SSB Mysore Experience by Anubhav

by Uday Kumar on July 20, 2012

I gave the AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) exam on 26th Feb 2012 at Bangalore Yelanka in primary wing of the KV school, for officer entry in the GDOC (Ground Duty Officers Course) in which I was eligible for the following courses:

  1. 133 GDOC Administration (Permanent Commission)
  2. 133 GDOC Logistics (Permanent Commission)
  3. 133 GDOC Education (Permanent Commission)
  4. 26 SSC Administration (Short Service Commission)
  5. 26 SSC Logistics (Short Service Commission)
  6. 26 SSC Education (Short Service Commission)

There were 100 questions which comprised of the following four sections with 25 questions each: –

  • General Awareness – History, Sports, Geography, Environment, Civics, Basic Science, Defense, Art, Culture, Current Affairs, Politics etc.
  • Verbal Ability in English – Comprehension, Error Detection, Sentence Completion, Synonyms, Antonyms and Testing of Vocabulary.
  • Numerical Ability – Decimal Fraction, Simplification, Average, Profit & loss, Percentage, Ratio & Proportion and Simple interest.
  • Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test – Verbal Skills and Spatial Ability.

Here I attempted 95/100 questions in all and left 5 questions in the GK section which I was not aware about. I can gaze my accuracy percentage to be above 90% in all attempted.  There was 1/3rd negative marks for wrong answer and there was only one option correct for each question. The cut off would have been 40-45 out of 100.

I got my SSB call in the month of April 2012 may be at the end of 1st week, I was to report at Mysore Railway Station at Prepaid Auto Booth at 0645 hours on 30th April 2012. I left on 29th Sunday Morning (my friend Agnivesh accompanied me till NGV bus stop) from Bangalore to Mysore via bus service; I reached there at 12-1 pm approximately and took a hotel till Monday morning at night of 29th April 2012, I once again revised the Self Description and word association test and also visited the Mysore palace where lightning was at 1900 hours in the evening. I left the hotel for railway station the next morning by 0600 hours and was there in 20-25 minutes.

Day 1

There when I reached I could see approximately 180-200 candidates prying to get commissioned as an esteemed officer of the elite Indian Air Force. Then exactly at 0645 hours two men dressed in Air Force uniform came with two busses and a Air Force truck to carry the baggage of students, then they checked our AFCAT admit cards and our call letters that were sent to us by post, then after that we were told to take out all our original document and certificates in the file as immediately there would be some tests of verbal, visual and logical reasoning as soon as we reach the 2 Air Force Selection Board, Mysore campus.

Finally we reached there; I had already made a friend till then such that I don’t feel out of the crowd. We were addressed by the warrant officer about the 5 day process and what all we have to keep in mind regarding the same. He then asked candidates who were fresher’s, repeater’s, screened out, conference out, recommended or have appeared in the same board before, based on that he allocated us our temporary chest numbers.

Then we were navigated to a hall in which was like an amphitheatre then came the officer of the Air Force, he first of all congratulated us all for clearing the first step of the written examination and making it here. He then told us what all tests we will be undergoing for the stage one screening examination. First he gave us a dummy booklet compromising of 10-15 sample questions that we were made to do to familiarize us with the kind of questions going to come then he gave us the main first booklet which had 50 questions to be attempted in about 25-30 minutes in which I did all as there was no negative marking, I assume that minimum 40 would have been correct, then after a 5 minute break he gave us another booklet and the same time and number of questions were there which I did all with same accuracy. After that all the answer sheets and booklets were collected from us, and then we had our tea cum breakfast break.

Then I met my friend whom I had made all were gossiping about the papers and other things, we were offered one cheese sandwich and a cup of nutramool milk. I took another sandwich in the second round as I didn’t had breakfast so early morning. It is always good to keep your energy up as you won’t know what would be coming next. Then again we were divided into groups of 10-15, half of the candidates (80-90) at a time were taken to the main hall and were shown a hazy picture and were given instructions how to write the thematic appreciation test. I was in the second half batch. I wrote the story almost instantly encircling the main character in the space provided and the age descriptions.

We were 15 candidates in the group there were 3 officers that were conducting our GD (Group Discussion) first we were told for individual narration that was again having a time limit of 1 minute, do not waste your time in addressing, directly start, I made a start like this “Gentlemen in my opinion……”.

