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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Got Merit Out In AFCAT, Later Secured AIR-12 in CDS 1 2020

As mentioned earlier I got recommended from 4 AFSB VARANASI on 17th September 2020 and was waiting for my merit. Meanwhile, my second SSB was lined up on 3rd January 2021 and I got merit out of the Air Force merit on 31st December 2020, it was a shattering moment, though I was happy on the other side that all my friends from the SSB and medicals made it to the Air Force Academy.

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Honestly, I have seen it with my own eyes “LAW OF ATTRACTION DOES WORK.

What’s meant to be will always find its way.

2 Attempts 2 Recommendations and One merit.

Greetings to all!! I am Akanksha Malik. I belong to Rohtak (Haryana) and my roots originate from village Anwali (District Sonipat). I got recommended from 21 SSB BHOPAL (Batch No. PSSW 72019) on 8th January 2021 in my second attempt and have secured AIR 12 in the merit list. I got my first recommendation from 4 AFSB Varanasi {Batch NO. V-AFCAT (W)/NCC (W)/ 474} on 17th September 2020 but unfortunately could not make it to the merit. I strongly believe, whatever happens, happens for good.

This process in itself has been an enlightened journey. My SSB preparation and experiences have helped me in developing my multifarious skills like Cognition of detail, current affair knowledge, patience and most importantly made me a better human being in all aspects.

Some of my acquaintances were preparing for CDS and SSB during my college time and I came across their exciting experiences. I and my friend used to wonder what exactly is SSB and we thought of going through this experience at least once. So, we started preparing for the CDS and AFCAT exam and during this very process, we realized how enriching this exam preparation was.

My preparation for SSB started when it was the peak of 1st wave of the pandemic in August 2020 and trust me within few days of honest inputs, I saw myself becoming a better version of myself. I started watching various YouTube videos about SSB and started making changes in my basic daily routine like waking up early, exercising(20mins), and reading newspapers. This is all I prepared for my first SSB and followed the same for the second. I am fortunate enough to have some wonderful humans like Colonel (Retd.) D.S. Deswal, Brig. (Retd) S.S. Joon, Colonel (Retd.) Sant Kumar, Mr. Sandeep Gill (Coordinator Youth Centre for Skill Development, MDU), Ms. Rekha Malik (Lecturer in English) were always there to guide me whenever I felt stuck or anxious about the process or my own self.

The Youth Centre for Skill Development under Maharshi Dayanand University, Rohtak also played a significant role in my success by giving me a platform where I could practice by engaging in various group discussions and other tasks.

So, moving forward, let me very briefly share my SSB experience with you all.

As mentioned earlier I got recommended from 4 AFSB VARANASI on 17th September 2020 and was waiting for my merit. Meanwhile, my second SSB was lined up on 3rd January 2021 and I got merit out of the Air Force merit on 31st December 2020, it was a shattering moment, though I was happy on the other side that all my friends from the SSB and medicals made it to the Air Force Academy. I somewhere deep inside knew I had not performed fullest to my capabilities and during this time between September to January I made sure to work on my weak areas, learn more about my own self and work on my physical health and fortunately everything fell in place and I got recommended again and this time I was sure I had performed much better than the previous attempt.

Day 1: Screen In

On 4th January 2021, I reported in formals at the stipulated time and was astonished to see a lot of aspirants there. After some time, we were briefed by the representative of the board and we boarded the bus after showing our COVID reports and ID proof.

We were taken to SSB BHOPAL and were given Chest No. and breakfast. Finally, the time came for real testing. We were given the OIR (Officer Intelligence Rating) tests. And I was able to complete the first OIR test within time and with accuracy but faced the second OIR test a little challenging as it had more of number sequence questions for which I took a little extra time to solve but I recalled what my friend has told me night before “Akanksha its your time and don’t you dare waste any of it worrying or getting anxious, just focus and fight till the last moment” and I exactly did the same. I somewhere was nervous after the OIR tests so I told myself to perform outstandingly good in the PPDT. A very simple picture showing 3 Army officers in position with guns amid the mountains. We were a group of 15 candidates and almost all of us came up with the similar ideas but still could not reach to the conclusion while the discussion and our accessors asked us to leave without even giving us the opportunity to narrate the story. We all were very nervous as we were not sure how it went.

Finally, it was the time for the results to be announced and 40 of us were screened in and I was allotted Chest No. 26.

Now came the tiresome task of filling uncountable forms and documents verification. We started this around 3pm and were freed around 9:30pm. We all went to our rooms and took a sound sleep at night.


