Category: SSB Tips

14 Psychological Tricks Everyone Can Use In SSB Interview

Being a repeater in an SSB group requires a lot of guts. Especially, when it is just your first or second time. You won’t get a chance to speak, you won’t get a chance to pitch in your idea and what not that you finally succumb to they overpowering you and you just feel like sitting in a corner. But not when you know how to influence the group. Here we bring you 14 psychological tricks that you can use during the selection process to make your presence felt:

  1. Just continue to say what you are saying:

During the GD or GPE, you will literally beg others to give you a chance to let speak. But no one will show you mercy. Instead, what you can do is just continue to speak what you are speaking fluently without stopping until everyone stops and listens to you for a moment. That is your time to pitch in the most critical points to the group. Mission Accomplished!

  1. Say and Withdraw:

Use this strategy to put in your points in GD and GPE. Wait for that moment when the group is mostly silent and then put in your points quickly and withdraw before anyone interrupting you. Repeat this for 4-5 times in a task. This is the best strategy one can use for any GD in a repeaters group.

  1. Reciprocate Actions:

While performing outdoor tasks, try to reciprocate and appreciate the ideas of others in the group. This will make you look that you are cooperative and a team-worker. On the other hand, do not be the one who only works his own and doesn’t listen to others.

  1. Agree to make them shut up:

When in GD, GPE or any outdoor tasks, you realize that a particular candidate is not giving you chance to speak and is being aggressive, just agree to his points and say that while his points are good, I have a better idea to execute the same task.

  1. Save statistics for later:

Although data and statistics are always accurate, people tend to believe in stories and overlook the figures. So when you are giving someone some data, give it with a story first and sneak in your data in the middle of your story.

  1. Argue Calmly:

When there is a clash of opinion in GD or GPE, it leads to an argument. When arguing with someone, act much calmer than them. This can cause them to say something particularly irrational which you can use against them. Do it when in GD or other group tasks.

  1. Present Figures:

When you feel that people around you are starting to create a mess, present figures as statistics in your group to make them calm down. This means, while the figures might not be exact but it looks realistic. Do not go too far away with this.

  1. Never nominate:

There are two golden rules of GPE: nominate yourself for the final group plan or do not nominate anyone, second, never contradict the group story. Once the story has been given, GTO asks whether this is the group story, just say “yes sir”. No point contradicting now, except, it is a negative point for you.

  1. Fulcrum and effort:

The whole series of outdoor tests are based on the principle of the cantilever. You just need to search for two things here: the end which will restrict the motion of material (effort) and the point where the weight of your material lies (fulcrum). You either need to make effort or fulcrum or both by yourself, so, always try to find the fulcrum and effort in every obstacle.

  1. BRIEF for Lecturette:

There is a framework to attempt Lecturette. Of any topic that you choose, always try to deliver it in BRIEF, meaning Background on the topic, Reason for choosing the topic, Introduction to the topic, End the topic, Follow-up/Conclusion. Take 30 seconds for each of the acronyms and you would be done in 3 minutes.

  1. Give complete actions in SRT:

While writing SRT responses, follow this pattern to show a complete response:

He did this, did this, did this and achieved this.” Follow this pattern for every response depending on the number of actions performed by the characters.

  1. Format for WAT:

Just like SRT, there is a format to attempt WAT words too. While making a sentence, try to keep it in this framework: “I strongly believe that _________________”. For eg, the word “Blood” is given. One possible response could be: “I strongly believe that… blood donation is a noble cause” Just remove the prefix “I strongly believe that” before writing down your response.

  1. The interviewer is your friend:

During the interview, think of the interviewer as your old friend or a close relative. This will make you more open to him and you can be more confident. But mind you, this is still the same interviewer, so, focus that you think before you speak every word.

  1. Qualities you’d like to improve:

When the IO asks this question, do not straight away say to him what you lack. Instead, tell the qualities that you lack but are highly trainable, like you can say – “sir, I want to develop a great stamina and a chiselled body.” Or you can also say “sir, I’d like to polish my communication skills with more use of good vocabulary”. Although these are the qualities that you may lack, these are highly trainable and you can achieve this with little or more practice.


