The existing scheme of selection was initially designed
in the US army, after the second World War. The system
was adopted in the selection of officers in Army, Navy
and Air Force for induction through National Defence
Academy, Army Cadet Corps, Officers Training Academy,
Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy or Naval
The slection process has the following stages/components.
(a) Psychological/Intelligence Test.
(b) Group Testing Officer's (GTO's) Test. (c) Personal
Interview. (d) Medical Examination.
It is evident that the interview is
mainly confined to first three stages of examination
while the fourth one concerns the medical examination
of only those who get through in the SSB interview comprising
of first three components. Evaluation of a candidate
is made by three independent examiners. The psychological
test is carried out by a psychologist and GTO test is
given by a Group Testing Officer (GTO). Personal interview
is carried out by the interviewing officer who usually
is also the President of the Board.
The interview being an integrated process,
culminates with the conference on the final day when
all the three examiners gete together to give the final
assessment of the candidate. If there is any doubt on
any aspect of the personality of the candidate, a few
questions are put to him/her and the evaluation is done
accordingly. All the candidates who manage to obtain
minimum prescribed marks are declared selected. There
is no quota or percentage fixed about the number of
candidates to be selected and the selection purely depends
on the performance of the individuals. The selected
candidates then have to undergo a comprehensive medical
examination to be finally recommended for selection.
Through this series of features on
careers an effort is being made to acquaint the candidates,
particularly the fresh candidates, with the techniques
of SSB interviews and strategy to be adopted to overcome
this final hurdle to a challenging career in the defence
forces. In the first part of this series, psychological
tests are being dealt with in detail.
The scheme of selection is almost same
for Army, Navy and Air Force with the only difference
that in case of interviews for the flying branch of
Air Force, an additional aptitude test is given to the
candidates right at the beginning. The interview usually
lasts for four to five days and the arrangements for
free boarding and lodging are made for the candidates.
Moreover, the candidates appearing before the Board
for the first time are entitled to claim travelling
allowance for to-and-fro journey upto the selection
Immediately on arrival at the Selection Board a questionnaire
is given to all the candidates in which, in addition
to personal details, including educational qualifications
and details of family, hobbies, games and other extra
curricular activities, details about other important
happenings in life, friends, ambitions, etc are also
sought from the candidates. This questionnaire usually
forms the basis for interview. This part also assumes
importance, considering the fact that it is of importance
to a psychologist to know what a candidate thinks of
(a) Intelligence Tests: First and important
part of pscychological tests is the intelligence test.
There are two types of intelligence tests. In the first,
usually 80 questions are required to be answered within
30 or 35 minutes. The time is lesser for the second
in which 60 questions on figures are required to be
answered in 20 to 25 minutes. This test presumes that
even under adverse circumstances an intelligent person
will be able to answer more number of questions accurately.
The questions are objective type with multiple choice
To attempt maximum number of questions
correctly, the candidates are advised to attempt those
questions to start with, about which they are fully
sure. The questions which need some more time to answer,
must be skipped initially and if after attempting other
questions there is some time left, it can then be devoted
to the left-out questions. Exhaustive practice in these
tests, which appear regularly in the Competition Master,
can be of great help in attempting the intelligence
tests effectively. A candidate who achieves a good score
in these tests may get the benefit of being placed higher
in the order of merit if he/she finally makes it in
Word Association Test:
This test aims at judging the personality traits
and basic psychology of a candidate. It brings out attitudes,
thoughts, desires, feelings and even negative aspects
of one's personality. For testing the word association,
candidates are shown a word of common usage for about
15 seconds, during which time candidates are supposed
to write a sentence. After 15 seconds are over, another
word is exposed for 15 seconds, the process continues
and candidates are asked to write 50 sentences. The
words are easy and of day-to-day usage. Time given to
the candidates is so short that they have to write down
the very first thought that comes after seeing the word.
The psychologists analyse the personality traits, attitudes
and feelings on the basis of these natural reactions
of the candidates to specific words.
There can be no readymade solutions
to the word association test. However, with a little
bit of practice the candidates can choose correct sentence.
The pessimistic, negative, pervert and counter-productive
feelings must be avoided whereas positive feelings of
success, honesty, respectfulness, uprightness, optimism,
humanism, etc should be highlighted. For example, the
word "failure", can be used as "Failure
cannot always be avoided", or "Failures are
the pillars of success". Whereas the former sentence
depicts pessimism and defeat, the latter sentence shows
how a negative word can also be used in a positive manner.
On similar lines the candidates must prepare himself
beforehand for words like defeat, death, disease wrong,
etc. It must be ensured that the sentences used are
small and convey some positive aspect of one's psyche.
Due care must be taken to ensure that the sentences
do not depict the feeling of fear, insecurity, anxiety,
cowardice, etc. To do well in this test the candidates
must practice with several sets of words and do the
Apperception Test (TAT): This technique, also
called picture story writing, is one of the most important
aspects of psychological test at SSBs. This technique
aims at judging the overall personality of a candidate
by judging the traits like fearlessness, positive frame
of mind, initiative, judgement, courage, temperament,
ambitions, and more particularly candidates' suitability
for the armed forces. This test is conducted by showing
several slides/pictures (usually ten) to the candidate
for a short while. Then he is asked to write a small
story on the picture. The picture is shown for 30 seconds
and the candidate is given a time of 3 minutes for writing
a brief story. Needless to say that the time duration
is very less and the candidates must think and write
fast to complete the story within the stipulated time.
The candidates need special practice
to attempt this test successfully. It must be clearly
understood that the story which is written by the candidates,
depicts their own thoughts, perceptions and imaginations.
Hence the initial 30-second time while the picture is
displayed, must be utilised in most useful manner. After
devoting minimum possible time for understanding the
picture, the candidate should appreciate the situation,
identify the hero of the story and prepare a simple
but well thought of plot for the story. The plot should
be simple considering the fact that the story has to
be written within 3-minutes. The planned story should
depict the feelings of courage, success, hard-work,
initiative, ambition, achievement, helpfulness, patriotism
and positive bent of mind. It should be ensured that
no unnecessary time is wasted in describing the picture.
The picture only depicts one of the situations which
could form part of the story. It is pertinent to add
that candidates may expect at least one picture each
about hospital scene, war, road accident, a captive
lady, a frustrated youth, a river, a thief, a graveyard,
etc. There may be a few vague pictures also. Practice
on writing stories on above situation/pictures would
assist the candidates to do well in this test.
(d) Situation Reaction Test
(SRT): This is last in the series of psychological
tests. In the SRT, the candidates are given 4 to 5 reactions
to a particular day-to-day situation and the candidates
are asked to choose the most appropriate one. This test
aims at judging a candidate's aptitude towards cooperation,
group interests and positive thinking. No answer is
outrightly incorrect or correct. The candidates get
weighted marks depending on the degree of correctness
of an answer. In all 50 to 60 situations have to be
reacted upon in 25 to 30 minutes. The candidates must
exercise due care while choosing the alternatives as
two to three alternatives may appear to be correct.
The answer which appears to be the best in a real life
situation must be chosen. Initially, questions appearing
easier to answer should be chosen and the candidates
should avoid conflicting replies and be considered.
The second part of the interview contains
Group Testing Officer's (GTO's) Test. While the first
part aims at testing the intelligence and frame of mind
of a candidate, the GTO's test is a complete test of
one's personality, including physical fitness, mental
obustness, leadership qualities, planning flexibility,
expression, knowledge, argumentative capabilities, etc.
In other words, the performance of every candidate is
gauged as a member of a group, and leader of the group,
so that his/her behaviour as equal, superior or subordinate
is keenly observed and assessed. The group worthiness
of a candidate is tested.
The GTO's test includes the following
six broad sub-tests:
- Group discussion
- Group planning exercise
- Group obstacles
- Command Task
- Individual obstacles
Candidates are divided in groups of 8 to 10 and each
group is tested by a GTO. Usually two topics of general
interest are given by the GTO to the group and the group
is asked to choose one of the topics, on the basis of
which the group is asked to proceed with discussion.
Every candidate is supposed to express his opinion and
views on the topic given. The time for discussion is
approximately 20 minutes. After the discussion on the
first topic is closed, GTO gives the second topic. During
the discussion, the GTO quietly observes the performance
and behaviour of the candidates and makes his own assessment.
The group discussion tests the expression,
argumentative capabilities, depth of knowledge, initiative,
flexibility, participation and authenticity of a candidate.
The candidates must comprehend the topic properly, carry
out a mental framework of line of discussion to be pursued
and plan the discussion quickly. It is always better
to take the initiative to start the discussion. Self
confidence, clarity in expression, appreciation of opinion
of others, keen interest, flexibility and knowledge
are some of the properties which are sought by the GTO.
