SSB is one of the toughest exams for entry in armed forces as an officer. This detailed guide will help students to crack various parts of the SSB interview. 

Candidates who are appearing in the SSB interview need to know the procedure of every day starting from psychology to  GTO and personal interview. To get into SSB you first need to crack NDA written test get best book for NDA entrance exam.

Freshers generally do not have clear knowledge about the SSB selection procedure.

SSB is conducted by the service selection board by, Indian army Indian Navy and Indian Airforce x and y group syllabus.

SSB is the five-day exam where the officers check the officer like qualities in the candidate. If you want to crack SSB you have to go this procedure to be an officer in Indian armed forces.

People applying the first time for this exam get foxed due to a lack of knowledge. So the Success rate in the first attempt is really low during the reason of information and awareness of the candidate.

Here in this article, you will get to know how to crack the SSB interview in the first attempt.

  1. What are the do and don’t in the exam?
  2. What are the officers like qualities?
  3. We will explore each of them one by one.
  4. What are the various stages for which this test is conducted?

Read About Indian Navy SSR AA Result – 2020 Joinindiannavy

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What are the different ways to appear in SSB interview?

There are two ways a candidate can appear in SSB interview.

First is by qualifying the written exam and the second one is getting a direct call letter by applying for various courses.

Entry through exams:

In the given test you have to qualify the written exam to get an SSB interview call letter.

Direct SSB Interview call letter

You can also apply for various courses in the Indian Army, Indian Navy, and Indian Air force and get a direct call letter. In the first step, candidates need to apply for the vacancy, and their board marks matter in the call letter. According to the marks obtained in inboard exams, they get a direct call later.

Following entries by which candidate gets a direct call letter:

  1. TES (Technical Entry Scheme)
  2. TGC (Technical Graduate Course)
  3. SSC – tech
  4. University Entry Scheme
  5. NCC Special Entry Scheme
  6. FTS (Fast Track Selection) by Indian Air Force

Candidates get call letters approximately 1 month before the actual interview.

Types of test conducted for SSB interview

The various test conducted as a part of SSB interview to take to check officers like quality in the candidates

These are further classified into two parts

  1. Psychology test
  2. GTO group testing officer test

Psychology test

Psychology test is conducted to check the psychological level of the judgment level of the candidate. It also shows the rate of deciding on different situations.

Test that comes under psychology test

  1. Intelligence test or OIR test
  2. PPDT – Picture Perception and Discussion Test
  3. PIQ form – Personal information questionnaire 
  4. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  5. Word Association Test (WAT)
  6. Situation reaction test (SRT)
  7. Self Description Test (SDT)
  8. Personal Interview

GTO Test

 All tests that comes under GTO:

  1. Group discussion(GD)
  2. Group Planning Exercise(GPE)
  3. Progressive Group Task(PGT)
  4. Half Group Task (HGT)
  5. Individual Obstacle Race
  6. Snake Race
  7. Command Task
  8. Lecturette
  9. Final Group Task

5 Days SSB Procedure

SSB Interview process

Day of Reporting

When you are going for the exam you have to appear with your luggage with all your requirements mentioned in the call letter, You should carry a dress for GTO and different dress for the personal interview and physiology test.

In the GTO PT dress is necessary. While in other exams you have to appear in the formal dress being a gentleman with proper in uniform.

The appearance of a gentleman is with formal shirt formal pant tie and formal shoes.

Try to have in the army cut hair that shows your motivation and personality in this exam.

According to the choice field in the form, you will be allowed to report at the reporting center. The reporting center is generally at the MCQ (Moment Control Office) on the railway station.

All other candidates arrive at that place.

According to the schedule on the call letter. People from SSB pick up all candidates and take them to the reporting center by bus.

In some entries, the exam starts on the same day when the candidate arrives. In other cases, the exam starts the next day of the arrival of the candidate.

Please refer to your call letter for a proper schedule.

Day One 

Day One exam is also known as a screening test. As the name suggests candidates who get screen-in are eligible for appearing in all remaining 4 days exam. On the other hand, candidates who are disqualified have to move back on the same day.

Screening exam consists of

  1. OIR Test (Officer Intelligence Rating)
  2. PPDT (Picture Perception and Discussion Test)


OIR test consists of two question papers taken back to back. Each question paper consists of 50 marks. Marks allowed for both the paper are 30 minutes. There is no gap between the exam So before appearing in the exam call all your natural calls. 

As an aggregate 60 minutes are allowed for 100 questions. 

The questions are verbal and non-verbal MCQ types extra answer sheets allowed to mark your answers. Read the instruction carefully before applying for the exam. This test is generally of the beginner level to check the intelligence of the candidate.

Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT)

PPDT is one of the most important tests for screening of candidates for all four remaining days of exams. Get the PPDT examples. Candidates are shown a picture for 30 seconds and based on the picture you are allowed 3 minutes. You have to write a story from the picture you have perceived.

PPDT Format for story - how to write story for PPDT?

