I got recommended in 2nd Attempt – SSB Experience from Rejection board
Hello friends, I have decided to share my experience at SSB Allahabad.
The Services Selection Board, Allahabad has popularly been called as the Rejection board due to the low selection rate it has. Is this a myth? Stay tuned to know the truth.
I always wanted to join the Indian Armed Forces right from the very childhood of my life and fortunately, I got another chance(at the first go I had been screened out at SSB Bangalore) to prove myself at SSB Allahabad.I gave my NDA written Exam on April 17,2011 and got my results on July 26,2011.I had qualified the written exam but the twist came when I got my SSB call letter.I had been called at Allahabad for my interview.I had always heard that the selection there was hell of a tough thing.So,I packed my bags and with great hopes in my heart left for Allahabad.The reporting date was September 14,2011.
D-Day (Reporting and briefing)
I reached the Allahabad station at around 8 a.m. in the morning.I had to report at the MCO but instead decided to pay a visit at one of my relatives’ place.I went to the board at 12 p.m. and was surprised to see only around 200 students since, a total of 450 had their reporting dates on that day.We were then divided into 2 groups 11 SSB and 19 SSB.I got 11 SSB, we were then asked to keep our luggage at the hall and then go for the day’s briefing at the testing hall at 3:30 in the afternoon.After being given our chest nos.(I got chest no. 84 ) and checking of call letters and other documents we were given a solid briefing by Lt. Col. Lobo on how would the testing go for the nest 5 days.The briefing got over at 8 in the evening.We then left for our barracks.Tired to shit I slept as soon as I laid down on the bed.
D-Day +1 (Screening test)
The next day I woke up pretty early at around 4 in the morning got ready for the day’s test.I wore a light blue shirt and a black pant with a dark blue tie.(The last time around at SSB Bangalore I wore a black shirt and brown pant and was looking like a clown.So, I did not wanted to do the same this time).Dressed neatly I reported at the testing hall and our testing began at 7:30 that morning.
The first test was the intelligence test or the OIR(Officer’s Intelligence Rating).It went pretty good and I solved both the papers completely and well before time.The questions were simple and I did not face any problems solving them.
The next test was PPDT(Picture Perception and Discussion test).We were shown a barely visible picture.In the picture I saw a young man holding a goat and in the background was a small village and far off in obscurity was a factory was emitting fire.So, I made a story that the boy was a newly recruited engineer who undertakes the sustainable development of the area and sets up various factories in the area.Everybody perceived the picture in a different manner and wrote surprising stories, a boy wrote about a sinking ship, some wrote that the boy(in picture) was an old man etc.Then was the time to narrate the story and start the group discussion. It seemed as if my heart would explode before starting my narration(remembering my last time’s failure).But I gave a nice little narration and spoke 4 to five times in the G.D. I tried to keep myself away from the heated arguments others were having and concentrated on giving valid points only.I tried to listen to everybody’s narration and G.D. or rather pretended to do so by nodding my head.
Then was the time for the results.I was quite sure that I would be screened in this time and would not suffer the humiliation I had the last time around.The results came I got screened in 7 of the 13 of our group were in, 30 stayed and the rest 63 were shown their way back to home .With a joyous mood I returned to my barracks.The same day we got our new chest nos.(I got chest no 29) and filled our PIQ’s (Personal Information Questionnaire). Some of us had their interviews the same day while others went to their quarters for a sound sleep.
D-DAY +2(Psychology Test)
Again I woke up early and became bright eyed and bushy tails by 6 in the morning.Had a good breakfast and reported at the Testing arena.The psychologist was a lady and gave a description of the series of tests to be conducted for about 15 min.
The first test was TAT(Thematic Appreciation Test) where back to back 11+1 pictures are show and 30 sec for seeing and 4 mins for writing a story is given to you.The test went good and I wrote all positive stories there. The last page was a blank and a story of our imagination was to be written.I gave the test pretty well and was ready for the next test.
The next test was WAT(Word Association Test) wherein a word is shown and 15 sec is given to see the word frame a meaningful sentence and the write the same.The test began and went well for me I was able to write 58 out of the 60 total words shown the two words which I did not write was DAMES(I did not know the meaning) and DARLING(which i did not intended to write).
Further more the next test to be conducted was SRT(Situation Reaction Test) where 60 situations are given and we have to write a solution to those situations as if we were present at that point.Half an hour of time is given to solve the SRTs.I completed the SRT well within time, writing brief and logical answers.