Proper tone, volume and level of voice are other important
aspects of a good candidate. To do well at group discussions,
it is suggested that the candidates should prepare well
by selecting certain topics of general interest like
role of science, democracy, role of women, sports, evils
of dowry, family planning, compulsory military training,
students and politics, status of Indian women, etc.
Under the group planning exercise, a situation is given
to the candidates usually on a sand model or cloth model.
Each candidate is given the situation in which some
problem like taking a patient to hospital within stipulated
time, reporting the matter to the police or any other
situation is depicted and certain facilities as well
as limitations are explained. Considering these given
limitations and facilities, the candidates are required
to prepare a plan to successfully accomplish the task.
The time allotted to the candidates, to write down the
solution, is about 10 minutes. Soon after writing down
the solution, the group is asked to discuss the solutions
and arrive at a group plan. The group then nominates
a leader who gets up and gives the group plan. After
this, others are also asked to give their plans if there
is some material difference in the plan. For this exercise
a further time of about 20 minutes is given. The test
is planned to test the understanding and analytical
capability of the candidates. In addition, in a group
where no one is nominated a group leader, opportunity
is provided to the natural leaders to emerge as leaders
and take over the reins of the group. The individual
plan tests the analytical ability and the discussion
of the group plan sees whether the candidate is prepared
to accept a superior plan over his plan or he is able
to convince the group about superiority of his plan
against an inferior plan being considered by the group.
The candidates must properly appreciate the problem,
take stock of the resources available with them and
then try to generate some alternatives in the given
situation. After considering the pros and cons of every
alternative, best alternative should be accepted. By
actively participating in the group plan discussion,
the candidates should try to get themselves nominated
as the group leader to get an edge over the other candidates.
Next part of GTO's fest is the group obstacles. It has
four sub-parts including Progressive Group Task, Group
Obstacle Race, Half Group Task and Final Group Task.
These tasks are designed to test the behaviour of a
candidate in a group where there are no group leaders
nominated. The GTO, therefore, keenly observes the candidates
for their qualities like cooperation, group belonging
feelings, natural leadership qualities, planning, initiative
and task orientation. Group obstacles in all the four
sub-parts are in the form of obstacles which cannot
be negotiated by an individual and need a group of persons
to cross it. The group is explained that within the
obstacle area, in which particular parts are "out
of bounds", the entire group has to cross the obstacle
within a given period of time with the assistance of
tools like ropes, planks, wooden logs, etc. The progressive
group task has four tasks with each successive task
getting tougher and final group task is the repeat exercise
to facilitate the GTO to observe only the potential
The group obstacle race is in the form
of an intergroup race in which they also have to carry
a sack type of load while crossing the obstacles. Half
group task is given by dividing the group into two sub-groups,
facilitating the GTO in observing the candidates in
a better manner. While crossing these obstacles, or
planning to cross these, the candidates should think
objectively to negotiate the obstacles with the help
of given material. There are usually more than one solution
to each obstacle. Immediately on getting the solution,
the candidates must start asserting themselves by also
seeking advice and suggestions of other candidates.
Even if the candidate is unable to arrive at any solution
he should try to assume the role of a mediator between
several candidates having diverse solutions. Even while
actually negotiating the obstacle endeavour should be
to take on the most difficult tasks so that an impression
of task orientation and leading by example is created
in the mind of the GTO.
Command Task is aimed at testing the leadership and
command capabilities of candidates. In all the earlier
exercises, the natural leaders are allowed to emerge.
But in some cases, where there are more than one natural
leaders, the strongest one will overshadow rest of them.
Similarly, a person who is shy by nature, may not be
able to exhibit his leadership qualities in a group
of equals and hence an opportunity is given to such
candidates to show their worth in a formalised situation,
where they are declared leaders. In the command task
the nature of obstacles and facilitating material remain
the same. The only change is that one candidate is nominated
as a formal leader, asked to choose his team, plans
to negotiate the obstacle and finally executes the plan.
The candidate's judgement, planning and analytical capabilities
are checked and his capabilities to get a task executed
are also tested. The candidate must, therefore, choose
his team carefully, choosing the best candidates who
are cooperative and physically strong. This reflects
his objective assessment of subordinates. Then the leader
must explain to his men the objective or task, the facilitating
material available to them and spell out the plan as
to how he planned to accomplish the task. The plan should
be clear and spelt out in clear and commanding manner.
After explaining the task to his men, the leader should
go ahead with the proper execution of the task by properly
supervising and giving supplementary instructions if
required. Normally, the work should be got executed
from the chosen candidates, but in case some part of
obstacle negotiation needs his assistance, he should
be ready to do so. At times, the commander may find
it difficult to plan a solution to the obstacle. Under
such a situation, the commander may ask the members
of the group to suggest to him the possible solution.
There are 10 obstacles which are required to be negotiated
by every individual within a stipulated period of 3
minutes. The obstacles are not very tough and can be
negotiated by any candidate with average physical fitness.
These obstacles include climbing ropes, jumping, swinging
on ropes, climbing wall, walking over a beam and parallel
ropes, etc. The relatively difficult obstacles carry
higher marks and easier ones have lesser. In case a
candidate can repeat some of the obstacles, after completing
all in the given time period, such a candidate gets
more than maximum marks to the extent of repetition
of obstacles. To do well at this test, the candidate
must try to achieve a particular level of physical fitness
before proceeding to the SSB interviews. Easier obstacles
should be attempted first and even if one is unable
to complete all the obstacles within three minutes,
one should be satisfied as in the words of one GTO "armed
forces need officers, not monkeys". Nevertheless,
this test aims at looking for bare minimum level of
physical fitness, which can be built up by rigorous
pre-commission training in the Training Acadmeies.
Lecturette is last in the series of GTO's tests and
is aimed at testing the speech of a candidate. A leader
should be able to speak effectively, attract attention
while he is talking, have a clear head and clear line
of thinking. These qualities are tested by giving a
small test to the candidates known as lecturette. This
candidate is given about four topic of general nature
which do not need any specialised knowledge. The candidates
are required to select one topic, prepare for three
minutes and then deliver a speech to the group for a
period of three minutes. While taking this test, the
candidate must select the subject/topic on which he
is fully confident of having enough knowledge and material
to speak for three minutes. Unnecessary movements of
hands, legs, fingers etc should be avoided and the speech
should be delivered in a pleasant but authoritative
voice. The views expressed should be balanced and extreme
positions in views should be avoided. The clarity of
thoughts and ideas must be insured.
It is evident from the above that the
GTO's test is a comprehensive test of one's personality.
An objective assessment of personality of the candidates
is made by observing their behaviour in a group and
as a leader as well. Capabilities of the candidates
like knowledge, expression, leadership, initiative,
physical fitness, planning capabilities, understanding,
disposition, grasp and task orientation, etc are tested
by following a comprehensive and objective method of
personality test. The GTO makes the assessment by assigning
marks in each of the six exercises and then finally
allots the aggregate marks on the basis of overall average
Personal interview is the last hurdle
in the selection process to the defence forces through
SSB Interviews, apart from the medical examination.
Every candidate is tested by a psychologist, G.T.O.
and finally by the President or Deputy President of
the Selection Board.
The aim of the personal interview is
to have a closer look at the personality of every candidate
through conversation in friendly discussion. To keep
the interview formal and the candidate at ease, only
one interviewer interacts with the candidate. The information
given by the candidate, on the very first day in the
questionnaire, forms the initial basis for questions
during the course of interview.
At an average, every interview lasts about 30-40 minutes.
The President of the Board begins in a very friendly
manner by asking very personal questions from the candidates
like name, detail of the brothers and sisters, occupation
of parents, names of good friends, place to which the
candidate belonged. About 10 minutes-time is devoted
on these questions so that the candidate is put at ease.
Name of the educational institutions where one studied,
subjects offered, marks obtained etc are a few other
questions that may be initially expected. In addition
to putting a candidate at ease, the President also observes
the qualities of friendliness and the ease with which
one can handle simple and personal questions. Other
questions in the interview may be about games played,
hobbies, girl/boy friends and the means adopted by the
candidate to remain fit. As a young and educated person,
one is expected to either play or have keen interest
in some games. Similarly, every person is expected to
have a hobby, be it reading, playing games, swimming,
driving, gardening, philately, riding, photography or
travelling. Every young candidate, aspiring to become
an officer in the armed forces, is also expected to
have friendship with the opposite sex. Hence all these
questions must be answered accordingly.
Final part of the personal interview
may include a few questions on current topics, general
knowledge, some imaginary situation for reaction and
small simple problems for judging the administrative
planning capabilities of the candidate. Problem solving
may be judged by depicting a simple real-life imaginary
situation involving the brothers, sisters, parents or
friends to which reaction of the candidate is judged.