Speak with confidence and do not hesitate even if you go wrong, they are there to see your confidence and how you communicate with the peer group not your talent or new idea’s. Then after all individual narrations were over the officer told that gentlemen please begin discussing the picture and reach a conclusion. I was not the first one to speak but 3rd and I didn’t take a stand but began on a diplomatic note “Gentlemen we all are intellectual people here let us not take a strand but analyze the picture and then come to a mutual conclusion based on that”, the people were listening to me and agreed to my point that what mattered the most, as you have seen I haven’t given any valuable input to the discussion just some common sense point of how to discuss the topic. Then after that I saw what most of the people were adhering to and then I went with the flow i.e. I accumulated all the points by saying “Gentlemen here is the summary as we all have agreed upon….”

The GD was over the officer invigilating told the group to derive the conclusion that was to be given by one person only. Most of the candidates were saying me to give the conclusion as I have told them the summary and they have agreed upon the same, then another gentlemen trying to act smart raised his hand and told the officer that he wants to give, I spoke out to him “Gentlemen I have no issues you can conclude, please continue” – in this way I showed my leadership and team work qualities to the officers… and as destiny turned out I was one of the screened in candidates when the results were declared post lunch, the friend that I made was unlucky and was screened out I felt bad for him but what could I do destiny is destiny. 4 out of 15 in group were screened in and in total 66 candidates were screened in then we were given our new chest numbers, my chest number was 41.

Then we were told to filter our baggage and screened in candidates to take their along with them to the main hall where as the screened out candidates were to be routed back the same day. I helped all of the candidates as I got up the truck and took out the luggage with the help of few others, God it was so tiring, and then I returned to the main hall with my suitcase. Then we went inside the main hall again there our document verification was done by officers and we filled our course preference form also all our mobile phones were deposited. After which immediately the physiological test was conducted which compromised of: –

  1. Thematic Appreciation Test – in which a series of 11 pictures were displayed and we had to write down stories based on that about 200 words in about 4 minutes, the picture was flashed for 30 seconds. The last picture was a blank in which the candidate had to write down his own story for which I went well prepared and wrote down without any effort on my brain. I wrote all the stories and in good handwriting.
  2. Word Association Test – a series of 60 words were flashed in all and we had to write down the first sentence which came to our mind seeing that particular word, each word was flashed for duration of 15 seconds in which you have to see the word and write the sentence. I did all 60 words. Good readable handwriting is a must ensure that you are familiar with your pen beforehand and could write effortlessly with it. E.g. I bought a Reynolds ball point blue pen and practiced speed writing with it 10-15 days in advance.
  3. Situation Reaction Test – a different booklet will be provided in which 60 situations would be there you have to read each situation and write down your reaction within 15 seconds. This too I did all.
  4. Self Description Test – this you can cramp beforehand and can just write effortlessly and fill the pages. Here basically you have to access yourself from 5 different point of views: – (i) Parents Opinion (ii) Supervisors or Teachers Opinion (iii) Colleagues opinion (iv) Your Opinion (v) What you want to be?  **Do not use the word “I” in the first three narrations as it denotes selfishness.

After the days hard work we went back to the Students Hostel carrying our own luggage nearly a kilometer, where we were allotted rooms on the basis of chest numbers. My room was on the third floor room number 20; we were in total 12 people in that room, I called up home by the extra sim containing all the numbers and using someone else’s cell phone that I was screened in and a total of 66 candidates were screened in. Then after getting freshened up I collected hanger& bed sheet from hostel office and then went for dinner after locking my cupboard (**Always lock your things whenever you go out). After coming back from dinner we has a fall in at 2100 hours, I went to my room and filled 3 PIQ (Personal Information Questionnaire) forms that we had to give them first thing in the morning. Don’t take this lightly the major part of the SSB that is the interview depends upon it. Some of the things that I can recollect that you have to fill are: –

