SSB PROCEDURE (ARMY, AIR FORCE, NAVY, COAST GUARDS, TERRITORIAL ARMY)
Reporting on the center is usually one day before first day of testing. Time of reporting varies from center to center. Sometimes the candidates need to report on the same day of testing i.e. DAY 1 or Stage I.
On the day of reporting, the candidates are required to verify their educational documents from assigned staff. Candidates are then allotted the SSB board and the chest numbers or a vest on which a number is printed on it. This vest or chest no. becomes the identity of a candidate, as it is easier to identify a person by a number than his/her name. The chest number is also used while interacting with fellow candidates during testing. The results are also announced by calling the chest numbers of recommended candidates. Candidates have to return their chest numbers whenever they leave the campus of a selection center. Sometimes the President of the board or the GTO officer gives a briefing to the candidates after successful verification of documents and allocation of chest numbers.
SSB is a two-stage process. To qualify for Stage II, a candidate needs to clear Screening Test or Stage I. On the date of reporting, the candidates are picked from the railway station and during the evening, certain Forms and Travelling allowance forms are filled. Candidates are also briefed on testing schedule and general instructions, which must be followed throughout the duration of stay in selection center.
DAY 1 - SCREENING TEST
On the next day, is the Stage I, in which candidates are given Intelligence Test (Verbal and Non-Verbal), then there is a Picture Perception test, in which a slide (hazy or clear) is shown for 30 seconds, the candidate has to observe it very carefully and in the next one minute he/she has to mark number of characters seen in the picture in a box made in the sheet provided to them and the main theme of their story. First the mood of character whether in positive, negative or neutral, then approximate age and sex. Candidates also need to identify one character which they saw first, which is often termed as Central character or main character of story they are going to write, this character's details should be encircled so that assessor can identify which character has been observed by the candidate as a main character.
In a 4 minute time candidates need to write story, it is expected that a candidate should write a story in 70 words or more. Candidates are advised to write the story on the picture shown to them but some candidates describe the picture which gives them a disadvantage over others. Once the written part is over then comes the second part which is the continuation of first part i.e. written part, the candidates are given their sheets back to revise there stories and were told to sit in semicircular fashion for a Group Discussion. Each candidate will narrate his/her story in one minute to the group without referring to the sheet. Often the candidates take more than one minute to narrate their story, in that case the assessors give chance to the next candidate.
As individual narration of stories ends with the last candidate, it is expected that the group should start the discussion and come to a common story, as it is obvious that all candidates can perceive the same picture with different theme or background and a different story from one another. This sequence is popularly called PPDT- Picture Perception and Discussion Test. After the completion of these tests, results are announced and those who do not make it in this attempt are dropped back to the railway station and the successful ones are retained for 4 days of detailed assessment. A certain number of candidates are short listed based on their performance in screening round, rest are sent back. The screened candidates are required to fill the Bio Data forms known as “Personal Information Questionnaire” (PIQ). PIQ is very important- there must be no cutting and consistency in each of the four or five copies of PIQ you are to fill. PIQ is also the basis for the individual candidate interview, which is scrutinized by the Interviewing officer before the interview of the candidate.
DAY 2 – PYSCHOLOGY TESTS
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)- Commonly known as Picture Story writing. TAT is very similar to PPDT, but here the candidates are shown clear pictures, in which the candidate has to observe it for 30 seconds then needs to write a story on it in four minutes. There are total 12 slides are shown, 11 slides will be shown one by one i.e. after 4 minutes and 30 seconds the next slide will appear. There will be only one answer booklet for all the psychological tests, and will be provided only once, no supplementary sheets are provided. The twelfth slide will be a blank slide where a candidate is supposed to write any story of his own choice. But here candidates will not be marking the number of characters and related information, also there will be no group discussion on it. Word Association Test (WAT) WAT is the second psychological test of SSB selection process, in this test the candidates are shown a word on a screen for a period of 15 seconds, in this time duration the candidate has to write the first thought that comes in his/her mind for that word. Total 60 words will be shown one after another( i.e. between each word the gap will be of 15 seconds).
The answer sheets will be provided to candidates only once, candidates are required to make no mistakes such as unnecessary cutting or scribbling. There will be no blank slide, as in the case of TAT, so candidates should not write any response on a blank slide. The words shown will be very simple and of day to day use, this test will not assess the candidates' proficiency in English language. If a candidate is not aware of meaning of a certain words he can skip that word and wait for next word to flash, and write the response for the next word. The main idea is to maintain the sequence of responses given to the word, the maintenance of sequence is important, as assessor can derive the result systematically for the respective response. Situation Reaction Test (SRT) Self Description Test (SD), or a variation of this like description from the point of view of parents, teachers, colleagues, neighbours, etc. Total 15 minutes are given to write their responses.
DAY 3 & 4 – PYSCHOLOGY TESTS
Group Testing Officers (GTO) Test (Third and Fourth day) The following tests are conducted in this category :- Group discussion Group Planning Exercise (sometimes known as Military Planning Exercise) Progressive Group Tasks Half Group Tasks Individual Obstacles Group Obstacles Race or Snake Race Command Task Lecturette Final Group Task
Note : Interview :- (Held during afternoon/evening hours on 2nd / 3rd / 4th day)
DAY 5 – CONFERENCE
The candidates are required to appear before the complete Board of Examiners composed of President, Deputy President, all the psychologists, all the GTOs, and Technical Officer. After the Board Meeting of every candidate is over, the final result is declared within ½ an hour. Selected candidates are required to stay back for their medical examination (takes about 3 to 5 working days) in the Military Hospital nearby or at a different place and the remaining candidates are dropped at the Railway Station. For all the tasks one has to face at the SSB, confidence of speech and expression is one thing that is heavily noted. Making your weaknesses as your strong points is an art which can be done only through positive attitude. Truth is something regarded at every point of life and SSB is all about how one views life, a realistic wonderland or a pessimistic terror land. Be true and confident, it is a fool proof system of testing checked through experiments over a long period of time.