Similarly, a small administrative problem may be given
to a candidate including organisation of a match or
a picnic. The candidate is then asked to give his/her
step by step planning and execution and perception of
happening of the event, without its actually taking
As has been hinted above, the questions in the interview
must be tackled very carefully. The candidates should
not be in a hurry to reply the questions. The questions
should be properly understood and after considering
the contents for a while, reply should be given. Regarding
personal questions, the candidates should be careful
that they do not hide material facts or try to give
wrong facts. It must be understood clearly that the
President conducting the inverview handles several candidates
every day and does the same thing over the years. Moreover,
he is trained to interview candidates in such a manner
as the truth comes out. Any attempt to hide some facts
or give wrong facts will be certainly picked up by the
experienced President and they usually make the candidate
realise during the interview itself that he/she was
trying to bluff. Moreover, no candidate is expected
to be perfect, as every human being does have some weaknesses.
However, it should also be ensured that no unnecessary
details are given by the candidate. The replies should
be to the point and relevant to the questions asked.
The same principle applies to the other
questions like games played, hobbies pursued and friends
(particularly from the opposite sex) held. The games
which are stated to be played by the candidate should
be ones about which the candidate has complete knowledge
and is able to reply to most of the questions. Similarly,
the interviewer devotes a lot of time to the hobby named
by the candidate. The candidates must, therefore, make
sure that the hobbies and games they name must be fully
known to them. Rather than bluffing in this regard,
it is better to give a negative reply. Moreover, as
earlier pointed out it is good to have friends from
the opposite sex with healthy and friendly relations.
But in case there is no such friend, the fact should
be admitted without hesitation.
Finally, the questions on current affairs
and general knowledge need a little-bit of brushing
up of knowledge in this field. Regular readers of "The
Competition Master" normally do not find much difficulty
in tackling this part. Candidates who feel less confident
in this part are advised to consult the General Knowledge
Refresher by O.P. Khanna.
The questions on the reactions in given
situations have to be handled very carefully. The candidates
must grasp situation completely, clarify the doubts
if any and after taking some time to think, come out
clearly with the course of action. Choosing a right
course of action is not very difficult. The candidates
must imagine themselves in similar situation and consider
the most probable course of action which would be taken
by them, which invariably is also the right solution
to the problem. In their reactions, the candidates must
not bring in any artificiality and unnecessary heroism.
They should react as if they would have done in a similar
real life situation. Due care, therefore, must be exercised
as this is one of the most crucial aspects of the interview.
Two more questions which must be prepared properly arre
(a) "Why do you want to join the Defence Forces?";
(b) "If you are not selected what would you do?"
These are often-repeated questions and must be answered
very honestly and correctly, without any exaggeration.
While proper replies to the questions are important
balanced conduct of the candidates is still more important.
The candidates should avoid use of slangs and be very
respectful to interviewer. Use of language and expression
are the plus points but the candidates are usually not
penalised for weak expression, as it is believed that
the problems of fluency and expression are overcome
during the training period. The candidates must be composed
and maintain their poise. Lack of confidence in replying
to the questions reflects lack of knowledge and self-confidence.
At the same time one must not be over confident or arrogant.
The interviewers are trained to identify
the signals sent by the body language alongwith the
spoken word. Whatever is spoken from the mouth must
be reflected from the eyes of the candidate as well
the tone of his/her voice. Hence, body language must
be controlled to convey the same meaning as the word
of the mouth. Any contradiction reveals the untruthful
intention of the candidate. It should, however, be kept
in mind that no unnecessary gesticulations are made
with hands and sitting posture is also proper, as recommended
for the interviews.
The appearance and bearing of the candidate
helps in making a good first impression. The clothes
need not be new or highly fashionable and bright, but
should be sober and properly cleaned. Hair should be
properly groomed and hands should be properly cleaned
with the nails cleanly cut. While describing their achievements,
the candidates should be modest without being boastful
and while admitting weaknesses and failures, they should
not be ashamed or evasive. There must be eye-contact
with the interviewer for most part of the interview.
In addition to the above there are certain established
interview etiquettes which must be strictly adhered
to. One must enter the room after seeking permission.
On entering the room, the candidate must suitably wish
the interviewer and should sit only when he/she is asked
to do so. On being offered a seat, one is expected to
thank the interviewer. In case the President offers
a hand for handshake, it must be shaken firmly, but
the candidates, on their own should not initiate shaking
the hands. Seat should be taken promptly and the candidate
should sit properly and if possible in an upright manner.
The interviewee should offer a bright
and cheerful face. If the President calls for a cup
of tea or lights a cigarette and also offers to a candidate,
it should be declined gracefully, without annoying him.
In a very few cases if the President asks some irritating
and personally offending questions, the candidates must
not loose their poise and temper. Such a question may
be aimed at seeing whether or not a candidate gets provoked
easily. The candidates should also show flexibility
and admit his/her mistakes, if any pointed out by the
President. If a question is not clearly understood or
heard, the President may be requested politely to repeat
it as there is no harm in it. As the interview is over,
the candidates should thank the President, get up without
battling with the chair, wish him appropriately and
quietly leave the room. The questions like "How
have I done Sir?" should not be asked by the candidates
while leaving the interview room.
The last stage in the selection process is the conference
which takes place on the last day. During the earlier
three stages, three selectors i.e. the psychologist,
G.T.O. and the President carry out their tests independently.
At the conference all the three selectors sit together,
call the interviewee and ask two-three formal and routine
questions. Candidates who qualify in all the three tests
independently are declared successful. All those failing
in all or any two are declared unsuccessful. A few candidates
marginally failing in one of the tests, may expect a
couple of more absorbing questions, including a situation,
and on the basis of reply offered by the candidate,
final decision about his/her selection is taken. The
result is announced soon after the conclusion of the
conference and all those who are selected are required
to stay back for the medical examination, which takes
another three to four days.
The selected candidates are then required to undergo
medical examination. Prior to the medical examination,
a form is given to the candidates to be filled which
mainly relates to the past medical history of the candidate
as well as his/her members of the family. The candidates
who pass all the medical tests are finally declared
as successful and may expect a call to join the training
academy concerned within a month or two of the selection.
However, the call letters are issued after clubbing
the marks obtained in the written examination of the
UPSC as well as marks obtained in the interview. At
times it may so happen that even a candidate getting
through in the interview finally, may not get a call
to join at the concerned training academy if the number
of vacancies is less or the candidate is very low in
the order of merit. Hence, the candidates are advised
not to leave their studies or jobs till they rceive
a call to join at the training academy concerned.
Have these things
i) Self Confidence ii) Interest
iii) Motivation iv) Awareness v) Understanding
vi) Good Health. These are the vital factors an
SSB candidate should have.
Belief in your own abilities. Performing a given
task, under any given situation and in an unfamiliar
situation is roughly called as having self-confidence.
Your positive thoughts go a long way in developing
Positive thoughts, needless to say, help the individual
to progress in life, negative thoughts lead one
Department of Psychological Research Institute
Dimalpur at Delhi specially trains the Board of
Due to a large number of candidates applying for
commission in the armed forces each year, to make
way for deeper
selection a new method of Pre-screening and Screening
tests have been evolved in the recent times.
The Nature of Selection Tests: Under
the present assessment techniques adopted by the
S.S.B, the candidates are put thorough a series
of tests such as IQ tests, Perception test, EKT
(Engineering Knowledge Test), Group discussion.
These form the part of Pre Screening and Screening
tests. Only those candidates who qualify in the
preliminary rounds are allowed to take the full
a) Psychological Tests
b) Group Testing Officers tests
c) Interview by Interviewing Officer.
What are the Candidates Tested For ?
The candidates are examined and tested theoretically
and practically for the assessment of Officers
Services Selection Centres
Army: a) Bangalore, b) Bhopal, c) Allahabad
Navy: Besides the above centers, Coimbatore is
also one of the centers for selecting candidates
for the NAVY.
Air Force: a) Mysore, b) Varanasi, c) Dehradun
Three Pronged Testing
Three different officers subject
each candidate to certain type of tests, which
put together beings out the OLQ (officer Like
Qualities), which the services are looking for.There
are certain qualities which can be developed /strengthened
by training and some of the qualities cannot be
developed by training.
a) Intelligence tests consists
of Verbal and Non-verbal tests
b) Psychological tests to assess the personality
the candidates,these include:-
i) Word Association Test (WAT)
ii) Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT)
iii) Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
iv) Self Description test
Group Testing Officers
a) Indoor Tests
i) Group Discussion
ii) Group Planning
iii) Lecturing- Extempore speech
b) Outdoor Tests.
i) Group Tasks
ii) Command Tasks
iii) Individual Endurance Tasks
Personal interview by President/Deputy
Stage - I
2. Pre Screening Tests
a) OIRT (Officers Intelligence rating test)
b) Perception tests ( A model)
c) Group Discussion, which is followed by above,
tests a few tips.