  1. Obviously your name and your father’s name (ANUBHAV RASTOGI & SANDEEP RASTOGI) **don’t write anything before your father’s name e.g. Dr., Mr., Col, Flt Lt, etc.
  2. Batch and chest numbers (M-AFCAT/50, 41)
  3. Details of your education up till your current degree.
  4. Father’s, Mother’s, Sister’s or Brother’s education, job, salary.
  5. If you have done your NCC (I was NCC B certificate, Senior Division, 5 GUJARAT NCC)
  6. Games that you have played and its duration i.e. since when you are playing. (Although I didn’t had any official certificate for swimming I wrote down swimming with duration of 17 years as I knew it from the age of 5)
  7. Hobbies and Interests (Body-building, swimming, Reading), questions that were asked what type of books do you read (I said mostly nonfiction), then he asked what is the latest book you have read (I told him 7 habits of highly effective people – I only saw that book and read the prologue), after which he asked me the author of that book (I replied Steven Covey) last question he asked was what 7 habits you think that you need to improve upon (As I had not read it and guessed the interviewer has not also I bluffed some general improvement standards that every person must improve)
  8. Details of having attended any other SSB (which I left blank), etc.

After filling three copies of PIQ I slept at around 2230 hours.

Day 2

I got up at 0400 hours did a clean shave (always be clean shaved) and other Adam requirements after which I began preparing my documents file (* *prepare it really well as the interviewing officer will look at each and every certificate and document that you have put before the interview) as I had my interview scheduled that very day at 1000 hours. Then by 0600 I went to the candidates mess for breakfast, my advice do have a heavy breakfast and maintain high energy levels. After which we were made to fall in at 0700 hours by the warrant officer in charge and then we marched to the selection center and a headcount was done.  Candidates whose interview was scheduled at 0830 hours came prepared and stayed back, those who had GTO went to the grounds and I went back to the hostel.

After preparing all my documents, ironing my pant/shirt, neck tie and polishing my oxford shoes I got ready in a black pant with pleats, normal black belt without any buckle, light cream shirt and black tie of 61 Sub Area that my dad gave as you can see in my picture above. I arrived to the waiting room by 0930 hours, there I saw the guys whose interview was at 0830 hours were still waiting then we began discussion of the latest M&A’s of Air Force, it’s command HQ’s, various jets it had and the leadership (**I picked up many things from the candidates and by being a part of their informal discussions it helped a lot in the interview when the interviewing officer asked me what do you know about Indian Air Force), Discussions were going on in the waiting area it was 1130 hours and still my chest number didn’t appeared on the buzzer of IO (Interviewing Officer) No 1.

Then finally at 1200 hours my chest number came up and all others in the waiting area wished me good luck. I went upstairs there I was told that I had to report at 1500 hours after lunch, then I went for lunch at 1230 hours did light lunch and went back to my room where I undressed from formals and took a rest/nap for an hour or so. Then I washed my face and dressed up again and went to the Selection Board office at 1445 hours approximately. At 1500 hours my chest number again appeared on the buzzer and I was off, I kept a clear head and away from any worries as I already had a job in hand with Accenture. There again I was to wait in another waiting area for 5 minutes or so, until the interviewing officer goes through my documents file. I sat there normally with ease even had a glass of water such that my mouth was not dry during interview. Then I was called while entering I read the name of the officer as Group Captain VVS Madan.

The Interview

As I entered I asked the IO “May I come in Sir” in loud and clear voice. When I was inside I stood up straight beside the chair that was placed round about 5 meters in front of the IO and wished the IO “Good Afternoon Sir”. Then he told me to sit down, after getting in the seat I sat up straight with both my hands over my lap and said “Thank You Sir”, next to my chair a pack table was placed containing a glass of water.

The interviewer then asked me “How are you? Had your Lunch? What was made in the mess?”  To which I answered that “I am fine Sir, I had cereals, and curd, chapatti and some rice at the candidates mess usually light such that I won’t feel sleepy here.” He then asked “So up till now how is your stay here with us?” I replied “Pleasant Sir, made a lot of friends here”.

Then he asked me a series of questions that followed as a rapid fire which I have to reply in a single chance (here they test your listening skills because as an officer you have to follow orders sequentially): –

