Practical Approach to Group Planning Exercise (GPE) in SSB Interview


Group Planning Exercise (GPE) or Military Planning Exercise (MPE)

The Group Planning Exercise (GPE)or Military Planning Exercise (MPE) necessarily reveals the “behavior of an individual in a group, when having met with real life situations and practical problems of varying complexity”. The Group Planning Exercise (GPE ) is so very well designed that, a person with some basic logic and average reasoning can conveniently find a solution.

gpe group planning exercise mpe Military Planning Exercise

The aim of the Group Planning Exercise (GPE) or Military Planning Exercise (MPE) is to find the adjustment of the individual under unusual circumstances whilst in a group. The individual’s ability to evolve independent solution of practical problems termed as Practical Intelligence and capacity to put to use available means of resources for the desired end, termed as Resourcefulness, are all under watch by the assessors.

Before we go into detail with practical approach, let me remind you that, all the things I have mentioned in PGT are applicable here as well. Please associate the PGT with the Group Planning Exercise (GPE) and you find there’s one significant difference – The former is action on ground and the latter is action in mind. Now, let me help you out with Group Planning Exercise (GPE) .

  • Comprehension of the problem:

Read the narrative attentively and analyses the situation well. ‘Well begun is half done’ and grasping the problem thoroughly is half job done. It’s not difficult and can come with diligent practice

  • Awareness of the surroundings:
    It is the practical sense of an individual regarding his daily surroundings and environment. Like for instance, we can undoubtedly assume that in a village, there will be a police station, a dispensary, modes of transport etc. and other basic amenities likewise, even if they are not mentioned in particular. Common sense would do the job for you here, because the entire planning exercise is not taking place in Mars or Venus. It is in your common locality, countryside and surroundings.


  • Priorities and Order of Importance:
    The problems given may be of varying complexities. Arrange them according to the priority in which they have to be dealt with. Give importance to the problems that need immediate attention while attending to others simultaneously. That would mean the organization and division of resources at hand.This is efficient multi-tasking.
  • Logical Approach:
    Use of common, basic and natural logic by thinking rationally and excluding emotional factors. Analyze the pro and cons of the problem without resorting to fantasy or being wishful. For instance, assuming that you are carrying pistol unless particularly specified is wishful thinking. Your approach like an ordinary man will aid help. You might feel sorry for an old lady who has lost her cattle, but what about the derailment of train that would endanger the life of thousands? Emotional inclination should be less and practicality should be more prominent.
  • Resourceful Thinking:
    Putting the best means and resources available at your disposal. Sometimes the resources and facilities you may require may be not functioning. Like for instance, telephones may be out of order, no mobile connectivity, tyre of your vehicle is punctured etc. Still, there will definitely be an alternative way out and you need to look out for that.
  • Receptivity:
    It’s the ability to understand and absorb new expressions and invites your interest, attention and grasping skills. When someone is giving an idea, listen to it attentively. See if there is any improvisation in it, and convey it politely. That shows you are tactful in managing other’s feelings and receptive to their views. A good speaker is always a good listener. The assessors also highly value people who are flexible enough to adopt ideas superior to their own.
  • Organizing:
    Arranging the resources in a systematic way and putting into best use the available means, so as to produce effective results. Here is where your past experience comes into use, to understand the outline of the problem. Organizing requires communication and reception.
  • Social adaptation:
    It encompasses the readiness of the individual to adapt himself to changing atmosphere. This would reveal, whether the person is rigid or moldable. For this, you have to appreciate other’s views and give yours also. If you are considerate to others, you can expect it in return too. Self-centric approach would take you nowhere.
  • Initiative:
    The ability to originate action and sustain it. To take the first step in a new, unfamiliar situation in the right direction and maintain the momentum. As you initiate your ideas, you will get improvisation from the group and it would come into effect. Patience is the key here and also receptivity. A person cannot be right always, neither wrong too. So, you always need feedback and opinion from majority of the group.
  • Speed of Decision:
    It is the ability to arrive at close to workable decisions expeditiously. It comes with self-confidence and self-esteem. Now, why close to workable and not entirely workable? It’s because you may be not able to give a foolproof plan always in the first attempt. If your view is logical and practical, the group will definitely put in their contribution of ideas to make it fully workable. Partially workable plan gets transformed into fully executable plan as a result of collective effort of the group to achieve the group goal.
  • Power of Expression:
    The ability to put forward one’s views clearly and assertively, hereby giving reasons. Now, this doesn’t mean talking fluent English. Please seriously realize the gravity of this fact. Since, your proficiency in language is a result of your socio-economic background, which varies from person to person, no one expects you to be proficient and fluent in English at the SSB’s. Your views and attitude are important, not your language. If you are putting forward your views and solutions clearly using the mixture of two languages allowed to use, it’s good and sufficient.
  • Liveliness:
    An individual’s capacity to keep himself buoyant when meeting problems and bring about a cheerful atmosphere in stressful situations. A leader will be calm and composed in any situation and present a confident picture to his subordinates. Again, patience holds key here. You should be stable in approach, come whatever the situation. Your group members may lose their dependence on you, once you start behaving other than normal. Who would like to believe a person, who does not believe in himself? At least, there is a person in the group who is trying to pacify its members in chaos and confusion – why can’t it be you. Your ideas and plan don’t matter always, but attitude does.
  • Courage:
    The ability to appreciate and take purposive risks willingly. The temperament to meet appreciated danger, to keep the enterprising spirit of adventure and willingness of desire to risk a hazard. Also, mental courage is all about the ability to overcome social shyness, normal timidity and the will to contribute towards group effort during discussion. Need I say anything more?
  • Sense of Responsibility:
    All the above mentioned factors shall be coined into a single term ‘Sense of Responsibility’. It is a direct derivative of honesty, loyalty and integrity. We all shoulder some or the other responsibilities in our daily lives. So, doing the same here without losing cool and succumbing to pressure and stress will sail you ahead. Your responsible attitude will take you places, which you would have not even imagined.

Watch Sample Group Planning Exercise (GPE) Videos here:

GPE Sample Video

Download sample Group Planning Exercise (GPE) set here .

    1) GPE-1
      2) GPE-2

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 1) Group Planning Exercise (GPE) | Military Planning Exercise (MPE)


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