Stage - II
3. Psychological tests
i) Word Association Test
ii) Situation Reaction Test
iii) Thematic Appreciation Test
iv) IQ Verbal Test
v) IQ - Non Verbal test
vi) PIQ Form Filling
vii) Pen Picture writing a few tips
viii) Practice tests 1 - 5
4. Group Testing Officers tests
i) Tips to Tackle Group Discussion
ii) Tips to Extempore Speech Making
iii) Military planning Explanation and Sample
iv) Tips to tackle Individual Obstacles
v) Tips to tackle Group tasks and Command Tasks
5. Interview Dos and Don'ts
Your Handwriting is the mirror to judge your quality.
Write neatly and legibly.Since these tests are designed
to calculate your IQ, try and complete,as many questions
as possible; but at the same time, do not do so without
thinking sufficiently. Even75% of the questions answered
correctly will see you thorough. Since every test is
co-related, be positive in what you write.Your pen picture
should tally with your thoughts pen down.Since you are
being compared with all other candidates your best performance
will take you to your ultimate Goal.
WAT Word Association Test: Write the
first positive thought that comes to your mind.Time
given is 15 seconds to write. The sentence need not
be grammatically correct or the word used just to write
a sentence. Remember this is not a Make a sentence type
exam.This is designed to test your inner thoughts. So
be careful in what ever you write.
SRT (Situational Reaction Test) the
tests contain day-to-day practical incidents that you
will be facing in your real life.Write what actions
you, Will be taking incase you are in those situations.There
are no right or wrong answers; best approach is to write
a positive yet a good citizen will do. Here your qualities
such as Courage, helping attitude, empathy, responsibility,
social interaction, boldness, honesty etc are tested.
Write down the answers on a sheet of paper so thatyou
can compare the same with some suggestions. (Never copy
the suggestions for it might lead you to wrong conclusions)
Please take the Practice test.
Thematic Appreciation test
The Thematic Story writing will be 12 in all. 11 of
them are having some picture and one does not have any.
You will get about 3 minutes for each story. Do not
write stereotype stories. Try different theme for different
stories. Remember you are the Hero; the aim should be
to bring out leadership qualities of the hero through
The Qualities that you are to project through your stories
ALTERTNESS, AVAILABLITY FOR TASKS
ENDURANCE AND ENTHUSIASM
HONSETY, HARD WORK
Only during the perception test you are required to
give The age, sex, mood, and number of group of the
persons you see in the picture. Your story should such
that it suits the picture yet tells The past is that
what led to this situation What is happening in the
picture? What will happen in the future?
Every candidate will be asked to write a slf- appraisal
during the psychological test. This will be the last
part of the Psychological test. The aim of this is to
make you commit about your-self regarding your knowledge
The usual headings under which you will be asked to
give out the appraisal is:-
a) What is you personal opinion about your self?
b) What does your parents think of you?
c) What does your best friend think about you?
d) What does your worst enemy think of you?
e) What does your teacher think of you?
f) What are your strong points?
g) What are your weak points?
h) What are the qualities you would like to develop?
Tips: Go systematic. Suggested headings:
i) About your parents and place of birth and family
ii) Physical Attributes
iv) Social Contacts
vi) Extra curricular activities , achievements
vii) Your aims and goals. Both short term and long term
An example of Self-Appraisal
About parents and place of birth: I was born and brought
up at Coimbatore, an urban township in the western part
of Tamil Nadu. My parents are moderately educated. We
belong to a middle class family. My father is a businessman
and mother is a housewife. I have an elder brother who
is working as a software engineer in PUNE.
Physical Aspects: I am Medium built,
and 5 feet 8 inches tall. As I used to take part in
sports events and am used to regular exercise I am physically
fit. I do not remember to have taken ill except for
some minor ailments. I go for Jogging every morning
before I start my studies. Evening one hour of sports
activity keeps me in shape.
Social Contacts: I have a number of
good friends. They have confidence in me and I am an
extrovert by nature. We take part in the college functions.
None of our vacations with out our trekking trips to
local hillocks and far off villages around Coimbatore.
I like to mix around make friends. We do organize Blood
donation/health check up camps and hold children entertainment
functions during Aug 15 every year in our neighborhood.
Education: I did my initial schooling
at _________. I was groomed by my parents to pay attention
towards my studies, sports and was encouraged to take
part in school cultural activities. As a result of my
father's encouragement, I used to take p[art in school
debate/quiz competition. I always like some challenges
from my classmates, whether it is studies or sports.
I have always scored good marks and stood within the
first three ranks in the class. I have won prizes for
Elocution, sports events. I am now doing my final semester
in BE Electronics at PSG Engineering College. I got
admission after a tough entrance examination, in which
I scored285 out of 300 marks. My ambition is to become
an Officer in the Indian Air Force in Technical Branch.
Extra curricular activities: Sight
seeing and trekking has always been my passion. I am
a member of my college senior wing of NCC. I am an Under
Officer and represented the college and took part in
the Republic day parade held at New Delhi during 26
As per my hobby, I collect handicraft items made by
villagers. Till date I have visited 11 Villages in the
tribal area of Coimbatore, and collected about 14 items.
I help my parents to look after our daily house hold
work and take time to help my mother to clean up the
house, a few hours on Sundays. I keep a daily journal,
which helps me to write articles for my college magazine
keep a "DO IT TODAY List" on my computer,
which help me to organize my day and all other activities.
The Internet browsing is yet another hobby of mine.
I use it to communicate with m friends as well read
about my subject matter.
Achievements: While at School I had
won prizes in Elocution, debate and essay writing.
I have taken part in English, Hindi and Tamil Elocutions.
I was the school athletics champion for three continuous
years from 1997-2000. Represented College at NCC Republic
Day camp in the year 2002, and Leadership course at
Mt Pachmari I 2001.
Adjusted as best athlete in college in the Year 2001.
I have been selected to represent the university, for
presenting my paper and " Robotics in space mission."
Religion: I treat all religion as
equal. I have friends from all religions; I attend their
religious functions. I believe in the fact God is one
, in which ever form he may be worshiped. I have a learned
to give tolerance to all religions from my mother, who
too has kept the images of gods of all religions in
our prayers room.
INDIVIDUAL & GROUP TASKS
Click Here to View the tasks assigned to the previous
candidates at SSB.
By carefully following the suggestions you will be
able to Project your OLQ (Officer Like Qualities) to
the selectors at the Services
Remember to be natural and calm, be your self, do your
best, put the interest of the group before your own,
and always be alert. By being yourself your qualities
are easily seen by the selectors. All the selectors
are well trained, so please do not use any unfair means
What do they judge at SSB in Group Tasks ?
A) Assessment of Candidate's Participation within the
B) Planning and Intelligent Assessment of the situation
C) Inidividual Quality in context to the Group
D) Assuming control of a Group to execute a task
E) Assess the problem from different angles
F) Assign responsibility to Team mates
G) Ability to realise the Potential of Group Members
H) Capacity to motivate others
J) Creative Thinking
K) Putting the Group before the Self
L) Helping Tendency
M) Originality of Thought
N) Quick Decision Making
O) Cooperation with Others
P) Group Integration
Q) Planning and Execution
R) Leadership Initiative
PERSONAL INFORMATION QUESTIONNAIRE
1.Selection Board (No & Place) Batch No Chest No
UPSC Roll No
2. Name in CAPITALS as in application form
3. Father's Name
4. (a) Place of maximum residence
(b) Present Address (With Approximate
population of the City/town/village)
(c) Permanent Address (With Approximate
population of the City/town/village)
(Whether District HQ or Not)
5.Fill in the details below:
State & District Religion WhetherSC/ST Mother Tongue
Date of Birth
6.(a) Parents Alive Yes/No
(b) If not alive your age at the time of Father's/Mother's
(c) Parents/Guardians Occupation /Income (As applicable)
Particulars Education Occupation Income per Month
No of brothers
No of sisters
Your ranking amongst your brother and sister
7. Educational Record(Commencing from matriculation
S.No QualificationAcquired Name of Institute Year Division&Marks%
Boarder/DayScholar Out Standing Achievement if any
a) Matric/Higher Secondary
8. Age ( Year & Months) / Height (in Metre) Weight
(a) N.C.C Training _________________________________________
(b) Total Training (if Yes) (Give details below)
Total Training Wing Division Certificate Obtained
11. a) Participation in Games & Sports
Games/Sports Period or Duration of Participation Represented
OutstandingAchievement, if any
c) Participation in Extra curricular activities :-
Name of the activity group Duration of Participation
Outstanding achievement if any
d) Position of responsibility/Offices held in NCC/Scouting
Sports team/Extra-curricular group and other fields:-
(a) Nature of Commission
(b) Choice of Service
13. Number if chances availed for commission in all
14. Details of last interview ,if any (Air Force/Navy/Army
S.No Type of Entry Place and SSBNo Date Batch and ChestNo
WHAT, YOU FOLLOW?