When the story writing completes all candidates are divided into the group of 14 to 16 members and one by one each of them has to narrate their story followed by a discussion to conclude to a common group story. Leadership quality and communication skills of the candidate are reflected during this process.

After 2 to 3 hours the result of the candidate declares.

Candidates who pass in the exam are required to appear in all four remaining days of this exam. Failed students are sent back on the same day. They get their traveling allowance (TA) and sent back to the railway station. A new chest number is allotted to the passed candidates.

Stage 2 Testing

The remaining candidates after screening in have their competition with other remaining candidates.

Day 2 Psychology Test

On day 2 of the SSB interview, three different tests are conducted on the same day.

In this stage candidate’s psychological wellness is checked.

1. Thematic Aperception Test TAT

In this test  12 slides are shown to candidates one by one. Candidates have to write a story on each of them. Every slide is shown for 30 sec and they get 4 minutes for writing a story based on the information they have perceived from the picture. The 12th slide is blank where you can write a story of your own choice. All the slides are shown back to back without any gap. So that candidates do not get time to manipulate the unnatural story.

This shows how the candidate thinking in a diverse situation.

2. Word association test WAT

In word association test 60 words appear on the screen back to back. Each word remains on the screen for 15 seconds. There is no gap between appearance of the words. For each word, candidates have to write a single sentence that has first come into their mind. Attempting 45 questions out of 60 is considered to be good practice for this test.

This Exam can be mastered with proper practice.

Candidates should not have to make a pattern of the escaping questions like skipping all  negative questions.

Sometimes the questions which are repeated, falsifying that particular question or contradicting the same sentence is not a good symbol for your recommendation.

Whatever comes first to your mind you can write an answer to that. You should not make a pattern of the questions you have skipped. People generally recommend writing a positive sentence on the word. Deliberately writing a positive sentence for the negative words is not a good choice.

3. Situation reaction test

In the situation reaction test, you will be given a booklet of 60 questions. The time allowed for this test is 30 minutes. You have to write your response in the different situations mentioned in the question.

4. Self-description test

In this round of tests, candidates have to write about their own life. The time allowed for this test is 15 minutes.

The question is asked similar to the following:

  1. What does your family think about yourself?
  2. What do your parents think about yourself?
  3. Write an opinion about your teachers.
  4. What is your expectation from yourself and what is your vision? What are some good and weak points in you?

Day 3 and Day 4

On day 3 and day 4 candidates have to go through the GTO test and personal interview.

The group performance of candidates is reflected through this test. The individual performance of a candidate is tested. On 3rd and 4th days, candidates are tested by giving them indoor and outdoor tasks to check their mental and physical strength.

The following tests are conducted on day 3 and day 4:

1. Group discussion (GD) – The group discussion starts with topics related to Politics, National and International relations, social issues, and current affairs. Candidates are asked to discuss with each other on a particular topic. Two group discussions are held back to back by which group testing officers get enough ideas to individually check candidates.

2.Group Planning Exercise (GPE) – Candidates are given certain situations with some. They have to perform in the group and come to the group conclusion to solve that problem. A map and a pointer are given to candidates. In the end, one of the candidates is asked to wrap up the discussion and show the group plan.

Progressive Group Task (PGT) – In this round of tests, a group is given a certain obstacle and they have to cross the obstacle with the help of some supporting material like rope, wood log, and plank.

Half Group Task – This task is similar to PGT but the difference between them is that the group is divided into a half group so that every one of them gets enough time to showcase their performance.

Individual obstacle race(IOT) – In the IOT test candidates have to complete the obstacle individually. Each obstacle have certain points ranging from 1 to 10.

Command task – You are the commander in this test and you are required to call two to three subordinate of your own choice. You can choose 2 to 3 people from the group whom you think can help you in the individual command task. In this test, you have to perform as a leader and your target is to succeed the obstacle.

Snake race –Every candidate in the group holds a rope as a snake and they have to cross the obstacle by holding the snake in their hand.

Lecturette – Candidates have to speak on a certain topic for 3 minutes. They will be given a list of 4 topics out of which one of them you have to choose.

Final group task – It is similar to a progressive group task, where candidates get one extrar chance to perform in the test as a final round.

Day 5 Conference

You can conclude that the interviewing process ends on day 4. But on day 5 (conference day), all the board members will be sitting together and confirm the selected candidate. You will not see all the three interviewing offices setting together. They will be in their uniform. They will ask you general questions like. How was your day so far? Did you face any problem in your stay at SSB? What you have learned at this conference

It hardly goes 1 to 2 minutes.

Personal Interview

This test is generally conducted in the evening where candidates have to appear in one to one conversation with the interviewing officer. In this exam, candidates have to appear in formal dress.

This is one to one meetings with the interviewing officer. This is one of the toughest exams in the SSB interview. One wrong answer can give a negative image of yourself. The questions in these exams are not always straight forward but by proper preparation and practice, you can easily crack this exam. Check the most important SSB interview questions for personal interview.

Final Thoughts

This was the information on SSB exam preparation. Let me know if you have any question in the comment below.

The Yuvas is providing you all necessary information related to the SSB exam and other Government and skill development courses.

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