All about SSB Interview Procedure and tips to clear the SSB interview and medicals.


Experience at SSB interview

What is Service Selection Board  ( SSB ) Interview:?

The existing scheme of selection was initially designed in the US army, after the second World War. The system was adopted in the selection of officers in Army, Navy and Air Force for induction through National Defence Academy, Army Cadet Corps, Officers Training Academy, Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy or Naval Academy.
The selection process in SSB has the following stages/components.
(a) Psychological/Intelligence Test.
(b) Group Testing Officer’s (GTO’s) Test.
(c) Personal Interview.
(d) Medical Examination.

The Candidates are called through “Call Letters” to appear in 5 days Tests at SSB (Allahabad/Bhopal/Bangalore/Mysore/Varanasi/Dehradun).

SSB Selection Procedure Begins !

Screening Test (Day ZERO)@ SSB

After we all were picked up from Bangalore City Railway Station on 4th Aug’10, we were made to assemble at Reception Center.Later we were given PIQ forms to be filled up.

Before you start your journey to SSB please make sure that :

1.You have taken 10 Std to Currently pursuing marksheets or attested copies,  Call-letter too.
2.Take care of 2  White Tshirts to be wore on GTO grounds should  not be round necked or V .
3.DO trim your nails, & clean your ears.
4.If you have specs ,then the photograph which you going to submit there should be with specs.Do carry a negative of white shirt photo with you at SSB center.
5.Carry extra specs  if  incase they break during the stay at SSB or during travel to SSB center.
This may create problem for you during Medical Examination.
6.Do carry Formal Clothes with you, by chance you werent expecting and were made to stay then…? Then you got to buy there !

First  Day (Written TEST ) @ SSB the crucial day of all !

1. Verbal and Non-Verbal Tests.
2. Picture Story Writing followed by Discussion of the Stories.

Note:    Once the Screening Test  was over, the results are declared  by 1 in noon. Those who cleared the test are supposed to stay back for the next 4 days and the remaining persons are dropped back at the Railway Station for their return journey.
So  do keep a advance ticket handy :)
Also please dont bother about the answers marked in few answer sheets ,a s few of them had wrong answers just to misguide you or pranks played by some other candidate. Remember you  would run short  of time, so you got to hurry

Psychological Test  : Second day @ SSB

These tests are in four parts as under:

* Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) – Commonly known as Picture Story writing.
You would be given 11 slides + 1 blank slide.
For each slide 30 sec to view the sketch  &  we are expected to write a small story based on the picture. Here again the thrust is on portraying positive traits of personality .
For example : If in picture you are shown Graveyard and a boy , then  the character is  Christian named James…and has gone to offer to his dad’s death bed or so….
Write your own sensible non-fictional realistic stories.The last slide is a blank slide.
Rumour :It is often said that the psychologist reads the blank slide story first.

* Word Association Test (WAT)
Only about 15 seconds are allowed to formulate each sentence and there are 60 words to be  answered.
Remember they want to see what strikes your brain first , what is your first thought or view regarding the word that you see.
Please avoid writing the phrases or sayings in reply to the given words.
Example : Honesty : People wrote Honesty is best policy.
I wrote : Honesty is the foremost quality a officer must have.
Necessity : mother of invention…
The answers vary would vary from person to person. Its your personal opinion that you should stick to. Again saying please dont mug up the words which are given in few ididotic publication books.

* Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
Raction of the candidate in response to everyday lifelike situations is analyzed.
Some circumstances, which may occur in the day-to-day life of ordinary individuals, are put to the candidates and they have to give their immediate reaction from among the multiple choices given.
Answers are not rated in absolute terms of right or wrong;
They are in fact weighted in the degree of correctness.
Time for reaction is very short, approximately 30 seconds.
There are 60 questions and time allotted is 30 minutes.
[ I could attend max 48 out of 60]

* Self Description Test (SD)
We were given 3 blank pages , and we were supposed to write on following topics:
1. What do you think about yourself  ?
2.What friends think about you ?
3. What  teachers think about you  ?
4.What do you want to achieve in your life ? Your mission, your aim & Your goals.

Group Testing Officers (GTO) Test : Third and Fourth day @ SSB

Please note before you read this , remember dont bother or panic if they dont follow they same sequence. Few GTO officers may change the sequece of the tasks that all depends on Board to Board &  one SSB Centre to other SSB Centre.