Follow the suggestions to get clear the interviews,
Your answers come under
the Candidates Reaction and the right way of answering
comes under Suggestion
Candidates reactions: a) Peace overcomes war
b) War is destruction
c) I hate war
d) War means bloodshed
Suggestion: Love Peace, but be prepared for war
Candidate: a) Every one loves peace (Acceptable)
b) I love peace
c) Peace brings Progress ( Very Good)
Candidate: a) work is worship
b) Hard work pays (Acceptable)
c) Hardwork leads to success (Very Good)
d) Work while you work play while you play (Avoid using
Candidate a) Defeat the enemy
b) Defeat the defeat
c) Defeat -dont get upset
d) Dont get depressed by defeats (Acceptable)
Suggestion: a) Defeat teaches us lessons.
b) Analyse causes of defeat to succeed
Candidate: a) I Love my Country (Good)
b) Serving our country is Nobel (Acceptable)
c) Its our duty to safeguard our country (A)
d) Country first self next
6.HOME Suggestion:. Home teaches us Manners
7 . Luck plus hardwork leads to success
8 . Ghost stories are famous in England
9 . Always trust your leader
10 . Enjoy good company of friends
11 . Playground teaches us many lessons
12 . Character is a virtue
13 . A part from studies involve in sports
14 . Happiness overcomes sadness
15 . Dont worry about failures
16 . success is the fruit of hardwork
17 . My garden has many kinds of flowers
18 . Indian army is known for its patriotism
19 .Music can cure diseases
20 . India won the kargil war
21 . Jogging keeps us in good health
22 . Its our custom to respect elders
23 . I have great affection towards my parents
24 . Fortune and hardwork makes one succeed
25 . Engineers are capable of rectifying faults
26 . Snakes poison is used as medicine
27 . ALways help others
28 . Co-operate with your neighbours
29 . I am a responsible person
30 . Yesterday I withdrew my savings to help the poor
31 . When intrested in work one feels seldom tired
32 . Soldiers risk their life for their motherland
33 . Boats are used to cross dangerous rivers
34 . Fail;ure is steeping stone for success
35 . Fight for a noble cause
36 . Every problem has a solution
37 . Machine is backbone of industry.
38 . Leaders always leads
39 .Education system in india is good
40 . Dont be afraid of obstacles
41 . Take things seriously and work
42 . Child was saved when he was drowned in the river
43 . Analyse the situation and jump into action
44 . Opinions always differ
45 . Exercise protects us from diseases
Story Writing Tips
Thematic writing is given to judge your imagination
and positive thoughts.
When you start writing the story remeber the following:
The story should have a Past
the present (i.e what is happening in the scene)
In the story the hero/heroien may be seen/or imagined
the hero should bring out his good quality. ie that
any one of the 15 OLQ already told to you in
this SSB Handbbok
The story should be about 12 to 15 sentences
3 for Past
6 for Present
3 for future
In the picture no 1.
Mr. Ram was an hard working and intelligent young man.
His aim was to become a collector, he started his preparation
from his final year at the college.
In the picture we see him preparing for the forth coming
Being a maticulas and a student of forsight, he had
collected thematerials for the test. His
hard workl and didication had paid him. He passed the
exam with flying colours
He continued his hard work in the academy too, and he
passed out as the best IAS officer in
Donts @ SSB
1. On arrival introduce your self to the reception staff
and show your documents.
2. Make as many friends as possible at the reception
3. Remember you are being judged by your own batch mates
right from the word go. Behave like a perfect Gentleman.
4. Keep a record of all the Bio data, for you will need
this to fill up your arrival info form.
5. Do not give any false statement.
6. Always dress up neatly and appear smart. Before you
leave your room spend a minute in front of the mirror.
A man / woman is judged by others, by what he wears
and what he speaks.
7. At the railway station itself buy a city guide it
will help you to know about the city and its places
of importance, bus route, train timings etc.,
8. Always address the group as Gentlemen, or friends.
His/her chest number allotted by the board, should be
used. (During Discussion and test only.)
9. Know each indl of your group by name his qualification;
this will help you during GTOs Task. Try and become
popular with them.
10. Take initiative, be co-operative. Listen to others.
As the time is at premium during discussions, speak
up. Be bold and express your self clearly be brief and
do not repeat what others have said. It is better to
speak either first or second, so that you will have
an opportunity to put forward your points.
11. During Psychological tests, Always write positive
sentences/story it should bring out the officer like
qualities (of which you have been taught.)
12. During interview if you do not know any answer politely
say "I am sorry Sir, I don't Know."
13. Be calm, cool and attentive. Smile while you enter
the interviewing room and also say thank you, at the
time of departure. Your handshake should be firm.
14. The interviewing officer is a qualified gentleman,
never bluff, you will get caught and spoil you chances
15. Be confident, rehearse some favorite questions.
1. No lies/false hood please.
2. You have no bad points except to over work to get
perfection in any task under taken.
3. Do not Waste your time unnecessarily read some magazines.
4. Don't be tense take it easy, always think before
You are a group of Nine college students, all of you
went to River Kasi for enjoying a boat ride.
While you were going for boating, you saw a school bus
carrying children for picnic spot near
the River. When you started boating down the river,
you you saw an Helicopter flying very low
and crashed near Fort, which was 2 kms away from your
location. You also noticed that there
was a lot of hue and cry of small children, who got
stuck in the cable car just near to your boating
site. Two of your friends who went to investigate the
Helicopter crash reported to you stating,
that the Pilot was injured and a box, which he was carrying
was to be delivered to ATC by 1500
hours, if not it would explode. The cable operator rushed
towards you, and requested you to help him
out to repair the cable car and rescue the children.
One of your friends told you that he had left his
wallet containing money and important address in the
near by teashop. You were also required to reach
the college hostel to attend the function at 1700 hours.
The time now is 1430 hours.
Write your actions and discuss a suitable solution.
Assume resources available are
a) a Jeep
b) traffic on the road
c) Phone at Local Hospital which is 6 Kms away from
d) Road head is 2Kms from you
e) Fort is 4 kms away from you
Combined Defence Services (CDS) Examination
is usually conducted twice in a year by the Union Public
Service Commission (UPSC) in the months of May and October.
The examination is conducted to select direct entry
candidates as officers to the following four training
(i) Indian Military Academy (IMA) Dehradun for permanent
Commission in the Indian Army.
(ii) Officers Training Academy (OTA) Madras for Short-Service
Commission in the Indian Army.
(iii) Naval Academy Goa, for Commission in the General
Services in the Indian Navy.
(iv) Airforce Academy, Begumpet, Hyderabad for Commission
in the Indian Airforce.
The selection process in which over 500 candidates
are usually selected every time for all four academies,
has the following three stages:
(a) Written Examination by the UPSC.
(b) Intelligence & personality test by the SSB.
(c) Medical Examination.
All such candidates as qualify all above tests may
hope to get a call for pre-Commission training on the
basis of their final rank and choice.
(a) Written Examination: All unmarried
male graduates are eligible to appear for IMA and OTA,
whereas the qualification required for Naval Academy
is B.Sc. with Physics and Mathematics or Bachelor of
Engineering. For Air Force Academy a degree with Mathematics
and Physics or equivalent is required. The minimum age
is 18 years at the time of taking the examination. The
upper age limit, however, varies. It is 24 years for
OTA, 23 years for IMA, 21 years for Naval Academy and
22 years for the Airforce Academy. Since the selection
process takes almost one year (from the time of filling
up the form), the actual lower and upper age-limits
are enhanced by one year in all above cases.
Subjects of Nepal, Bhutan or Tibetan refugees who immigrated
before January 1, 1962, are also eligible subject to
a certificate of eligibility from the Government of
India. It is also pertinent to add that no reservations
on the basis of caste and tribe are there there in Defence
Services. However, there are certain seats reserved
for the holders of "C-Certificate" of the
National Cadet Corps (NCC) who are exempted from passing
the written examination. Married candidates, if otherwise
eligible, are allowed to take the examination only for
The written examination is objective type in nature.
The candidates are tested in the following three subjects
for IMA, Naval Academy and Airforce Academy.
1. English 100 marks (2 hours)
2. General Knowledge 100 marks (2 hours)
3. Elementary Mathematics 100 marks (2 hours)
For OTA Madras, only first two papers are required
to be qualified. Question papers are set only in English.
The English paper is designed to test the understanding
of English language and the use of workman-like words.
The syllabus is equivalent to the graduate level examination.
