the GPE and further tasks like PGT, HGT, GOR, FGT requires your skills of working together in a group and how well you gel in the group. Tasks like CT, IO is all to show your courage and both mental and physical stamina.
(Keep apart that fizzing attitude of picking up the helping materials and rushing in all such obstacle related tasks and with the calmness try to figure out the solution to the problem first )
Last but definitely not least is this process of the conference. Though broadly speaking the assessment is already being done, but you never know it may become the “drowning man catches at straw” thing for you.
(Keep in mind all the questions that you may haven’t recalled during your PI, the assessors may ask it again in the conference, keep the morale high irrespective of the performance, what is done is done, greet the board members with a pleasant smile)
Today with great respect to all of you striving hard to achieve your goal, let this add to one among your million reasons to step forward and stomp it even harder with all your efforts.
Wish you all very good luck comrades. Jai Hind