* Group discussion
We were given topics like :
1.The best Home Minister Yashwant ? Chidambram..
2. AMERICA & Ties with Pakistan : Funding of money by America to Pakistan inspite of  Terrorism menance by pakistan.
3.PUB culture rising in Metro cities like Bangalore.

Please remember few points while you are appearing for  GD :
1. Speak and let others  have an opportunity to speak.
2. Try to  speak or initiate the topic, you would definitely have plus points for it.
3.Try to be patient,calm composed and less agressive .
4.Speak the main points . Dont beat the bush.
5.Dont worry if you speak less but make sure you speak the best!

* Group Planning Exercise (sometimes known as Military Planning Exercise)
A model of a real life practical situation  would be  shown to  group of candidates and then you would be  asked to arrive at a plan of action.
Initially you would be  asked to write down their own plan of action  and thereafter they are expected to go over the different views and arrive at a consensus or group action plan.  [Time factor again there.]

In this please make sure you dont give fictional suggestions like do calculate how much time takes to travel particular distance. Ex Few friends end up assuming they  will reach the particular destination in 10 minutes that means they would be  travelling at 300KM/hr.

Evaluation of the analytical ability of the candidates,interaction with other candidates, their ability to function in a group, appreciate the situation and plan accordingly.    It gives an opportunity for the group to select a leader or for a leader to emerge in the group. Then it remains to be seen whether the leader can come up with the necessary qualities to carry the group towards a solution to the problem.

Before you start any of the task , GTO officer would brief you up regarding where we need to cross some field without touching the ground and by not violating the rules which were told us before the task and it was a team work. [  Simpler terms out of bound area thats where you need not to touch & more..]

* Progressive Group Tasks
Here then entire group is given series of task which they have to clear out.Assessment of candidate participation in-group activities, planning and intelligent assessment of the situation put to the group. This test reviews individual qualities in the context of a group.

* Group Obstacles Race [ Snake Race]
We had series of 10 tasks , hurdles to be cleared along with Snake . There were few conditions but infact it was too awesome. You got to clear 10 feet height, walk on pole n more..

* Individual Obstacles
You would be given 10 obstacles  like series of obstacles and activities such as rope climbing, climbing walls, jumping, etc.   & this task was of 55 Marks.
Personally speaking,  i did tasks of marks 9,8,7,6 to score more leaving other tasks which were of less weightage.
According to me , attitude  , approach of the candidate towards a task matters rather than how many sets of task you repeat.

The obstacles are as follows :

1. Difficult jump. (Jump over a small slide from the opposite side.)

2. Long jump. (jump across a 6 ft.* 3ft. drum.)

3. Zig – Zag Balance (walk over a zig-zag balance and complete I and land properly.)

4. High Screen jump ( jump over a slide and over a screen placed on it and land properly.)

5. Burma bridge (walk across a structure of rope tied between two ends of post carefully. Climb form

any side and climb down from other side.)

6.Tarzan swing
( While taking the leap fold your body and legs and leave the rope at the instant where

you feel it would be accurate for you to jump and cross the line.)

7. Monkey Jump (Climb on a big staircase structure and jump on the land safely.)

8. Double Ditch 8ft.*3ft. and 4ft.*3ft..(cross the 1st ditch with the help of a rope and the second one

with ease ,just by proper leg work..)

9. Commando walk aka Tower of Victory (walk from any side up and down from another, maintain balance..)

Tip : Please make sure you walk  quicker on Tower of Victory as it starts shaking if you stay more on the podium.

10. Tiger leap (walk up a podium, leap and catch hold of a rope, count 1001,1002 and start coming down, don’t come rushing down , but do it step by step.).

The best way of doing this is to follow this sequence:        10, 9, 8, 4, 6, 7, 1, 2, 5, 3.

* Command Task [ Half Group Tasks ]
In this task each, individual will be treated as commander  and  you  need to order your subordinates so  appointed by you  in crossing the obstacle . Please make sure while you are commander, the subordinat doesnt give you tips on pretext of helping you . Infact that might be troublesome for you.

* Lecturette
You would be given 3 minutes to prepare & 3 minutes to speak.