The whole SSB testing is designed based on testing the psychology and personality of a candidate. Within this psychology-based testing, you can apply the common psychology to turn the winds in your favour. Good luck.


20 AFSB Interview Questions For Flying Branch Aspirant [With Answers]

Joining flying branch of Indian Air Force is a dream of many aspirants but not everyone gets the chance to fly the supersonic jets, if you are preparing for the AFSB interview and trying to clear it for the flying branch, below are few AFSB interview questionsyou might face in your personal interview, these questions are basically related to aircraft and flying.

It is very common that entry related questions are asked to a candidate based on his branch, qualification and what he/she is applying for. If a candidate is from NCC, he is expected to know basics about the Indian armed forces. Similarly, if a candidate is an engineer, he/she is expected to know basic field related knowledge. In this article, we will see the probable questions a candidate can expect if he is opting for the flying branch. A candidate opting for flying branch must have Physics and Math at 10+2 level.

AFSB Interview Questions Common

  1. What are the three sub-branches in which flying branch is trifurcated into?

Ans. Helicopters, Fighters, and Transport

  1. Tell me names of 3 helicopters of Indian Air Force.

Ans. Mi-17, Mi-35 and ALH Dhruv.

  1. What is the principle on which an aircraft fly?

Ans. Sir, aircraft fly on the principle of aerodynamics or Bernoulli’s principle. The pressure difference over and below the wings gives it a lift whereas the engines give it a thrust.

  1. What is Bernoulli’s principle, give an example?

Ans. Bernoulli’s principle states that an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with a decrease in pressure or a decrease in the fluid’s potential energy – A1V1 = A2V2. Example is a venture tube.

  1. Explain to me what is buoyancy and how is it related to aircraft?

Ans. Buoyancy is the force exerted on an object that is wholly or partly immersed in a fluid. To fly, a plane needs to displace a mass of air down equal to its own mass, each second. The principle of buoyancy applies here too.

  1. Tell me the most recent aircraft inducted into the IAF?

Ans.  Tejas is recently inducted into the IAF. It’s an indigenously made Light Combat Aircraft and its squadron is nicknamed ‘The Flying Daggers’.

  1. What is the role of aircraft in the IAF?

Ans. Sir, aircraft are an integral part of any air force. They provide air superiority to any country’s military. In India, the aircraft of the IAF has the same role – to defend our borders and fight in wars.

  1. What is the Air Force doing with its aircraft when it is not at war?

Ans. Sir, when the Air Force, is not at war, it is undertaking Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations, participating in exercises with foreign militaries and ultimately, preparing for war.

  1. Name the aircraft that was added to the vintage fleet of IAF.

Ans. Dakota aka Parashuram.

  1. What is the largest aircraft with the IAF?

Ans. The IAF operates Illyushin-76 as its largest aircraft. It is a transport aircraft, also known as Gajraj.

  1. Tell me the name of any 5 transport aircraft of IAF.

Ans. C-130J Super Hercules, C-17 Globemaster, Il-76 Gajraj, An-32 and refueller Il-78.

  1. What is knot, nautical miles, and mach?

Ans. A knot is one nautical mile per hour. A nautical mile = 1.8 km/h and mile = 1.6 km/h. Mach is the ratio of the speed of the object to the speed of sound. If the object is travelling twice the speed of sound, it is said to be travelling in 2 mach.

  1. Tell me the name of 5 fighter aircraft with the IAF.

Ans. Tejas, Su-30, Mig-29, Mig-21 Bison and Jaguar.

  1. What is streamline shape? Why is it important?

Ans. A streamlined shape lowers the friction drag between a fluid, and an object moving through that fluid. This shape is important because it reduces drag to a very high extent.

Questions specific to NCC candidates

  1. Can you tell me what are all the trainer aircraft with the IAF?

Ans. Sir, IAF has Pilatus PC-7, Hawk HJT, Kiran, Dornier, etc.

