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GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR SSB

OVERALL TIPS

  1. ENGLISH IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE DEFENSE SERVICES & IS IMPORTANT, NOT ONLY FOR SSB, BUT PROFESSIONAL ADVANCEMENT IN ANY FIELD.

  2. GOOD GENERAL KNOWLEDGE, GOOD EXPRESSION, A FRIENDLY & HELPFUL NATURE WILL HELP A CANDIDATE GET SELECTED IN SSB & ELSEWHERE.

  3. IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE SPEAKING IN ENGLISH, SPEAK FREELY IN HINDI OR HINGLISH. EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IS THE NEED, NOT ENGLISH LANGUAGE. GENERALLY THE PROBLEM IS LACK OF SELF CONFIDENCE INDUCED BY LACK OF FLUENCY IN ENGLISH.

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR SSB.jpg

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR SSB

 

APPROACH TO SSB

Group behavior starts as soon as you meet others at the SSB Centre.

 Candidates assess each other for their competence, as well as sociability. This process is unrelated to the formal assessment, but influences it.

Please go for the SSB with the conviction of being selected, without any self doubts. This will positively affect your personality & influence others accordingly.

Do not consider others as rivals, who have to be beaten, for you to be selected. Approach with a philosophy: “let us all perform well, & along with others, I should also get selected”. The usual philosophy prevailing in the world, “I should get selected at the expense of others” is unsuited for selection in SSB.

Having good general knowledge, expression & a friendly nature positively impacts your social rating by peers, & will positively impact your chances of selection as well. It will have an impact on the tests as well. E.g In the group, before the tests, you start discussing some current affairs topic. Most of the group will have superficial knowledge, based on TV headlines news or news paper headlines. One or two may have deeper analytical knowledge based on their having read editorials on the topic. Naturally these candidates will be more respected by others.

5 DAYS SSB SCHEDULE

DAY 1 (REPORTING DAY)

As per the call letter, usually the reporting time is in the afternoon& place is Movement Control Office (MCO), located at the Railway Station. You will not find it difficult as there will be many other candidates who will be scheduled to report on the same day, & you are likely to find some of them.

For some entries reporting day and Screening day are same, so please follow your call letters for correct information. In such case reporting time is likely to be early morning, like 0700 hours.

On reporting day you are given a detailed brief about the tests & instructions & timings for various things. PIQ (Personal Information Questionnaire) forms are to be filled (similar to the one which I get filled).

DAY 2. STAGE 1 TESTING OR SCREENING

 Screening is the process designed to select potential candidates, from all those who have reported for the particular entry, for Stage 2 of testing, or complete SSB process. It comprises the following:

OFFICER’S INTELLIGENCE RATING (OIR) TEST

It is similar to the intelligence tests of reasoning (verbal & non-verbal) given in various competitive examinations preparatory books & magazines. Reasoning ability, as well as speed of reasoning is important. It is advisable to practice these to get a good score.

SCREENING TEST

PICTURE PERCEPTION & DESCRIPTION TEST (PPDT)

Requirement

It involves two aspects- first is writing a story, & second is a discussion on the story.

You will be shown a black & white, hazy picture for 30 secs.

You are required to write some particulars in the available box in the answer sheet, which includes No of Characters, their Age, Sex & Mood.

You have to identify the main character & build the story around him/her. It is convenient to name the character (helps in discussion stage).

You are required to describe what the scene in the picture depicts (what is going on).

You have to visualize & write, what led to the present scene (what happened in the past).

You have to foresee the future & write it. (What will happen in the future).

The entire story has to be written in about 3 mins & submitted.

Tips for Story Writing

Avoid

Pre-prepared Story. Some coached candidates (generally ACC & SCO entries), come with a misconception that the time is too less to make a story & hence come with a pre-prepared story & fit it there. Often the main character in such stories is narrated as a young man who joins the Defence Services & also gets a decoration! There is nothing in the picture to suggest any of these things. There are several such “positive” coaching academy type stories which can be easily found out by the assessors. Such stories have an adverse impact on the clearance of the Stage 1 by the subject candidate.

Stories Displaying Wrong Interpretation of Positive Thinking. Experience shows that quite a few coached candidates are over enthusiastic about “positive thinking” & display it in an unnatural manner in their stories.  E.g: In an obviously tragic scene such candidates will state that the mood of the main character is positive. Such stories can be easily found out & have an adverse impact on the clearance of the Stage 1 by the subject candidate.

Abide

Write a natural & realistic story that comes to your mind on seeing the picture. The moods, etc of characters should be stated as observed.

POSITIVE THINKING MEANS THAT EVEN IF THE PICTURE SHOWS SOMETHING ADVERSE, OR TRAGIC, THE CANDIDATE FORESEES THAT IN THE FUTURE THINGS WILL BECOME ALL RIGHT, WITH THE MAIN CHARACTER PLAYING A PROACTIVE PART IN THE SAME.

THE MAIN CHARACTER SHOULD BE PROACTIVE & DO SOMETHING FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE EXISTING SITUATION.