SD or the Self Description was the next on the list.The psychologist said we wont be judged by the test and we must write the truth.I became a bit complacent hearing this.We were required to write what our Parents,Teachers and Friends felt about us and what we felt about ourselves and what qualities would we like to inculcate in us.As I became a bit complacent hearing that this wasn’t a test I was only able to write 4 out of 5 given points in 15 mins of allotted time.
The tests concluded for the day..We returned to our quarters and had fun playing Table Tennis and Basketball.We talked about ourselves and returned to bed Early I made many friends that day.
D-DAY +3(GTO Tests 1)
The next test was the GTO’s(Group Testing Officer) exercises.We were to dress ourselves in complete white and report as early as 6:15 in the morning.We were ready by then. However, I came 10 mins late on the ground but was lucky enough not to find the GTO on the ground yet. The GTO came after 10 more mins and to my surprise it was the same man Lt. Col. Lobo .He was quite a Gentleman and had a stunning personality his conversational skills were superb.He was a funny man and often talked about the pretty faces(girls) we would find at Civil Lines in Allahabad.
The first test to be conducted was the Group Discussion.The topic we were given to choose was either Circket in India or Factors in Development of sports in India.We decided to go by the latter.The discussion started and to my surprise it soon turned into a heated argument then to a debate and finally into a verbal fight.I had pre planned not to indulge myself in any kind of indiscipline act and spoil my chances so, I decided to be quiet for some time.But I gave solid points and presented myself clearly which mostly left others dumbfounded .I did not initiate the discussion but never let myself be out of the lot.So I followed the middle path to remain quiet and say whenever required.The discussion was over.The next topic to be given was “What shapes the destiny or personality of a Student -Parents,Teachers or Friends”. This was a compulsory topic and no option was given.I decided to speak that friends influence the personality of a student.Even this time I did not start the discussion but spoke valid points at vital moments making a note that I do not lag behind the group.The fight between group members intensified and most of the members were shouting at the top of their voices but I made a point to remain calm and polite all the time.The discussion was over in 20 mins.I did well to not to indulge myself into the argument session.
Now was the turn of GPE(Group Planning Exercise) wherein a situation arises where 4 to 5 problem are faced by me and my group of 9 more and we have to solve the problems logically and simultaneously with the resources that we have.We were give a time of 10 min to write the solution in a piece of paper.I screwed the paper to shit.My plan was partially wrong and I was not able to complete the paper during the specified time.The group discussion on the topic started and as usual the fight too began.The situation was such that a boy became red faced and tears started dropping from his eyes.We finally nominated a boy from our group who presented the group plan. I wasn’t quite satisfied with my performance.
The next on cards was the GOR(Group Obstacle Race) or Snake Race. Here we had to carry a snake,don’t get excited it isn’t a snake actually but a long sac like structure.The group has to hold it altogether and run with it and cross certain obstacles.The GTO checks your ability to work in a group.You need to choose a battle cry. We chose “Jai Hind”. Crossed all obstacle but unfortunately came last.I volunteered to demonstrate one obstacle and nearly fell while crossing one of them.The race was overall good.
Then was the time for PGT(Progressive Group task) which is termed as the most important of all the GTO tasks.Here 4 sets of task is given to the group and with the help of a 2 planks and a rope we have to carry all group members and a load from the start line to the finish line.I came out with very good ideas at times and led my group from front.But our group got stuck at some point and GTO sir had to intervene in between.The group members were such that they did not even listen to the GTO. He got pissed and stopped talking to us but after our apologies he became normal.This was annoying and frustrating for me but I kept my head cool at all times.We could do 3 obstacles in our stipulated 30 mins time.
Then was the Lecturette. Here a chit is given to you with 4 topics written and you need to choose one of the topics prepare for 3 min and then speak on the chosen topic for another 3 min.I messed this test like hell. When the person before me started speaking I had to take the paper and leave for preparing. However,I did not do so for 1 min and when I realized that I have to go for preparation my one and a half minute was over.I hurried and took the chit, decide to speak on “UNO-The sentinel of peace” and then gave a nice little lecturette.