Topics  for example given to us were :
3. Sachin Tendulkar
4. UID cards
5.Population Explosion India
6.Teenagers & Sex education in colleges
7. CO-education in schools.
8.Cybercafe…& more

Your level of confidence, your way of presentation , your clarity of thought all matters.

* Final Group Task
Again you would be given small group task to complete.


They are generally held  during  morning/afternoon/evening hours on 2nd/3rd/4th day. You would be informed well in advance. I had my nterview at  6:20 AM
to 7:45 approx.

Now you would be wondering what they ask in  interview  ?
All the details which you have filled up in PIQ form after  you are  Screened in.
They would be testing how honest you are to much more…!

Questions may relate to current happenings like BP petroleum to Common Wealth Games,  Views on politics, religion, and nationalism [ like India & its relation with neighbouring countries]  may be sought from the candidate.
Even  your attitude towards family, friends, sports, games, hobbies, etc. are analyzed on the basis of the answers.

If you are from Mech then boilers to Petrol/Diesel Engine effeciency , working of Plane to Submarines  was asked !!
Elec/ EC then Radars to Series Parallel Connection to Star-Delta Cobmbination
CS/IT guys Optic Cables to Networking Basics

A balanced view with an intelligent assessment of the pros and cons is the best one.
Please dont be too free with them, else they  will get  you  to a comfort too comfy level and you wont even get to know , knowingly unkowingly you did  bundle of mistake .You may reveal all those things which you had never dreamt of or had planned to conceal them.

Board Meeting: Fifth day,Judgement Day @ SSB

The candidates are required to appear maximum 30 seconds  before the complete Board of Examiners comprising of President, Dy President, all the psychologists, all the GTO’s and Technical Officer. After the Board Meeting is over, the final result is declared within ½ an hour thats roughly approx lunch break.

Selected candidates aka Recommended guys  are required to stay back for their medical examination (takes about 3 to 5 days) in the Military Hospital near by or at a different place and the remaining candidates are dropped at the Railway Station for their return journey.

Medico Tests,Once you are recommended by your SSB Board!

Medico test varies again from centre to centre.[I am writing about what we had ]

Day1 :  Form -fillup formalities & X-RAY.
Day2: Blood,URINE, Ultrasonic.
Day3:Medical tests.
Day4:  EYE test.
Day5:Independence Day so nothing : )
Day6: Surgical test

{ Day6 : There are many rumours about this Surgical test, nothing to worry :) You can easily clear the same. }

If you are at SSB Bangalore( Selection Centre South) for medico tests,then please note  EYE/Surgical are not possible on Webnesday & Friday .

You may get TR/PR depending on your health conditions.Mostly people get TR for knock Knees, EYE,Under/Over weight.. & PR for  abnormal body structure,serious eye problems [power>5-6] etc..

If you get TR then you ought to report within 42 days to  nearest centre for checkup ,so as to be eligible in the same merit list .

After clearing the Medical tests,  you will have to wait for merit list [ i am waiting for the same..:) ]  UES PFY  merit list .If you are successful to top in the Merit List, the candidate will be called to join  the training academy. For those who make it through this interesting challenge the future holds a lot of promise and national responsibility.

Conclusion :

Finally concluding with , I cleared all the test succesfully for which  I  was dying for!! .Please dont be disappointed to not have made to the final round, just because some big personalities like Rahul Dravid, Shah Rukh Khan, APJ Abdul Kalam all of whom were at one time SSB Rejected Candidates.


*     Candidates appearing for the first time for a particular type of entry are paid 2nd class return journey fare from the place of their residence to the place where they have come for the interview.
*        For repeaters they dont give TA ( travelling allowance).
*      Accomodation and messing are free for the entire duration of their stay while under going SSB Tests.
*      Air Force candidates who had applied for ‘Pilot Entry’ have to first appear in ‘Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT)’. Those who are rejected in P.A.B.T cannot re-appear in this test susequently.

Want to see SSB Bangalore( Selection Centre South) where’s located : Link

If you have queries please let me know ,would be glad to help you & guide you !

All the best for candidates applying for UES_PFY19 entry scheme for your SSB selection : )

Hope this post was useful to you guys to clear your SSB Exam !!!

I got the call from OTA Chennai for SSC 37 Tech  Entry on 1st October 2011 ! I did leave training in between bcoz of mty personal aspirations but yes would like you guys n gals to serve the nation! Need any help feel free to ping me at any point of time! 

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