When You Try to Impress Something Like this may Happen at SSB

When you go for SSB after taking some solid coaching from an established coaching academy you have the following ingredients in your mindset:

  • Since you have memorized all the 15 OLQs as well as their definitions, you are determined to display the possession of these OLQs at the SSB.
  • Write about these OLQs in the Self-Description (SD) test.

Ingredients of SD

Among the various OLQs written about in the SD, you may have written, “I possess high will-power and am capable of overcoming all hurdles—-”

Sample Responses to SRT

You may have responded to some of the SRT in the following manner:

  • Situation 1. You were going home, when it suddenly started raining heavily. You would: “halt under a shed, wait for the rain to subside and then go home.”
  • Situation 2. You were asked by your mother to buy some snacks for a guest who had come home. When you were returning it started raining very heavily and the street got flooded. You would:” halt under a shed and reach home after the rain subsided.”
  • Situation 3. You were going to attend an important meeting but got stuck in a traffic jam. You would: “Inform the organizer about your state and apologize for your inability to attend the meeting.”


There is nothing wrong with the responses. However, the responses taken collectively display a tendency to get stuck when confronted with obstacles. The responses definitely are not congruent with ‘high will-power.’

If the aspirant genuinely had high will-power his/her responses to the above 3 situations would have been like this:

  • Situation 1: “You ran fast and reached home.”
  • Situation 2: You visualized the following:
    • The guest would have come for an hour or so.
    • Since you had gone on foot to buy the snacks, the distance would have been not more than 300 m or so (overall 10-15 min job). When you started, it was not raining. In this short time, how much flooding could have taken place?
    • If you do not take the snacks home soon, then these snacks would go waste and mother would have to prepare some alternative.
    • The response could be: “wrapped the snacks in polythene and ran home.”
  • Situation 3. “Informed the organizer about your state; logged in on mobile for online meeting or crossed the traffic jam by walking across on the side-walk and took another transport ahead of the traffic jam and reached in time.

Personal Notes

Incidentally Bangalore has a serious traffic problem. I was posted as Deputy President of 17 SSB at Bangalore. I used to commute to the office on a cycle. I could cross traffic jams by walking across on the side-walks or at times lifting my cycle overhead (my cycle is light). I do not remember writing about any OLQs in the SD during my SSB because I had no clue about the OLQs. I was recommended in my first attempt at SSB for NDA and learned about OLQs much later in life.



By: Col. MM Nehru

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