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HindustanTimes Wed,16 Apr 2014
‘SSB is the most crucial stage’
Gauri Kohli, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 20, 2013
First Published: 14:54 IST(20/8/2013)
Last Updated: 14:57 IST(20/8/2013)

Aditya Pandey from Uttarakhand recalls how he cleared the written exams and Service Selection Board (SSB) interviews


I developed an interest in joining the defence services as a child. Being a defence officer, my uncle kept me motivated about joining the forces. Later, my brother, who is also an Army officer, encouraged me to serve the nation. I was never interested in any other career. I look forward to wearing medals on my chest and stars on my shoulders.


After my graduation, the first exam that I came across was the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT). AFCAT is a 100 marks paper which consists of an equal number of questions on general awareness, verbal ability in English, numerical ability and reasoning ability and military aptitude.

I started preparing for the written examination by improving my general knowledge (consisting of history, geography, the Constitution and Indian polity, economics, physics, chemistry, biology and current affairs). As general knowledge is a very crucial part of every competitive examination, one needs to really prepare well for it. I read books such as Arihant General Knowledge and Lucent’s General Knowledge.

I also went through the Magical Book on Quicker Maths by M Tyra to speed up problem solving in maths. The book gave me quicker and easier methods to solve the mathematics (or quantitative aptitude) problems. This helped me solve a lot of questions in a short time.

Preparation for logical reasoning and data interpretation problems was done through different websites which provide various intelligence and reasoning tests along with the test for verbal ability.

I read various English dailies and monthly magazines such as Competition Success Review to brush up my knowlege of current affairs. All these things made my written examination to seem very easy. I am using the same books for my CDS exam preparation which I used for the AFCAT as the syllabus is similar for both the examinations.  Once I cleared the written examination, the next step was the preparation for the SSB tests.

Service Selection Board or SSB is the most crucial part for selection in the three services as this is where it is determined whether the candidate is mentally and physically fit for the services or not. In the Army and the Navy it is known as SSB, while in the Air Force, it is known as Air Force Selection Board or the AFSB. All three services follow the same procedure for SSB.

For SSB preparation, I focused on personality development and various ways to enhance my thought-building process.

- As told to Gauri Kohli


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