How to Approach Screening in SSB Interviews (My Experience and Tips)

by Girish Singh on June 4, 2014

ssb-screening testWelcome back, This is the second article in the series which I will be contributing on NavalJourney. A lot of aspirants know about the defense services, they prepare hard for the service selection boards and still have the single biggest confusion – HOW TO APPROACH SCREENING?

This article includes my screening experience of UES NAVY. I faced two screenings, one in the campus round, and one on the actual SSB, Day 1. We will restrict the discussion to the screening at SSB.

Let’s start from the beginning.

It was a rainy day of June. I reported to the Bhopal Jn. Railway station as directed on my call up letter. I waited there for half an hour after which a NCO, took us all to Sultania Infantry Bhopal. It was around 2 PM. After we put our luggage in, an officer came to address us. He briefed us about the various rules, code of conduct and various other things, that we will see in next few days. He also briefed us about the selection procedure for next few days.

The day passed in document verification and distribution of TA. We had dinner and slept like babies. Yes, we were tired.

The next day was the day one. THE SCREENING.

As soon as the clock struck 5, FM started playing in all our rooms. Or was it 4? I don’t remember.

We bathed, had breakfast and went to the hall where we were expected to report at 6. After a while, we were administered the two OIR tests. Everybody do well in these tests as they are very easy. The only catch of these tests is proper management of time.

After the OIR tests, the PPDT commenced. By, PPDT, one means picture perception discussion test.

As the copies of OIR tests were collected, an officer entered the room, and explained us the procedure of picture perception.

He gave instructions that we have to look carefully on the picture which will be flashed on the big screen via projector for about 30 seconds. After that we would be allowed a time of 1 minute to write down the important details and conceptualize the story and 4 minutes following it to actually write down the story.

I suggest that you take previous experience of the kind of pictures they show there, so that you can avoid what I did. The picture they showed us had three people in it in a conversation. A boy, a lady, and a Man.

After the copies were collected, we were divided in batches for screening. On our term we entered the GD hall and sat according to the chest numbers. There were three officers present. Usually there are two. One of them told us to narrate our story one after another. The copies were not with us, so try to remember what you wrote. You don’t wish to screw up telling a different story. That would look really bad. Won’t it?

Now when the people of my group narrated their stories, I realized that my story was altogether different, in respect of that what I saw as a girl in the picture, was actually a boy. So, being the last narrator, it felt awkward to me, that only I among my group saw a girl in that picture.

Anyhow, people made all sort of stories- A drug junkie coming back clean, a robbery went wrong, a school principle complaining to the kid’s parents and so on. A guy also told a story in end of which all the three characters died at the end. That was really sad, even to hear. I made a pretty simple story in which I perceived the girl as helping the old man by allowing him to stay over her place.

The discussion was fanatic. There was a guy who was political volunteer for a national party sitting among us. He thought it’s his responsibility to tell everyone what to say. In between he also came up with an Idea that let’s allow everyone to talk one after another, in circular fashion. That idea was obviously not accepted, by me, and by others. I spoke 4-5 times in the whole discussion, talking in almost impeccable English without stammering even a little bit and tried to put logical points forward. The discussion was going nowhere, so I tried to bring them on a singular track and finally concluded the discussion logically. I was selected and rest were screened out. I felt really bad for few of them who didn’t get a chance because some other guys were dominating the discussion.

The essence of a group discussion can be summarized in a statement that leaders are selected. And a leader in a group discussion is not the one who speak most, it’s the one who is most spoken to.

Following are the few strategies that you can use while this sort of group discussion which is highly competitive and the time is less.

  1. Speak logical. Think before you speak. Speaking arbitrary stuff just for the sake of it is not going to help you in any manner.
  2. Speak in a firm way. While you are speaking, try to make eye contact with every person of the group and avoid getting cut short in between while you are speaking.
  3. Work on your communication skills before going to SSB. If you are weak speaker, and face problem speaking in English, try reading the newspapers regularly reading loudly. It really helps. Try doing it alone if you are shy. It will also improve the GK!
  4. Try to make new points and drive the discussion forward, repeating same points is useless.
  5. Listen. Only then others will listen too. Listen what others are saying and take into account there points too. You are not in a debate, you are in a group discussion. Remember that.
  6. Keep track of the time. If it is about to be over, try to move the discussion towards a conclusion.
  7. Maintain calm and stay composed. Don’t get overexcited or feel sleepy.
  8. Don’t look at the evaluators sitting in front of you.
  9. To make new points you can consider the aspects such as Social, Political, Moral, Economic, and legal of the topic. This way you won’t get short of the stuff you need to speak.
  10. Dress well. Nothing looks better than a full white shirt with black trousers, black shoes and a tie.

Thank you. Stay Tuned.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

prabhat June 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm

Dear Girish
Congrats for recommend from two boards I need little bit of help I have a SSB on 29 June at coimbatore.I just want to know that in Gd of screening when fish market is create over there than I have to do over there speak or to be silent over there.
Last time I faced army SSB & I Was screened out over there……


s md Aqthar June 10, 2014 at 10:37 pm

Please discuss about the screening in the college also for the UES entry.


Hadibandhu Debata June 25, 2014 at 10:43 pm

Respected Sir,

I had gone for ssb interview (TGC 118) on 24 oct 2014 ,but i couldn’t clear screening test. then i prepared to improve my communication skill for more than 6 months . I got a job in Accenture but i left that because i had a burning desire to get into defence sector. After about 8 months i again went for navy pilot on 22 jun,2014. I performed well in screening but couldn’t clear it . I couldn’t get where i am actually lagging behind.

So could you please guide me what should i do?

Thank You in Advance


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