Warm Greetings folks! I am writing this article with a hope that it might help someone. I’ll consider it worthwhile even if one person effectively benefits from it. All that matters is how you see yourself. Faith in your abilities goes a long way.
In my engineering, I studied subjects like Aerodynamics, Flight mechanics, Propulsion which dragged my interest towards planes. Inspired from a visit to Sirsawa Airbase I started working on drones and eventually mastered flying them. I participated in various national drone competitions and secured prizes over there.
Still, defense forces were never on my cards but the craving for fighters was started. And the final icing to cake was done when I did my summer internship at Air-force only, then and there I decided this is the place I want to work for. I gave AFCAT exam and after clearing the written exam, my eyes were set on clearing the SSB.
Now, I would like to share my 5 Day Experience at 3 Air Force Selection Board, Gandhi Nagar.
I left home with great positive energy and still remember the words said by mother “Agr vo tujhe nahi select krenge to vo log apna nuksan krenge”. As soon as I boarded the plane I started observing things because that might be asked in the interview. I reached a day before and stayed in a hotel nearby railway station where we had to report next morning at 5.30 AM. I practiced verbal and non-verbal reasoning for around 10 hours.
I reported at the concerned place and found a good number of young candidates in formals with a military haircut. One glance and a person could know that those young lads were going for SSB. After observing a huge number of candidates who appeared focused to crack the SSB, my mind became anxious for a second. But then, I realized that getting recommended depends upon one’s performance and not on the number of candidates. With that in mind, I embraced the opportunity of meeting new people and learning new things from the whole process.
At the reporting point, I made some new friends, some were repeaters and the rest were fresher. They hailed from different states ranging from Jammu to Kerala.
Our luggage was loaded in a Military Truck and 2 buses came there to accommodate nearly 220 candidates. After a small briefing, the candidates were told to sit inside the buses. It was a 30 min journey from Ahmedabad Railway station to AFSB, Gandhinagar.
I started to have Goosebumps as soon as we entered the AFSB. As soon as we reached, there was a detailed briefing followed by allotment of the chest numbers. The screening process began and all the candidates were asked to be seated in a hall.
After filling some forms, the first step of screening started with OIR (Officers’ Intelligence Rating) test which is basically an IQ test. It had a blend of both easy and difficult questions and we were supposed to do two sets of papers. There were a total of 80 questions, divided into 40 questions each in the two papers. I was able to do all the questions with revision (because of practice I did a day before)
Immediately after the OIR Test we were asked to assemble in another room which had a projector and a big screen for Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PP&DT). A hazy picture was shown for 30 seconds and we had to write a story on it in the next 4 minutes. As I looked around, I could see both confident and nervous faces. I am not sure whether I belonged to either of the categories. There was no time to read the story and the candidates were asked to move to different rooms according to their groups. The papers containing stories were remained to be folded and submitted at the end of the narration and discussion process.
Soon, we were divided into the groups of 10-15 and sent to different rooms for the Narration and Discussion Test. Three assessors were present in the room and the candidates were sitting in a Semi-circular pattern. After a small briefing and introduction, the Individual Narration started with me as I was sitting at the extreme end. I narrated my story in about 45 seconds sticking to the theme of my story. My narration was short, to the point and even had a conclusion.
After the narration, Assessors asked the group to start a discussion and reach towards a common story. I was looking towards the assessors while they were telling us to begin the discussion. Even before I could turn my head towards the group, most of the candidates began to speak at the top of their voice. The discussion was a complete chaos. I didn’t speak anything for a while waiting for the “right time”, but it seemed like none of the group members would ever stop speaking for a second. Even I joined the massacre and tried to be a significant part of the discussion.
At last, I found the “right time” and put forward my thoughts in an effective manner. Post that, the discussion continued and the assessor had to stop the discussion so that we could reach a conclusion. A fellow candidate concluded the discussion and we were lauded by the assessors before being asked to disperse.
With this our screening process was complete and candidates were free to have lunch. All of us were hoping for the best. The result was out after 2 hours. 24 out of 220 candidates were screened in. Screened in candidates were allotted new chest numbers and my new chest number was 11….