Discussion Requirement

Candidates are organized in groups of 14-15 for group discussion. Each candidate is required to narrate his story by turn. After everyone has narrated his/her story the group is required to discuss the same & arrive at a consensus story. The group is required to nominate a leader who has to narrate the story on behalf of the entire group.

Tips for Discussion:

  • Narrate your story confidently in a clear voice in about one minute.

  • Remain confident about being selected, remain relaxed & do not feel pressurized to force your views on others, in the fear that others will dominate you.

  • Never look at the assessors while narrating the story, or during the discussion.

  • Listen to the speakers attentively.

  • Be polite, give your ideas & views only, & do not argue with others.

  • IN CASE THE ENTIRE GROUP IS SHOUTING, AS HAPPENS IN SOME REPEATER GROUPS, DO NOT TRY TO OUT SHOUT OTHERS, BUT AWAIT YOUR TURN PATIENTLY.

  • Do not try to dominate the discussion by speaking more. The quality of your views is more important than how much you speak.

  • Do not repeat your views.

  • Help the weak members to talk.

  • If the story of the majority of the group is similar to yours, it is easy to contribute to the discussion.

  • In case your story is different from the entire group, it is sensible to change your views & help the group in forming a consensus story, rather than trying to guide the group towards your perspective.

        Results of Screening:  After the completion of PPDT, you will get a break of 2-3 hours. Screening results will be declared after it. Selected candidates are allotted with new chest numbers. Rest of the candidates gets their TA and dropped backed to the railway station.

DAY 3 STAGE-2 OF TESTING

 PSYCHOLOGY TESTS IN SSB

Understanding Psychology Tests in SSB

Personality assessment conducted in SSBs is based on the science of Psychology. Psychology is not an absolute science, unlike the physical sciences known to us. It implies that there are not always absolute & definite yes, or no answers to problems, or situations.

The battery of psychology tests conducted in SSB is based on Projective techniques.

  Projective techniques work on the established fact that when we describe ambiguous stimuli, we actually describe ourselves, & reveal our personalities, the conscious part (of which we are well aware) & even the unconscious part (of which we are unaware)! The unconscious part of the brain is assessed by some as being 9/10th part & conscious only 1/10th part.

In Projective techniques, a person is shown ambiguous stimuli (such as words, situations or pictures) and asked to interpret them in some way. Such stimuli allow relative freedom in projecting one’s own interests and feelings into them, reacting in any way that seems appropriate. Projective techniques are believed to be sensitive to unconscious dimensions of personality. Defense mechanisms, latent impulses, and anxieties can be inferred from data gathered from projective techniques by expert psychologists. Assessment by expert psychologists is an art & not a science.

Assessment of an individual is done based on the entire written tests & not piece meal, like separate assessment of WAT, TAT & SRT.  Personality of an individual is one whole, the various inputs help to construct it.

HOW DOES IT AFFECT CANDIDATES?

PLEASE DO NOT WASTE UNNECESSARY TIME TO PRACTICE ALL THESE TESTS. WORK TO GENUINELY IMPROVE YOUR PERSONALITY, LEAVE THE ASSESSMENT TO THE EXPERTS!

Following  Psychology tests are  conducted:

    Thematic Apperception Test [TAT]

    Word Association Test [WAT]

    Situation Reaction Test [SRT]

    Self Description Test [SD]

TAT

    You will be shown 11 black & white pictures in which the last picture is a blank slide. Each picture will come just for 30 seconds and then disappear, after that you will get 4 minutes to write the story based on that picture. After 4 mins another picture will come for 30 seconds and same process will be followed till last slide {blank slide}. The tips for TAT are the same as for the story of PPDT. Go prepared with the story for the blank slide.

WAT

    You will be shown 60 words back to back; each word will remain on the screen for 15secs. In 15secs you are required to write a sentence which comes to your mind first after reading that word. Likewise you have to write 60 sentences continuously without any pause in between.

Tips:

It is not possible to go prepared with 60 sentences, as some coached candidates try to do & in fact succeed in writing quite a few such sentences. This does not help, because only the spontaneous response is consistent with the personality of the candidate. The psychologist analyses the complete responses to construct a holistic & consistent personality of the individual. Any prepared response will be inconsistent with the complete battery of answers & hence will get ignored.

    SRT

You will get a booklet with 60 situations written on it. You are required to write your responses based on those 60 situations. Time allotted will be 30 mins.

Tips: Answer spontaneously. The main character in the situations should be a leader, who should try to resolve the problems proactively for the betterment of everyone & not wait for things to happen.

    SD

You are required to write opinion about you from your parents, friends, teachers & yourself, and things which you would like to develop in the future. Time allotted will be 15 mins.

Tips: You should go prepared. Write the truth. Opinions of others, as well as yourself about you are basically a brief about your strong & weak points. The strong points should be more than the weak points. In case the reverse is true, it shows that you have not taken enough action to improve yourself, despite being aware of your weaknesses.

