The SSB procedure for all three armed force services are almost same. There are three Selection Centers located across the country. These are at Allahabad, Bhopal and Bangalore. Each selection center consists of four to five Service Selection Boards (SSBs). Your SSB interview will happen at one of these centers. In this article we will cover the SSB Interview schedule.
RECEPTION: On the day of arrival you have to report to the Movement Control Office (MCO) at the railway station. Here, a representative of Selection Centre manning the reception will receive you and direct you to a bus that will take you to the Selection Centre. Those arriving late or by road should proceed directly to the Selection Centre. After reporting you will get sufficient time to settle down. Normally the afternoons are free (Except your interview day). You can make use of this opportunity to visit places of interest, shop and have fun.
OPENING ADDRESS AND FORM FILLING
The duty officer gives an introductory talk, explaining matters of administrative details, DOs and DONTs and code of conduct at Selection Centre. You are also required to complete documentation including verification of required certificates for age/educational qualifications. All candidates are allotted chest number for further testing. It is important to remember that you are not competing with other candidates. All of you will be assessed against a common standard of suitability and it is possible for everyone in the group to be recommended/Not recommended.
Other than the day of arrival/reporting, the SSBs have a five days SSB Interview Schedule. With these tests we aren’t looking at your physical fitness. The tests are also geared to let us know more about various shades of your personality. The exact schedule of tests may be varied depending on the No of candidates to be tested, and GTO Tests may be done in a single day, if warranted. Details of SSB Interview Schedule are as under:-
Stage I – Screening Process
The Screening process was started in October 1998 in the Army and Navy. The main purpose of this process was to screen out 40% to 60% candidates, who prima facie, do not possess in adequate measure, the required attributes.
The Stage I testing process (Day 1) consists of –
1. Intelligence Tests to assess the Officer’s Intelligence Rating (OIR).
This test consist of verbal and non-verbal questions, each paper is comprised of 50 questions and whose answers are to be recorded on an answer sheet.
2. Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT).
a) Picture Perception and Description Test
Picture is flashed for 30 seconds. The candidates 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. Time for story writing is four minutes.
b) Discussion of the picture – 30 Minutes
In this phase batch is divided into different groups. Strength of group is around 15-18 candidates. Each candidate narrates his individual written story verbatim. Subsequently, in Part-II all the candidates have to discuss amongst themselves and achieve a common consensus about the characters and theme of the story
3. On the Spot Conference
Once all candidates have undergone stage one. The results for stage one testing are declared. Recommended candidates are retained for stage-II testing and those not recommended are dispatched back.
Stage II – Personality Testing
The Personality Testing consists of three tests –
1. Psychological Testing (Day 2)
a) Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
12 Pictures including one blank are shown. Candidates are asked to write a story around what led to the situation? What is going on and what would be the outcome? Each Picture is shown for 30 seconds and candidates are asked to write it in 4 minutes. In the blank slide, they have to think a picture of their own choice and write a story around that.
b) 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 that comes to his mind.
c) 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 in these situations.
d) Self-Description Test (SDT)
Candidate is asked to write five separate paragraphs on each context about the opinion of his parents/guardian, friends, teachers/superiors.
2. Group Testing (Day 3 and 4)
DAY – 3 (GTO: Day 1)
a) Group Discussion (GD)
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.
b) 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.
c) Progressive group task (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.
d) 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.
e) 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.
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.
DAY – 4 (GTO: Day 2)
g) Individual Obstacles (IO)
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 is given three minutes.
h) Command Task (CT)
Each individual is nominated as commander for one task consisting of one obstacle similar to the Progressive Group Task Time given is 15 minutes.
i) Final Group Task (FGT)
Task consisting of one obstacle similar to the Progressive Group Task. Time given to complete this task is 15 – 20 minutes
INTERVIEWS: – Interviews are normally conducted in the afternoon by the interviewing officer. The interviews will carry on from day 1 to day 4. You will be interviewed only once and will be informed about it well in advance. The atmosphere throughout the interview is relaxed and informal. The questions are generally based on your everyday experience.
3. Final Conference (Day 5)
A final conference of all the three assessors who have been assessing each aspirant is held. Each aspirant is discussed and based on the assessment of all the three assessors, the aspirant is termed to be recommended or not for Stage II.
This includes the following:-
(i) Closing address
(iii) Announcement of results.
SSB Medical Examination (4-5 working days)
The recommended aspirants undergo a detailed Medical Examination in the Military Hospital. Those declared medically fit are recommended for selection. Thereafter, a Merit List of aspirants are prepared. Depending upon the number of vacancies, call letters are sent to the aspirants who make it in the Merit, directing them to report to the Training Institutes