The Service Selection Board (SSB) tests consists of two stages and are conducted after the written exams. Stage I is screening: On the screening day, about 200 to 300 candidates who have cleared the written tests or are being recruited directly report at the respective SSBs. On the first day, the candidates undergo the Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) Test and Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PPDT). The OIR is a simple test which has verbal and non-verbal questions related to general intelligence.
In PPDT or picture perception and description test, candidates are shown a sketch for 30 seconds and then they are supposed to create a short story according to their perception of the sketch and discuss it to form a common story among the divided groups. The candidates are judged on the basis of these two tests and those shortlisted are required to stay on. The selected candidates are supposed to fill a bio-data form known as personal information questionnaire (PIQ).
In stage two, the shortlisted candidates undergo three forms of tests for next four to five days:
The psychological test: In this phase, candidates are analysed for negative tendencies.
GTO tasks: The group testing officer (GTO) tasks are designed to assess the capabilities of candidates to work in groupd, work under pressure, their logical and efficient decision-making abilities, communication ability and social adaptability. Here in this phase, the subconscious part of brain in analysed.
Interview: In this part, the interviewing officer goes through the PIQ filled by the candidates earlier and asks them questions based on that along with few questions related to current affairs. This phase is for analysing the conscious part of tje brain.
After these three phases of stage two, all the assessors, including the psychologists, the GTOs, and the IOs, get together to compare their evaluation of the candidates and after that a conference is held.
This is when assessors generally take a final call on the selection of candidates who may not have been able to impress the assessors,
After the conference, the candidates and called together and names of the selected candidates are announced. Except for the selected candidates, all other candidates are motivated to try again as there is no limit on the number of attempts one can make for SSB. In the Army and the Navy, the selected candidates are supposed to stay for the medical exam after the SSB for the next four to five days.
In the Air Force, the selected candidates are taken for documentation and are allotted the dates for their medical exam.
Stage 1: Officer Intelligence Rating Test and Picture Perception and Discussion Test
Stage 2: Psychological test, group testing officer tasks and interview