- Duration: 10 weeks
Services Selection Board (SSB) is an organization that assesses the candidates for becoming officers into the Indian Armed Forces. The board evaluates the suitability of the candidate for becoming an officer using a standardized protocol of evaluation system which constitutes of personality, intelligence tests, and interviews. The tests are of both types i.e. written and practical task-based. An SSB comprises the panel of assessors, who are officers in Indian Armed Forces and having their specialization as Psychologist, GTO (Group Task Officer) and Interviewing Officer. In total there are thirteen Service Selection Boards across India, out of which four boards are for Indian Army, four boards are for Indian Air Force and five boards for Indian Navy. SSB is a 5–6 days evaluation process.
There are a variety of pathways to a commission as an officer in Indian Armed Forces. This applies to both for civilians (after 10+2, graduation and post graduation), as well as for serving armed forces personnel. All except army medical corps members must succeed in the “SSB interview”. There is no limit to the number of attempts that can be made. The interview involves a battery of psychological tests of personality, to assess the candidate’s suitability for commission to the armed forces. The tests help the SSB select candidates with officer like qualities (“OLQs”). The Services Selection Board is not concerned with the number of commissions available. Its responsibility is just to assess and then, recommend. Successful candidates have a medical examination and if satisfactory are recorded on a “merit list” before training and commission.
The selection occurs over a five-day process. Day 1 involves a screening test, Day 2, psychological tests, Days 3 and 4, group tasks, and Day 5, compilation of results In Conference. A personal interview is also included during the selection period. The qualities looked for in the selection period include intellect, responsibility, initiative, judgement 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. The candidates are billeted during the selection period and complete the assessment in a group with other candidates. Observations of the group are constant.