We all reported at 6:00am and we were taken to the hall where our psychological test was to be conducted. After a long wait of approx. 1.5 hr our test started, the psychologist gave us the basic instructions and we were given our sheets. The first test was Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT) and was a mix of all type of pictures ranging from very easy to stressful pictures and I wrote whatever the first perception formed in my brain. Next was the Word Association Test (WAT) test and it went smooth. Thereafter came the Situation Reaction Test (SRT) where we had to react to 60 basic life situations in 30 minutes and I managed to attempt 56 situations. The last and the final part was the Self-Description where we were given themes like “Your Parents’,friends’,teachers’ opinion about you, your aim in life” to pen down our thoughts and I honestly enjoyed attempting this test as it helped me introspect my own self. I was completely satisfied with my test.

And as we came out those Chest no. were announced who had their Interview on that very day and I was one of them. I was given the time slot of 11:45 am to report for my interview. We all went to our rooms and everybody tried to relax but I was roaming in my room to recollect my thoughts and then just before going to my interview I went to the Wet Canteen to have tea but there was no tea left and I had no time to wait so I decided to move for interview directly.

While waiting in the Waiting room I interacted with other candidates for some time and then sat quietly and focused on my own line of thoughts. Chest no. 26 flashed on the board and I got up wore my shield and went to the office of Deputy President of 21 SSB board for my interview.

My interview went on for about 40 mins and it was predominantly based on my PIQ and personal life experiences and how I managed my Presidentship at the National Service Scheme of Miranda House. I was asked 3 rapid fires and towards the end, very few current affairs questions and my subject of Graduation i.e., Geography related questions were asked and I was satisfied and happy with my Interview.


The next cheerful morning came and we reported at 6:30 am sharp and went for our GTO 1. Our GTO started with the Group Discussions and the topics were “What plays for the major role in India China dispute?” The three leads were: Border Dispute, Economic reasons or Political Reasons. And the second topic for the GD was “What could possibly be the hurdle for the women Soldiers in Indian Army?” The leads were: Infrastructure issues, Mindset of people or Tough physical standards.

Then we moved to the second task GPE and It was a simple exercise where we eventually reached to consensus. I gave in all my logical points with proper reasoning.

Then the next task came in was the Snake race and as my group was very cooperative we were able to complete it with coordination and ease.

Then we proceeded to the PGT and HGT tasks and I was able to give some good ideas to overcome the obstacles in front of us. The presence of mind was all needed in this very task.

Then we had our last task for the day i.e., Lecturette and as my turn came in, I was nervous and got the topics I had no idea about so I chose the second easiest of all and spoke on “Food and its impact on our daily life.”

We went to our rooms and relaxed and interacted after this tiring day to refresh ourselves and in the evening had chai pe charcha on various hot topics.

The morning came in and it was the second day of GTO. It started with the Individual Obstacles and I was able to do 7 obstacles out of 8 required obstacles to be completed in the given time of 3 minutes and you won’t believe I missed the obstacle no. 1 which was the easiest one of out of all. The next task was the Command task and I was called third last and my task was a bit complicated but I managed to complete all of it very quickly except for the last entry point where I had already given 2 ideas but my GTO was expecting the 3rd idea too. I struggled for about 10 mins on this very thing and finally with God’s grace I was able to solve the mystery and give the idea and I smiled from ear to ear.

The last task was the Final Group task and by this time we all were comfortable with each other and gave the solution within 7 minutes of the recorded time as a team with full cooperation and understanding.


The final day came and we all got up and dressed up with a tsunami of excitement, nervousness and confidence. We all reported and our conference started. My chest no. came and there was no waiting time for me to enter and I was asked very basic questions about my stay and food. And within a minute it was over.


We were asked to have our lunch before the announcement was made for the result and trust me I ate to the fullest of my stomach capacities.

It was time for the result to be announced and 4 out of 40 candidates were recommended and 3 out of these 4 were from my group. My name was called 3rd and I was at the top of the world and was so happy. This moment made me realise “You get what you manifest.”


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The Editorial Team at SSBCrack consists of professional writers, journalists and defence aspirants.
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  1. This is Chest number 29 who constantly barged in your room with senseless things to talk about, who kept on asking kitna chaay piyogi? Who complemented your beautiful hairs when you washed them after gto. Who you kept with you and told who and how much to talk to sometimes and who heard you say on the 4th day, abe yarr koi galti ni na krdiye hatt, who concluded the GPE but you found a thing to add 😂 even if it’s a myth one shouldn’t. Dost, I loved reading this, I am so proud I knew 26 will be called. I remember doing bakchodi before conference and you told me yarr mat karo 😂. Hey congratulations, I will just wait for your POP like its mine.

    • Dear chest number 29,
      It was chest number 27 of whom you are talking about and she is a twin sister of chest number 26, who never reveals their secret so to abide by China’s 1 child policy.
      Best regards,
      Chest number 28.

    • Dear chest number 29,
      It was chest number 27 of whom you are talking about and she is a twin sister of chest number 26, who never reveals their secret so to abide by China’s 1 child policy.
      Best regards,
      Chest number 28.


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