SSB is Not Chakravyuh
In “Mahabharat” Abhimanyu had to cross 8 gates of “Chakravyuh” created by Kauravas to succeed. A popular perception of SSB aspirants is that their state is similar to Abhimanyu and they have to cross the 3 obstacles of Psychology test, GTO and Interview to succeed. This popular, yet stupid misconception has been strongly promoted by the numerous coaching academies and websites devoted to SSB. As a result a large number of SSB aspirants attend SSB with a wrong mindset. In this blog I have attempted to clarify as to why this is a misconception & what should be the right mindset.
The selection criteria for an aspirant are that he is found to be adequate in the required Officer Like Qualities (OLQs). These qualities are required to be able to perform the role required of an officer well.
In order to assess the OLQs the three pronged testing methodology using the techniques of Psychology, GTO & Interview were evolved long back, were found to be reliable & have stood the test of time. The process of “Screening-in” was introduced much later and found effective and hence has become an essential preliminary part of the SSB process. A slight modification in the testing methodology is expected to be introduced this year to reduce the duration of the SSB process. This is being called “De novo SSB Process”. In due course there may be more changes in the process but the selection criteria are likely to remain the same.
OLQs: Most Important
Adequacy in OLQs is the selection criteria and not ability to do well in Psychology, Interview or GTO. I routinely hear aspirants make statements like:
- “I am good in GTO and Interview but need some tips to clear the Psychology test.”
- “My Psychology and Interview are good but I need some help to clear the GTO test.”
- “I got trapped by the IO in his questions, lost confidence and did badly in the interview.”
- “I got rejected because I did not display my qualities properly.”
Such statements are rooted in the “Chakravyuh” mindset of trying to cross the 3 obstacles. I rarely hear an aspirant say things like:
- “ I got rejected because my knowledge of my core subjects was inadequate.”
- “I was found lacking in courage in the GTO tests.”
- “ My social adjustability is inadequate because I got into heated arguments with my group members in the GTO tests.”
The latter series of statements display a correct mindset. These statements indicate that the candidates making the statements will focus on improving upon these facets of personality and as a consequence become more competent persons in life & increase their selection chances at SSB and success in any career. The first series of questions indicate a mindset which is focused on learning some tricks to cross the perceived obstacles of the testing techniques to get selected. Thus numerous aspirants keep wasting energy on practicing TAT & SRT, mugging up ideal answers to questions in interview & such like useless things. These superficial efforts do not lead to success but only frustration. It would be far wiser to focus their energies on self-improvement to increase their selection chances. The reason is simple: If you have improved your personal qualities genuinely then you would be found fit for selection by the SSB. This correct mindset and systematic improvement has led several students of No Frills Academy to succeed in their 10th or later attempts. You can read the success stories of Tarun, Vivek and Sunil given in the blogs earlier to get evidence of this fact.