  1. Tell me about your schooling 10th, 12th, graduation and post graduation?
  2. Tell me all your percentages in 10th, 12th, graduation and post graduation?
  3. Tell me who were your best friends in 10th, 12th, graduation and post graduation?
  4. Why they were your friends?
  5. What qualities did they like in you?
  6. The teacher you liked the least and why?
  7. Do you have a girlfriend?
  8. Since how long you are in a relationship?
  9. What does your father do?
  10. What did your grandfather did?
  11. Who else is in your family and what do they do?
  12. When do you go home as you are working at Bangalore?
  13. Why didn’t you do B.Tech?
  14. What was your rank in AIEEE?
  15. Why such a bad rank you got?
  16. What you did in your NCC?
  17. What were the subjects taught in NCC?
  18. Tell me your two favorite subjects?
  19. Why only swimming, you listed your extra-curricular activity?
  20. Have you taken part in any swimming competitions?
  21. Why not?
  22. You have mentioned reading as your hobby so tell me what type of books you read?
  23. What was the most recent book you read?
  24. Who was the author of that book?
  25. What have you learnt from it?
  26. Why do you want to shift your career from MNC to Defense services?
  27. Tell me about your daily routine during your working day and your weekend?
  28. What do you know about Air force?
  29. Do you know the ranks of junior commissioned officers in the Air Force?
  30. From which country Rafael is from?
  31. Tell me in detail the M&A of Rafael fighter?
  32. Which country does Mirage belong?
  33. As you have lived in Ambala tell me what type of planes they have at Ambala Air force base?
  34. In Gandhinagar which command HQ of Air Force is present?
  35. What type of planes do they have in Gandhinagar?
  36. Which country does the plane Suryakiran belongs?
  37. What type of planes you have at Bangalore and it is under which command?
  38. What interests you in Air Force?
  39. You can also live a healthy life in civil than why you want to join Air-Force?
  40. You are earning well in the civil why you want a shift?
  41. Tell me 3 advices your father gave you that you still remember?
  42. Tell me your two weaknesses and how you are working upon that to overcome them?
  43. What scholarship you have mentioned here in your PIQ you got and from whom?
  44. What was the money you got through that scholarship?
  45. In college how much pocket money you got?
  46. Tell me how you spent your money in detail?
  47. What if you are not selected than what will you do?
  48. After doing your MBA which company will you join?

These are some of the questions that I can recollect during my interview. My interview went for about 90 minutes after which the IO told thank you “Anubhav” it was nice interacting with you, you can take your documents file and do well in other tasks, after which I thanked him and left the room, he told to leave the door open.  My IO in all interviewed 22 candidates and out of which he recommended only one that was me… J

I went back to the hostel directly without interacting with anyone in the waiting room, changed my dress and relaxed as I was done for the day. Then I had some snacks and more nutramool milk that was brought for us at hostel and chatted with candidates who were there or had come from interview after me. Then I went and slept for a while as rejuvenating yourself is very much necessary. At around 2000 hours I went to have dinner in the mess after which 2-3 of us came back to the hostel room and chatted along until 2115 hours we were called upon as fall in and head count was going on. At 2130 we were back in our lodging room, chest numbers 34-45 were in my room, as soon as we went I saw people reading thick books of “Arihant – How to crack SSB”, someone reading from his own material about GTO tasks and obstacles, etc.  It’s very necessary to bond with your team and my team was chest numbers 37-46, I was at an advantage as my chest number was 41 and was the center of the group of 9 candidates. All of them gathered around me and I always had something to share with them which they liked and confided in me.

The SSB is like you have been called for Roadies and have to do the tasks working in a group, keeping your individual ego’s aside and working for the achievement of a specific task at hand. So keep your friends close but keep your so called extra-smart people even closer as you don’t know what would be in the plates for you the next day as you toll on to the group obstacles, GD’s and Commando briefing tasks which have to performed by a group. Take your peers into confidence such that they blindly trust you and believe in you by this you are not being selfish but it’s a leadership quality that will be shown in the grounds when you work together. Plus you are enhancing the chances of more people in your group of being recommended as what is seen by the GTO officer is group work/effort, it happens sometime that there is no unity in a group and it becomes a fish market that has certainly to be avoided or even a single candidate from your group would not be recommended, it happened in my previous group, the whole team was washed out not even a single candidate was recommended.

Day 3

As usual I woke up to the tone of “Vande….. Matram……” by Lata Mangeshkar, at 0500 hours in the morning. All in the room were still fast asleep, I did my daily chores and got ready by 0530 hours and went down to see the notice board that what was my schedule for the day, luckily our team didn’t had any task this day i.e. we were free the whole day but can leave the campus only after 1400 hours. I did by breakfast by 0600 hours, after which the photographer had come to click a snap of all the candidates that were screened in as they consider it a big achievement in itself undergoing the 5 day process. I jumped to the top most row and as usual was in the center of the photograph… J and then a fall in was there after which at SSB center headcount, then we returned to the hostel, I changed in loose clothes and slept again for 2-3 hours. I got up at 1130 hours had nutramool milk and some snacks that were bought for us downstairs the hostel. Then again some convincing and bonding time with the peer group after that lunch then some nap, at 1430 hours planned to go out with team 5-6 of us were there we went to roam around Mysore in search of the movie “Vicky Donor” but we couldn’t find it then we went to Mall of Mysore and saw the movie “Ishqzaade”.  After which we came back walking and more talking and bonding back to the SSB center, collected our chest numbers and returned to the candidate’s hostel where we could see some boys playing basketball and we joined in.

