Hello defense aspirants, my name is Ayush Tiwari, I recently got recommended in my first and the last attempt for IMA or I should say It was my first ever SSB from which I got recommended. It was CDS 2 2019 entry for IMA-149. Currently, I am in my final year from national law university- Lucknow and yes I will be first-generation army personnel from my family. So here I will share my whole ssb experience and how I was able to push myself in something which was completely new to me. So as everyone knows that ssb is the most dynamic interview process of all and being aware of it is very important before facing it. So my pre ssb preparation was not just focused on the test of ssb but I was participating in things which will improve my personality, for e.g. disciplined lifestyle, participation in sports and debates, regular running etc. So these things helped a lot apart from specific test preparation.
Starting with my Day 0 that is reporting day, time was 1:30 in Prayagraj railway station where everyone was gathered talking to each other when we were asked to board the bus to the selection board where we were briefed about the documentation process. I suggest everyone double-check their documents before coming to ssb as it will save further hassle for you. So there were 50 candidates who completed their documentation process, in day 1 screening test started with the OIR test which was quite easy if you know the pattern of questions, then came the PPDT where a blurred picture was flashed about a fisherman and 2 people talking to them. So I made a story on how a fisherman explored tourism in his Village apart from fishing and generated employment, after that, I started rehearsing my narration in my mind and narrated confidently and initiated GD and being a fresher group we were able to come to a common story within 3 min.
After that results were announced and 28 got screened-in, after which we’re all made to fill PIQ’s, (please keep it clean, practise it beforehand).In day 2 psychology test, started with 11 very relatable pictures being shown and I framed stories from my life and did not write any extraordinary thing which I would not do and same was with the blank picture, I did not predicide the story rather I expressed my experience about orgainizing a competition. After that I completed all WAT with positive thoughts and tried to avoid giving advices, after that I wrote 37 SRT, for me, I always valued quality rather than quantity and kept responses detailed. Then I wrote my SDT within the time frame which was Preprepared.
Day 3 started with GTO, starting with 2 GD topics which were quite simple and being a fresher group everyone was quite considerate to let the other speak and it went good as I was able to speak 7-8 times. Then there was Group planning exercise ,as the test was explained by our GTO assessor I was formulating the plan in my mind but was not able to complete it in writing but actively participated in gd. After that it was PGT where obstacles were shown to us and we all were easily able to cross all obstacles and complete the task in no time. After that was HGT where our group was divided in half and again it was easy as all you need is the practical and calm mind ideas will automatically flow. Then was the Group obstacle race where everyone gave their best, I helped everyone to climb walls and motivated them where they were a little afraid. After this was Lecturrete where I choosed the topic of ‘ Religion in politics’ where I used ‘mandir vahi banega’ and all other things that came to mind. As it was the last task and it ended positively for me.
Day 4 started with individual obstacle, after reviewing all obstacle I decided my plan but I made a mistake of starting with balancing beam, I was not able to complete it, I tried 2 times and I fell so without wasting any time I moved with the obstacles with most marks and was able to complete 9 in the end. Then the command task started, I was called as a subordinate for 5 times in a group of 10 and as for my task I was able to complete it in 2 min. A smart tip for CT would be that when you call subordinates and till they come you should focus on obstacles and make a layout for your plan as it will help to complete it in no time. Funny thing happened with me in CT as GTO was interacting with me, I mentioned about the blunder I made in balancing beam and how I planned it wrong and he said -” That was really unfortunate” and started laughing and I was really nervous for a moment. After that was FGT which was very quick. After which we were sent to our candidates line and changed quickly for the interview with our best clothes and cleaned our shoes. I came to know that a different board president will take my interview that made me a little nervous but I kept my cool and started singing songs in the waiting room as my chest no. flashed I a took deep breath and I entered the room confidently with a smile and he offered to shake hands which made me comfortable then as things went, initial 5 min. were from my piq and then everything he asked me was a legal related question like my opinion on CAA NRC, status of women in India and laws to protect them, 3 points as why women should be given PC in army and why not as I was really confident with my answers and took a stand for my opinion. Funny thing happened in interview as I was giving detailed answers he shouted at me that “ayush this is not a courtroom where you will give detailed answers keep it short and crisp” To which I smiled and said ” Sir, this is a habit I have developed in my 5 years of law school” To which we both laughed and interview came to conclusion which went for 25 min. I was completely unaware about how my interview went.
Then came day 5 that was conference day as we all dressed, wished each other, and waited for it to start as my chest no. was 23 it was quite late when I realized it’s just going for 30-40 sec. for each candidate as my turn came up I had to wait a little before they called me and I was greeted by 10-14 officers then my interviewer asked me about my stay and then he asked me, If I made incharge of this board what changes you would make to which I answered confidently about more sports court and more interactive accommodation among candidates. After which I was asked to leave and then came the time everyone was waiting for results when the officer came and said that he will keep it short and crisp and said 2 of us got recommended and he announced chest no.s, 12 (my friend) and chest no. 23( me) and I was numb for a second, I shivered while shouting my name and walking in front. We both congratulated each other while we said goodbye to our friends. Happiest and proudest moment for me and my family which I can never forget.
It is said “War is lost before it even starts if you have mentally accepted failure.” To me everyone said that ssb is hard to crack in first attempt and that too when you spent 5 years in college and giving first ssb at the age of 23, I never paid heed to it and focused on my preparation and never really cared about result all I did was enjoyed those 5 days. In the end to all the defense aspirants, ssb is meant for you so you have to keep your personality in front not the moulded one by coachings you cannot hide it. It’s good to know the procedure but it does not matter much to have experience of it in coachings. Keep ssb as a normal test nothing more nothing less and enjoy it, that’s the key to the recommendation.