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June 22, 2013

SSB Interview and how to prepare

SSB Interview Preparation Books Websites VideosSSB Interview happens to be the gateway to the Indian defence forces - irrespective of what written exams you clear (NDA/CDS/AFCAT etc.), which route you take (NDA/CDS/TES/UES/FTS etc.) at whichever level (Class-XII/graduation/PG), for all the defence forces (Army/Air force/Navy), you have to appear in the SSB (Services Selection Board) Interview for the ultimate selection.

So this blog article is being made to help you know what SSB Interview is and how to prepare – it would give the SSB Interview schedule and also small descriptions of the different tests conducted in SSB Interview and than point you to the prep materials for SSB Interview preparation: SSB Interview Books, videos, websites, Coaching Institutes.

What is SSB Interview and What does it tests?
SSB Interview is conducted to find what is termed in defence terminology as OLQ (Office Like Quality)- the qualities expected of an Indian defence officer: Intelligence, Responsibility, Initiative, Communication Skills, Determination, Courage, Self-confidence, Decision-making, Compassion and overall, patriotism.

These qualities are evaluated through a series of psychological tests to gauge your personality and these can be:
1.0 Pen & Paper test e.g. TAT/WAT/SRT.
2.0 Machine test e.g. PABT.
3.0 Physical test e.g. Group tasks.
4.0 Oral test e.g. GD/Interview. 

Depending on which route you have taken to reach SSB Interview (i.e. whether after NDA/CDS/AFCAT/TES/UES/FTS etc.), there are small variations in the schedule of SSB Interview –some tests only are for specific purposes. For example, PABT is held for flying branches of IAF only. 

So you should go through the official SSB websites of Army, Air force & Navy.

SSB Interview Official websites:
You can find the websites for the SSB Interview by the three defence forces below:
These websites gives you a lot of info into the schedule of SSB Interview along with descriptions of the tests.
Location of SSB Interview for Indian Army is Allahabad, Bangalore and Bhopal..
Location of SSB Interview for Indian Navy: Bhopal, Bangalore, Coimbatore.
Location of SSB Interview for Indian Air Force:Dehradun, Mysore and Varanasi.

Schedule of SSB Interview:
SSB Interview is held mostly for a period of 5 days in two stages: Stage-I & Stage-II. Stage-I is for screening purpose and is held on the 1st day of the SSB Interview. The result is declared and only those who qualifies in Stage-I is asked to stay back for Stage-II.

However, if you are appearing for some specialized branches like Flying branch or Technical branch, you would also have to appear in special SSB tests (e.g. PABT for Flying branchEKT in AFCAT).

Other than these specialized SSB tests, the schedule/format is however common and is as below:
Schedule of SSB Interview
Your Personal Interview is conducted on any day afternoon from Day 2 to Day 4.

Descriptions of SSB Interview Tests:

SSB Interview Stage-1 Tests
Stage one selection system includes the following
(i) Intelligence Test.
Verbal Test (Basic Knowledge of English).
Non- Verbal Test (Basic Knowledge of Logical Maths and Numbers).

(ii) Picture Perception and Description Test (PDPT).
Picture is flashed for 30 Seconds. The candidate have to broadly note down seven basic parameters viz number of characters, age, sex, mood, action relating to past, present and future for each character in one minute.

(iii) Discussion of the Picture – 30 Minutes.
In this phase the candidates are divided into different groups. Strength of group is around 15 candidates. Each candidate narrates his individual written story verbatim. Subsequently, in Part –II all the candidates have to come to discuss amongst themselves and achieve a common consensus about the characters and theme of the story.

As told above, Stage-1 of the SSB Interview is a screening stage - the result is declared and only those who succeed are asked to stay back for Stage-2 from Day-2 onwards.

SSB Interview Stage-2 Tests:
SSB Interview Day 2: Psychological Tests
SSB Psychological Tests consists of following tests:
(i) Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): 12 Pictures including one blank are shown for 30 sec each. Candidates are asked to write a story around what led to the situation? What is going on and what would be the outcome? Picture is shown for 30 seconds and they are asked to write it in 4 minutes. In the blank slide, they have to think a picture of their own choice and to write a story around that.
(ii) Word Association Test (WAT): In this test, a series of 60 words are shown to the candidates one after another for 15 seconds each. The candidate is required to write down the first thought or idea comes to his mind.
(iii) Situation Reaction Test (SRT):This test consists of 60 routine life situations regarding day to day activities. The situations are printed in a booklet and the candidate is asked to write his reactions by completing the sentences, as to how they would feel, think and act up these situations.
(iv) Self Description-15 Mins: Candidate is asked to write five separate paragraphs on each context about the opinion of his parents/guardian, friends, teachers/ superiors.

