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Overview of Complete 5 Day Process of SSB Interview

After clearing the written exam next challenge that comes in the defense aspirant’s way is SSB Interview. SSB Interview is not difficult but still, the recommendation rate is low because aspirants don’t have an idea about the qualities which SSB is looking for. This article will clear the doubt related to the 5-day process of the SSB Interview. ​It is a brief introduction to the different tasks that are to be performed during the SSB

Stage-I: Screening

This is Stage- I of the SSB Interview. Some entries require you to report on the same day as that of the screening like AFCAT and TGC while some require you to report a day before in the evening.

Screening test includes two tests namely-

1. OIR Test (Officer Intelligence Rating)

OIR test contains MCQs which are both verbal and non-verbal without any negative marking so it is advisable to attempt all the questions in this test. To see the kind of questions that come in the OIR test click here.

2. PPDT (Picture Perception and Discussion Test)

In PPDT, a hazy picture would be shown to you for 30 secs and you would have to write a story referring to it in 100-120 words. Then you would be divided into groups of 12-15 candidates and each one would then narrate the story that they wrote according to their chest numbers. The page on which you wrote the story would be given to you before narrations and you would have to read your story aloud but not just by merely looking at it and reading but from whatever it is that you remember.

As soon as the last candidate of the group finishes the story, a group discussion will begin in which all the members contribute and at the end, a common story is framed. You should not push your own story but contribute ideas to the group story being framed.

After all this, the officers present would decide if considering be screened in or out. Many people believe that this depends on luck but the truth is practice and hard work would help you clear this round and not just luck. To read about PPDT in detail click here.


Psychology Test

Normally these tests are held on day 2 but recently they are being held on day 1 too for entries like AFCAT in which the screening tests are held in the day and by evening psychology tests start. Thus, day 1 is quite long so be prepared. Travel a day before and take ample rest so that you are full of energy the next day and perform well. Psychology tests include:

1. TAT (Thematic Apperception Test)

In TAT, 12 images would be shown each for 30 seconds followed by a break for 4 minutes in which you would have to write a story. The 12th picture would be blank for which you would have to imagine something and write a story on your own. This is different from the screening test as the picture is shown would be less hazy.

2. WAT (Word Association Test)

In WAT, a word would be visible for 15 seconds after which you would have to write a sentence. This is not a grammar test which many candidates interpret it to be. It is a psychology test but grammatical errors and spelling mistakes should be avoided as it leaves a bad impression. A total of 60 such words would be shown to you. The sentence should be such as it resonates with your OLQs. We have a detailed and separate post for every test which takes place at SSB. You can read about TAT in detail here.

3. SRT (Situation Reaction Test)

Next is SRT in which 60 normal day-to-day situations would be given to you and you are to write your reaction to them devoting 30 seconds to each situation. This is quite a difficult task and thus telegraphic language is used to write the reaction to the given situations. A booklet is given for this test and so if you spend more than 30 seconds too on one situation it is fine. But make sure that you are able to complete more than 55 SRTs in the given time.

4. SD (Self Description)

Lastly SD, some questions would be given to you regarding yourself like “what you think about yourself?”, “What do your parents think about you?”, “What do your friends think about you?” etc. and you have to write your answer in paragraphs. A total of 5 questions are given generally with a time limit of 15 minutes which means 3 minutes for each question.

It is really important to listen and respect the instructions of the psychologist present during these tests and follow them as they can change some existing rules there at the last minute.

Personal Interview

This takes place one-on-one in the interviewing officer’s room where he is dressed in casual clothes and not his uniform to make the candidate comfortable which goes on for 45-60 minutes, completely depending on the officer and the candidate,

Before the interview, the candidate is given a PIQ form (Personal Information Questionnaire) to be filled and submitted. To read more about the Personal Interview visit here.

GTO (Group Testing Officer)

Day 3 and 4 usually consist of various group activities but if some are left, they are performed before the conference on day 5 too.

The group activities are as follows:

1. Group Discussion

Group Discussion In SSB Interview

The group discussion activity is done in 2 rounds. The topic in both the discussions are general awareness-based and don’t need special preparation. For more information on group discussion visit here.

2. Group Planning Exercise

 Group planning exercise is a simple planning exercise. Where you will be introduced to situations where there are three-four problems. You and your team are required to make a plan to solve all these problems. For more information on group planning exercises, visit here.

3. Progressive Group Task (PGT)

In Progressive Group Task(PGT), as the name suggests, the difficulty level keeps increasing after each obstacle. PGT is a task where you have to cross some 3D structures while following the rules.  For more information on PGT, visit here.

4. Snake Race

SSB Interview: Snake Race

In a snake race, you are given a long bag just like a snake and compete against the other groups to check your compatibility and how you perform in a group. For more information on snack races, visit here.

5. Lecturette

In the lecturette, 4 topics are given to you randomly- 1 high level, 2 average levels, and 1 low level. A time limit of 3 minutes is there and you are asked to prepare on these topics and then give a lecture in front of the GTO and other members of your group.

6. Half Group Task (HGT)

Half Group Task (HGT) is similar to PGT just the strength of the group is halved and the obstacle is also reduced to one.

7. Individual Obstacles

Individual obstacles consist of activities like high jump, long jump, etc. which are to be completed in 3 minutes. And if you complete all the activities before the given time limit, you can repeat them too. For more information on Individual obstacles, visit here.

8. Command Task

In the command task, the GTO explains to you an obstacle or situation after which you are told to choose 2 subordinates from your group, explain the task to them and then come up with solutions. This activity helps check your command authority. And if you are selected as a subordinate by your group member then it helps to check if you can work in a hierarchy and take orders/ instructions from your leader.

9. Final Group Task (FGT)

In Final Group Task (FGT), the strength of the group is full and only one obstacle is given.


This is the final day. On this day, you are part of a meeting which is seated on a U-shaped table with the brigadier rank officer as the president of that meeting sitting on one end and you at the other accompanied by other officers too. The president is generally the one who asks the questions but make sure that you look at all the officers seated while answering the questions and not just the president. This meeting normally lasts for 2-3 minutes but in some cases can go up to an hour too. 

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The Editorial Team at ClearSSB consists of Retired Officers, Professional Writers, Journalists, and Defense Aspirants. JAI HIND!!
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