PPDT – Picture Perception and Discussion Test for SSB Interview

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT) is considered the most crucial task in the SSB Interview. Candidates must develop a story about the image displayed for the PPDT, narrate it, and then discuss it with their group to create a shared narrative. If you know the tips, it will be straightforward for an aspirant to write a good story in PPDT for the SSB interview.

This article will share practical tips on clearing the Picture Perception and Discussion Test. Also, learn how to write stories and tips for narration in PPDT.

Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT)

If a student prepares well for verbal & non-verbal tests, he can quickly clear the OIR test, but most students fail in clearing PPDT. So today, we will provide you with all the relevant information on PPDT and tips on how to clear it. It will help all the students who are going to appear Picture Perception & Discussion Test (fresher) for the first time as well as those who have been to the test earlier (repeater).

In 5 Day SSB Interview Process, day 1 of the interview is one of the most critical days in the SSB, as it determines whether or not you will stay for the further process. Day 1 (Screening) of the SSB Interview consists of two parts:

  • OIR Test
  • Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PPDT)

What is the PPDT in SSB Interview?

Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT) is a screening test in the SSB. In this test, the candidates are shown a blurred picture for 30 seconds. Based on that, candidates are allotted 4 minutes to write a story on the image with details about what led to the situation, what is happening now, and the possible outcome.

The candidates are also requested to mark all the characters seen in the box on the left side of the paper encircling the position of the central character in the picture. The details of the nature, such as Age, Sex (Male, Female, or Person), and Mood (positive, negative & neutral), should also be mentioned. The candidates will also be allotted 1 min extra to write action before starting the story in PPDT.

After writing the story for PPDT, candidates are divided into groups of 10 – 18 based on their strengths and are told to narrate their story individually. After completing the stories of all the students, a group discussion is conducted in which students discuss the story & try to come up with a familiar story of PPDT. After this, one person is chosen among the group to narrate the usual story.

Tips to Write a Good Story in PPDT

Defence aspirants can follow the Picture Perception and Discussion Test tips for SSB interview entries. Below are the tips for writing a good story in PPDT:

  • As the photo is hazy, try to concentrate on two things – The background and the number of characters. The background would help you give an idea about the characters. If the background is rural, you can identify the majority of characters as villagers, or if the background is urban, you can locate the majority of characters living in urban areas.
  • The character you see first should be identified as the central character, and the story should be woven around it.
  • When the number of characters is vast, identify 2-3 prominent characters and choose a central one amongst them.
  • Before starting with the story in PPDT, take some time to frame the story’s action. It is the theme of the story which you see in the picture.
  • Divide your story into 3 parts – The background explains details of the central character, what led to the picture, and the possible outcome. These 3 parts should have 4 lines each. Keeping these 3 parts will help you frame a better story within the given time frame.
  • After seeing the picture in PPDT, take 30 seconds extra instead of starting immediately write the story. Arrange your ideas and theme; after framing a sequence, you can jot them down in story form.
  • Make sure that the story you write should incorporate the picture shown. This means that the report should be relevant to the image shown.
  • The central character of your story should have a name and portray traits you would show.
  • The story in PPDT should be realistic and possible for an average person to perform what is mentioned by you in the story.
  • Write the story in the past tense and it should be short, crisp, and to the point.

Things to Follow in PPDT in SSB Interview

Below are some of the things to be followed while writing the Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT):

  • Don’t write any preconceived story that you read in various books. The assessors will quickly learn about these kinds of the story because they are not relevant to the picture shown and lack originality.
  • Do not write impractical stories in PPDT like a person practising for school tournaments suddenly wins the Olympics later.
  • Many students have ideas that they will be recommended if they write good stories. It is false as the assessors test the candidate based on the picture. If the image depicts a negative trait, the assessors have put it on purpose.
  • It is also highly recommended to adopt a logical order, as it would show Organizing ability.
  • Ensure that whatever you write in PPDT should be neat, legible, and without any cuts or mistakes. It shows the clarity of thoughts.
  • Listen to the instructions the assessors give as sometimes they check whether a student has gone to coaching and reproducing the same or not. In the Picture Perception test, it is highly recommended to pay attention and follow the instructions accordingly.

Narration Tips for Picture Perception & Discussion Test

You have won half the battle if you have written a good Picture Perception and Discussion Test story. The other half lies in executing a good narration and discussion in PPDT. The time limit for narration is just 1 minute, so you need to create an excellent impression of the three assessors. Here are some tips for good PPDT narration:

  • A good narration shows good power of expression, so you must speak fluently without stammering or stuttering.
  • Listen to the instructions carefully; based on that, start your narration by mentioning the number of characters, their age, gender, and mood. Also, note the name of your central character and his traits.
  • As you are given only 1 minute, you need to speak to at least cover the gist of your story.
  • The time limit of 1 minute does not necessarily mean 1 minute. It may exceed the time limit if they find your story interesting. So this is a positive sign.
  • Practice your speech every day before a mirror. This would improve your fluency.
  • The power of expression does not necessarily mean that you only need to speak in English. In PPDT, you can use Hindi if you get stuck but revert to English as soon as possible.
  • Good narration is complemented by sturdy body language, so keep your back straight and your hands on your thighs.
  • Be loud and clear, and have a smile on your face while narrating.
  • Make Eye contact with the group while speaking
  • In PPDT, always start with a greeting such as “Good Morning” and end with a “Thank You” even if your time is over.

Important Points on PPDT Narration

Below are some of the things to be followed while writing a narrating story in the Picture Perception and Discussion Test in the SSB Interview:

  • In PPDT, the thumb rule is to try and complete your narration within 60 seconds.
  • After the narration in the Picture Perception test, listen to others’ stories carefully, as it would help you in the discussion phase.
  • The narration of the story is significant but not the sole thing to help you get selected, so even if you have fumbled once or twice, you can still make it to the next stage, but it depends on the theme of your story & your performance in the discussion phase.
  • In the PPDT test, don’t look at the assessors while narrating as you are meant to address the group.

Group Discussion Tips for Picture Perception and Discussion Test

The Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT) discussion phase starts after the last person stops speaking his story. The assessor sometimes tells you that the discussion would start automatically after the previous candidate finishes their story. Some thumb rules based on these PPDT tips are:

  • If it is said that the discussion would start automatically, then speak as soon as the last person finishes.
  • In PPDT, if you have not started or initiated the discussion, then make sure you speak amongst the first 3 to 4 people.
  • While discussing, ensure that you make eye contact with all the group members.
  • During the discussion, support each other’s ideas and points. In PPDT, you can also add to the facts and opinions given by fellow candidates and improve upon their suggestions.
  • If you want to support anyone’s idea, then politely decline and give reasons why the idea won’t be good. For example, in a rural background, if people are sitting on the floor in dhoti, there is a greater probability that there will be farmers rather than engineers.
  • After listening to other stories in PPDT, you can try and combine the ideas of all and form a common theme of the story. You can also choose a theme most students have spoken about in their narration.

PPDT Sample Pictures for SSB Interview

The following are some sample pictures for Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT):

Serial Number PPDT Sample Picture 
1 Click Here
2 Click Here
3 Click Here
4 Click Here
5 Click Here

Also, check:


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