  1. What is a fly-by-wire system in aircraft?

Ans. Fly-by-wire is a system that replaces the manual flight controls of an aircraft with an electronic interface. The movements of flight controls are converted to electronic signals. It can broadly be understood as digital version of mechanical flight controls.

  1. Name any 5 instruments in a microlight?

Ans.    Airspeed Indicator, Altimeter, Slip/Skid Indicator, Compass and Fuel Indicator.

  1. Name the parts of an aircraft starting from nose to tail?

Ans. Cockpit, fuselage, Wings, Undercarriage, stabilizers, aileron, elevators, rudders, etc.

  1. What are the three basic motions of an aircraft?

Ans. An aircraft has three basic motions – Pitching (by elevators), Rolling (by ailerons) and Yawing (by rudder).

  1. In which layer of atmosphere do aircraft fly?

Ans. An airplane flies comfortably in the stratosphere. Below this, the air is moving constantly which causes turbulence.


Irrespective of whether you are an NCC cadet or not, you are not expected to know all the questions related to flying in depth. However, a little more knowledge is always advantageous. If you don’t know anything, just calmly say, “I don’t know sir.”


Decoded: 3 Days De Novo Selection Process and Tests

Indian armed forces are trying out a new system of officer selection to bring the selection process in tune with the changing job requirement of a modern military officer while allowing them to better assess the newer generation of aspirants. The new selection system once approved, will be implemented from 2019. It is being called as “De Novo Selection Process” which means, ‘A Fresh/New Approach to Selection Process’.

The Need for New Selection System:

The existing Services Selection Board (SSB), in vogue since 1948, is a five-day long process for officer selection which includes an interview, group testing and psychological testing of the aspirants. Candidates who are called for the SSB without having passed a UPSC written exam are administered a screening test on the first day. Qualifying on the screening test is mandatory for the candidates to take further tests.

Formal education is not as important for a military officer of the future as the ability to adapt, learn, unlearn and relearn repeatedly and comprehensively. It is about the modern mind, not the traditional mindset. The new ‘De Novo Selection System’, which has been designed by DRDO’s Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR) lab over five years, will accomplish the SSB testing in three days.

In the existing system, there is nothing wrong ‘per-se’, except that it takes longer and maybe we can speed it up. Some of the suggestions which have been gathering dust at the Army HQ include the following:

  1. Have the screening done online (similar to GRE etc). Can be done once a quarter, with an individual getting three chances.
  2. Get the Psych tests done online too as the Psychologist never meets any candidate.
  3. Call the individuals who clear screening and Psyche Tests for GTO, Interview and Conference.

This will cut down the time by half. There are also other ways to reduce time further, but it should not be reduced to less than 2½ days. Hence, the process is 3 days long.

The Process:

The new system is being trialed at an SSB at Bangalore for two years, running in parallel with the existing tests. The aspirants who are regular readers of SSBCrack and who were there and witnessed the tests in Bangalore and Bhopal, gave us an insight of the testing process of De Novo Selection System.

The test will be held in two stages – Stage 1 and Stage 2 as similar to the current process.
The Stage 1 testing will be a screening test which will be held near a candidate’s home at a specified test centre, just like the regular CETs. After the completion of stage 1 and selection, the candidates will be called for stage 2 at any of the existing selection centres.

Stage 2 selection will have three testing techniques, namely Interview, Psych and GTO. However, the procedure is a little different.

Day 1:

In Psychological Tests, TAT is replaced by SAT or Situation Apperception Test. It is same as TAT – you will be shown a picture and you have to write a story based on it in 4 minutes. However, the number of pictures is reduced to 9 instead of 12. It is followed by a new procedure of WAT in which there will only be 45 words displayed. It will be followed by 2 sets of SRTs – SAT(A) and SAT(V). Situation Assessment Test (Affect) and Situation Assessment Test (Values) are two tests that replace SRT. There are 36 + 18 situations in total for the two tests. There is no SDT for the new selection procedure.