OVERALL TIPS FOR PSYCHOLOGY TESTS

THINK FAST; WRITE FAST, LEGIBLY & IN CORRECT SEQUENCE.

IT IS NOT MANDATORY TO COMPLETE EVERYTHING, BUT THE CANDIDATE WHO CAN COMPLETE EVERYTHING DEFINITELY THINKS FASTER & HAS BETTER MENTAL STAMINA THAN THE ONE WHO DOES NOT.

DAYS 4 & 5: GTO TESTS

GTO tests are a series of outdoor tests, designed to judge your qualities during group performance. Remember most of the tasks in this series are group tasks. You are required to support the group with the best of your abilities and not to compete with them in any manner.

SERIES OF TESTS:

    GD:

Discussion is on two topics, one is a debatable topic from current affairs & the other is on a social issue.

Tips: Are same as for PPDT discussion.

GPE: GROUP PLANNING EXERCISE

It is an important test in the GTO series. A situation is given to you. It is supported by a map. Invariably a group of persons has to go from one place to another, in a limited time & accomplish an important task. In between problems are confronted which need to be resolved, & in case a problem is unimportant & resolution will prevent  you from accomplishing the main task then it has to be ignored, or resolved to the extent that the main task is not jeopardized. A written, individual, solution has to be submitted. The group has to discuss the plan, arrive at a consensus plan, and nominate a leader to narrate the plan. It is a comprehensive test, which brings out the aspects of logical thinking, ability to convince others with your views, accept ideas from others which are better than yours, or are more acceptable to others.

Tips: Concentrate to understand the situation well. Submit a comprehensive & well written plan. Be prepared to accept others’ ideas. Do not try to resolve any intermediary problem which will prevent you from accomplishing the main task.

    PGT

In Progressive Group Task, the group is required to cross some obstacles with the help of supporting materials like rope, plank, wooden log etc. Some rules are required to be followed during this task. It is a full group activity.

    HGT

Half Group Task is similar to PGT but the number of group members will be half, so you may get more chance to show your potential.

    IOT

In Individual Obstacles Task, you are required to attempt 10 obstacles individually; each obstacle consists of some points from 1 to 10.

Tips: It appears to be mainly a test of speed & strength, but is not so. Plan the sequence of crossing the obstacles with a view to score maximum marks earliest. If you are in doubt about clearing an obstacle attempt it towards the end. In case you have begun to cross an obstacle, then do not leave it in between, as this displays lack of determination & self confidence.

COMMAND TASK

    You will be a commander in this task, & are required to cross some obstacles with the help of 2-3 subordinates. You can choose 2-3 candidates from your own group whom you think can help you to clear the obstacles.

Tips: Choose subordinates based on competence, rather than friendship. In case you are stuck, ask ideas from subordinates. CT is assigned to each candidate based on his abilities. In case your CT is quite difficult, then be happy, your IQ has been well rated.

SNAKE RACE/GROUP OBSTACLE RACE

     All group members will be competing with other groups. Members will be holding a snake like rope; they are required to cross certain obstacles with the snake. There are certain rules like all other tasks. It is a kind of race among different groups.

Tips: Use your abilities to help the group finish the race fastest.

INDIVIDUAL LECTURRETE

 Each candidate has to speak for 3 mins on a topic selected by him/her out of 3-4 topics.

FGT: FINAL GROUP TASK

FGT is similar to PGT.

Tips for PGT, HGT, CT & FGT: Initially it will be difficult to understand the use of the helping material in crossing obstacles. Do not worry, keep thinking & observing. Ideas utilized in crossing one obstacle will have relevance in others as well.  After PGT you will have better ideas for later tasks. Each task has more than one solution. Please adhere to instructions.

PERSONAL INTERVIEW IN THE AFTERNOON OF DAY 4 OR 5

The Interviewing officer has your Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ) form, which provides him the base for your interview. He starts talking in a relaxed manner to make you feel comfortable. He then asks you a series of questions to which you are expected to answer in the same sequence. He keeps asking small questions in between. He again asks you a series of questions, to be replied as earlier.

Tips: Be relaxed & confident of being selected. Write only truth in the PIQ form, without exaggeration. Listen carefully to the questions, without getting excited. Answer the questions in the sequence asked. Have good knowledge about your favorite subjects, sports, hobbies, etc. If you say that you have read a book, or seen a movie, or TV program, then you should know about it well.

Be prepared to explain organization of an event from your hobbies, sports or extra -curricular activities, you have been involved in.

DAY 6: CONFERENCE IN SSB

In the conference each candidate faces all the SSB assessors together. Decision about selection of candidates is taken in the conference by the assessors.  Each case is discussed in detail to take a deliberate decision. AS REGARDS YOU, IT IS JUST A FORMALITY, AS DECISIONS ARE TAKEN BASED ON TESTS CONDUCTED EARLIER & NOT CONFERENCE. Usually questions about food, experience & stay are asked by the Interviewing Officer. Only short answers are warranted.

 

 

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