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Decoding SSB Screening- Daywise Schedule

It is commonly seen that the biggest hindrance a candidate faces in the path of clearing the Services Selection Board or SSB examination is the lack of knowledge about the procedures that a candidate has to go through. Many candidates, especially those who try to clear the exam without any form of help like coaching, training etc, study and prepare a lot for the examination but when it comes to actually going through the process of clearing SSB, they falter owing to their lack of training and clear understanding of the procedure. We are here to break down the process by each day so that you can mentally and physically prepare yourself accordingly.

SSB examination follows a strict five day selection procedure, which consists of extensive physical, psychological and intelligence tests. Here is a day wise breakup of the SSB procedure

Reporting Day

On this day every candidate is supposed to report at the place, as specified in their respective call letters, to begin their process of screening. Usually candidates are asked to report at the Moment Control Office, where they are allotted their testing schedules.

It is important that you reach the venue on time. It is important to dress smartly, in clean and neat clothes. Extremely flashy or impractical clothes, unusual haircuts or hair colouring is greatly frowned upon, so avoid these. Make sure you have all your documents ready to be produced. Double check everything for typos and other errors.

Depending on the entry you have applied for, your reporting day might be the very same day on which the process of screening starts. You have to check your call letter for the details.

Day One

During the first day of SSB interview a number of psychological tests are performed to ensure that every candidate is psychologically sound and emotionally stable. This is very important as the job require extreme sharpness and mental stability, hence it is absolutely crucial to do very well in these. Following are the tests which are conducted during the first day of five day SSB interview.

Filling up of PIQ forms: After you report to the SSB Board, you will be asked to fill up a Personal Information Questionnaire or PIQ form. Based on the entry, this can also be done a day before the tests start, if the reporting day is not the same as the first day of the examination.

Intelligence Test: You will have to undergo some basic verbal and non-verbal tests to determine your basic intelligence. These are not very difficult but it is always good to have some basic knowledge of the pattern and type.

Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT): In this round you will be shown a picture for 30 seconds and then you will have 3 minutes to write a story based on the picture you have seen. You will be divided into sub groups and each candidate will narrate his/her story which is followed by the group discussion on the picture, among the group members.

Day Two

These tests screen you on the basis of your basic intelligence, smartness and personality. You have to be very quick to be able to complete this test. It is designed in such a way that you would not have the time to think and manipulate your answer but will have to write the first thing that comes to your mind. You are psychologically evaluated and screened based on your answers in this stage of the examination.
Word Association Test (WAT): You will be shown 60 words back to back. Every word will remains on the screen for only 15 seconds in which you are required to write a sentence that comes  in your mind immediately after reading that word.
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): You will be shown 11 pictures. Every picture will disappear after 30 seconds and you will get 4 minutes time to write the story based on that picture. After 4 mins another picture will come for 30 seconds and same process will be repeated till last blank slide
Situation Reaction Test (SRT): You will be given 60 different situations and you are required to write your responses based on those. The total time allotted for this exercise will be 30 minutes.
Self Description Test: This is very important as your answers to this test gives an insight into you.

Day Three

The main aim of the third day is to see how you perform as an individual as well as a member of a group. This is very important as this is where you are tested on your ability to function in a group as well as your leadership skills and how well you perform in the field. It is important to be able to coordinate with the other members of the group for a united effort and yet you have to shine as an individual performer as well. This is where you will be handpicked from a group so, you have to give your best.

Group Discussion test
Military Planning Exercise (MPE)
Progressive Group Task (PGT)
Intergroup Obstacle race or Snake race
Half Group Task
Command Task
Personal interview for some of the candidates by president
In the command task, you get to be in charge of the task. You get to pick your own team to help you cross the obstacles. This is a test of your leadership and planning qualities. So it is important that you are well rested and mentally alert for every test.

Day Four

This day is reserved to examine your personal strength, stamina and determination. You have to undergo extensive physical tests and have to display unparalleled strength to get through this round.

Final Group Task (FGT)
Individual Obstacles
Interview for remaining candidates
You need strength and tactics to ace these tests. You also must display an ability to lead as well as be led.

Day Five

On fifth day, only final board conference is conducted and the results are announced by SSB board officials. Thus the following events and tests will be there on fifth day of SSB interview.

Announcement of recommended candidates
This is the day you have been preparing for. On the final day, you will finally get to know the result of all the toil which will determine your future in the armed forces.
SSB is a physically and mentally demanding screening process. But with the right kind of preparation and adequate training you can get through every single challenge to etch yourself a career in the defences.

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