Last Updated on July 24, 2023 by Vishnu Nambiar
To join India’s armed forces as a commissioned officer, you must crack SSB interview. Cracking SSB is a daunting task. But it is not impossible! SSB can be cleared with systematic preparation and hard-work. If you are serious about joining India’s armed forces as an officer, read this whole article. Here I will share with you some tips and tricks. It will help you set goals and prepare systematically for SSB interview. This article has inputs from some recommended candidates and NDA cadets.
What is SSB interview? Know more about it :
SSB stands for Services Selection Board. It is a section of the armed forces meant for recruiting officers. This body is responsible for recruitment of officers to Army, Navy and Air Force.
Candidates who clear written parts of exams like NDA (National Defence Academy) and CDS (Combined Defence Services) are called for SSB interview. It is not a single interview. Actually, it is a series of tests. I will describe it in detail in next section.
When and where does it takes place?
SSB Centers are located at- Allahabad, Bhopal, Bangalore, Varanasi, Gandhinagar, Mysore, Coimbatore. Candidates who clear the written exams are called for interviews to any of these SSB centers.
Usually interviews takes place 3-4 months after the written exams. For example, this time, the CDS-2 exam took place on 8th September, 2013. Results will be declared by November-December. Interview of selected candidates will take place on January.
Candidates who pass the written exams are notified by UPSC. Call letter and Admit card for SSB will be sent to them by post. The call letter will have a set of instructions that the candidate must follow. The dress code, things to pack etc are well mentioned in it. The candidates have to travel to their respective SSB centers. UPSC will provide the travel expenses for candidates (on providing travel tickets).
At the SSB center, candidates will be provided facilities like boarding, mess, recreational facilities etc. Everything is free of cost.
Effective and Planned Preparation :
If you seriously want to crack SSB, you must start preparing early. 6 months- 1 year of systematic preparation is enough to see you through. Written exams should also be taken as seriously as SSB interview to get into the merit list.
You should prepare well for the written exams also. There number of books for both NDA and CDS entrance exams. I recommend books by Arihant Publications. They update their material frequently. If make the best use of their books, written exams will be much easier.
Candidates must master some concepts like quantitative questions in mathematics. Current affairs and General Knowledge can’t be avoided. Candidates should not only refer books, but also use internet and other sources to improve knowledge of current affairs.
In short, it is very important to take the written exam as seriously as SSB interview. Written exams play a role while generating merit list.
SSB Interview preparation :
As I mentioned above, SSB interview consists of series of tests. The whole process takes days (5-6 days) to complete. To get recommended, candidates have to score more than ‘minimum marks’ in each of the test.
On the first day, there are three tests- intelligence test, PPDT (Picture Perception and Description test) and Group Discussion.
Intelligence test has two parts- verbal and non verbal. It is basically about puzzles, number sequences, missing numbers etc.
In PPDT, a hazy picture will be shown to you for a short duration of few seconds. You have to study the picture and write the number of characters you saw, their approximate age, their gender and mood. Then you have to write a story involving all the characters you saw. Make your story end on a positive note.
In group discussion, candidates have to narrate their story and conduct a discussion. Try to be active in the discussions. Put forward your story confidently.
Candidates who clear the above tests have to stay for 4 more days for series of tests. Rest of the candidate are sent back.
Over the next few days, series of tests are conducted. Details of it can be found on this site- joinindianarmy.nic.in, the official site.
When I interviewed recommended and selected candidates, I found an interesting result. 65% of selected candidates had gone for SSB coaching/ were from Sainik schools.
Sainik school students are trained for SSB in school itself. They do their schooling in a conductive environment. Candidates who go for coaching are likely to perform much better.
Coaching will certainly help a first time candidate. Coaching classes helps a candidate become more familiar with the tests that will be conducted. This will enable them to perform much better at SSB center.
Opting for coaching will clearly give you an advantage. But if you can’t go for it, don’t get disheartened. There are candidates who prepare on their own and get recommended. Planned preparation along with tips by selected candidates can equal the effect of coaching! Visit the official site joinindianarmy.nic.in to get more details regarding SSB interview. Best of luck!
I am Vishnu Nambiar a career and educational blogger from India. I am also a full time educational consultant having more than 12 years of experience in the educational sector.
I share articles related to courses, colleges, careers, exam tips and more here.