Rashtra Defence Academy

5 Days SSB Interview Procedure-2020

Services Selection Board (SSB) is an organization that assesses the candidates for becoming officers into the Indian Armed Forces. The board evaluates the suitability of the candidate for becoming an officer using a standardized protocol of evaluation system which constitutes of personality, intelligence tests, and interviews. Every defence aspirant looking to join Armed Forces officers entry has to undergo 5 days SSB Interview Procedure.

The tests are of both types i.e. written and practical task-based. An SSB comprises the panel of assessors, who are officers in Indian Armed Forces, and having their specialization as Psychologist, GTO (Group Task Officer), and Interviewing Officer. In total there are thirteen Service Selection Boards across India, out of which four boards are for the Indian Army, four boards are for Indian Air Force, and five boards for Indian Navy. SSB is a 5–6 days evaluation process.

Many candidates are freshers, they are not aware of the SSB interview procedure, this leads to problems during the SSB  interview. They never know the do and don’t of SSB interview, they do not know about the necessary documents required during the interview process. Let’s talk about the 5 days SSB interview procedure and the various sources which can help you and prepare you before you go for your first attempt.

Reporting Day:

On this day candidate has to report at the allotted SSB center.  The candidate has to follow the instructions as mentioned in the SSB call letter. Generally, the candidate has to report at the railway station in the morning between 7 Am – 8 Am, and from there, candidates are escorted to the board by one of the SSB officials.

On the very same day, candidates are made to sit in the testing hall where they have to present their educational documents for verification and are allotted a number (called as Chest Number) by which they will be able to identify the candidates throughout the process. A briefing about the schedule, various tests, and general instructions is given.

Stage-I (Screening):

Day 1: On Day 1, stage one of testing is administered. It is also known as Screening. The screening process is to pick up some potential candidates from all those who have reported for the particular entry. It consists of a few activities like:

  • Verbal and Non-verbal Intelligence Test: About 50 questions each are asked in this paper which are of very easy level. No special preparation is required for this test but one should go well prepared to do better. After this test, you will get some rest and later proceed for PPDT.
  • Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT): In this test, a picture, either hazy or clear is shown to the candidates for 30 seconds. Each candidate observes it and then, in the next one minute, must record the number of characters seen in the picture. Then, in four minutes, each candidate must in over seventy words, make a story from the picture (and not just describe the picture). The candidate must record the mood, approximate age, and gender of the first character they saw, known as the “main character”. In stage two of the PPDT, the candidates are given their stories, which they may revise. Then, in a group, each candidate must narrate his story in under one minute. The group is then asked to create a common story involving each or their perceived picture stories.

Once the Screening Test is over, the results are declared within 1 hour of the completion of the test. Those who clear the Screening test are required to stay back for the next 4 days and the rest of the candidates gets their TA and dropped backed to the railway station or bus stand. Selected candidates are allotted with new chest numbers. 


Selected candidates are allotted with new chest numbers. Now your real battle starts, losing the stage-2 battle is very painful for most of us, but good preparation can fulfill your dream to join Indian defence forces.

Psychological Tests (Day 2): On the second day Psychological Test is conducted. Psychology Test is mainly divided into 4 Parts. It is a battery of projective tests, all tests are used to check the psychological suitability of the candidate to be an officer. Candidates are required to write their responses based on the particular test. Here the time limit is very crucial, so you are required to write your first response in time.

  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)– Commonly known as Picture Story writing. You will be shown 11 pictures in which last picture is will be a blank slide, each picture will come just for 30 seconds and then disappear, after that, you will get 4 minutes time to write the story based on that picture. After 4 mins another picture will come for 30 seconds and the same process will be followed till the last slide {blank slide }.
  • Word Association Test (WAT): You will be shown 60 words back to back, each word will remain on the screen for 15 seconds, in 15 seconds you are required to write a sentence which comes in your mind first after reading that word. Likewise, you have to write 60 words continuously without any pause in between.
  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT): You will get a booklet with 60 situations written on it, you are required to write your responses based on those 60 situations, the time allotted will be 30 mins.
  • Self Description Test (SD): You are required to write an opinion about you from your parents, friends, teachers, yourself, and the thing you would like to develop in the future. Time allotted will be 15 mins.

Its all about your speed of thinking and writing, do not manipulate much because it may create a problem for you in the later stage. Write everything legible and correct.

GTO-1st (Day 3): (Consists of 6 Tests) This is also has a series of outdoor task, the main aim of this task is to judge your qualities during group performance, remember most of the task in this series are group task, you are required to support the group with best of your qualities and not to compete with them in any manner.

  • Group discussion (GD): Here two GD will take place. Back to back group discussion on two topics, mostly current affairs.
  • Group Planning Exercise: Also known as ‘Military Planning Exercise’. In Group Planning Exercise, each candidate has to write his planning for the mentioned problem and map given, later group members are required to discuss the problem and have to come with a common plan with a common consensus. Later one of the group members has to explain the common planning with the help of pointer and map.
  • Progressive Group Tasks (PGT): Progressive Group Task, you are required to cross some obstacles with the help of supporting materials like rope, plank, wood log, etc. Some rules are required to be followed during this task, it a full group activity.
  • Half Group Tasks (HGT): Half Group Task, mostly the same as PGT but the number of group members will be half, you may get more chance to show your potential.
  • Group Obstacles Race (GOR) – Also known as ‘Snake Race’. 
  • Lecturette: 

GTO 2nd (Day 4): (Consists of 3 Tests)

  • Individual Obstacles Task (IOT): 
  • Command Task (CT):
  • Final Group Task (FGT):


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