SSB Interview Day 3: 1st day of GTO.
This includes the following:-
(i) Group Discussion: Two topics of common interest (social issues and current events) are discussed. It is an informal discussion and not a debate. Each topic is allotted 20 minutes each. No definite conclusion is required to be deduced.
(ii) Group Planning Exercise (GPE): It comprises of five stages viz, explanation of the model, reading of the narrative by GTO, five minutes for self reading by candidates, 10 minutes for individual written solutions and 20 minutes for group discussion. Narration of the group solution and definite conclusion is required.
(iii) Progressive Group Tasks(PGT): It is the first outdoor task. A set of four obstacles with progressively increasing level of difficulties are to be completed in 40 to 50 minutes. Structures, helping material and load are provided to the group.
(iv) Group Obstacle Race (GOR): In this task the group is pitched against each other over a set of six obstacles with a snake like load to carry.
(v) Half Group Task (HGT); It has one obstacle similar to progressive group task with helping material and load to be carried. Group is divided into two Sub Groups and assigned the same obstacle in turn in such a way that when one group is working, the other is not allowed to watch it. Time allotted to each sub group is 15 minutes.
(vi) Lecturette; It is an individual task and the candidate is required to give a short talk to the group. Three minutes are allowed to prepare any chosen topic from the four given in the Lecturette Cards for the talk.

SSB Interview Day 4: 2nd day of GTO.
(i) Individual Obstacles: A Set of 10 obstacles is set to be tackled individually. Obstacles are numbered from one to ten, denoting the points each one carries. Each individual will be given three minutes.
(ii) Command Task: Each individual is nominated as commander for one task consisting of one obstacle similar to the Progressive Group Task Time given is 15 minutes.
(iii) Final Group Task: Task consisting of one obstacle similar to the progressive group task. Time given to complete this task is 15-20 minutes.

Personal Interview: It is conducted in any of the days between Day 2 to 4 by conducted by Interviewing Officer (IO).

SSB Interview Day -5.
This includes the following:-
(i) Closing address by Deputy President of the Board.
(ii) Conference.
(iii) Announcement of results.
(iv) Dispersal.

SSB Interview Prep Books:
SSB Interview Prep Books
I found following books good for preparation of for SSB Interview. These books are available in most of the bookstores, but you can also order them online by clicking the links below, from which offers huge discounts upto 31%, apart from free home delivery in India if the order exceeds Rs. 500/=. You can choose to pay through Credit Card/Debit Card/Internet Banking. You can also choose to pay through “Cash-on-Delivery” i.e. you pay in cash only when the same is delivered at your doorstep:
Modern SSB Interviews By Col. Kuldip S. Dosanjh Publisher: International
List Price:Rs. 295 Offer Price:Rs. 260 Discount: Rs. 35 (12%)
SSB Interview: The Complete Guide By NK Natarajan Publisher: Arihant
List Price:Rs. 225 Offer Price:Rs. 135 Discount:Rs. 90 (40%)
SSB Interviews & Psy. Intell. Test by RPH Editorial Board (Publisher: Ramesh Publishing)
List Price:Rs. 110 Offer Price:Rs. 87 Discount:Rs. 23 (21%)

SSB Interview Experience:
You can find in this SSB Interview experience posted by Gopal Aggarwal very worthwhile to read.

SSB Interview Coaching institutes:
I could find following two coaching institutes on the net for SSB Interview:
It has training centre in Chandigarh.

It has training centre in Bangalore, Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun, Kochi, Pune, Secunderabad, Trivandrum & Lucknow.

SSB Interview videos:
While pictures may tell you thousand thoughts, videos may tell you zillions. Therefore I am presenting below some youtube videos to help you know what goes in SSB Interview Group Obstacle tests in Day 3/4:
Hope with above information on SSB Interview Prep material you can crack the same easily. I would be on the lookout for more prep materials for SSB and post the same as and when I find the. Please keep visiting this blog therefore and post your experience as comments below.


vineeth said...

Dear sir,
I don't know, who you are...
I 'm going to attend the SSB in INDIAN Navy on august.Actually i didn't know anything about SSB,than having a vague idea.

Thank you very much,that you have made me clear about SSB.

My hearty thanks to you,
vineeth v s

aseem said...

Very thanx to u sir u cleared my all the doubts in wonderful adequate manner.....and giving advices,attentions and study material ref.

phani said...

Good Morning Sir,

I am attending for SBB interview on 223-July,2009, still now i don't know about SBB INTERVIEWS.
Will you please clarify my doubt about selection procedure.

Thankyou sir, i hope you will claritfy my doubt.


Anonymous said...

hello sir,
im selected to attend the interview for SSB(navy)on august 28th,2009 in banglore. for me its the first time that i got selected without any written test..I have got some idea after searching on net..but still i dnt knw how to answer their questions...means what are they expecting from if i give an e.g.: If u are buying 1 kg tomatoes what will be your preference? me ..i will check wether they are red or not and will they last for wether my answ is correct or not.. i dont dats y i wanna ask from you..wat i am supposed to say...

