Hello aspirants, first of all congratulations to those who have already cleared their written exam for NDA, CDSE, ACC or TA. Those who are about to appear for above said written examination should also read these guidelines as Services Selection Board (SSB) is the next step one has to face to get selected as an Officer in Indian Defence Forces.
It is often noted that candidates upon receiving a call letter rush to the nearest coaching centre to do a crash course or pickup any book on SSB and try to mug up ideas and views given in them. This leads to a definite failure as assessors are experts in discriminating candidates who are genuinely good and those who are superficial. A word of caution therefore, is that there are no shortcuts to success. It calls for dedicated and systematic preparation. To start with, one must firstly, build awareness about what is going on in environment. Selectors are not interested in knowing the dates, numbers, and statistics etc that are straight from books on general knowledge. The general expectation is the awareness about what is happening in the country and its neighbourhood. This calls for reading newspapers regularly and may be supplementing it with a god magazine. Alternatively, listen to good English News Channels to keep yourself abreast of the latest developments. In addition, it is recommended to watch popular debates in News channels like Times Now, India Today, NDTV 24*7 and CNN IBM where current topics are debated by eminent personalities of the society.
Secondly, it may also be a good idea to start speaking in English with friends and family members. It is unfortunate but true that the medium of communication is English ad many candidates hesitate and hence do not express themselves adequately and thus fail in the initial screening itself. Hence, it is important to develop English language skills and it is possible provided you by practicing regularly by speaking with friends and family members. For this reading newspaper and listening to news will also help build your vocabulary.
Thirdly, build knowledge of the service/arm that you are aspiring to join. For example, if you have opted for the executive or Technical Branch of the Indian Army, find out details of the service, the various arms, their roles, your likely job profile etc. More often it is seen that candidates do not even know what they have applied for and this is a sure case for rejection.
Fourthly, you must start doing regular exercise like jogging, sit ups, pull ups and pushups to build arm strength and stamina. This will come through handy in the physical tasks.
Fifthly, remember the old adage, “First impression is the Last Impression”. The way you represent yourself will matter a lot to the assessors. While it may be normal to have a pony tail and a tattoo in the civil world, understand the likes and dislikes of officers from armed forces. Though you are not expected to take a zero cut, any abnormal dressing or accessories will draw everyone’s attention towards you which may not be very desirable. Hence, be normal and dress up in a decent way. Gentlemen should shave and ladies must keep their hair bundled and not let loose. Service personnel are particular about rules and regulations and discipline. Hence, be conscious of the dos and don’ts that are told to you and make sure you adhere to them meticulously. Though these are not stated, they are expected of any gentlemen and lady and hence keenly observed by all the assessors during the tests and otherwise.