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What is SSB (Services Selection Board)?

Services Selection Board (SSB), is the Personality and Intelligence Interview spread over 5 days which scientifically analyses each candidate's potential and compatibility for commission into the Armed Forces of India. There are numerous ways of earning a Commission in Military, both for civilians (after 10+2, graduation, post graduation), as well as for serving personnel. Whatever be the mode, SSB is the step all have to clear, except for the medical corps. There is no limit on the number of attempts that can be made and the SSB Assessors encourage candidates to appear again for SSB.

The interview exercise is mainly a psychological assessment of the personality of the candidate, to gauge his/her potential as a future officer in Indian Military. The tests conducted by the SSB aim at selecting individuals with OLQs (Officer Like Qualities).

These qualities include effective intelligence, sense of responsibility, initiative, judgment (under stress), ability to reason and organize, communication skills, determination, courage, self-confidence, speed in decision-making, willingness to set an example, compassion and a feeling of loyalty to the nation.

Most of the tests require average intelligence. The SSB attempts to gauge the natural responses of the individuals. The tests are graded into various categories of both individual and group variety and each batch of candidates goes through the subtle testing pattern in the course of a few days. They are under observation not only while they perform in various psychological tests but even as they conduct themselves during the course of their stay at the SSB headquarters, where they are billeted for that duration.

The SSB Board is not concerned with the number of vacancies. Its responsibility is to assess and then, recommend. After recommendation, the candidates appear for Medical Examination and after that is the Merit List. Those who finally make the grade join for training and hence become Commissioned Officers.