The General Knowledge paper includes questions on History
of India, Geography, current affairs and the matters
of day-to-day observation and the experience in their
scientific aspects as may be expected of an educated
person without specific study of any subject. The paper
in Elementary Mathematics is of matriculation standard
and includes questions on Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry,
Trigonometry, Mensuration and Basic statistics.
There are 30 centres of examination all over the country.
The names of these centres are: Agartala, Ahmedabad,
Aizawl, Allahabad, Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhopal, Bombay,
Calcutta, Chandigarh, Cochin, Cuttack, Delhi, Dharwar,
Dispur, Gangtok, Hyderabad, Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur,
Jammu, Jorhat, Kohima, Lucknow, Madras, Madurai, Nagpur,
Panaji, Patna, Port Blair, Raipur, Sambalpur, Shillong,
Shimla, Srinagar, Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur and
(b) Intelligence and Personality Test:
All the candidates declared successful by the UPSC in
the written examination are then put to intelligence
and personality test by the SSB, popularly known as
the SSB interview. This interview is a comprehensive
test of one's personality, intelligence and suitability
to be chosen as an officer in the Defence Services.
SSB interview lasts for 3 to 4 days and has several
components like intelligence tests, group discussion,
small lectures on general issues, group planning, outdoor
group tasks, physical fitness tests, an interview and
several psychological tests like situation reaction
test, picturestory writing test (TAT), etc. All these
tests are intended to judge the physical and mental
faculties of a candidate. In broad terms, S.S.B. interview
is in fact an assessment of not only intellectual qualities
of a candidate but is also an appraisal of his social
traits and general interests which help in assessing
his suitability for the service.
(c) Medical Examination: The candidates
declared successful after SSB interviews are then required
to undergo a detailed examination by a medical board
in the nearest Military Hospital. This test again lasts
for 3 to 4 days. The minimum required standards of medical
fitness are quite stringent which are different for
all three wings of services. To avoid last minute disappointment
the candidates are advised to get themselves medically
examined on their own before they apply for the examination.
A merit list is finally prepared, consisting of candidates
who qualify all the three tests listed above. On the
basis of their ranking in the final merit list and choice
of service, the candidates are selected for pre-Commission
training in the concerned Academy and are called upon
to join the Academy as a "Gentleman Cadet".
The training is quite rigorous in nature and lays emphasis
on physical fitness, drill, academics, weapon training,
tactics and professional competence at junior leadership
level. After a given duration of training (which varies
from Academy to Academy) the successful candidates are
Commissioned in the concerned Defence Service i.e. Indian
Army, Indian Navy or Indian Airforce. It is also pertinent
to add that all the cadets Commissioned through OTA
Madras as short-service Commissioned Officers are initially
Commissioned for a period of five years, after which
they have an option to either continue or leave the
service. All the non-optees are then released from service
who are eligible to get all the benefits, except pension,
that are available to ex-servicemen. Service record
of those who opt to continue is scrutinised and all
those found suitable are then granted permanent Commission.
All those who are not found fit for permanent Commission
are given an extension of service for a period of five
years during which period they are allowed to apply
for alternate employment and as soon as they get a job,
they are released from service.
Coaching and Preparation
Candidates are advised to carry out a planned preparation
for the written examination. A review of previous question
papers is particularly beneficial. Regular reference
to a good competition magazine like "The Competition
Master" may be of immense use as it would assist
the candidates in preparing English and General Knowledge
papers. Features on Personality Development and General
Intelligence are quite useful during the SSB interview.
The interview needs special preparations. As different
from usual interviews, it is a comprehensive personality
test to which most fresh candidates have no previous
exposure. It is suggested that the candidates should
go through some standard book on SSB interviews. It
is also recommended that fresh candidates should join
some coaching academy providing fruitful coaching for
SSB interviews. Such academies/institutions are being
run by retired service officers in several cities and
Detailed advertisement is published about six months
before the date of examination in all leading newspapers
which gives details of the examination. Complete details
like rules, syllabus, medical standards, number of vacancies,
etc are given in the corresponding issue of "Employment
News". In addition, candidates Information Manuals
containing details of objective-type-tests including
sample questions, are supplied to all candidates alongwith
the admission certificate, by the UPSC.
NDA and Naval Academy
The CDS Examination facilitates the graduates to seek
careers in the defence forces as direct entry officers.
Another opportunity, to the bright and energetic deserving
candidates is available as NDA/Naval Academy Entry officers.
This avenue is open to relatively younger candidates
with 10+2 qualifications. NDA and Naval Academy (Executive
Branch) provides assured career at young age with no
financial burden of four-year training in the various
training academies. The training at NDA culminates with
a graduation degree from the Jawahar Lal Nehru University.
Three-year training at NDA is followed up by one-year
professional training at Indian Military Academy (IMA)
for the Army, Naval Academy for the Indian Navy and
Air Force Academy for the Air Force.
All these wings of Defence Forces offer very good career
opportunities blended with adventure. Besides offering
one of the best pay structure in the government service,
the forces also offer facilities like free rations,
free medical facilities, free/concessional travel by
rail during leave, provident fund, group insurance and
concessional residential accommodation. Besides, defence
forces also offer a good social and regimented life.
Time-bound promotions, upto a particular level, for
all officers and selective top promotions to the meritorious
and bright officers is the hallmark of a career in the
The Selection Process
The UPSC conducts the NDA and Naval Academy (Executive
Branch) Examination twice every year usually in the
months of April and September. Each examination is conducted
to select 350 candidates, with 214 seats for the Army,
43 for the Navy 73 for the Air Force and 20 seats for
the Executive Branch of Naval Academy. At the time of
submitting the applications, the candidates are required
to give their preferences for particular wings of the
forces. The advertisement for September Examination
usually apperars in April, every year, in all major
national and regional newspapers. Similarly, the advertisement
for April examination usually appears in September/October.
Simultaneously the detailed advertisement also appears
in the "Employment News" of the concerned
(a) Eligibility: Only unmarried male
candidates of the age group of 161/2 years to 19 years
are eligible to take the examination for NDA/Naval Academy
(Executive Branch). Educational qualification for Army
and Air Force wing at NDA is 12th pass of 10+2 pattern
or equivalent. For Naval wing of NDA and Naval Academy
(Executive Branch), the educational qualification is
12th pass of 10+2 pattern with Physics and Mathematics
or equivalent. The candidates appearing for the final
examination of 10+2 standard are also eligible to appear.
For being eligible to appear in the examination, a candidate
must be a citizen of India or a subject of Bhutan or
Nepal. Tibetan refugees or persons of Indian Origin
migrated from Pakistan, Burma, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda,
Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire, Ethiopia and Vietnam,
with the intention of permanently settling in India,
are also eligible. However, candidates belonging to
these categories shall need to obtain a certificate
of eligibility from the Government of India.
A candidate seeking admission to the examination must
send his application form to the UPSC on the proforma
given in the advertisement for this examination. The
admission to the examination is purely provisional as
no certificates are required to be attached with the
(b) Written Examination: The candidates
are tested in two papers of 21/2 hours duration each.
First paper is of "Mathematics" and carries
a maximum of 600 marks. The question papers consist
of objective type questions and are set in English only.
There is no fixed pass percentage of marks and depending
on the number of candidates appearing in the examination
and their overall performance, the qualifying marks
The paper-I on Mathematics is of Matriculation Examination
standard and consists questions on Arithmetic, Mensuration,
Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry and Statistics. Paper-II
on General Ability consists of two parts. Part-A comprises
of the test of English Language to judge the general
understanding of English Language by the candidates
and carries 200 marks. Part-B of Paper-II consists of
General Knowledge carrying 400 marks and has six sections.
The weightage given to these six sections of General
Knowledge is: Physics 25% Chemistry 15%, General Science
10%, History, Freedom Movement etc 20%, Geography 20%
and current Affairs 10%.
There are 40 centres of examination. The names of these
centres are: Agartala, Ahmedabad, Aizawl, Allahabad,
Bangalore, Bareilly, Bhopal, Bombay, Calcutta, Chandigarh,
Cochin, Cuttack, Delhi, Dharwar, Dispur, Gangtok, Hyderabad,
Imphal, Itanagar, Jaipur, Jammu, Jorhat, Kavaratti,
Kohima, Lucknow, Madras, Madurai, Nagpur, Panaji, Patna,
Port Blair, Raipur, Sambalpur, Shillong, Shimla, Srinagar,
Tirupati, Trivandrum, Udaipur and Vishakhapatnam.
(c) Intelligence and Personality Test:
Just like the CDS Examination, all the candidates declared
successful in the written examination are required to
qualify an intelligence and personality test conducted
by the Services Selection Board (SSB). The intelligence
tests at SSB are both oral as well as written and are
designed to judge the basic intelligence of the candidates.