The Schedule was hectic but it did not still end for me.The major part was still leftINTERVIEW.As soon as I completed my GTO tasks and was going to the barracks I was called for the Interview.The messenger said there was no time for changing clothes and I have my interview in 5 min from now.My clothes were dirty like shit and I was smelling like crap and then giving Interview like this was a bit too much for me.I cleaned my face and entered the Interview room.The interviewer was an old man in his mid 50′s and had his hairs coloured.The first question he asked me was “Are you coming directly from GTO?”.I answered “Yes,Sir”.Then he started asking me rapid fire questions.5 to 10 questions in a row three such questions were asked on my family,friends and one was of education.In all the three I was not able to answer all the questions asked and asked the IO(Interviewing Officer) to kindly repeat the question.After the rapid fire he started asking me about my Sports, interest,general knowledge,hobbies and cultural activities.Whenever I tried to answer any question in a detailed manner he used to say “Ok.Ok.” and then switched to the next question.I did not understand why he did so and thus it mad me believe that the Interview was no more better than shit and I had screwed all my chances.The interview lasted for 35 min or so.
The day was very tiring for me and I immediately slept after returning to my barracks.
D DAY +4(GTO Tests 2)
The day started good.We had our breakfasts and reported to the GTO ground.
The day’s first task was the IOR(Individual Obstacle Race).Here one needs to run through a set of obstacle which have numbers assigned to them.With each obstacle one successfully crosses one gets those number of points.The time allotted for this was 3 mins.The obstacle race started I surprisingly did 13 obstacles i.e. completed the 10 and then restarted and did 3 more,second best in my group.So, this task went great for me.
The next test which was waiting for us was the Command Task.Here one needs to tackle a obstacle with the help of a rope, a plank(fatta) and a wooden log(balli) also one needs to choose 2 subordinates to help the commander out in finishing the task.Before my chance came 2 of my group members called me as subordinates.When my turn came the GTO had a brief talk with me on my education and hobbies.Then he showed me my task.After seeing the task I was scared to shit, the whole area was blue and red in color and I was absolutely getting no idea as to what I could do.Till then my subordinates arrived I gave them a short briefing and started the task.Somehow,I cleared the first set of obstacle to reach in between the finish and the start line, but from there onwards I was absolutely getting no idea as to what to do.Seeing me stuck the GTO gave me a slight hint and I at once applied the hint and crossed the finish line with my subordinates and load.The task did not go as expected for me.
The next task was the HGT(Half Group Task). Here the group was divided into 2 sub parts and each group works separately to cross one obstacle with the help of 2 planks and a rope.I did this well enough and whoever put the plank from starting line to the obstacle, I was the first to put my leg on the plank and then move ahead.The group then followed me.I gave my ideas from wherever I was and the group did as directed.We hence, completed the obstacle in the given time.
The last of the task was the FGT(Final Group task).Same as the HGT but here the whole group was to work on a complex obstacle.The task started and I gave a simple idea to solve the obstacle the group did the same and this was pretty easy to complete.We completed the FGT in 5 minutes of time and after a brief note from our GTO and a bit of a casual talking with us we were dismissed.
The last task of the SSB was over and we returned to our dormitories.
We regardless of tomorrow’s result started playing and gossiping with each other, just to ease off the pressure which everyone had on their head.I had been satisfied with my overall performance and waited patiently for a positive result.
D DAY+5(Conference and Results)
The day of results had come.I woke up late this day as we had to report after 7, had a normal meal and got dressed in formals and was ready for my conference.
I did not have to wait long.The conference started within an hour and I was the second to go in.I went in confidently and wished the President of our board, he then asked me to sit down.I sat down with a smiling face.It was first of a kind experience to see so many officers all together dressed in complete uniform.My interviewer asked me How I was and then asked me that which was the most memorable moment of my stay here at SSB.Two more normal questions about stay and suggestion and I was off for the day.
My conference lasted for near around 2 min and I was then asked to leave .All that time I remained cheerful and everyone was smiling at me.
The time then came for the results.After the conference was over a Col. came and announced the results after a small briefing and a closing address. He said like this “So those who have been recommended are chest no: 5,6,9,12,14,15,16,19,24,28,29(me)and 30″.
The myth about SSB Allahabad was finally broken.
I was recommended for Air Force with me 11 others were also recommended, the Officer said that this was one of the best batches they had seen and many had missed the recommendation by a whisker.I was delighted but felt sorry for those who had not been recommended.After a series of handshakes and hugs with all my mates and giving them all the condolence and encouragement I could, we left each other.
I then cleared the PABT(Pilot Aptitude Battery Test) at Varanasi.My medicals are scheduled 4 days from now.
My aim of writing this blog was to give a general idea as to how the SSB’s are conducted and also to share my experience with others.I had been screened out the first time at Bangalore, but determined I made it through the second time.
“Success is Sweeter to those who have tasted defeat”
Guest Author: Swet Sagar!