Day 2:

In the GTO series, there are 2 rounds of GD, followed by a GPE, being called as Combined Situation Planning (CSP). It is followed by Outdoor Task Execution 1 (OTE 1) which resembles PGT and OTE 2 which resembles HGT. It is then followed by a mix of IO and GOR which is called Combined Obstacle Course (COC). Finally, the test culminates with a Leadership Situation (LS) that resembles Command Task. There is no Lecturette and FPGT in De Novo process.


Interview is held on either day 1 or day 2 after the completion of the test of the day. The interview is similar to the current process with just minor changes.

Day 3:

The final day of the De Novo process is a final board conference where the findings of IO, GTO and Psych will be discovered and based on that candidate will be recommended or not.


The De Novo Selection System is likely to be implemented at all SSBs in 2019. By reducing the period of SSB testing to three days, the new system will also help in making up for shortages by allowing a greater number of candidates to be tested.


How To Do Well In The GD – Tips By Recommended Candidates

Group discussion, as a selection technique, is mainly designed to test the behavioural and influential skills of a candidate in a group. The other areas which are tested in a GD are communication skills, knowledge and ideas regarding a given subject, the capability to coordinate and lead, etc. Lower familiarity with the random GD topic and no preparation time makes the job easier for the assessor while making things difficult for the candidates.

A typical group discussion generally has 6-10 participants (the GTO group) and lasts for 15 to 20 minutes. It means that each candidate gets 2-3 minutes to talk; the rest of the time is spent listening.

Recommended Candidates Tips To Prepare For GD:

  1. Start Reading:

Reading a book or an editorial aloud for around 15 minutes daily will enhance fluency, the tone of voice and articulation. If possible, try speaking in front of a mirror to tackle nervousness.

  1. Do Discussions in Daily Life:

Start having discussions with your friends and family. It will be more informal where you can assess yourself and organize your thoughts.

  1. Present Facts to the Group:

A good point with some facts and numbers will make everybody listen to what you have to say. This generally helps in presenting your points in the discussion after you’ve already spoken.

  1. Knowing current affairs is a must:

Since the group discussion topic is always a recent controversial topic, if a candidate updated with current affairs, content is not an issue. If not, start reading newspapers and watch the news.

  1. Listen:

Listening is a crucial part of group discussion. It indicates your teamwork and cooperation with the group. The best strategy is to speak for 30-40 seconds and then let others speak. Then after 4-5 minutes, again speak for about a minute with facts and number and listen to others. After that, keep on giving 1-2 points after every 1 or 2 minutes.

  1. Be Formal:

With the typical fauji environment, it is common for candidates to hurl abuses while chit chatting among each other. But not in GD where you must use formal language. Address other participants with respect. Do not make a lot of gestures while you are not speaking. Avoid using extreme words and extreme statements.

  1. Do not prick others:

There are candidates who tend to poke people sitting next to them by elbows or hands – consciously or subconsciously. Do not be that person. Also, do not point to a specific participant while talking. Do not get personal; try to be objective in your arguments. This is not a debate, but a discussion. There is a difference.

  1. Disagree:

This is the most important point. Do not go on agreeing with all the people every time. Disagree with the candidates who are supporting other reasons. Remember, you have to support your own reason with correct facts and figures. If you are disagreeing with someone else do it civilly. Disagree with the point and not with the person.

  1. Talk with figures:

It is really hard to remember all the figures and numbers to support a point. At the same time, you cannot fully avoid the numbers. In that case, if you are 90% familiar with the topic, there is a good chance that a guess on a figure would work. For e.g., if you state a fact that most of the youth are addicted to mobile phones nowadays, there is a good chance if you say that “87% of the youth between 12-25 in 95% of urban India is addicted to smartphone” will work. Remember, these are totally random numbers but there are very high chances that these are true.


