Kritee: Recommended at Last!
Kritee Saxena of No Frills Academy got recommended recently. She shares her experience for the benefit of SSB aspirants.
I have been recently recommended for women’s non technical entry through CDS from21 SSB, Bhopal, in my 6th attempt. I made it as far as conference 4times and got screened out in my 5th attempt before getting the coveted recommendation.
Coaching Academy Method Does Not Work
Given my active involvement in college, my friends who were defence aspirants said that I would definitely be recommended if I tried for SSB. Before appearing for SSB, I went for coaching to get some idea about the different kinds of tasks. When appearing for my AFSB the first time, I felt somewhat numb. The ideas from coaching were at odds with my natural responses. I was more worried about what the assessors might want to listen from me than the way I actually was. This made me less self confident. I had some really good achievements to talk about. However, like any other interview, SSB needs some dedicated preparation which I feel I lacked. I was screened in but not recommended.
My next SSB was the first time I faced individual obstacles as previously, those were cancelled. The GTO tasks made me realize that I was not as physically fit as was needed for SSB. I could not make it past the conference yet again.
Before my 4th SSB, I contacted Nehru sir for guidance. After going through my PIQ, he suggested that I needed an overhaul of my daily routine. He evaluated my psychology test and adjudged me adequate in both psychology and communication. However, I had a gap after my graduation that needed convincing explanation, a regular routine with fitness regimen, well planned course of action both for the services and other alternatives, and a revision of basics as well as issues in news. I could only make little changes, not in time for my SSB, and was not recommended yet again.My SSB marks showed that I was close to recommendation but just not quite there yet.
No Quick Fix!
After this, I changed my routine drastically. My family and close friends provided the necessary and much needed support with discussions, exercises, and even exchanging daily/weekly reports on my progress. I prepared thoroughly for my AFSB and joined a gym to keep fit. I felt confident with the changes I had undergone. The mistake I made however, was not getting enough rest before appearing for AFSB and was consequently, not in top shape. I was screened out and it was a major downer.
Systematic Effort Works!
Throughout all of this, I had been writing other exams as well. I had also kept record of what went on during the SSBs, which I referred to for course correction. I banked on my strength of communication and worked on my areas of improvement. I also talked to other recommended candidates who were helpful with their suggestions. I talked to sir once in a while for updates and suggestions for improvements.
I utilized my experience from previous SSBs to improve my performance. Before this SSB, I stayed in a routine of exercise to retain my comfort level at SSB. Even during the screening and subsequent stages, I would breathe and focus on staying sharp and natural, and not worry about what would happen. I did everything to keep any nervousness at bay. If I thought I could have improved my performance in any task, I did not let it affect my other tasks. During the interview and conference, I answered questions on how I had worked to plug my loopholes. When asked how I had prepared for my psychology test, I answered that I had kept my responses natural and had not prepared for the test (This was the truth). Most importantly my physical performance saw significant improvement. I did well in GOR, and was able to progress markedly from doing4-5 individual obstacles in my previous attempts to 9 in this one, with time to spare. I was satisfied with my performance.
I had learnt to maintain a balance between competing and co-operating in the group. Both are equally essential for success. When the results were announced and my chest number was called, I just could not contain my happiness! I did not give up, and my efforts and perseverance finally bore fruit.
No job selection scrutinizes you as minutely as SSB does. It forces you to know yourself thoroughly, inside out. It is okay to take coaching if you are clueless about how to proceed in your preparation for SSB. Parroting what has been taught to you without understanding the reason for it is certainly not officer-like. In my opinion, the mistakes I made were:
- Not understanding, in depth, the requirements of SSB, and the reasons for them.
- Initially I sought a quick fix to get recommended.
I later realized that the approach of incorporating the required alterations in my lifestyle made me more competent as well as confident to face life and getting prepared for SSB became incidental. I got recommended only when I was fit to be recommended.
Good luck to those appearing for the SSBs and do tell if you find this post helpful!