Tips for Screening Test at SSB

By Dr. Natarajan_Kumar on Fri, 19 July 2013 at 20:12 IST
Tips for Screening Test at SSB

Tips for Screening Test at SSB

Screening test at the SSB can be very tricky. It is  based on two Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) tests followed by the Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT). The OIR tests are verbal and non verbal which are generally very easy. If you practice from any of the reasoning books, you will be able to do well. Candidates are normally rated in a scale of 1 to 5 where 5 is the worst and 1 is the best. Nearly 80% of the candidates achieve the rating of 3, which is acceptable. The real test therefore, is the performance in PPDT.

In PPDT a vague picture is shown for about a minute and thereafter candidates are asked to write an imaginary story in a sheet of paper in about 3 to 4 minutes. After this the sheet of paper is taken back and candidates are sent out. After some time, candidates are regrouped and asked to sit in a semicircular fashion in a group of 15 to 18 candidates. The paper in which you had written the story will be returned back to you and you will be asked to revise your story.

For this test, three assessors are present, one each Interviewing Officer (IO), Psychologist (Psy) and Group Testing Officer (GTO). The test is conducted by the GTO, who will ask you to initially narrate your story without referring to the sheet of paper in the numerical sequence. You are required to narrate the story by bringing out the number of characters identified in the picture, their age, sex, mood (positive/negative/neutral), the situation perceived by you, what must have led to it and what is the likely outcome. You are given just about a minute for this. Once everyone in the group has narrated his/her story, you all are required to hold a discussion to arrive at a consensus about the number of characters, their age, sex and mood and make one common story of the group.  Finally, any one of you nominated by the group, will be required to narrate the group story. In some SSBs this part is not done. 

Often candidates get rejected for following reasons:-

a. Story not at all related to the picture shown.
b. Story unrealistic or too dramatic
c. Story is just the description of what is seen in the picture. Story must have three distinct parts - what is happening now, what must have led to this and what is likely to happen next.
d. Candidate was very nervous while narrating the story or referd to the sheet of paper
e. Stops half way or unable to start
f. Narrates completely in Hindi
g. Does not participate in discussions or does not allow others to participate
h. Repeats his own story to be the best story during the discussion
i. Disinterested when others are saying something
j. Being bullish and not adding value to the discussion by logical reasoning

The following tips would help:

a. Be confident while narrating your story and during the discussions
b. You may change your story from what you had initially written as no one sees the written story
c. Be crisp and to the point and do not beat around the bush.
d. Have a nice ending and identify a main character in the picture
e. Project the character to be dynamic and action oriented through your story line
f. Try and start the discussion or at least be the first few to talk
g. It is not important to agree with all, you may agree to disagree but politely supported by logic
h. Avoid making defence related stories if the picture is not related to defence
i. Do not mention suicide, murder, stealing etc as that reflects your negative traits
j. Listen to others actively and take good points from other's stories
k. Allow everyone a chance and be appreciative
l. Do not criticize anyone
m. Keep trying to form a consensus and make a common story
n. It is always a good idea to compromise for achieving group objectives. hence if your logic is not making sense to others, back off after making reasonable attempts to convince others.
o. Do not stand up yourself to narrate the final story. Let the group nominate you and you propose the best candidate in the group to narrate. If you genuinely think, you can do a good job of it, ask the group if you can narrate.
p. If you are nominated by the group, narrate only the group story as discussed and do not narrate what you think is the best story.
q. In case the GTO asks, if all of you agree with the final story, do not try to change the story at that time. Group decision should always be final.   

The author is a retired Commander from the Indian Navy and has served for over three years as Group Testing Officer at 33 Services Selection Board, Bhopal. He is also a Doctorate in Psychology. He can be contacted at [email protected] or on 7798540998 for free guidance.