Hello everyone!!! I am PRASHANT KUMAR MISHRA and have secured AIR-16(IMA) in CDS 1 2020 exam. Got recommended from 18 SSB Allahabad in my second attempt. The journey until the recommendation has really been very interesting and full of learnings. Starting with my background, My father is a JCO in the Indian Army and my mother is a home-maker. I have done my schooling in various places with my father’s transfer. Having been grown up in an Army environment and studied in multiple Army Schools of the country, I was very impressed with the Army lifestyle and wanted to make my career in the same field. The stars on the uniform invited me to discharge my whole potential to wear that dream uniform.
So, the journey of preparation for the NDA Exam started right from my 10th standard but was unable to pass the written exam. All of my NDA attempts were exhausted and at last, I got an SSB call for Navy B. Tech entry at NSB Coimbatore, but was screened out there.
Getting screened out in your first attempt creates a psychological impact on your perception of the SSB. You question your ability once, whether you can crack it, do you have it in you, and all that. But, SSB is all about improving yourself in your further attempts, I had figured out that I had 2 years left for my CDS entry, and I started improving myself from them irrespective of SSB requirements. I sat down, self-analysed my mistakes made in my first attempt, found my demerits and started working on myself. I forgot about SSB and I had only 1 target, and that was “to become the best version of myself”. I believed that SSB is a personality test, and if you are good in your life, then SSB is just a part of that.
When I was in my final year of graduation, I started preparing for the CDS exam. I just focused on my strong portions more, as they fetch me maximum marks, and prepared other portions according to the need of the exam. I practised with multiple previous year papers and mock tests and analysed my performance after every mock test. I appeared for CDS 1 2020 exam and cleared the exam on my first attempt. I was shortlisted for IMA. I then started preparation for SSB too. I made a check-list of all the OLQs and honestly ticked those OLQs which I really had. I found that I was lacking in communication skill and Confidence. So, I joined Spoken English classes near me, where I got multiple opportunities to speak and improve my speaking skills and confidence. After a month, I was confident about my speaking skills too.
I took the help of my mother for a Personal Interview as our parents have seen us grow. They know our merits and demerits.
It’s my strong recommendation to discuss the PI questions with your parents too and modify your answers accordingly.
This is my main advice to those who opt for coachings. See, getting guidance for SSB is not bad, but improving your OLQs should be your first priority. If you have time, then you can go with coaching, but if have limited time, better you put your efforts to improve your weak areas first and polish your strong areas. Like how I chose to join a spoken English class instead of going to a coaching academy.
Coming to my SSB, it was on 11th Oct 2020, and I was allowed SCE Allahabad. As it was quite a peak time of COVID-19, it was risky to travel, but with all precautions, I went to the centre.
26 reported, out of which 12 were screened in. I did well this time in screening and was satisfied with my performance. I was given Chest No. 5.
My interview was scheduled for the same day after Lunch. I had two interviewers in my PI, and it went for around 50-55 minutes. They asked me some basic questions about my education, family, and friends. There were questions on my previous attempts, GK questions, the arm I want to join, some SRTs, my hobbies and interests. The first interviewer was nice and gentle, whereas the second one put a lot of pressure on me. They cross-questioned a lot. I tried my best to give the best possible answers I could.
Overall, the PI went OKAYish. I was little concerned about PI.
Coming to Day 3( GTO-I), we had 2 rounds of GDs. I tried to give the best points in GD. I initiated in both the GDs, listened well to others. Our group was very cooperative, and we didn’t discover any fish market situation in our GDs. GPE, PGT, HGT, GOR went very well. In Lecturette, I got: Cloning, Ethics in Media, Nepotism in Politics & T-20 cricket, and I chose the second one, and gave a nice speech.
Then, came the 4th Day(GTO-II), I did all the obstacles in IO. Got bomb-diffused in Command Task. GTO exerted little pressure on me. He made both of my subordinates dead, and told me to complete the task alone :). I was called by all the group members in CT as a subordinate.
Now, finally, Conference Day came, and we were asked to report at the Hall at 9 AM.
All of us got ready. Many of us were nervous and concerned about the result. Then we decided to have a stress-booster group dance. We all gathered in one room, played Bhojpuri songs and danced the worst we could. We enjoyed a lot. We all dressed up for the Conference. One by one, candidates were called. I had a wait time of around 20 minutes before I was called in for the Conference. I was asked only basic questions regarding stay and suggestion.
At last, an officer came in with the results. We were seated in the hall but instead of announcing the results, he did a prank.
He came in, and arrogantly said,” You guys have come here to become officers. You have cleared the UPSC exam, but some of you don’t know to fill their Roll numbers correctly. This is how you will become officers???? “
He asked Chest No.1 to stand up and tell his Roll No. . Then he asked Chest No. 5(Me) to do the same followed by Chest No. 8 and Chest No. 11. We were standing and he asked us the reason for filling the wrong Roll No.s. We were shocked a bit and said to correct the Roll no.s .
Then, after seeing our tensed face, he said,” Congratulations Gentlemen!! you are in”
We four were shocked for a while. Everyone started congratulating us, and still, I was unable to believe that I had made it. We 4(Anshul Tiwari, Rajneesh Singh Kushwah, Shivam Sehgal and Me) started to jump there with excitement.
I was dying to tell the results to my parents. After a while, got time to switch on our phones.
And instantly, called my Father, he asked in a very low voice, and I replied,”Papa, Ho gaya!!”. My father was in the unit and he started crying there and replied,” Thank You Beta”.
That was the first “thank you” I received from my father, and that was the best reply for me till today. I called my mom too, and she was super happy. Everyone in the family celebrated the moment.
So, at last I would like to say that if you are determined towards your aim, then you will surely achieve success, provided do hard-work on the right-track!!
I really enjoyed this journey, and wish all of you best-of-luck for your upcoming SSBs.
Be Natural!!! and Be yourself!!!