Some Questions & Answers about SSB
Q1. In my first SSB, I had completed 9/10 obstacles in the Individual Obstacles (IO) test. In the second attempt, I did all 10. However, candidates who completed less than 7 obstacles also got recommended. Are the IO tests the only examination that ascertains the overall physical fitness of the individual, or do the assessors look at fitness in a different way through the other examinations too?
Answer: The number of IOs done indicates the level of fitness. This test, like others, gives indicators about several aspects like:
- Planning the sequence in accordance with maximising marks and ability.
- Physical courage/confidence.
- Physical fitness.
The number of IOs done can hardly be a selection criterion. Candidates having done 15 IOs have been rejected. One of my friends in India Sqn 61 Course had done only 4-5 IOs.
Q2. A decent physical appearance makes a good impression on the assessors. I know that a candidate is expected to be well groomed, but is it necessary for him to have a ‘fauji’ haircut at the SSB? Is it also expected of the candidate to shave all facial hair except the moustache? If so, why?
Answer: Being clean shaven and having short hair gives a neat look. It is not at all mandatory & nor is it a serious selection criterion.
Q3. Since camaraderie and cooperation within the members of your group at SSB is of prime importance, candidates often put in efforts to establish friendships that help them ease through group tasks like the Group Discussion (GD) and Progressive Group Task (PGT). In the Command Task (CT), candidates believe that they should be called as subordinates maximum number of times so that the Group Tasking Officer (GTO) is convinced that that candidate has a good rapport in the group. I had witnessed this in both of my SSB interviews and it is a fact that the cadets who got recommended had gotten chosen a number of times in their group. Is this a sheer coincidence or is there truth to this belief?
Answer: Being called as subordinate in CT by others is a good indicator that a candidate is:
- Found cooperative and is rated well by the peers.
- Is rated as having decent level of practical sense by the peers.
There is a definite and positive correlation between a candidate getting selected and being called as subordinate by the peers.