The first question every candidate who clears his or her CDS/NDA/AFCAT exam is if they need to get coaching for their SSB interview. There is not correct answer for this because there have been candidates who cleared the SSB without Coaching and then there are candidates who could not clear even with coaching.
Having said that, like every other test or interview, if you know what you are going to face and go well prepared the chances of your success increase significantly. In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of getting coached for your SSB interview. To do that we need to first understand what is the SSB interview all about.
Service Selection Board or SSB is the final test to qualify to be recruited as a commissioned officer in any of the Indian armed forces- Army, Navy or Airforce. SSB is a process where candidates are assessed for their potential and ability to become an officer. So essentially, the examiners are looking for skills like leadership, intellect, communication and attitude, in short officer like qualities.
How does SSB coaching help?
The main aim for coaching for SSB is not to provide a shortcut or a sure short formula to clear the exam but to familiarize the candidate with the whole process. SSB is a multi-stage process undertaken over few days. You have to clear the one stage to qualify for the next. Coaching explains each stage and helps you familiarize yourself with the different stages. Familiarization offers confidence. If you are aware of what you are going to encounter you are mentally prepared for it and feel more confident. Confidence is one of the key aspects which are tested during SSB.
Coaching also helps you experience the tasks like group discussions, group tasks etc. The experience helps improve your communication skills and you learn the art of expressing or projecting your qualities through – verbal expression, body language and actions. It also helps your do self-assessment and improve to improve in the areas you may lack.
Negative aspects of SSB Coaching
What you learn in coaching may not be what you will face in SSB. Candidates who may rely too much on coaching may limit their thinking. The idea of coaching is to make you learn how to find solutions and not memorize them.
Some candidates tend to give scripted or taught responses without thinking about the answers to the questions with an open mind. This goes against them because the examiner is looking for candidates who are quick thinkers and can come up with unique solutions without being shy about it.
SSB is a very competitive and comprehensive test to evaluate candidate’s psych, mental abilities, leadership qualities and communication skills to name a few. Only the best of best qualify SSB. But it is still a test. If you have it in you, coaching will help you sharpen your skills and greatly increase your chances of success.