Many times during the SSB interview, TAT and WAT are the two tests that aspirants find more difficult and have a tough time coping with it. Among the psychological tests, TAT is also one. It is conducted on day-2 of second-stage testing. It is conducted to bring the real personality of the candidate through his interpretation of the stories both positive and negative.
The TAT involves picture projection and story writing depending on the picture shown. A total of 11+1 pictures are shown where 11 pictures are with a theme and the last is a blank picture, where a candidate should imagine a story.
The pictures are displayed for 30 seconds and the candidate is given 4 minutes to write a story about the picture seen. It is continued for all the 12 pictures. The picture consists of one or more than one person.
Here, I bring you some helpful and handy tips that you can follow to attempt TAT successfully:
- Practicing the story writing keeping in front some picture is firstly advisable for the candidates. No matter what you write. Just write and catch up gradually as you continue writing.
- Your story must not be too lengthy and you also cannot afford to write a long story in 3-4 minutes. Generally it should contain 10-15 sentences with a prolog, main body, and conclusion. Keep it simple and smart. Build you vocabulary to cut short the sentences and avoid twisting sentences.
- The stories must be creative and positive. You should write what you perceived but avoid any negativity to creep into your story. The stories must have a definite and positive ending while they should be written in past tense.
- In the test room, when the picture is shown, it is essential to attentively observe the picture and make out the characters and objects shown. As the picture is shown for only 30 secs, I advise that candidate observe the number of people, their gender, what they’re doing and their surroundings carefully.
- When you have started thinking a story, don’t halt it halfway thinking that it might not be appropriate. Just go on and build more story. It’s your imagination, you are flying your minds, continue it to that unknown positive story.
- No anti-national or anti-social sentiments should be included in them.
- It is good to be calm, positive for looking at the picture and perceive the theme to write a story.
- The story must have a hero and not a superhero. This hero or main lead should have a positive mind frame to tackle complex situations with guts. He should be a man of conviction with attributes like compassion, diligence, self-confidence, perseverance, adaptability, quick response, and ambitious attitude. Just a handy tip here: Try to impose the OLQs you remember on these heroes. Don’t make a fairy tale out of it. Be grounded.
- For the psychologist, you are the main hero of your story so be careful and depict only the characteristics that you have or wish to attain in your life.
- If you are not able to finish the story within the given four minutes, then pass on to the next picture shown, so that you don’t miss the subsequent picture. AND NO PEEKING!
- When it comes to the last BLANK PICTURE, it is advisable to write the story based on the theme of the immediately preceding picture to make the story more natural and real.
- Think of similar stories that encompasses all the elements as shown in the previous pictures and make those lines and arrange them into sentences. Just try to squeeze all the OLQs here too as a conclusion from previous pictures.
- Write a story as short as possible with minimum redundancy and higher relevancy.
As a final tip, I would like you to practice this daily:
Take a piece of paper, take a deep breathe in four to five times to calm down yourself. Now, think of all the words you can and jot it down, no matter how creepy or laughable the words are. It could be the name of your crush or anything else. ANYTHING. Set a timer of 2-3 mins and continue writing till the timer rings.
Try to be as fast as you can and as positive as you can. Do this before you sleep and immediately after you wake to train your brain to develop creativity and spontaneity.
And viola! You are ready to crack the TAT.