Hello friends, my name is Vineet Negi .I lived in Dehradun,Uttarakhand. Being son of an Indian Army personnel, I always had a bend towards the Indian Armed forces as a career.
In this article I am sharing my SSB Experience of 4 AFSB Varanasi. This article might stretch a bit long but I have put all my efforts in it. 🙂
I am talking about almost 2 years ago, back in 2015 .I got call up letter for SSB for NDA-135 and my venue for SSB was Varanasi. As my reporting date was 21 September, so I reached Varanasi one day before my reporting date and I booked a room in the nearby hotel and reported next day at the station by 0600 hrs.
After reaching at the station I saw that there were many candidates already sitting there. And in a short period, I got to know some of the candidates. After that we reached at the Selection Center. We were divided into three categories- Freshers, Screen Outs and Repeaters.
280 candidates reported out of 310 called. After the document check was over, we were allotted chest numbers for the first phase of SSB started.
I got Chest No. 170. After that the Verbal and Non-Verbal test began. After completing it, we went for our PPDT. We were shown a hazy picture, but somehow I made a story revolving around the picture shown to us. A group of 15 people were sent for discussion. I narrated the story well. Then came the discussion part. As we all were repeaters, so I knew that it was going to be a fish market. So I just followed the two simple keys told to me by a Retired Colonel that- speak less (3 to 4 times) but speak effective and to the point. So, I followed these two steps and at last we came up with a common story.
Soon the results were declared. Out of 280, 30 were able to make it for the second phase. I will suggest candidates to make a practical story in which you can clear your theme and can revolve the whole story around your main character. The moment I got screened in, I felt a little bit relaxed and started preparing myself for the next battle which was on the way. After that, new chest numbers were allotted to us. This time, I got chest number 8. After filling a series of forms (PIQ), we were allotted rooms in the Selection Center.
Next day was our Psychology Test. TAT was easy, as I have followed the same points which I have followed in PPDT and had already prepared a story for the blank one. I made all the positive stories. In SRT, I had given all the answer at the first instance as what will I do if the same thing happens with me. I will suggest candidates to just go with the response that you will actually do if the same will happen with you because if you will go with the response taught by the coaching centers, then it will create problems for you later. As in SRT, you are writing responses taught by the coaching centers, but in the Interview or in Conference, if you would be asked another SRT, which is not taught by the coaching assessors then it’s going to be a blunder for you.
In WAT also, I did the same thing. I wrote whatever came to my mind at first instance. For SD, I had already prepared one and wrote it nicely. I would suggest candidates that just before preparing your SD just keep the points which you have wrote in your PIQ form so that it helps you in interview .
After having our dinner we all went for sleeping, as the next day was our GTO. We assembled in the ground. The first task was GD and I expected it to be a lot of chaos again. I followed the keys that I have followed in the GD during screening. I spoke for 4 to 5 times but have speak to the point and by giving facts and the points I knew- Group Discussion was good. For GD, I will suggest aspirants not to dominate the group or neither remain dumb. Speak 4 to 5 times and speak by taking help of facts and surveys. Why I am saying that don’t dominate the GD is because they want a leader which can move forward with his men not just moving forward alone. The second GD was also good.
After that, came PGT. We were all repeaters so we have already discussed that we will not make any chaos and every one plays his role and we easily did it. The same thing went for HGT, we performed well. In GPE, all things went well but one thing all of us got stuck was that no one was getting any idea to get out of it. So it ended with a little disappointment of not completing it. After that, in snake race and in lecturette, I performed well according to me. In lecturette I had to speak on the topic “Is Western Culture affecting our Indian Culture” and with this, the third day came to an end .
Next day was PI ( Personal Interview ), Command Task and Individual Obstacles. I did all the 14 obstacles as I am a little bit lean, so I didn’t have any difficulty doing them. Command Task given to me was a little bit difficult. So at first, I thought that it was going to be a blunder, but somehow I manage to do it in time .
I will suggest aspirants that GTO Tests are all about to check your compatibility with the other candidates that whether you are compatible with the group, can you lead men, your decision making ability. So don’t be like you have to rule over the other candidates. They are looking for a officer who can lead his men.
My Interview was scheduled with the President of the board. I was given time to change my attire to formals. I waited for 20 minutes in the waiting room. I utilised that time for reading newspaper which was kept over there. After that, when my turn came, I entered the room with a curve of smile on my face. At first I greeted the IO. The IO then asked me- “Are you relaxed now?”, I answered, “Yes Sir!”. So after that, he asked general questions about me and my family and suddenly he threw a bundle of questions at me in rapid fire. But I managed to answer the questions in the sequence asked by the IO. Then he asked me about my failure in my last attempt so I gave him suitable reasons and he got satisfied . Then as I had mentioned that my father is in armed forces, then he asked me some questions related to the battalion of my father, I answered most of them. After that, he asked me whether I have any girlfriend? I answered, “No Sir”. He asked why? I said that I have many female friends but don’t have any girlfriend, as this is the time when I should focus on my career and on my aim. Then came the question that if you will not make it in the armed forces ever what will you do? I answered, “Sir, not making in armed forces doesn’t mean that my life stops here, as I also have further plans for my life. The main motive to join forces is to serve the nation and I can do the same by working in any other sector also because there also I can serve my nation.” And finally, my interview came to an end and I was satisfied with my performance. My interview lasted for 1 hour 10 mins. The day ended with PI.
The very next day was our conference. After the closing address by Deputy President, our conference started. I waited for a while and soon my chest no. 7, left the hall. Before I entered the hall, I had stopped for a while by the OR and I thought had I done any blunder so they are discussing for such time. After that I entered the hall with a smile and as expected, the President of the board asked me certain SRTs, some general questions regarding my stay and then he asked me to rate myself out of 10. I rated myself 8. Then he asked, why not 10? I answered that, “Sir, I am not rating myself 10 because at first I got confused in the command task and in GPE also, we got stuck.” After that he smiled and I left the hall.
Then came the final moment, the results! My heart was beating rapidly. At first he called up the chest no. 27 in a random manner. I thought my chance was gone but then unexpectedly he calls out chest no. 8!
For that moment of time I couldn’t believe that it was me! I was totally numb! Tears were coming out of my eyes as the dream of becoming the man of commitment was going to be true. Somewhere inside me I said that-
Yes, I have it in me .
After that, my batch mates congratulated me and I felt bad for my batch mates who couldn’t make it.
3 of us out of 30 got recommended .
After that our medicals went on for 5 days. Although the feeling of being a recommended candidate only lasted for 5 days as I was declared medically unfit by the medical board due to carrying angle of the elbows ( Cubitus Valgus). But yes, I have no regret that I got Medical Out because those days were the best days of my life.
I can’t tell you the feeling of getting recommended! That feeling is unparalleled! And can’t be of any match with any other feeling!
One thing which I would like to mention here is that- in my staying hall at the AFSB, the tag line of the Indian Airforce was written- A Cut Above! Indeed they are a cut above! They way the walk, the way they talk is too good.
So at last I will say that- Guys, SSB is all about who you are, why you are and how you are, simply about you. How much you can introspect yourself, how much you can understand yourself. Coaching centers can only tell you your shortcomings. Improving them is your duty. You matter only you can do it for yourself. SSB is a very genuine process. Have faith full in it and dont try to play bluff there.
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