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June 22, 2013

SSB Interview and how to prepare

SSB Interview Preparation Books Websites VideosSSB Interview happens to be the gateway to the Indian defence forces - irrespective of what written exams you clear (NDA/CDS/AFCAT etc.), which route you take (NDA/CDS/TES/UES/FTS etc.) at whichever level (Class-XII/graduation/PG), for all the defence forces (Army/Air force/Navy), you have to appear in the SSB (Services Selection Board) Interview for the ultimate selection.

So this blog article is being made to help you know what SSB Interview is and how to prepare – it would give the SSB Interview schedule and also small descriptions of the different tests conducted in SSB Interview and than point you to the prep materials for SSB Interview preparation: SSB Interview Books, videos, websites, Coaching Institutes.

What is SSB Interview and What does it tests?
SSB Interview is conducted to find what is termed in defence terminology as OLQ (Office Like Quality)- the qualities expected of an Indian defence officer: Intelligence, Responsibility, Initiative, Communication Skills, Determination, Courage, Self-confidence, Decision-making, Compassion and overall, patriotism.

These qualities are evaluated through a series of psychological tests to gauge your personality and these can be:
1.0 Pen & Paper test e.g. TAT/WAT/SRT.
2.0 Machine test e.g. PABT.
3.0 Physical test e.g. Group tasks.
4.0 Oral test e.g. GD/Interview. 

Depending on which route you have taken to reach SSB Interview (i.e. whether after NDA/CDS/AFCAT/TES/UES/FTS etc.), there are small variations in the schedule of SSB Interview –some tests only are for specific purposes. For example, PABT is held for flying branches of IAF only. 

So you should go through the official SSB websites of Army, Air force & Navy.

SSB Interview Official websites:
You can find the websites for the SSB Interview by the three defence forces below:
These websites gives you a lot of info into the schedule of SSB Interview along with descriptions of the tests.
Location of SSB Interview for Indian Army is Allahabad, Bangalore and Bhopal..
Location of SSB Interview for Indian Navy: Bhopal, Bangalore, Coimbatore.
Location of SSB Interview for Indian Air Force:Dehradun, Mysore and Varanasi.

Schedule of SSB Interview:
SSB Interview is held mostly for a period of 5 days in two stages: Stage-I & Stage-II. Stage-I is for screening purpose and is held on the 1st day of the SSB Interview. The result is declared and only those who qualifies in Stage-I is asked to stay back for Stage-II.

However, if you are appearing for some specialized branches like Flying branch or Technical branch, you would also have to appear in special SSB tests (e.g. PABT for Flying branchEKT in AFCAT).

Other than these specialized SSB tests, the schedule/format is however common and is as below:
Schedule of SSB Interview
Your Personal Interview is conducted on any day afternoon from Day 2 to Day 4.

Descriptions of SSB Interview Tests:

SSB Interview Stage-1 Tests
Stage one selection system includes the following
(i) Intelligence Test.
Verbal Test (Basic Knowledge of English).
Non- Verbal Test (Basic Knowledge of Logical Maths and Numbers).

(ii) Picture Perception and Description Test (PDPT).
Picture is flashed for 30 Seconds. The candidate have to broadly note down seven basic parameters viz number of characters, age, sex, mood, action relating to past, present and future for each character in one minute.

(iii) Discussion of the Picture – 30 Minutes.
In this phase the candidates are divided into different groups. Strength of group is around 15 candidates. Each candidate narrates his individual written story verbatim. Subsequently, in Part –II all the candidates have to come to discuss amongst themselves and achieve a common consensus about the characters and theme of the story.

As told above, Stage-1 of the SSB Interview is a screening stage - the result is declared and only those who succeed are asked to stay back for Stage-2 from Day-2 onwards.

SSB Interview Stage-2 Tests:
SSB Interview Day 2: Psychological Tests
SSB Psychological Tests consists of following tests:
(i) Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): 12 Pictures including one blank are shown for 30 sec each. Candidates are asked to write a story around what led to the situation? What is going on and what would be the outcome? Picture is shown for 30 seconds and they are asked to write it in 4 minutes. In the blank slide, they have to think a picture of their own choice and to write a story around that.
(ii) Word Association Test (WAT): In this test, a series of 60 words are shown to the candidates one after another for 15 seconds each. The candidate is required to write down the first thought or idea comes to his mind.
(iii) Situation Reaction Test (SRT):This test consists of 60 routine life situations regarding day to day activities. The situations are printed in a booklet and the candidate is asked to write his reactions by completing the sentences, as to how they would feel, think and act up these situations.
(iv) Self Description-15 Mins: Candidate is asked to write five separate paragraphs on each context about the opinion of his parents/guardian, friends, teachers/ superiors.