After some time at around 2000 hours we were called in for dinner then after that fall in and headcount was done, we reached our rooms by 2130 and I began telling my stories to my group and how to do in Group tasks that was the last hurdle between me and recommendation. I told how to go about the tasks and what all to do and not to do. All my team was all ears to me and I assigned roles to all of them, their positions and even what and when they have to speak in the commando briefing and GD’s. At around 2030 hours I slept dreaming of the day ahead in the field.  Short day today but bonded well with team and showed them my leadership skills as you might say a soldier never puts down his weapons until the job is done, I fight where I am told and I win where I fight… 🙂

Day 4

Got up at 0500 hours with the sound of the same devotional song, got ready in GTO dress white T-Shirt with collar, white Bata PT shoes, white socks and white shorts. Completed breakfast by 0600 hours and went to the selection center office for headcount, directly from there we were taken to the GD rooms where the GTO officer introduced us to the proceedings that we were meant to encounter, he took a brief introduction of all of us – our names, hobbies and what we do. Then after he gave us two topics for GD out of which we had to select one and go discussing about it. I was always the 3rd or 4th to speak, I thought while others were speaking some relevant points to the topic and then spoke, as you know first the common sense things how to go about the discussion and taking all my mates into confidence and then putting down all my points and making them agree too to it…J Then he gave us a second topic and told us to debate and we need not come to a conclusion, that went well too.

Then it was time for sand-model also known as commando briefing task, as I had already familiarized my team one night before it was nearly the same situation at hand, so their confidence in me became even more, first we all wrote down our individual solutions and then GTO told to discuss and come to a conclusion which one candidate from the group will represent. I was the one to give the conclusion as I had comprehended the situation very well and also briefed my team the same while discussing. After that the fun began……. We jogged our way to the fields where different obstacles were placed, the rule of the ground is you keep on jogging or running you do not walk, please keep this in mind after entering the grounds.

We went straight to the relaxing area in the ground drank some more nutramool milk and light snacks to keep our energy high for the upcoming physical tasks. Then after sometime we were told to run to a particular spot in the field where our GTO officer came we were standing in an arc formation left to right as per chest number wise with my position in the center as my chest number 41 from 37 to 36, which was again an added advantage.  We were briefed about our first task that were the Progressive Group Tasks (PGT) totally four were there with increasing level of difficulties and we had to communicate in English only but if we mistakenly used any other language we must try to switch back to English as soon as possible. Rules were: –

  1. Do not step on the ground between the two parallel lines that were supposed to be some distance apart. Between them there were some structures through which we had to use and cross from one line to another.
  2. Structure where red marking was there you could not step neither you could put your helping material in that which was given to you i.e. a wooden plank, a log and rope plus your carry material that was about 10-15 kg in weight which you had to get across the line.
  3. Structure where yellow was marked you could keep your feet but not any helping material upon that.
  4. You should carry all your helping material across the line with none left behind.
  5. You should move with your team together with no one left behind and all must cross the first obstacle only then proceed to the next PGT.

The total time duration for all 4 PGT’s was fixed to 45 minutes.  I was always the first person in front while initiating any task and all my ideas and route to take were implemented and were successful. In one of the task there was no support you have to walk on the log to reach the other structure, I tied the rope on one corner of the starting structure and started walking on the log the rope helped a lot at one time I went 45* but regain my posture and completed that PGT successfully.

After the PGT’s the GTO officer divided the group into teams of 5 and 4 I was in the 5 team as it was decided by the GTO officer. The task was Half Group Task (HGT), it was done so as to gaze the performance of the candidates who didn’t have an opportunity to share their ideas in full group tasks.  It was only one obstacle which also I did well, here I was the second person to initiate as I had already initiated in the PGT’s, and hence my domineering attitude was also avoided.

