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Monday, 19 February 2018

How to clear SSB or the Services Selection Board

Dear Reader

Firstly let me congratulate you on getting selected for appearing in the SSB for selection in  the Armed Forces. In the succeeding paras it shall be my endeavor to explain to you certain nuances pertaining to the selection process.

Step 1. 

(a) Buy the book How To Clear SSB Interviews by COMPETITION SUCCESS REVIEW Publishers. It will help you deal with specific aspects of the selection process and provide you the question banks for the same.

(b) De clutter your mind and be yourself. Army is looking for useful people who can blend in the team and switch role to lead the team.not individual geniuses.

(c) What you think- seen in the Psychological Tests , should reflect in how you conduct yourself-  seen in Group Tests and how you convince others about your point of view-  seen in Group Discussions and Personal Interviews.

Step 2. The First Day

(a) You will be asked to fill up your personal details. 

(b) Thereafter, you will be shown a picture for 30 sec and given 3 minutes to write a story on it. then you will be seated in a group of ten aspirants where you have to steer the discussion to a fruitful conclusion while convincing fellow aspirants by your point of view as well as ability to convince others that you are the leader of the group. Rejection Rate is 8-9/10--this is the make or break stage that gets over by 12 o Clock on the very first day.

(c) After you have been able to make it to the Main Stage, they will start with a small obstacle course that is made in such a manner that you will have to help others as well as take help from others-  teamwork and social acceptability is tested here. After this stage you will be grouped in 5-8 for the Group Tests that are designed to see how good a team player you are and how good a team leader you are. So when someone else of your group is made the leader, majority of them should choose you in their team. Ingenuity in using available resources to get over obstacles and barriers is also seen here.

Step 3. The Second Day

(a) You will face a number of psychological tests in quick succession.
    (i) Thematic Appreciation Tests.. 10 pictures for 30 seconds each with 3 minutes to build & write  a story. the story should have a clear hero/ heroine, a purpose , a method of achievement of goal and a lesson/ positive ending. Be careful. Dont make a complex plot. This part needs practice.

   (ii) Words test. They will flash upto 50 words each for 10 second and in that time you have to write a sentence. May not be grammatically incorrect but needs to be positive and meaningful even if the words are negative in nature. Practice is the key again.

  (iii) Situation Reaction Test-  Here you will run against time top answer almost 100--120 questions in 60 minutes. Again positive practical and realistic answers are the key. Use ur brains though. dont get emotionally carried away. Some questions will be touchy, personal and even offensive. Dont skip questions. Answer short and simple.

(b) There will be a few Group Tests also

    (i)  Obstacle Crossing- All of you will work as a team. Try to naturally emerge as the solutions provider and leader.

   (ii)  Military Planning - You will be given a problem. You need to find a solution as a group. then you need to convince others of your plan or else incorporate parts of someone else's plan. End state is that the group must come up with a workable solution and you should emerge as the natural leader.

  (iii) Group Discussion - Again the parameters are the same. the group must come up with a workable solution and you should emerge as the natural leader.

Step 4. The Third Day

(a) More intense psychological test await you today. the CSR Book I mentioned earlier will be of great help to reduce your anxiety and deal with the tests.

(b) You may be called for interview in the afternoon of eve.

  (i) Dress- Dark Trousers, Light Full Shirt, Black Oxford/Ambassador Shoes and Belt/ Metal or Leather watch--NOT SPORTS BUT ANALOG WATCH. Tie to match.

  (ii) Manners- Impeccable, cheerful confident and articulate in answering. Voice modulated to convince withe slight firmness. Key is Friendly, Fair Firm demeanor.

  (iii) Tricky Questions- No questions will be asked about current affairs or girlfriends. But they may ask you bad qualities of your best friend/ parent/ college etc--do not criticise them, be positive and diplomatic--They are testing your loyalty.

  (iv) Other tricky questions will be to check what exactly makes you violent, agitated , angry or unlawful. There will be questions to test your financial integrity. Basically the interviewing officer knows about your performance in the Group Tasks and Psychological Tests. Accordingly they frame questions to get a clearer picture of your personality. So questions are always candidate specific.

(c) Group Tasks.

   (i) This will be the tricky part. By now you would have blended well in your group of 5-8. The command task will have a leader from each one of you and it will be seen as how many of your group include you in their team  and how ell you contribute to the teams success. Same will be seen when you are the commander-whether you are able to choose a right team in anticipation of the likely tasks and whether your team is able to fulfill the task under your able guidance.

Step 5. The Fourth Day- A conference will be done. You will be called in. Later on an officer will announce who are the cadidates selected. All the first timers will be given cost of two way journey. Those selected will be retained for the medical tets.


The SSB Tests are designed to dig deep into your personality to find out wether u are fit or a misfit as far as the armed forces are concerned. the book i told you will help if you practice on it for at least two weeks. Rest depends on how tactfully you project your leadership and team skills. 

All my best wishes are with you. I hope that you take a print out of this letter and read it discreetly to clear your doubts. Go with an open mind and you will get selected. Majority of the officers clear the SSB in the first go so it should not be a problem.

Coaching Institutes do not help much. The interviewing team can spot a trained candidate from a mile away. So it will work against you. So its better that you practice on your own and deal with the tests using your own merit and dedication. Believe me it will reflect in the originality of your ideas and add to your genuineness.

Regards and Best of Luck

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