SSB Interview Day 3: 1st day of GTO.
This includes the following:-
(i) Group Discussion: Two topics of common interest (social issues and current events) are discussed. It is an informal discussion and not a debate. Each topic is allotted 20 minutes each. No definite conclusion is required to be deduced.
(ii) Group Planning Exercise (GPE): It comprises of five stages viz, explanation of the model, reading of the narrative by GTO, five minutes for self reading by candidates, 10 minutes for individual written solutions and 20 minutes for group discussion. Narration of the group solution and definite conclusion is required.
(iii) Progressive Group Tasks(PGT): It is the first outdoor task. A set of four obstacles with progressively increasing level of difficulties are to be completed in 40 to 50 minutes. Structures, helping material and load are provided to the group.
(iv) Group Obstacle Race (GOR): In this task the group is pitched against each other over a set of six obstacles with a snake like load to carry.
(v) Half Group Task (HGT); It has one obstacle similar to progressive group task with helping material and load to be carried. Group is divided into two Sub Groups and assigned the same obstacle in turn in such a way that when one group is working, the other is not allowed to watch it. Time allotted to each sub group is 15 minutes.
(vi) Lecturette; It is an individual task and the candidate is required to give a short talk to the group. Three minutes are allowed to prepare any chosen topic from the four given in the Lecturette Cards for the talk.

SSB Interview Day 4: 2nd day of GTO.
(i) Individual Obstacles: A Set of 10 obstacles is set to be tackled individually. Obstacles are numbered from one to ten, denoting the points each one carries. Each individual will be given three minutes.
(ii) Command Task: Each individual is nominated as commander for one task consisting of one obstacle similar to the Progressive Group Task Time given is 15 minutes.
(iii) Final Group Task: Task consisting of one obstacle similar to the progressive group task. Time given to complete this task is 15-20 minutes.

Personal Interview: It is conducted in any of the days between Day 2 to 4 by conducted by Interviewing Officer (IO).

SSB Interview Day -5.
This includes the following:-
(i) Closing address by Deputy President of the Board.
(ii) Conference.
(iii) Announcement of results.
(iv) Dispersal.

SSB Interview Prep Books:
SSB Interview Prep Books
I found following books good for preparation of for SSB Interview. These books are available in most of the bookstores, but you can also order them online by clicking the links below, from which offers huge discounts upto 31%, apart from free home delivery in India if the order exceeds Rs. 500/=. You can choose to pay through Credit Card/Debit Card/Internet Banking. You can also choose to pay through “Cash-on-Delivery” i.e. you pay in cash only when the same is delivered at your doorstep:
Modern SSB Interviews By Col. Kuldip S. Dosanjh Publisher: International
List Price:Rs. 295 Offer Price:Rs. 260 Discount: Rs. 35 (12%)
SSB Interview: The Complete Guide By NK Natarajan Publisher: Arihant
List Price:Rs. 225 Offer Price:Rs. 135 Discount:Rs. 90 (40%)
SSB Interviews & Psy. Intell. Test by RPH Editorial Board (Publisher: Ramesh Publishing)
List Price:Rs. 110 Offer Price:Rs. 87 Discount:Rs. 23 (21%)

SSB Interview Experience:
You can find in this SSB Interview experience posted by Gopal Aggarwal very worthwhile to read.

SSB Interview Coaching institutes:
I could find following two coaching institutes on the net for SSB Interview:
It has training centre in Chandigarh.

It has training centre in Bangalore, Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun, Kochi, Pune, Secunderabad, Trivandrum & Lucknow.

SSB Interview videos:
While pictures may tell you thousand thoughts, videos may tell you zillions. Therefore I am presenting below some youtube videos to help you know what goes in SSB Interview Group Obstacle tests in Day 3/4:
Hope with above information on SSB Interview Prep material you can crack the same easily. I would be on the lookout for more prep materials for SSB and post the same as and when I find the. Please keep visiting this blog therefore and post your experience as comments below.