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SSB (Service Selection Board)


Services Selection Board (SSB) is an organization that vets candidates for admission into the Armed Forces of India. The board conducts personality and intelligence tests and interviews to determine suitability. Some tests are paper-based while others involve group tasks or presenting to a panel of assessors. The SSB is held in specified central locations over a number of days.


5Day Procedure Of SSB

The candidates who have passed the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) written examination, or who, in the case of the Territorial Army have been recommended by a Preliminary Interview Board (PIB), or, who have been asked to present to the Service Selection Board are allocated a SSB centre to attend. Service candidates attend via movement orders made by their superiors.


Reporting Day: Candidates report to their allocated centre, they present their educational documents for verification and are given a number by which they will be identified throughout the process. A briefing about the schedule and general instructions may be given.

Note:- For some entries reporting day and Screening day are same, please follow your call letters for correct information.


Day 1:

Screening: Screening process is to pick up some potential candidates from all those who have reported for the particular entry. It consists of few activities like.


Verbal and Non-verbal Test: This includes a verbal and non-verbal intelligence test (About 50 questions each).


PPDT (Picture Perception And Discussion Test): We have already talked so much about PPDT in later posts, this consist of story writing and discussion. You will be shown a picture for 30 secs, later you have to write a story based on the picture you have seen in 3 mins, after that, you will be divided into subgroups of 14-15 members, firstly each candidate will narrate his/her story which is  followed by the group discussion on the picture, among the group members. You can find more details here. Keep in mind that PPDT is the most important part which helps you to clear screening and takes you to stage-2 testing.

After the completion of these tests, unsuccessful candidates are dismissed. Other candidates are short-listed. They must complete the first of up to five personal information questionnaires which must each be recorded in the same manner. The personal information questionnaire is the basis for the individual candidate interview.


Day 2 (Psychological tests)

 It is a battery of projective tests, all tests are used to check the psychological suitability of the candidate to be an officer. Candidates are required to write their responses based on the particular test. Here the time limit is very crucial, so you are required to write your first response in time.


  • TAT: You will be shown 11 pictures in which the last picture it will be a blank slide, each picture will come just for 30 seconds and then disappear, after that, you will get 4 minutes time to write the story based on that picture. After 4 mins another picture will come for 30 seconds and the same process will be followed till the last slide.

  • WAT: You will be shown 60 words back to back, each word will remain on the screen for 15secs, in 15secs you are required to write a sentence which comes in your mind first after reading that word. Likewise, you have to write 60 words continuously without any pause in between.

  • SRT: You will get a booklet with 60 situations written on it, you are required to write your responses based on those 60 situations, the time allotted will be 30 mins.

  • SD: You are required to write the opinion about you from your parents, friends, teachers, yourself and thing you would like to develop in future. Time allotted will be 15 mins.


Day 3 - 4, GTO

This is a series of the outdoor task, the main aim of this task is to judge your qualities during group performance, remember most of the task in this series are group task, you are required to support the group with best of your qualities and not to compete with them in any manner.

  • GD: Back to back group discussion on two topics, mostly current affairs.

  • GPE: Group Planning Exercise, each candidate has to write his planning for the mentioned problem and map given, later group members are required to discuss on the problem and have to come with a common plan with the common consensus. Later one of the group members has to explain the common planning with the help of pointer and map.

  • PGT: Progressive Group Task, you are required to cross some obstacles with the help of supporting materials like rope, plank, wood log etc. Some rules are required to be followed during this task, it a full group activity.

  • HGT: Half Group Task, mostly same as PGT but the number of group members will be half, you may get more chance to show your potential.

  • IOT: Individual Obstacles Task, you are required to attempt 10 obstacles individually, each obstacle consist of some points from 1 to 10.

  • Command Task: You will be a commander in this task, you are required to cross some obstacles with the help of 2-3 subordinates. You can choose 2-3 candidates from your own group whom you think can help you to clear the obstacles.

  • Snake race/Group Obstacle Race: All group members will be competing with other groups,   members will be holding a snake-like rope, they are required to cross certain obstacles with the snake. There are certain rules like all other tasks. It is kind of race among different groups, its a fun.

Individual Lecturette: Each candidate will be giving the lecture for 3 mins on a topic selected by him/her. You will get 4 topics out of which you have to select one topic.

FGT: Final Group Task, same like PGT, just like another chance to show your potential.


Personal Interview: It is the main key which decides your recommendation in the SSB Interview, SSB Interview questions and answers play a vital role in the assessment of the candidate. How to face the IO (Interviewing officer)  in the SSB PI (SSB Personal Interview) is a major concern here, one wrong move can tarnish your image and reduce your chances to get recommended.


Day 5

On day five, All the officers in Proper Uniform to attend the conference each candidate has a conversation with a panel of assessors. The assessors look for confidence and expression when speaking; a positive attitude in adversity and in life; and honesty. Following this, the final results are announced. Successful candidates remain for an intensive medical examination taking three to five days at a military hospital.


Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT)

The Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT) is administered to candidates hoping to join the Indian Air ForceIndian NavyIndian Army or Indian Coast Guard. The PABT is conducted during the SSB interview. Candidates may sit the PABT only once. The PABT includes the Instrument Battery Test, a Sensory Motor Apparatus Test (SMA) and a Control Velocity Test (CVT).

More recently, the "Computerized Pilot Selection System" (CPSS) has been used. It was created by the former president of India Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam with the Defence Institute of Psychological Research and the Air Defence Establishment, groups within the Defence Research and Development Organisation. It was developed to determine aptitude for use of intellect with respect to advanced aircraft.

CPSS machine simulates an aircraft cockpit. Video games played by the candidate on a screen in front of him is scored best of three games. It tests hand, leg, vision and hearing coordination.


SSB Gorup Discussion
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