The SSB conducts a series of tests to assess candidates’ suitability for entry into the Indian Armed Forces. The selection process at the SSB consists of various tests that evaluate the candidates’ physical fitness, psychological traits, leadership potential, and overall personality.
The screening test is the initial stage of the selection process. It includes the Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) test and Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT). Candidates are required to write a story based on a picture shown to them and later discuss it in a group.
Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) test
Officer Intelligence Rating Test is similar to Intelligence Quotient Test commonly called as an IQ Test. The OIR Test is an objective type written test consisting of around 50 questions. You would be administered two papers in succession. The test includes questions based on language and numerical ability as well as logical and analytical reasoning.
Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT)
Picture Perception and Discussion Test consists of three stages. It starts with writing a story based on a hazy picture flashed for 30 seconds. In the next stage, you would be taken to a discussion room where you would have to narrate your story to a group of friends in one minute.
After the narration, you would have to discuss with the rest of the group to make a common story. The time for discussion is 10 minutes. At the end of the discussion, your group would have to nominate a person to tell the group’s story. Remember PPDT is one continuous test.
Discussion Test consists of Individual Narration and Group Discussion. You will be seated with 12 -14 candidates in a Semi-circular or Circular seating arrangement. Your group may get approximately 10 minutes for discussion. One member from the group is required to tell the group agreed story.
Group would be given the privilege os selecting the person who would narrate the group story. The narration of group agreed story would end the discussion. A combination of your performance in the OIR Test, Individual Story and Group Discussion would determine your recommendation for phase 2 of testing process.
Group Testing Officer, Psychologist and Interviewing Officer
Stage 2 of SSB selection process consists of tests administered by a GTO, Psychologist and Interviewing Officer. The final recommendation is decided by your combined performance in all the tests.
The psychological tests aim to evaluate the candidate’s psychological attributes and suitability for a career in the armed forces. The psychologist administers four test to assess the personality profile of candidates. They are called the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Word Association Test (WAT), Situation Reaction Test (SRT) and Self-Description Test (SD).
The personal interview is conducted by the interviewing officer (IO) and assesses the candidate’s personality, knowledge, and suitability for a career in the armed forces. It includes questions about personal background, educational qualifications, current affairs, and situational judgment.
Group Testing Officer
The GTO tasks assess the candidate’s ability to work in a group, exhibit leadership qualities, and communicate effectively. The GTO administers nine tasks spread over a period of 2 days. They are called the Group Discussion (GD), Group Planning Exercise (GPE), Progressive Group Task (PGT), Group Obstacle Race (GOR), Half Group Task (HGT), Lecturette (Lect), Individual Obstacles (IO), Command Task (CT) and Final Group Task (FGT)
The final recommendation is decided by the president of the board in consultation with the GTO, Psychologist and the Interviewing Officer. The decision is taken on the final day in the board conference. It is important to note that the exact tests and their sequence may vary slightly between different branches of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force) and different entry schemes (e.g., NDA, CDSE, AFCAT).
The SSB selection process is designed to comprehensively evaluate the candidate’s overall personality and suitability for a career in the armed forces. The selection process for joining the Indian Armed Forces through the Services Selection Board (SSB) generally consists of two stages.