I got recommended from 1 AFSB Dehradun in my first attempt
It is very aptly said that-
"Setting goals is the first step towards making the invisible visible."
I am Tulika Kala from Kotdwar, Uttarakhand. I got recommended from 1 AFSB Dehradun in my first attempt. I have the privilege to be the first in my family to join defence forces. When I decided to join Airforce I had no clear idea about the process of preparation as I didn’t have any defence background and no one to guide me.
That is why I decided to take guidance for my SSB that was the time when I met my mentor Retd. Group Captain Puneet Sharma sir. I find myself very fortunate to have met him and to have been guided by him and it won’t be an exaggeration to say that no matter how much I would have tried I could have never got a mentor like him.
As he always said that SSB is a personality based selection process, he never spoon fed me but made me introspect my personality. He always encouraged me to have a positive outlook towards life and motivated me to be cheerful at all times. He made me familiar with all the testing’s of SSB which further increased my confidence.
I would like to mention that there were times when I felt low during the process, felt like the goal that I had set was really high, but never did I ever give up. Whenever I felt low I used to remind myself that I just need to give it my best of efforts and the best of results would come to me. Moreover my parents are my strongest support system. No words can express my gratefulness for the amount of sacrifice, love, support and guidance they have given me. All that I have done is because of their blessings.
I would encourage all the defense aspirants who are still in college or school to study hard as well as participate in extra-curricular and co-curricular activities and most importantly, learn to strike a balance between the both, because it helps in shaping the overall personality which eventually helps you sail through the process of SSB as it did me.
Now talking about my SSB experience.
DAY 1 – 11th March 2018
(Reporting, Screening & Psych Test)
Around 289 candidates had reported and after the allotment of the chest numbers we were taken to a hall where we gave the OIR tests. I performed well at the OIR test attempting all the questions. After that we were shown a picture for the PPDT test. After writing the story, each of the 12 in the group narrated their story. I narrated my story in a flow and participated in the discussion giving logical points. After some time the results were announced and 82 candidates were screened in.
After some rest, it was time for the psych test.
I would like to mention that one should never go to the SSB with a preconceived story or prepared sentences as then you won’t be able to give your natural reaction which would only hamper your chance of selection. I wrote all the 12 TAT stories, associating myself with the female character shown in the picture. I attempted all the words in WAT and wrote the first sentence that came to my mind. In SRT, I attempted 59 situations.
Here I would like to mention that your reaction to the situation should be crisp and to the point for which one would have to practice a lot. For SD one should be true to their self and write honest opinions of their parents, teachers, friends and their opinion about themselves. For this I talked to my parents, teachers and friends and took their genuine opinion. Moreover self-introspection helped me in writing an unbiased opinion about myself which further helped me in my interview.
DAY 2 - 12th March 2019
Our group, had no testing on the second day. So we all played various sports like volleyball, pool, badminton and carom there in the AFSB. Every day we were allowed an outing at 2:30 P.M. That day we went to visit Buddha Temple which was at a walking distance from the AFSB and also enjoyed momos at one of the local eateries. Here I would like to mention that during the period of SSB one should focus on having a good time and building a good bond with their group mates rather than worrying about the testing’s or sitting at room studying for the next testing because that would only make you more worry some and you would miss the opportunity of making such good friends.
DAY 3 - 13th March 2019
My interview went pretty good. Most of my interview revolved around my family and friends. As Puneet Sir says, this is the only testing where you already know the 80% of the questions which could be asked but still the students crumble under pressure that is because of lack of self-introspection. The questions asked are from your own life only, a bit of self-introspection daily can take you miles ahead in this testing. Moreover as sir says, manner and mannerisms matter a lot. I made sure I maintained a good posture and a smiling face throughout my interview and answered all questions confidently.
Day 4 – 14th March 2019
GD - I was the first one to speak and actively participated in both the GDs taking up a single lead at a time and giving logical arguments in support of that. Good communication skills with in-depth knowledge of the current happenings in India and around the world helps in this test. Again, manner and mannerisms should be kept in mind throughout the discussion.
