ONE STEP CLOSER: Cracked SSB interview in the first attempt for NDA-146. “Of all the people who aspire to serve the nation, very few are rewarded with the opportunity and if you are one of them then it’s a matter of pride.” said one of the officers who guided me for ssb, this kept my motivation high all the time during the preparation.
Hello everyone. I am KULDEEP DAGAR and I got recommended for the NDA-146 course from 34 SSB Allahabad on 24th February 2021. From my childhood itself I wanted to become an ARMY officer and also my army background made my mind crystal clear for it. So my journey started from 8th standard itself, I used to read a lot of books related to the armed forces. With the preparation of NDA, I prepared for JEE exam simultaneously as my father suggested to have a backup in any case.
My written exam went pretty well as I had an advantage in physics and chemistry in GAT and in mathematics as well because of my preparation for JEE. Then I started preparing for the SSB interview. For stage 1, I practised many OIR tests from the book ‘LET’S CRACK SSB INTERVIEW‘ by SSBCRACK and also practised PPDT on a regular basis. I used to attempt the PP&DT test by setting a time frame and then used to compare it with the one given in the book and make the required amendments. After writing I also used to do its narration in front of a mirror to gain confidence while speaking.
This also enhanced my communication skills. For stage 2, I attempted time-bound psychological tests on alternate days, analysed them, worked upon thinking perspectives and speed. I looked through a yearbook of 2020 for the current affairs part which helped me in the interview as well as GD and lecturette. I used to select random topics and spoke lecturette on them for 3 minutes at least. Until then I got my call letter for SSB Interview at Allahabad and I chose the date of 20 to 24th February 2021.
I was accompanied by one of my friend from the school itself and we reported at the Cariappa Dwar at 0545 hrs. We went in, kept our baggage in the shed and had to report to Manoj Pandey hall with our documents. After document verifications, we were ready for our OIR Test.
STAGE 1: We were given two OIR one after another, of which the first one was easy but the second was a bit lengthy and I missed 2 questions in it. For PP&DT we were shown a picture in which there was a boy standing outside a building with a book in his hand and a girl aside from him. I had an idea already of this type of story from my earlier practice and I wrote a story on preparation for UPSC exams and the protagonist of the story attempts many dummy tests before the actual one and analyses his mistakes and works upon them. I finished writing the story well on time and my narration was going pretty well and the GTO said “Next”, our group was of all freshers, we discussed different perceptions and concluded to a common story which was narrated by one of our mates. After the completion of the discussions, we were waiting for the results of the screening. I was confident about my performance which made me calm and composed during the wait for results. And after some time, results were announced and I was the second candidate to get screened in hence got the same chest number “2” as of day 1.
STAGE 2: We had to report in the same hall at 0800 hrs on day 2. I was well prepared for the physiological tests and I also felt them as my strength out of all three. In TAT most of the pictures we got were similar to the ones I practised and I was able to frame decent stories in all of them and completed all my stories before time. The structure was clear in my mind for framing the stories so I did not lack in ideas or time. In SRT out of 60 I attempted 48 in a row without leaving any in between and in WAT I attempted all the 60 words (the time given to turn the page helped me in completing the leftover words).
I performed quite well in them. I was already informed about the interview on the same day so I was all set for it. As I was chest number 2 so I was the second one to be interviewed, after some time ‘2’ flashed on the screen that gave me some mixed feelings of excitement, nervousness and eagerness to know what would happen inside. I was asked about myself which included education, extracurricular activities, sports and achievements. The IO also asked about my family and friends, also the things which they as well as I want to improve in myself. Then he also examined my knowledge on current affairs by putting a rapid-fire on topics like US elections, Covid-19, Vaccines, ITBP etc. My interview lasted for around 50 minutes and it was decent. On Day 3 and Day 4, We went through our Ground tasks, which included two GDs and I expressed my views on both of them constantly.
I also supported the arguments given by my fellow mates. Similarly, I worked with the group on the rest of the Ground tasks as well as completed them right on time. Then there was the conference day, I was called in after some time, I went in, greeted them with a smile, and then the president said ” You seem so cheerful” and I thanked him with a big smile. He asked for any suggestions for improvement in the interview procedure to which I answered “No sir” and that’s all, My conference was over.
I was eagerly waiting for the result, the Officer showed up with a file and he asked us to tell how many recommendations we expected, most of us said around 11 and then he said ” Well that’s a huge number” and started announcing the results by calling out the chest numbers of recommended candidates. I felt like I was repeatedly calling “chest number 2, chest number 2, chest number 2” inside me and just then the officer called “chest number 2” for real. I was fantabulously delighted. All my hard work had paid off.
My father once said, “If u can take it, You can make it”. I could feel it happening at that very moment.