SSB Interview Process for CDS, NDA, TA, AFCAT, and Other
The Aspirants that straightforward written exams such as CDS, NDA, TA, INET, and AFCAT are then called by respective military boards for SSB interviews. One can also appear for the SSB interview by getting shortlisted direct entries - TES, TGC, UES, SSC Tech, etc. The selected students must appear before a Service Selection Board for an intelligence and personality test.
What is SSB Interview?
The SSB interview is directed to check an Aspirant possessing 15-character traits called “Officer Like Qualities.” The mechanism to check the character traits by the following procedure:
- Mansa (which means thoughts; Psychological tests are conducted for this)
- Vacha (which means speech; Interview conducted for this)
- Karma (which means deeds or actions; Group testing is done for this)
SSB Interview Procedure
Below is the 5 day SSB procedure for all SSB interviews. This SSB interview process may vary per the requirement of the SSB Board and the type of entry you appear for. Check SSB Selection Process for CDS, AFCAT, and other entries below.
Day 0 (Reporting)
- The Aspirants are usually received at the station by an officer(s) of the board, and from there, they are taken to the selection centre.
- After the Aspirants are settled in, an ‘Opening Address’ takes place where an officer of the board briefs them of their stay for the next 5 days.
- Document Verification takes place after that, where the original documents of the Aspirants are verified.
- In some boards (esp. Air Force), the Reporting day is regarded as Day 1 of SSB, and the testing starts on the same day
Day 1 (Screening)
The first day involves 3 tests:
- Officer Intelligence Rating Test (OIR Test - Paper 1 & Paper 2)
- Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PP&DT)
Officer Intelligence Rating Test (OIR Test): The first day involves the ‘Officer Intelligence Rating Test,’ which consists of Verbal and Non-verbal Tests. The Aspirant gets two booklets having 40 questions each. The time allotted for each pamphlet is 15- 17 minutes.
For more details, click here - Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR)
Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PP&DT): This test can be further categorized into:
- Picture Perception: An image is displayed for 30 seconds, and the Aspirants need to note down its details such as sex, age, and mood of the characters, action performed by them. The Aspirants then create a story based on that image in 4 minutes.
- Group Discussion: A group of 10-15 Aspirants is formed from the batch, and each Aspirant needs to narrate their story and then discuss it in the group to reach a common consensus.
For more details, click here - Picture Perception & Discussion Test (PPDT)
The results are declared, after which the shortlisted Aspirants are retained for the subsequent round of testing.
Day 2 (Psychology Test)
On the second day of SSB, a Psychological Test is conducted. The following tests take place on this day:
- Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): Aspirants are shown 12 images (including 1 blank), and they must write a story for 4 minutes. The time limit is imposed to gauge the natural response of each Aspirant.
For more details, click here - Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
- Word Association Test (WAT): 60 words are displayed in front of the Aspirants for 15 seconds each, and they need to write down a sentence that comes to their mind on seeing the word.
For more details, click here - Word Association Test (WAT)
- Situation Reaction Test (SRT): A booklet is given to the Aspirants with 60 real-life situations; they must write their reactions to those situations. The total duration of this exercise is 30 minutes.
For more details, click here - Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
- Self-Description Test (SDT): Aspirants must write a few paragraphs covering their self-description for the context. For instance, writing the opinion of their parents, teachers, friends, etc., and the qualities the Aspirants wish to develop. The time allotted for this test is 15 minutes.
These tests aim to gauge an Aspirant's psychological suitability for the defence forces.
Day 3 (Group Testing - I)
Day 3 involves Group Testing. Here several outdoor tests are conducted where the Aspirants need to participate in groups. This day involves the following group tests:
- Group Discussion: The group discussion is conducted on two topics, back to back, on some current events or social issues. The debate is usually 20-30 minutes each.
- Group Planning Exercise (GPE): Here, the Aspirants are clubbed into a group of 10 – 15 people and given a story based on a model with specific issues. Aspirants need to identify the issues and provide a practical solution for them.
- Progressive Group Task (PGT): Aspirants must collectively overcome the 4 given obstacles in a group for which they are given some helping material and a load with some rules.
- Group Obstacle Race (GOR): Commonly referred to as the Snake race, each group must compete against another group for 6 given obstacles.
- Half Group Task (HGT): This exercise is like PGT, but it is conducted with a smaller group over a single obstacle.
Day 4 (Group Testing - II)
This day is again dedicated to Group Testing. Following tests are conducted on this day:
- Lecturette: Each Aspirant is presented with 4 topics, of which he needs to choose one and speak on it for 3 minutes.
Click Here for Lecturette topics for SSB Interview.
- Individual Obstacles (IO): Each Aspirant needs to clear 10 given obstacles in 3 minutes, marked from 1-10 based on the difficulty level.
- Command Task (CT): Each Aspirant is made the commander and is given an obstacle similar to HGT, which they need to overcome with the help of their subordinates.
- Final Group Task (FGT): The entire group is reunited and required to complete the assigned task similar to PGT in the stipulated time.
- Personal Interview: Personal Interviews are generally conducted on days 2, 3, and 4 after the respective daily tasks have been completed. Interviews are usually related to everyday experiences, work, education, family, hobbies, academic achievements, general awareness, etc.
Click here for the Preparation Strategy to Clear the SSB Interview.
Click Here for more details on the SSB Personal Interview
Day 5 (Conference)
Day 5 is the last day the assessor starts with a closing address, then the conference of Aspirants starts.
- A board conference is conducted where all the officers who assessed the Aspirants in the previous days are present. Each assessor discusses among themselves respect to the suitability of an Aspirant.
- Each Aspirant then appears individually before the board, where their total assessment is narrated, and the committee recommends accordingly.
- The borderline Aspirants are given certain situations, and a collective decision is taken.
After the result is announced, the shortlisted Aspirants are retained for further medical examinations.
SSB Interview is considered one of the most challenging interviews in India. Without knowing the SSB procedure and interview tips, it is tough for an aspirant to clear this interview. We have discussed the complete SSB interview procedure for CDS Exam, the SSB interview procedure for AFCAT Exam, and SSB Procedure for other defence exams. You can also check our Defence Online Classroom program, which provides complete guidance to ace the exam.
More from us:
- Important Study Notes for Defence Exams
- Defence Specific Notes
- Weekly Current Affairs
- Current Affairs Quiz
- SSB Interview Tips
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