After that immediately we had Extempore or Lectturate in which everyone had to speak as per chest number wise 3 minutes continuously on a certain topic given in the card, when one speaks the chest number after him takes a card and goes to prepare a topic, when he ends next chest number immediately starts and the chest number after him goes to prepare. My topic was Indian Economy for which I spoke for 3 minutes making an eye contact with all my team, its only GK that I grabbed some concepts such as BRIC countries, GDP, inflation, etc which I elaborated as per my understanding and comprehension.

Then we had the Command Task the rules were same as PGT and here GTO used to call every candidate in random order where he used to talk to him and then ask him to be the commander of this task for which he can choose 2 helpers amongst the team. We were a team of 9 candidates in all including me, 7 out of 8 excluding me called me as their helper and I did the task for all of them, the task in which I was made the commander, I called two chest numbers out of which one was lean and thin and other was strong such that he could lift & shift the plank/log easily. I was given 8 minutes for the task I did it in at most 2-3 minutes after which the GTO asked me some other method to do it supposing I don’t have the plank and log but only the rope, which I told him after thinking that we can make a Burma bridge structure and by vertical rope climb we can shift the men and material to which he agreed and I had completed my task successfully. I thanked my helpers and GTO officer and jogged back.

After returning the GTO officer once again addressed us and gave us a suggestion to keep doing what we are doing even if we are recommended. Then we came back tired, completely exhausted to the candidates mess as it was lunch time, I ate 10-12 Chapatti’s at lunch and drank almost a liter of water, after which I went back to the lodging room took a shower with cold water and slept for 2-3 hours.. That was the end of all the tasks and tests we had to undergo at 2AFSBMysore, In the evening when we got up we again planned to visit the city, we went to dominos, then we also went to a nearby bar, where my peers took something but I avoided it as if caught there would had been serious consequences and I didn’t wanted to render my chances for selection. We came back at around 1900 hours and went straight up to our rooms where I changed into informal clothes and got ready for dinner. After dinner fall in at 2100 hours that was supposed to be many of the candidates last night at the selection board. Then we slept around 2100 hours that night after exchanging all our contact numbers and addresses and we planned to meet in Bangalore which we did also….

Day 5 – The Judgement Day

I sprang out of the bed at 0500 hours did a clean shave two times, ironed my pants, shirt and tie (The same dress I wore for the interview). Polished my shoes well, combed my hair 10-15 times, packed my suitcase, put on the chest number and deposited the suitcase in the luggage room of the hostel after breakfast at 0600 hours. At 0700 hours we were told to fall in and carry our luggage to the board office. I thanked the hostel warden for a pleasant stay and left with my suitcase.

Candidates were being called chest number wise to the conference hall where the fate of the candidates was to be judged by the 24 Air Force officers sitting in a semi circular format, presided over by the president of the board that was the rank of Air Commodore equivalent to Brigadier in the Army. All the candidates were made to sit in the main hall, and were called 5 at a time, in the mean time our TA (Transport Allowance) was being given, I was given Rs 240 for my travel from Bangalore to Mysore. They called our batch of 5 candidates from 41 to 45 at 1130 hours, then we were shifted to the waiting room, after chest number 40 went inside the conference I stood up and waited they took around 20-25 minutes to beep the buzzer of my chest number 41. Then I gathered all my courage and went in with a “Come what may” type of attitude.

I was standing there when as I entered and faced the board of 24 Air Force officers in their uniforms, all eyes were on me, the president of the board being in middle about 8-9 meters in distance from where I was standing. I wished him loud and clear such that he could hear my voice at such a distance “Good Morning Sir”, he then spoke on a mini mike in front of him to “please take your seat Anubhav”. Then the following conversation started: –

  • President: So Anubhav what is your Sun sign?
  • Me: Pardon Sir, Are you asking me my SUN sign? (As it was an unexpected question, it is always good to verify again)
  • President: Yes Anubhav.
  • Me: Leo Sir.
  • President: So Anubhav tell me what qualities of a Leo do you have?
  • Me:  I am pretty much confident Sir, which is the first and foremost quality of a defense officer.
  • President: and what qualities do you want to improve upon?
  • Me: Sir, I would not prefer to be much of a leader by a friend of friends such that I am considered as a part of the group.
  • President: So Anubhav tell me how do you rate your performance in the 5-day SSB process?
  • Me: Sir, I am no one to judge my performance for that you are there. But, I have given my 100% and rest is destiny.
  • President: Have you given your 100%?
  • Me: Yes Sir (loud and clear)
  • President: As you were the only post-graduate staying in the room allocated, what do you think about all other graduates staying with you?
  • Me: Well Sir, all other people are nice taking to with a friendly behavior and each of them is a master in their fields.
  • President: How did you like the stay and food here?
  • Me: It was one of the best memories that I will cherish for a life time, made a lot of friends. The food was also good here Sir.
  • President: Thank you Anubhav you may leave now.

