It was my first attempt at CDS Exam. And I have secured AIR 1 for the Airforce and AIR 2 for the Navy and Army. I got recommended from 5 AFSB Guhawati. As to my feeling I am relieved and happy that I could fulfill my duty towards school. It was long coming. Before this, I had attempted NDA Exam thrice but could not get through SSB Interview at any time.
I belong to Ajgarwa a small village in the East Champaran district of Bihar. My father is a farmer and my mother is a school teacher. My education from class 1 started in a boarding school since I was a nasty child to handle also village was not conducive to education at that point of time as mummy tells. I hated my hostels. would often fail in exams.
Was called dumb witted. I wanted a way out to prepare for the Sainik school entrance exam. And I did prepare really hard and that’s the only time I have consciously prepared for something. And I got admitted to Sainik school Nalanda.
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Everyone in the village thought I have already made it (haha). Schooling was great. And my English was poor. Friends and teacher suggested I read. And I fell in love with reading. I have read around 500 books. I was more of an academic-oriented person till the 10th. except for hockey goalkeeping, I had nothing to show for extracurriculars and sports.
I was a good writer though I wrote scripts for others I seldom participated in debates or declamation myself. I was never a captain in school.
On 11th and 12th however, I took certain small responsibilities and opened up a bit. But when orientation for ssb happened in 12th I became acutely aware of my weaknesses.
Hereupon I suggest young NDA aspirants if u feel you are introverted and a little shy rather than stressing much on your communication take up a challenge something that to you appears impossible sort if it involves leading a team even better. And get it done successfully.
It will increase your self-worth. you will start valuing yourself. And soon enough you won’t need success to fuel your self-worth. So on the expected line, I was rejected the first time. And then I got just 80% marks in 12th.
This is a common folly of the majority of Sainik school students they tend to have made a self-image of unnecessary grandeur. And as they fail to meet their own inflated expectations they are so broken that they take up anything they find first.
To them I suggest keep interacting with people outside, know you are not so special, also that competition outside may be tough yet you will be able to hold your ground.
Fortunately that year(2018) I got enough marks in jee mains to get admission in nit Patna in civil engineering. The failures in board and ssb had brought me face to face with reality. And being among these talented people at college did fill me with humility. I was changed.
My outlook became relaxed, I was happy and blissful. I participated in different things. In school, I didn’t participate in many things because I was afraid to lose. Here I approached everything with an attitude to learn and explore.
I was part of different clubs, organised different activities, and fests, directed plays, and short films, debated, quizzed, wrote stories and poetries, played football, and most importantly interacted with everyone in college. I know almost everyone in my batch across streams with his unique talents.
Also after getting screened out the second and third time I had stopped thinking about defence and ssb altogether. I had accepted my rejections in good stride. It was like I am good and SSB is fine. we are simply not meant to be together.
Though sometimes I got dreams of my batchmate and schools and will get up with the feeling Is there no homecoming(defence) for me? Yet I was good to go the next day.
Corona happened next. Went home to the village. First time I stayed in the village for 1 year continuously since childhood. Played lots of cricket, understood the politics of the village and read NCERT. It was also a moment of growth. Papa became my best friend.
Then in the 2nd year of the corona, I went to Motihari and stayed with my grandfather and grandmother. There I did nothing but studied and played cricket. Prepared for college placements, learned to code and read novels. Brushed up my mathematical aptitude(Arun Sharma).
English was always good. For CDS Exam I just gave a couple of last year’s question sets. I was easily clearing the cutoff.
For SSB this time my brother also had his for NDA. I was more oriented to guide him than preparing for myself. Also, I was in continuous touch with col. Mukteshwar sir who along with commodore Azad sir had given us ssb orientation classes the first time.
I wrote just one set of psych before going for ssb. Stories were more related to things I have done me or my friends have done or I have thought of doing me.
For interviews sometimes my brother would take of mine and other times I of his. CQIs are available on the internet.
20 days before going I started reading the Hindu regularly. Also brushed up the world affairs. And honed service knowledge from Wikipedia. During interviews, I was honest about my failings, learnings and follow up to improve.
I feel io already knows almost everything about you through your PIQs. There is no use rationalizing your past mistakes. You are not expected to have been perfect at every point in time. However, also don’t forget to demonstrate how having recognised your weakness you have attempted to improve by your own initiative.
Keep the conversation light and interesting. For PGT there are some very useful videos on youtube. One can get an idea. As to group discussions I was sure I will get at least 1 chance which I should grab to do well. Never speak for the sake of it. Speak to add value to the discussion.
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for GTO I would like to suggest doing the task for getting it done’s sake. Aim for completion than your own performance. Don’t take unnecessary stress if some of your ideas fall flat on your face. Whatever has to happen will happen you simply get yourself involved and forget if there is GTO.
If the idea is not coming give yourself some time and remain supportive and constructive throughout. It does not mean standing by a foolish idea.
In general, don’t prepare much for SSB specifically. Rather try to understand yourself and whatever happens have a cheerful outlook.
Remember many of the things you will achieve in life is due to luck, and a Few you will miss out due to lack of it. But your happiness and that blissfulness should remain intact.
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