Hello, all defence aspirants! My name is Harmanjot Singh from Bathinda, Punjab. I recently got recommended from 17 SSB, Bangalore for IMA(DE)-149 course in my 8th attempt. It was since childhood that I had an inclination towards the defence forces. The first thing that inspired me to join the forces was a daily soap “SAARA AAKASH”. My journey started in august,2014 when I reported for NDA-133 at 21 SSB, Bhopal. Not confident enough and with bookish knowledge got conferenced out.2nd attempt was again for NDA-135 at 1 AFSB, Dehradun again trying to be an ideal fit for the forces I got conferenced out. In this attempt, I failed in CPSS and was declared unfit for flying. I decided to go for the army now but was out of attempts for NDA so took admission in an engineering college. Again my journey took pace with IMA-146 cleared the written, reported at 17 SSB Bangalore and got screened out. For the next 3 attempts ( 2 tech entries and IMA 147) got screened out and for IMA 148 I got conference out from Kapurthala. I was heartbroken but decided to give it one more shot.
Got the call letter for IMA-149. Reported at 17 SSB, Bangalore on 8th Feb, 2020. A total of 55 candidates reported. Saw a lot of old faces from my last SSB batch of Kapurthala. Done with the form filling and documentation I was allotted chest no. 48. As I had a lot of friends there so we are all having fun and cracking jokes.
Screening- OIR was easy, was able to attempt all the questions and even recheck my answers. OIR is very important in your screening, kindly don’t take it lightly. Next was the PP&DT, it was a clear picture of some people sitting and discussing something. As I had organised several events during my graduation so instantly that came to my mind and I made up a story on organising a farewell party. The narration was never a problem for me and it went very smooth. For the discussion, our group was divided into two halves. It was a complete fish market situation but I made sure that I contributed 3-4 times in the discussion. Be alert, whenever you get a chance put out point constructively and withdraw.
Results were announced and 26 got screened in. I was allotted chest no. 22.
Psychological Tests – A night before all others were studying and making there SD’s and blank story but I was all chilled out as I had already made up my mind that I’ll be very spontaneous this time.
TAT wrote all the stories related to my day to day activities. I didn’t introduce any problem in any of the stories. Most of my stories were related to trips, organising events, my job (IELTS trainer), helping my sister in her studies etc. In the blank story, I observed the slide for a complete 30 seconds and a story came to my mind which I wrote. Tip- In TAT, observe the picture for 30 seconds carefully, note even the minute details and mention it in the story and try to express your feelings freely.
In WAT, I attempted all the 60 WAT and gave instant and natural responses without beautifying them. Most of the responses were related to my life and the things I used to do. Tip- just write the first thought that comes into your mind without giving a second thought.
In SRT, I was able to do only 33. Again just be natural and write in the response what you’ll actually do in that situation. I took time, imagined myself in the situation and wrote detailed responses. There was a situation where during a hockey match the opponent team members start hitting your team members, i wrote that I will also start hitting them with a hockey stick and also ask my team members to hit them. This is what I would have actually done.
For SD, I just wrote the truth about everything. Either it’s being emotional, short-tempered or my parents thinking of me as very lazy and overusing mobile phone.TIP- just write the truth and trust me it will automatically match with the responses of other 3 tests.
Interview-The NCO will inform you about the timings of your interview. Dress smart,beconfident with a smile on your face and be stress free because you are what you are,you cannot change your personality while sitting in the waiting room.So just chill and answer all the questions honestly with confidence and a smile.I used a lot of hand gestures in my interview and behaved naturally(I was sweating so i even asked the president to switch on the AC 😛 ).When he asked about how i have prepared this time i said that i did nothing and i am showing my natural personality.All the other questions were related to my education,my friends,my job,the activities i have done and also the SD i wrote.. My interview went very smooth and i was able to answer all the questions.And yes,do have a backup plan,do not say that you will continue coming back for ssb and not do anything in your life except that.
Tip- Be confident,be natural,be honest and don’t try to pretend anything that you are not.
GTO-You will get divided into groups for gto tasks. I got a great group(5 got recommended from a group of 9). Gto 1 started with the GD’S and the GPE. Just be patient,natural and try to contribute and give constructive points in the GD’s.In GPE try to complete the written part and give detailed plan(i was not able to complete it).In the discussion part again try to take the group ahead,if people are agruing on same point,finalize it and take the group ahead.After the nominated candidate gave the group story the GTO asked if anybody wants to change anything so i raised my hand and gave my point.There is no harm in doing this(unless you are not a person who point out things which you think are wrong).
Then came the PGT,our group was very supportive.I was mostly standing on the start line and gave only 3-4 ideas but coorporated with the group.If one guy gets the idea just go with it,do not try to impose your idea or do not try to find out flaws in his idea afterall you have to cross the obstacle as a team.Be a sport.Same goes for the HGT and FGT,was able to give ideas where my team got struck.
In the snake race,again be a team member,show your three J’s (Josh,Jazba and Junoon) but also keep in mind the color rule and do not break it.Just enjoy this task.
For the lecturatte,does not matter which topic you choose(my friend spoke on his favorite sport and he got recommended) ,try to give good points,organize your thoughts,make a structure,try to include current affairs if you can.
Next comes the command task.The gto takes a mini interview here,again just be natural and confident.I was given a very easy command task,just had to insert the Phatta and cross the obstacle but i wasted a lot of time in the end over a silly thing.I was just giving instructions to my subordinates,i did not pick up the phatta myself.Brief the subordinates in detail and also thank them after the task.
In the IO,i was able to do only 8.Try to find out a sequence in the obstacles which would score you maximum marks while covering minimum distance.Does not matter where you start(i started with the barrel jump) but i was able to make a very good sequence.
Conference- Be calm,you have already done everything and you cannot change it.For most of the candidates the decision is already made(except the borderliners).I was made to wait for about 15 minutes outside the room where i was singing songs. After 15 minutes the bell rang,i took a deep breathe and went inside with a huge smile.
VP- What were you doing outside Harman?
Me- I was singing sir.
VP- How often do you do that?
Me- Whenever I am free Either i am singing or dancing or listening to music (All of them started laughing)
VP- Life maze mein chal rahi hai phir toh
Me- yes sir (:p)
Then he gave me a situation where i had to prepare a team for a dance competition and i did not have enough members and the time was decreasing.He was rejecting all my answers and inducing stress but i was smiling and giving other responses.
VP- Harman nobody is left in your company who could dance. Your boss is coming again and again and asking you about it. Only two days are left.
Me- (I laughed before giving the answer) sir i will ask my boss to dance with me (:p)
Everybody burst into laughter
In there it went for another 15-20 minutes.
At last he asked me to rate my performance out of 10 which I rated 8.5 giving exact reasons.Analyse your 5 days performance beforehand and know where you did not do well.
After sometime the results were announced,7 out of 26 got recommended ,all hardcore repeaters. When my chest no. was called out for a moment everything went blank and i remebered all of my previous attempts. Standing there all of us were having tears in our eyes.
Finally, I have it in me and I am going to be the first army officer in my family.