Got up from the chair smartly, raised my toes a little, as was taught by my father is a way of showing respect to your seniors in the defense also as I was a NCC candidate.  Wished him a loud and clear “Thank you Sir” and left the room back to the main hall.

At around 1330 hours the Group Captain came into the main hall, it was like everyone was numb with no words in their mouths. As he spoke all ears were fixed to the chest numbers, he addressed us “Gentlemen finally we have decided the names of the candidates to be recommended which are as follows:-“

First he called out chest number 8, big smile on that fellows face like a Colgate smile and he kept on smiling showing his teeth till he reached the stage. Second chest number was 16, he sprang from his chair and came jumping and thumping to the stage, all were clapping for their success including me…J, then came number 17 just after 16 they both were elated and joyful and were hugging on stage making some noise too to which the officer strictly told them to behave properly and be in discipline in the Air Force facility.

Then he said chest number 41, first I was a bit confused as after 8, 16, 17… it could be 21, but he again said chest number 41, that was the most wonderful moment of my life which I had no words to explain the feeling that I was getting and a sense of accomplishment that I had never felt till date even when I got my first job in Accenture. After that what happened or what the Officer spoke I don’t know, I simply went up stage and met my future brothers in the force we congratulated each other, it was seriously the best moment of my life all others were clapping for us. Then as a token of achievement we were give air force round collar T-shirts with “INDIAN AIR FORCE” printed on them. Then we were told to collect our baggage and report in the waiting room as the officer consolidated other candidates and told them to try again and very best of luck in their careers ahead.

The rest is destiny… And the story continues of Flying Officer Anubhav Rastogi 🙂

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Avinash July 21, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Anubhav you really reflect your name’s meaning by giving us experiance(Anubhav).
you did good job and this is really helpful for every one.


SHASHI BALA July 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Hi Anubhav,
Congrats for getting in commissioned. Really a great explanation u have given, its really very informative & motivating.


SREEKANTH K.U July 21, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Anubhav you are really given a touching experience to persons who are going to attend the ssb soon. it is not merely a advice ,it is a experience with glory wish you all the best for your future and thank you for your kindness to put your ssb experience to all…………


Akash Adhvaryu July 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Anubhav after reading this story, I really believe that the way u performed, U DESERVED this. Itz a really very motivating article shared by u. Good Job bro..thnx:) Also my hopes have increased.


tanvi July 23, 2012 at 10:35 am

anubhav i am glad u shared ur exp with others bt i have one query to ask can u tell me what is the idle dress code for the women at the interview….
kindly help sir……


Anubhav July 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Well I don’t know much, but I’d prefer Saree but also considering the dressing up conditions at an SSB and amount of toil in dressing up in Saree; I’d recommend Business Formal Attire for women appearing in interview and for conference day.


akhil July 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm

that was a touching experience…..and for the good cause of the country…….congrats on being selected and an advance congrats for commission…..JAI HIND


deepti July 25, 2012 at 12:33 am

congrats man:) by having only a look at ur article,it can be estimated how wonderful and charismatic u will be in person..good job…if u dont mind can we be friends on facebook..i would like to know more of your experiences…i mean after joining the air force..


saibaba July 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

thanks for sharing ur experience with us.congrats for getting selected in armed forces.


AARTI July 28, 2012 at 11:14 am

sir, thnks fr sharing ur experience n guiding us…it will be very helpful fr us… i want to knw about the meaning of M&A. pls, expand the term M&a


Anubhav July 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm

M&A means Mergers and Acquisitions or latest developments in the field of Air Force that the officer was referring to.