During the four-day-personality test, the candidates
are also put to Group Tests such as group discussion,
group planning, outdoor group tasks etc. All these tests
are aimed at judging the behaviour of the candidate
in a group. In addition the personality test also requires
a candidate to deliver an impromptu lecturette on the
subjects of general interest as well as to clear ten
obstacles in 30 seconds. This way mental calibre as
well as physical robustness of the candidates is judged.
The SSB interview is also blended with a series of psychological
tests like Situation REaction Test (SRT) and pictures
story writing. These psychological tests are aimed at
judging the trait of positive outlook of the candidate.
In broad terms, the intelligence and personality test
is not only the test of intellectual faculties of the
candidates but is also directed at judging their social
traits, interest in current affairs and physical and
psychological toughness which finally helps to judge
their suitability for the services.
The candidates declared successful after the SSB interview
are then required to undergo a comprehensive medical
examination by a medical board in a local Military Hospital.
To avoid the last minute disappointment the candidates
are advised to get themselves medically examined as
per the prescribed standards. Prescribed standards of
medical fitness are given in the detailed advertisement
given in the Employment News.
The Training Academies
On the basis of performance of the candidates in the
written examination and the personality test, final
merit list is prepared and published in all leading
newspapers. The candidates, on the basis of their rank
in the final merit list and preference, are asked to
join at the NDA or Naval Academy (Executive Branch).
The three-year training at NDA includes the qualifying
of certain physical standards, basic knowledge of three
wings of the armed forces and study of academics leading
to a graduation degree. In addition, basic etiquettes
of the forces, discipline in the armed forces and basics
of drill etc are also taught. After successful training
spreading over six terms of six months each at NDA,
the candidates, as per their choice, go to the Indian
Military Academy for Army or to the Naval Academy for
Navy or to the Air-Force Academy for Air Force for two
terms of six months each. On successful completion of
training at these academies, the cadets are Commissioned
into the defence forces as Second Lieutenant (Army)
or Acting sub-Lieutenant (Navy) or Pilot Officer (Air-Force).
During the last six months of training the cadets are
also entitled to the salary which is given to them in
lump-sum, on commissioning.
Coaching and Preparations
Preparations for the written examination needs special
attention, Mathematics paper, being theoretical in nature
is comparatively easy to prepare. Paper-II (General
Ability) needs special attention and preparation which
consists of English and General Knowledge. Regular reading
of "The Competition Master" is particularly
useful for Paper-II as it effectively helps the candidates
to prepare for English Language and General Knowledge.
Similarly, SSB interview being different from routine
interviews needs special preparations. There are certain
academies, particularly those run by former officers
of the defence forces, which provide useful coaching
to the candidates preparing for the interview. The candidates
may choose genuine academies and undergo coaching for
Further details about the examination are available
in the detailed advertisment which appears in the Employment
News. Information about the examination is also given
in the "Candidates Information Manual" which
gives details about objective-type tests. This booklet
is supplied by the UPSC to all the candidates alongwith
the admission certificate.
Women Officers in Indian Army
Career in the Armed forces offers a rare blend of adventure,
good career prospects and a prestigious job. Several
special concessions are offered by the Armed Forces
to its Officers which are not available in any other
service. This includes provision of free rations, facility
of CSD (Canteen Stores Department) where goods of day-to-day
use are available at concessional rates, free first
class railway warrant once every year upto the home
town to avail the leave, concessional railway warrants
for subsequent journeys, two months' annual leave (with
the facility of encashment on yearsly basis), concessional
furnished family accommodation, furnished bachelor accommodation
in the Officers' mess at every station and free medical
service through its various Military Hospitals and Regimental
Medical Inspection Rooms. These special benefits are
in addition to normal admissible benefits like the casual
leave, Army Group Insurance Scheme, Provident Fund,
While the career in AMC, MNS and ADC are short service
as well as regular commissions, the new scheme known
as Women Special Entry Scheme (Officers) (WSES)(O) is
slightly different. The initial contractual period is
five years but in case any candidate is found unfit
or unsuitable within first six months, her commission
can be terminated any time before the expiry of five
year period. The scheme further provides that all the
lady Officers granted commission under this scheme would
serve the Indian Army for a period of five years from
the date of grant of Commission subject to fulfilment
of other conditions. In addition, the lady officers
carry reserve liability to serve the Indian Army for
a period of five years plus two years on voluntary basis,
or upto 37 years of age, whichever is earlier. It means
that after their release, the lady Officers remain on
reserve for five years and can be recalled for duty
during this period in case of emergencies. This period
could be extended by two more years if the Officer so
desires or upto 37 years of age, whichever is earlier.
WSES(O), however, does not have any provision for permanent
commission, although this matter is said to be under
consideration of the Government of India. Lady Officers
in the two entries other than WSES(O), like AMC, ADC,
etc, however, have the provision for permanent commission.
Eligibility & Selection
The candidate must either be a citizen of India, or
a subject of Nepal or Bhutan, or of Tibetan Origin but
of Indian Domicile whose parents entered India as refugee
prior to 1st January 1962 with the intention of permanently
settling in India. Any person of Indian origin who migrated
from the countries like Pakistan, Myanmar (Burma), Sri
Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zaire,
Ethiopia and Vietnam, with the intention of permanently
settling in India is also eligible. However, all the
candidates who are not the citizens of India but are
otherwise eligible under any of the above mentioned
categories, must obtain and attach certificate of eligibility
alongwith her application which is issued by the Government
While the age limit for ASC, AEC and JAG is 21 to 27
years, this age limit is 19 to 25 years for all other
branches including AOC, Engrs, Int Corps, EME and Sigs.
Minimum qualification, however, varies from service
to service as per the table given on next page.
The advertisement for recruitment of lady Officers under
the WSES(O) appears from time to time as per requirement,
normally twice every year in most of the national and
important regional newspapers. The candidates are required
to apply to the Additional Directorate General of Recruiting
(Women Entry Section), West Block-III, R.K. Puram, New
Delhi-110066. The format of application is usually given
in the advertisement. Short-listing of eligible candidates
is done at the Additional Directorate level and the
short-listed candidates are then required to appear
before the Service Selection Board (SSB). Such candidates
are allowed second class to an fro railway fare for
the first time only. The selected candidates are then
required to undergo a medical examination which is usually
done by a special Medical Board at the nearest Military
Hospital. The aspiring candidates must therefore ensure
that they are in good physical and mental health and
free from any disability which is likely to interfere
with the efficient performance of their official duties.
The broad indications of medical standards are that
the height and weight should not be less than 36 kgs
and 142 cms respectively for women candidates. Corrected
distance vision should be at least 6/6 for better eye
and 6/18 for the worse eye and Myopia of not more than
minus 5.5 D including astigmatism.
Getting into Armed Forces
Academy: Age: 16-19 years. Qualifications: Class 12. Look out for advt in
April and October every year.
Military Academy: Direct Entry through CDSE conducted by UPSC and SSB
Interview. Age: 19-24 years. Qualifications: Degree or equivalent. Look out
for advt in April and October every year.
b) Engineering graduates: Age: 20-27 years. Selection through SSB Interview.
Qualifications: Engineering degree. Look out for advt in April and October
c) University Entry Scheme: Final and pre-final year students of Engineering
degree course. Selection through Campus Interview and SSB Interview. Look out
for advt in July.
Training Academy: Short Service Commission (Non-Technical): Age: 19-25 years.
Qualifications: Degree or equivalent. Selection through CDSE and SSB
interview. Look out for advt in March and October.
b) Short Service Commission (Technical): Age: 20-27 years. Qualifications:
Engineering degree. Selection through direct SSB Interview. Look out for advt
in March and October.
c) Short Service Commission (NCC Special Entry Scheme): Age: 19-25 years.
Qualifications: Graduate with 50% marks and 2 years service in NCC. Selection
through direct SSB Interview. Advt appears in October/November.
d) Women's Entry Scheme: Age: 19-27 years. Qualifications: Graduate/Post
graduate. Selection through direct SSB Interview. Look out for advt in June
For more information on selection to the Army, write
to: addl Directorate General of Recruiting. Army
HQ West Block III, R.K. Puram, New Delhi - 110066.
a) Cadet Entry (NDA), Cadet Entry (Executive) Naval Academy, Goa (through NDA
Exam).Qualifications: Class 12 with Physics and Maths. Age: 16-19 years.
b) Graduate Special Entry, Naval Academy, Goa (through CDSE). Qualifiations:
B.Sc with Physics and Maths or BE. Age: 19-22 years.
c) Direct Entry Naval Armament Inspection Cadre: Qualifications: BE or PG
degree in Electronics or Physics. Age: 19-25 years.
d) Direct Entry Law Cadre: Degree in Law with minimum 55% marks. Age: 22-27
Commission (Men and Women)
a) Law Cadre: Qualifications: Degree in Law with minimum 55% marks. Age: 22-27
b) Logistics Cadre: Qualifications: BA(Econs)/B.Com with second division or
graduation with degree/diploma in Material or Financial Management. Age: 19-25
c) Air Traffic Control (ATC): B.Sc with minimum 50% marks in Physics and Maths.