Anonymous said...

i got my campus interview for ssb on 8th oct... i think this s the preliminary xam for ssb... bcoz its nly one day interview, i m confised how it will be, all the searches for ssb gives information reg main ssb xam , no information for prelims,, how they will shortlist candidates for main ssb xams,, pls help

sweta said...

Respected sir

I am a final engineering(nagpur) student i got selected in ssc(woman category) in the the interview round sir i desparetly want to join you all, sir will you please acquaint me how to prepare for ssb and when are the ssb rounds ,i got my results on 1st october 2009

Major Thiagarajan said...

Dear Himanshu,

Welcome to Mastermind distance learning program for SSB.

1. A distance learning program is available for candidates who are unable to attend the personal contact classes.
2. Similar to personal contact classes, online classes will be conducted personally on one to one basis. The following online classes and tests will be conducted and evaluated. The comments for improvement will be informed to you in a crystal clear manner.

a. Day 1

1. Procedure and schedule of SSB tests
2. Filling of PIQ form

b. Day 2

1. Evaluation of PIQ form and advice for improvement
2. Introduction to officer like qualities
3. Introduction to psychological tests
4. Resubmission of PIQ form by the student

c. Day 3
1. Final evaluation of PIQ form
2. Conduct of psychological tests
a. Intelligence tests – Verbal and non-verbal

d. Day 4
1. Evaluation and comments for improvement in verbal and non-verbal
2. More practice papers for intelligence tests
3. Psychological test (cont…)
a. Word Association Test(WAT)
e. Day 5

1. Evaluation of WAT and comments for improvement
2. More practice papers for WAT
3. Submission of WAT papers one by one each day by the student

f. Day 6

1. Evaluation of WAT paper submitted
2. Introduction of TAT
3. Conduct of TAT (Thematic Appreciation Test)

g. Day 7

1. Evaluation of WAT paper TAT paper submitted and comments for improvement
2. More practice pictures for TAT to be duly written and submitted for evaluation

h. Day 8

1. Evaluation of TAT paper submitted and comments for improvement
2. Introduction to SRT
3. Conduct of SRT paper to be submitted

i. Day 9

1. Evaluation of TAT and SRT paper and advice for improvement
2. More practice paper for SRT to be written and submitted for evaluation

j. Day 10

1. Final evaluation of SRT and TAT tests
2. Self description

k. Day 11

1. Evaluation and comments for improvement in Self description
2. Introduction to GTO test, tips and advice on following topics
3. Indoor Tests
a. Group Discussion
b. Lecturing or speech making
c. Group Planning
4. Outdoor tests:-
a. Group tasks and command tasks.
b. Individual Tasks

l. Day 12

1. Topics for Lecture and Group discussion
2. Written lecture topics to be submitted by the student

m. Day 13

1. Evaluation of written lectures submitted and advice for improvement

n. Day 14

1. Introduction to interview in SSB
2. Dos and Don’ts to be followed during the interview

o. Day 15

1. Final comprehensive comments for overall improvement
2. Feedback from the student

Special features of our online course

o Mastermind Tutors is the ONLY institute in India offering 100% complete ONLINE SSB COACHING.

o The ONLY institute to provide one-to-one contact classes

o The specialty of our course is to provide sufficient materials for practice and crystal clear evaluation for improvement

o Even after completion of the course, the student can contact us anytime for any assistance regarding the SSB at FREE of cost.

Interested candidates are requested to send an application along with your postal communication address and contact details in the mail id (09256040336 OR 0164-2290049)

kumar said...

respected sir,
i was applying iaf. but i don't know how to prepare to the exam and also SSB interview. so please tell me how to prepare the iaf.

amit said...

sir i have given campus interview for UES ,when will we get oue result of this interview?

Madhusmita said...

good evening sir my quesn is i m selected to attend the ssb in varanasi for (met branch)IAF.but problem is they have taken a undertaking that those who had attended the same course before they r nt eligible as i have attened for the same course in month of april but i was not plz help me out what i should do??my ssb is on 23rd of this month

sikander said...

hello sir m in 3rd year engineering course and in next semester i"ll appear 4 the ssb interview which is coducted by the indian army "UES" so sir kindly suggest me dat wat sort of questions do they ask in the interview...................

ajay said...

hello sir

i have been selected for SSB interview for OTA 2010
hw can i prepare for the test

ssb said...

Hi there,
folks , I am happy to inform you that I have been recommended by the Naval Board.
I was a case of NR three times,
I attended a crash course of one week conducted by DEFENCE ACADEMY COIMBATORE
call 94437 20076
They corrected my ( Over Smartness) and cleared my wrong notions about the SSB.