AARTI July 28, 2012 at 2:59 pm

k…thnks sir…


sunil July 29, 2012 at 2:09 pm

hello anubhav …i have send u message in Facebook on your account …please reply regarding SELF DESCRIPTION topic IN SSB …read there and answer …please dear.. urgently needed……going for ssb


Anubhav July 29, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Hi Sunil,

I am sorry but his you have to write yourself as I asked my parents, supervisors and friends what they thought about me, It is their personal opinion about me and how can they tell about you? So my advice is simple just ask them as else it will not reflect in other activities or tasks that you do at SSB, will only create a problem for you. Be truthful, don’t fake they are smart people seen many like you and will catch you. All the best for your SSB.



sunil July 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm

okay no problem …atleast can u tell me what u wrote in your negative traits in self description regarding all questions in all areas one by one because i am very confused what to write for negative points….please suggests me ..reply soon dear…!!!


Anubhav July 30, 2012 at 8:00 am

Well I don’t understand why are you willing to write negative traits as I never wrote negative in my SD. It would be better you ask Uday Sir regarding the same.

sunil July 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm

okay …well u mean to say that NO NEED TO WRITE NEGATIVE points regarding the opinion of parents , friends , boss & self….. please clear me in this because the examiner over there tells that you “will have to write your positive as well as negative traits ” … so please clear in this regard…. ???


uday August 1, 2012 at 11:11 pm

Dear Sunil, you got it wrongly. You will have to write compulsorily. But write such things which will not affect your impression much. For eg: If you write I am dishonest or I frequently lie to my parents, or I am lazy etc will have a very bad effect. But If you say I watch TV very much or I keep the volume of my music very much which annoys my parents always or My dressing sense is not very good etc will have a lesser negative impact. Hope you understood.


Deepak mehra August 24, 2012 at 6:38 pm

i missed my primary date(23 aug) of ssb for ima 134 at allahabad centre because of late web upload of ssb datesheet(22 aug) as i hav’nt receive my ssb call letter (may missed in postal service) so sir what extra document should i carry to appear in absentee batch(17 sep) i.e medical etc


Kishor August 28, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Anubhav can i have ur mail id to share something personal if u dont mind???plz reply me


Anubhav August 30, 2012 at 1:25 pm
Divya Sudha November 18, 2012 at 11:31 am

Mr. Anubhav, You just did a great job. Just by reading your post, I could feel literally, how confident and straight you were, in all your actions and tasks. I really feel very proud of you. I have cleared AFCAT 02/2012. I’m due at Mysore for my AFSB. Really, your story has lifted up my spirits. I’m very happy for your success and You Are My ROLE MODEL now. I will do my best. Thank you million ton for your share. Real thanks to you. All the best. 🙂


Venkatesh December 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Hey Anubhav,

Your explanation of the SSB experience was so good.
I attended SSB at Mysore during Nov this year and got recommended.
Just want to know about the merit list. On what basis the merit list is prepared.
Would be very helpful if you can share your thoughts.


Anubhav December 22, 2012 at 9:31 am

Read the first para you will understand

Deesha Chhatbar January 11, 2013 at 1:18 am

Would take up from those minute details that would result into grate help
and wish u successes ahead in life


kavin March 16, 2013 at 11:24 pm

Thank you so much for giving us a wonderful thought provoking experience.
Felt rejuvenated.


Manish Alexander Mohan March 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm

Hi Anubhav,
I got short listed in AFCAT 2013.. However I was wondering if they would allow me to change my preference from the technical to the flying branch at any time during or after the selection process ….I had given my first preference as technical(PC) and second option as PILOT(SSC)… how does this work?? If I don’t get in the technical then will I be considered for pilot?? I would be grateful if someone could help me understand the process better.

Thank you


rituparn May 16, 2013 at 9:58 pm

1) do we have to compulsorily attempt all words in WAT? i tried practicing and cant attempt more than 35 in stipulated time…
2) through AFCAT, what all entries do we get…i mean, after SSB- technical and/or flying and/or what else?


Himmat June 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Very nice explanation, Anubhav. Thanks for providing details.
I want to know that for to get into Air Force either technical or flying branch, the SSB test is same or different for both?

What are the no.s of candidate recruited per year?

Thanks in advance.


manisha July 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm

sir i have got 55 % in 12th .can i join indian airforce


chinju September 30, 2013 at 12:14 am

Hi Anubav
I have cleared AFCAT 2013.I am waiting for ssb during month of march.Can You please give the details of technichal(electronics) branch in Indian Air Force and the ranks for each post.Please reply….


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