Day 1 of the SSB Interview is one of the most important days in the SSB, as it determines whether or not you will stay for the further process.
Know about: 5 Day SSB Interview Process
Day 1 (Screening) consists of two parts -
The OIR test and Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PPDT). If a student prepares well for verbal & non-verbal tests he can easily clear the OIR test but the majority of the students fail in clearing PPDT.
So today we will be providing you with all the relevant information on what is PPDT and tips on how to clear it. It will help all the students who are going to appear SSB interview (fresher) for the first time as well as those who have been to the SSB interview earlier (repeater).
Tips on Picture Perception & Discussion Test
What is PPDT?
Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PPDT) is a screening test in the SSB. In this test, the candidates are shown a blurred picture for a period of 30 seconds. Based on that, candidates are allotted a time period of 4 minutes to write a story on the picture with details consisting of what had led to the situation, what is happening now and what will be the possible outcome.
The candidates are also requested to mark all the characters seen in the box present at the left side of the paper with encircling the position of the central character in the picture. The details of the character 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.
After writing the story, candidates are divided into groups of 10 - 18 based on their strength and are then told to narrate their story one by one. After the completion of stories of all the students,
A group discussion is conducted in which students discuss the story & try to come up with a common story. After this, one person is chosen among the group to narrate the common story.
Tips to Write a Good Story:
- As the photo is hazy, try to concentrate on two things - Background and the number of characters. The background would help you give an idea about the characters like if the background is rural, then you can identify the majority of characters as villagers or if the background is urban then you can identify the majority of characters living in urban areas.
- The character which you see first should be identified as the central character and the story should be weaved around it.
- When the number of characters is huge, then identify 2-3 prominent characters and choose a central character amongst them.
- Before starting with the story take some time to frame the action of the story. It is basically the theme of the story which is seen by you in the picture.
- Divide your story into 3 parts - The background explaining details of the central character, what led to the picture, what is the possible outcome. These 3 parts should have 4 lines each. Keeping these 3 parts will help you in framing a better story within the given time frame.
- After seeing the picture, take 30 seconds extra instead of starting immediately writing the story. Arrange your ideas, theme and after framing a sequence you can jot them down in story form.
- Make sure that, the story which you write should inculcate the picture shown. This means that the story should be relevant to the picture shown.
- The central character of your story should have a name and should portray traits that would be shown by you.
- The story should be realistic and possible for a normal person to perform that are mentioned by you in the story.
- Write the story in the past tense. It should be short, crisp and to the point.
Things to take care in PPDT:
- Don’t write any preconceived story that you read in various books. The assessors will easily come to know about these kinds of the story because they are not relevant from the picture shown and lack originality.
- Do not write impractical stories like a person who is practising for school tournaments suddenly wins the Olympics later.
- Many students have ideas that if they write positive stories then they will definitely get recommended, it is not true as the assessors test the candidate on the basis of the picture. If the picture is depicting negative trait then this means the assessors have put it on purpose.
- It is also highly recommended to adopt a logical order, as it would show Organising ability.
- Ensure that whatever you write should be neat, legible and without any cuts or mistakes. It shows the clarity of thoughts.
- Listen to the instructions which are given by the assessors as sometimes they check whether a student has gone to coaching and reproducing the same or not. It is highly recommended to pay attention and follow the instructions accordingly.
Tips for good narration
You have won half the battle if you have written a good PPDT story, the other half lies with executing a good narration and discussion. The time limit for narration is just 1 minute so you need to create a very good impression on the three assessors. Here are some tips for good narration:
- A good narration shows good power of expression, so it is necessary that you speak fluently without any stammering or stuttering.
- Listen to the instructions carefully and based on that, start your narration with mentioning the number of characters, their age, gender and mood. Also mention name of your central character and his traits.
- As you are given only 1 minute, you need to speak in such a manner that you 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 need to speak in English only, you can use Hindi if you get stuck but revert back to English as soon as possible.
- Good narration is well complemented by sturdy body language so keep your back straight and hands on your thighs.
- Be loud clear and have a smile on your face while narrating.
- Make Eye contact with the group while speaking
- Always start with a greeting such as “Good Morning” and end with a “Thank You” even if your time was over.
Things to take care in Narration:
- The thumb rule is to try and complete your narration within 60 seconds.
- After narration, listen to others story very carefully as it would help you in discussion phase.
- The narration of story is very important 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.
- Don't look at the assessors while narrating as you are meant to address the group.
Tips for Discussion:
The discussion phase starts after the last person stops speaking his story. The assessor sometimes tells you that the discussion would start automatically after the last candidate finishes his/her story, some thumb rules based on these tips are:
- If it is said that the discussion would start automatically, then speak as soon as the last person finishes.
- If you have not started or initiated the discussion then make sure you speak amongst the first 3 - 4 people.
- While discussing ensure that you make proper eye contact with all the group members.
- During discussion support each others ideas and points. You can also make additions to the points and ideas given by fellow candidates and improve upon their suggestions.
- If you do want to support anyone’s idea, then politely decline and give reasons as to why the idea won’t be good. For eg - In a rural background if there are people sitting on the floor in dhoti then there is a greater probability that there would be farmers rather than engineers.
- After listening to other stories, you can try and combine the ideas of all and form a common theme of the story. You can also choose a theme that is the majority of the students have spoken in their narration.
Things to Take Care in Discussion:
- Don’t get aggressive, even if you are a very good speaker you cannot be an officer in the armed forces if you lose your calm. There is a saying - “Never lose your cool”.
- Never participate in a fish market, as this would lead to unnecessary chaos & the assessors might wash out the batch. You can calm the group down once or twice, even if they do not listen then remain quiet, there are high chances that they select the one who remains quite.
- During discussion too, don't look at the assessors as you are discussing amongst the group.
- Take part in the group discussion actively by listening to others and contributing to the discussion. Also, remember to let others speak and give them a fair chance.
- Keep calm, control the tempo of the group and help others express their ideas.
If you observe clearly, then these tips are clearly in lines with the Officer Like Qualities that are required in the SSB Interview.
You can read about Officer Like Qualities here:
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