SSBs: Low Selection Rate

SSBs: Low Selection Rate

While I was in the selection system the overall selection rate was below 12%. I have reasons to believe that it would not have changed much even now. The selection rate is quite low and I feel that it can comfortably go up by about 5% without compromising on the quality of the candidates selected. In this blog I have analysed the selection rate with a view to suggest as to how it can be increased.

Rough Data about Selection Rate of Major Entries



The quality of candidates coming for NDA & TES is the best. The selection rate is approximately 15-20%.


The next best category of candidates is the CDS entry. The selection rate is approximately 15%.

SSC (Women) Non Technical

This entry also gets fairly good candidates. The selection rate is approximately 12-15%.

Technical Entries

Technical entries do not have an impressive standard. The selection rate would be below 10%.


NCC entry has some of the poorest standard of candidates. I remember interviewing several candidates who were not good enough to be taken even as soldiers. This was the standard of some of the screened in candidates when approximately 60% of the candidates had been screened out! The selection rate would not be above 5%.

Experience of Following up Doubtful Cases in Training

I had the benefit of following up doubtful cases during their training at IMA. The major lessons learnt from the experience were:

  • Candidates assessed as weak in willpower, determination and mental stamina (Factor 4 qualities in the selection system jargon) had problems in coping up with the training. Some of them got relegated/ withdrawn.
  • Candidates assessed as weak in social aspects (Factor 2 qualities in the selection system jargon) rarely showed any problem in coping with the training. Socially the individuals were found to be fine by their peers as well as instructors.

Lesson Learnt

The above experience suggests that the selection system can afford to be less stringent in rejecting the candidates on social aspects. This approach by the selection system can easily raise the selection rate by approximately 5%.

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