Is SSB a Lottery Ticket? – By Col. Nehru

This is a real story. I am not naming the individual for reasons of confidentiality. Let us call him X. This is his story.

He enrolled for my guidance program before finishing his engineering in ECE. Campus placements were going on but he had not attended those. He had NCC “C” Certificate. He had the ability to clear CDS/AFCAT written exams.

Once I had interviewed X I found that he was quite okay as regards most qualities. The major areas for improvement were English and physical fitness. I advised him the following road map:

  • Not to attend SSB before 4-5 months.
  • Sit for campus placement to get a job. He had an offer to teach in his college as well. The reason for this advice:

o   Working in the field helps personality development.

o   Teaching helps one to get clarity of one’s subjects.

o   Financial independence enhances confidence.

  • Focus on improving his physical fitness and English. Considering his level at the time of our first interaction I had assessed that adequacy level in these qualities was apparently attainable in 3-4 months.
  • I advised him to write the AFCAT/CDS exams and clear them with good marks.

This is what he did:

  • Began to attend SSBs two months post our first interaction.
  • He cleared AFCAT/CDS exams.
  • He did not take up work because he felt that preparing for competitive exams, including the civil services was a better idea than working.
  • He did not devote adequate efforts to improve English or physical fitness.
  • In a matter of 9 months he attended 13 SSBs to include NCC, SSC (Tech), TGC, AFCAT & CDS.

At the end of nine months he had no job; his inadequacies of English and physical fitness remained; he had wasted a considerable amount of parents’ money. His chances of getting a job had also diminished because potential employers sought reasons from him for not working for 6 months after completion of B Tech and his reason that he was focusing on SSB was unsatisfactory for the potential employers.

After this nine months’ experience he spoke to me and expressed that if he had taken my advice on the first day his life probably would have been better.

He never cleared SSB ever. In my view, if he had abided by my advice he would have cleared SSB in his first or second attempt after 6-8 months. In some of his attempts the fact that he was not working several months after completion of his degree indicated a low ‘sense of responsibility’.


Every month at least one-two students enroll for my guidance whose stories are somewhat similar. There may be so many other aspirants who follow the footsteps of X with similar results. I advise them to prepare well and charter a sensible course to success.

Col. MM Nehru

Col. MM Nehru

While in the Army as a Colonel, Judged Reality Show, “Mission Army-Desh ke Rakshak” of National Geographic in 2011.
Selector for Defence Services at 17 SSB, Bangalore.

SPORTS & FITNESS RELATED EXPERIENCE: Trained Services/ national/international level boxers. Trained Services athletes.
Top level Tennis player in India (above 55 years age category).

Related SSB Blogs