I strongly recommend you guys and girls to attend their course and succeed.
Cadet Kirsore
under trg

SSB Coaching Centre said...

Thank you Kisore, This is Vimal
I got screened out Twice and after having read your comment in this page, I attended one week cousse at Defence Academy Coimbatore.

I am happy to inform you that
I have now cleared the following ssb
a) Navy ( Air Observer)
b) Coast Guard Asst Comdt

My suggestions to my friends who aspire to join the defence forces is

to know how to prepare for the SSB interview

Go to this Institute, they
give a lot of insight about all the tests and it has helped me clear the Interview, which I thought was unsurmountable.

Happy career in the Defence Forces
you can call in my Cell

visit them at

mafia said...

thank u very much sir, for giving such a big guide to join iaf...i was much confused abt joining iaf, but now u made it clear...

aishvarya said...

hi everyone!
if anybody here know of good coaching institute for SSB test in Delhi or around.
plz tell
good luck 2 all aspirants

yatin said...

hello sir,
my name is yatinder i've call for afsb can u plz tell me abt it n how cn i pepare for it??
alsotel me any reputrd coaching institute in delhi??

yatin said...

hi everyone!
if anybody here know of good coaching institute for SSB test in Delhi or around.
plz tell
good luck 2 all aspirants n any tips for preperation for afsb(technical)

Jagdish said...

The Minerva Academy is the Premier, the Oldest and the Best Academy for Services Selection Board (SSB)Interviews for officer level entry into the Armed Forces of India (Army, Navy, and Air Force). It imparts training for the full tests conducted in the 5 days Services Selection Board Test including Interview, full Outdoor and Psychological tests, Group Discussions etc including Screening tests. The Academy has 55 years of experience in this field and has unbeatable track record for success. In fact there are any number of candidates whose father, Grand Father, and Great Grand Father have all been students of the Academy, and large number of them retired as Generals of the Indian Army.

sonia said...

gud evning sir
i hv just cleared ekt and also called for afsb interview
bt my eye sight is week and my power no is 3.75
can i join defence services or not
plz guide me

Lt. Col. Deol'sinerva Academy said...

Dear Sonia,

Please go through website link for physical / medical standards:

And also go through the resources avalable at UPSC website for CDS, this will give you some idea about the same :

Minerva Academy

manojkumar said...


soniye said...

hi sir
can you plz guide me about defence medical criteria
and is lasic laser operation for correction of eye sight is applicable or not?

darsi said...

hello sir Iam Anil . applied for Indian air force ground duty officers posts.I have written exam on mar27,
i need u r help in preparation and what syllabus they cover,what are the books help me.reply soon please

vignesh said...

Hi friends, the blog is useful so much also if you want to ssb interview preparation, tips and procedures just follow this blog.

sanjeev patwan said...

sir, i am gioing to attend ssb in iaf
kindly povide the procdure followed in it

ameya said...

hello everyone
i am selected for ssb in navy. can anyone tell me which is the best coaching institute for ssb preferably in maharashtra or in any other state?

dikshaaaaaa said...

if u r really keen in defence go through this magazine named strategic affairs i m also a defence aspirant i have also cleared ssb once bt could not clear the merit
this a very nice magazine if u want to keep urself updated on defence issues and India's strategic affairs it costs 100 rupes n for subscription it costs 1000 in delhi n 1220 outside delhi for a year it is helpful for me so thought of sharing with others
this is the link from where u can order the magazine or else u can call n order also
call on 01141830315

himms said...


ANAND said...

hello sir
i am anand,i dont know nothig about ssb.but i want to joikn army please tell me what i have to do to join army??

Akshay Kaushik said...

Sir I have got a prefinal year ssb UES scheme and its only a 2 day test so how should I prepare I am pretty much confussed please guide me

Akshay Kaushik said...

Sir please Help me about UES scheme in Navy what would be there and how should I prepare

rajendra babu said...

sir i got a call letter from Indian navy. I am preparing SSB interview complete guide book by it good to go through that book.sir i am scaring about the interview that there are so many rounds that too more group me how to clear the Gd's.thanking you sir

rajendra babu said...

sir help me to prepare for indian navy.iam having an interview on 11th oct2012


Hello Sir,
1. i have done BE in comp in 2012, i cudnt apply in dec 2012 so next wen can i apply
2. what should i opt for ota or ima, what is the minimum no. of years to be in each of them.
3. What is tgc,i dont hv to gv written test for dat ?? and will it lead me to ima or ota.
4. i have more chance to get in army through written test of cdse or without written test through tgc.

Rahul Choudhary said...

Sir, a very great thnx to you. I am an Engg. and was not clear abt my future plannings. With ur information I now decided to go for Indian Army and I m sure that this information will definitely support me to get select in SSC. Thnx a lot sir.......