Age: 19-25 years.
Permanent/Short Service Commission: MA degree in Physics, Maths, Chemistry,
Computer Science, Humanities or Engineering. Age: 21-25 years. Men and women
can apply for Short Service Commission.
Branch (Marine Engineers)
a) Permanent Commission: Cadet Entry (NDA) or (Tech): Qualifications: Class 12
with PCM. Age 16-19 years. Direct Entry: Qualifications: Engineering Degree.
Age: 19-25 years.
b) Short Service Commission: Qualifications: Engineering degree. Age: 19-25
a) Cadet Entry: Class 12 with PCM with minimum 70% maks in aggregate. Age:
b) Direct Entry: Degree in Naval Architecture or Engineering. Age: 21-25
a) Permanent Commission: Cadet Entry: Qualifications: Class 12 with PCM with
minimum 70% marks. Age: 16-19 years. Direct Entry: Engineering degree. Age:
b) Short Service Commission: Engineering degree. Age: 19-25 years.
For information on selection to the Indian Navy, contact: DDMPR (R & R), Naval
HQ, Sena Bhawan, New Delhi - 110011, Tel: 3011213. Fax: 3792957.
NDA: It has a 3
years' course before one is inducted as a Pilot Trainee at the Air Force
Academy, Qualifications: Class 12 with Physics and Maths. Age: 16-19 years.
Academy (CDSE): Qualifications: B.Sc with Physics and/or Maths or BE. Age:
Qualifications: B.Sc with Physics and/or Maths and a C certificate of the NCC
Air Wing. Age: 19-23 years.
(Transport/Helicopter pilots): Age: 19-23 years, relaxable to 25 years for
those holding Commercial Pilot License. Applications are called by AIR HQ
followed by SSB Interview.
(Aeronautical Engineering: Electronics or Mechanical): Qualifications: BE/B.Tech/Degree
Branch: Qualifications: First class graduate or second class post-graduate.
Age: 20-23 years for post-graduates. Entrance through SSB Interview. B.Com/M.Com
graduates can apply for Accounts Branch. In Meteorological branch, the
qualifications required is M.Sc.
SSB Interview Tips
An interview is a face-to-face meeting, especially for
the purposed of assessing the candidate for the job
applied for. It aims at evaluating your academic knowledge,
awareness or current topics, communication skills, the
clarity of thought and expression and sense of balance,
and ability to extricate you from tricky situation.
One of the most fundamental factors that contribute
to the successful interview is the time and quality
of preparation made by. Normally the President/ Vice
President of the Services Selection Board will conduct
the personal Interview. They are very senior Officer
from the Armed forces. Degree of preparedness for an
interview helps reduce the uncertain anxiety prior to
the Interview.. The amount of effort you wish to put
into preparation is directly proportional to your out
put at the interview. How to plan your preparation ?
Preparation develops Confidence and gears you for the
anticipated grilling. Prepare the following:
down in a neat and legible handwriting the PIQ form
given to you (Please copy it down it is given in this
CD). Try to put down everything in an orderly and crisp
manner. Revise your Bio-data thoroughly. Try to form
your own questions based on it. Answer them to your
full satisfaction. Check your Bio-Date for grammatical
and spelling error. Remember discerning interviewer
expects Zero error in the Bio-Data.Try and collect as
much information about the City in which you live, your
School, College, place of interview and places you have
visited. Be sure regarding your hobbies. For example,
if you have written reading as a hobby, be sure about
what you have been reading. Interviewer expects a serious
reply. He expects the names of the authors and then
will ask questions based on their themes. A serious
reader will score over others who refer cheap detective,
thriller novels. The logic holds good for any other
hobby you have mentioned in your PIQ.Be clear of your
favorite subject and area of you interest in the subject,
which you are/have specialized.
your knowledge. Then interviewer might ask you a few
technical questions.A well-groomed look gives an image
of thoroughness and professional look.Your achievements
should be brought out in a systematic order as and when
you are asked about it.Follow the normal etiquette for
the interview., Wait for the officer to speak first-
Listen carefully before you speak. Take a few long breaths
this will calm down your nerves, after listening to
the question carefully, clarify your doubts if any,
before you answer the question.Think well before you
answer. For more questions will follow your answers.
The New Technique adopted at the SSB Interview is RAPID
FIRE questions. Listen to the questions carefully. Think
well before you answer, elaborate your answers and tactfully
take him on to your strong points. Do not over emphasize
Be very clear in your thought and expression. Don't
speak in a low voice, be loud enough so that interviewer
don't have to strain their ears.Be brief, brevity is
the hallmark of a good communicator. Answer all the
questions in a sequence.If you don't know an answer
be Honest. The Interviewer will respect integrity and
honesty.NEVER Exaggerate.Never boast about anything
including your achievements.Never enter into an argument
with the interviewer on any topic.
Must Know these Stuffs:
The rank structure of the forces
2 The current events
3 Knowledge about your town
4 Your projects
5 Why you want to join the forces?
6 What will you do in case you do not get selected at
7 (this is to see how determined you are in achieving
8 Have a plan B in case you exhaust all the chances
then you will
9 Take up ------- job.
10 When the interviewer asks you to organize a trekking
event remember the following points; or any other event
the heading under which you can cover the preparations
11 Initial Preparation
14 Specific Items need for the event.
16 On the day
19 Keeping the journal and recording the event
20 After the event
21 Maintain proper Eye contact with the person who asks
you the Question. This shows your Confidence and honesty.
22 Avoid using frequently words and phrases like"
I mean", " You know", "well",
"as such" etc.
23 In the end you want to ask the officer any questions
plese do so, if not then so politely "I have no
questions to ask you sir."
24 Last but not the least, BE NATURAL. When the interview
If offered a Handshake, do so, if not just say, "Thank
you for the
wonderful evening and put the chair back to its original
position before leaving. Leave the place with a warm
smile and a nod of head. Close the door gently and leave
Appearance makes the man. You should dress up for the
occasion. Most of the time you will be asked to attend
the Interview in the PT. Kit it is better for you to
keep a small pocket Comb and a neat and clean Handkerchief.
Freshen up yourself before you set foot in the interviewers
room. Your warm smile, excellent etiquette and a firm
handshake will be starting point.As we have
brought out earlier, RAPID Fire questions are the order
of the. It means you will be asked to answer a number
of questions after listening to them just once. Please
listen to the question carefully. If you have not understood
the question then ask for the clarification. Try and
answer the questions in the same sequence as put forth
to you. Since the distance between you and the interviewing
officer would be about 6 feet, you are expected to talk
in a loud and clear voice. Take your time think and
answer questions.DO NOT TELL A LIE. You will be caught.
Interviewing Officers are usually hold the Rank of Colonel
or its equivilant rank in the Navy/Air Force.Here are
some of the tips which you wil find it useful while
facing the Interviewing officer:
a) Be tidy and well dressed. Wear simple clothes but
willo fitting clothes.Do not wear Jewllery
b)On entering the room wish the panel and do what they
c) Do not get over anxious. A minor degree of nerveousness
is expected from everyone.
d) Be Yourself
e) Be polite and use words like "Please",
"Sir", Do not sound egoistic.
f) Be natural and never convey extravagant ideas like
" I would die for my country" or " The
best profession is the Defence Forces ".
g) Do not lie or beat around the bush. If you are not
sure of thre answer say that uyou do not know. You are
not going to be penalized for say it.
h) Be brief, loud and clear.
i) The major questions like Why do you want to join
the Army/Navy/Air Force?. There are no perfect answer
to this question. While answering it try to convey 4
or 5 facts such as:
i. Defence services offers a Challange to a young person
ii. Merit is given due recognition in te Forces.
iii. I will get an opportuniyt to learn and exprience
the latest technological inventions.
iv. I like an out door life rather than a 10 to 5 desk
v. I will get an opporunity to mingle with all sorts
of people and persons from different parts of the country.
vi. In my opinioin the Uniformed forces offers reasonable
pay and perks
vii. One of the most respected professions in Indian
is that of a soldier.
Be truthful in stating your hobbies. be prepared to
answer questions about it.
k) High light your achievement in sports, NCC and other
extra curricular activites.
l) Current affairs be a regualr reader of magazines
and news paper.
m) When a situation is given to you think and answer
be very specific and answer in the most practical way.
n) Thasnk the Officer for hois time before you leave