GPE – I had prioritized the problems to be solved during the time the GTO narrated the situation, this helped me in forming a solution during the time we were given the written of the GTO’s narration. I wrote a practical and viable solution well within the stipulated time. Moreover I participated in the discussion giving logical arguments to support my plan and convinced my group mates on my plan.
PGT – This test is all about how good you analyze the problems and how quick and apt solutions you give for them. There were 1-2 people in my group who without analyzing the structures got over them holding the helping materials, and hence they couldn’t give the solution. I always analyzed the structure first and gave workable solution every time making sure I am the one implementing them as well the first one to walk over the bridge to make sure it is walkable and then helping my mates to cross over the structures.
GOR - This is more of a fun activity than a test. All of us group mates enjoyed it a lot and at the end it filled us with enthusiasm up to the brim.
HGT – HGT is the same as that of PGT just it is easier to implement the ideas since the group is just halved. In my case the half group I was into was of 3 since we were a group of 7. I gave the solution by quickly analyzing the structure, implemented it with the help of my group mates and we completed the task well before time.
LECTURETTE - This is all about how good your public speaking skills are. Moreover one should also have knowledge of day to day happenings so that the content which you speak is impressive. I spoke confidently over the topic that I chose giving facts but I also made sure that I give my personal opinion about the topic.
DAY 5 – 15th March 2019
(Group Task & Conference)
IO – This test is the measure of an individual’s physical fitness. For this one has to prepare himself/herself in advance so that he/she can successfully attempt all the obstacles. I could only complete 5 of the obstacles and hence this is the area I feel I couldn’t use to my advantage.
COMMAND TASK – I performed well at the command task. The level of difficulty was raised quite a few times but I came up with a solution every time. Here the bonding with your group mates also comes into play, since I had a good bonding with my group mates I was called out as a helper 4 times in a group of 7.
FGT- This test went very smoothly as by this time we all had all become familiar with the way to tackle the obstacles.
CONFERENCE – As soon as the GT got over we were asked to change into formals and get ready for the conference. As the bell rang for my chest number to enter, I took a deep breath, remembered my parents, and walked into the room. The feeling that I was experiencing on seeing so many officers, all the GTOs, psychologists and IOs was a mix of gladness and jitteriness. But I maintained calm and greeted all with a smile. The Deputy President of the Board asked me about my stay, the best thing I found during my stay, my inspiration to join Airforce and ways to tell my younger siblings/cousins to join various defence forces, all of which I answered with a bright face and a wide smile.
The conference hardly lasted for 2 minutes. After the conference we were made to wait in the auditorium for the results. After for a long 2 hours wait, which seemed like an eternity, the Deputy President addressed all the candidates and soon the DSO started announcing results. Chest No 3, 9, 10, 26. As my Chest No 26 was called out I went ahead and stood up with the rest of the recommended candidates I don’t remember the chest no of the candidates whose names were announced after me, at that time standing there all I was remembering was the hard work that bore this result, the faces of my loved ones, as it was not just me but them also who had put efforts in making me the person that I am today. That feeling was just out of this world.
After filling up a lot of forms all the people who had applied for the flying branch and had the CPSS were again allotted a room as the CPSS was scheduled for the next day.
DAY 6 - 16th March 2019
Computerized Pilot Selection System Test is a once in a lifetime test. If you clear it you are eligible for flying in not just Airforce but also Army and Navy but if you fail at clearing it you can never appear for it again and you are not eligible for flying in any of the three forces ever again.
As Sir had briefed me about this test before so there was a familiarity because of which a certain level of comfort was there during the test. One cannot judge his/her performance in this test. So I cannot tell you what right or wrong I did in this test that I cleared it but one thing which I would like to mention is that attentively listen to the briefings given before every subtest in this test and read the instructions on the screen carefully.
The final result of the CPSS was announced and we 2 of the 5, cleared the test. This was the time when I was ready-to-jump-happy at the same was feeling so fortunate that I had achieve what I wanted.
I have cleared the medical and currently waiting for the merit list.
I would again like to thank Puneet Sir for his guidance and support throughout this process. Without him this wouldn’t have been possible.
All the very best to all the defence aspirants.
Touch The Sky With Glory!