In the GD, a candidate should be able to convey his/her thoughts satisfactorily and convincingly to the group. Knowledge of the given subject, power of expression and clarity of thought are the things that are evaluated. Always remember, GD is always on a controversial topic so that you have enough points to speak on it.

Do you have any more tips to give the fellow aspirants? Write them down in the comments.


5 Years, 9 SSB Interview Attempts and Some Reflections

No, I did not get recommended. And, if you’re looking for a success story and tips, you shouldn’t be going ahead with this article. My name is Snigdha. I have been appearing in front of the SSB(s) since December 2013, at various locations from Varanasi to Mysore, for various positions – both technical and non-technical. Today marks the 5 years anniversary from my first SSB; with an experience of 9 not-recommended attempts.

In retrospect, I stumbled upon few thoughts as realisation dawned upon me.
  1. Inspiration vs Imitation: In the first and second attempts when I was not recommended, I looked up to the recommended candidates as my idols. And somewhere without my conscious knowledge, I found myself imitating them in my subsequent attempts. But obvious, I was neither comfortable in that skin of someone else, nor was I able to justify myself. Imitation gets one nowhere because you’re not what you’re trying to fit into. Here is when inspiration helps. When you’re inspired by someone, there is a logic working within your head. You tend to see what is in them that’s not in you / that is in less amount in you. So you accept that and make efforts towards improvisation, rather than temporary imitation.
  2. Assumptions vs Reality: It is very convenient to assume from what we see from our naked eyes. But, at SSBs there is much more than what meets the eye (albeit in a positive sense).It would be very silly to assume that an obvious personality trait is what got a candidate recommended. Over the attempts over the years, I have seen people get recommended who are polar opposites. What I understood is, SSB is not a quantitative evaluation nor a Yes/No test. It is an elaborate, cumulative, qualitative assessment.
  3. A recommended candidates word is not a Gospel :: Take information, avoid opinions: Many times, even the recommended candidates are unsure of what one thing got them recommended. It might not just be “a” thing. It may be the very way they are. When anyone approaches a recommended candidate for tips, the candidate will share only what he/she thinks got them recommended which may not be the exact reason why they’re recommended. That said, I do not mean that one should not approach a recommended candidate or that a recommended candidate is clueless. What I intend is, one should know what to take and what to self-learn. So it is always good to gather information from fellow candidates, but try to avoid their perceptions and opinions, form your own, your very informed opinions.
  1. Good and Fit are relative words: As I said, I have been to many boards, I have faced many interviewing officers. Luckily for me, in almost 8 out of the 9 attempts, the IO gave me an opportunity to ask the questions I had. In the process of my intriguing questions and astounding answers from the respected men and women in uniform, I have only learnt, that the Boards are relentlessly striving to find the GOOD FIT. And Good and Fit are not independent terms. A teacher’s definition of good is different from that a sports coach’s. It is always “Good for?”, “Fit for?”
  1. Co-operation and Competition can’t co-exist: It is inhuman to compete in a co-operative environment and it is foolish to try to bring to co-operation amidst competition. Regardless, the SSBs constantly acknowledging the fact that they look at us for who we are, and bringing someone down doesn’t alleviate one’s position, ground reality is that there is inter-person competition in many of the tasks involved in SSB activities. While you might be extremely content rich, it is no game of mindreading. You need to raise your voice and show yourself up.
  1. Black and White vs. Grey: There is truth, there is a lie, and then there is an imagined reality and then an accepted imagination. If you read till here, you’re wise enough to understand what this means.
  1. Give your best before you give up – Know when to hold on and when to let go:
  • Holding On: Move ahead with maturity and sensibility. Introspect – Work – Evaluate – Introspect – Rework. Give your best before you give up.
  • Letting Go: One has to understand that there are things we might not be made for. Just not meant for. Non-selection is not organisation’s vendetta against you. As I said, they are relentlessly striving to get the best, they’d definitely not miss out on a fit candidate. Maybe you’re not made for this. That, in no way, makes you any less capable. Move ahead with maturity and sensibility. Show your hat up, that you have given your best. This is not for me and I move ahead.