GTO is one of the three different testings conducted at SSB, unlike other tests. GTO tasks are the group activities which aspirant has to perform along with his group members. The Group Testing Technique is an observational technique that is used at the SSB’s. Unlike the individual testing in isolation testing them by this technique judges their ability to work as a group and their functional capacity. This can be a good thing to judge the potential of each individual and make selections on the basis of their suitability to be a part of the Armed Forces. Teamwork is unimaginably essential in the armed forces. A good team member is an ideal candidate GTO is looking for during the group tasks, there are few properties of a good team member which we have mentioned below. To emerge as a leader in your group one must possess these qualities and show them while performing the group task.
1. Honest and Straightforward: A good team member must be honest and straightforward while performing the group activity, he must keep the group objective as a primary goal and make unbiased decisions while performing the group tasks.
2. Shares the Load: A good team member must help other team members by sharing their load. This is not the physical load you need to carry during PGT, but it can be the load whether physical or mental your group members are taking while performing a certain task.
3. Reliable: A good team member must be ready to help the group whenever required with his best abilities, he must come out as a reliable team member to achieve the group objectives.
4. Fair: A good team member must always give credit where it is due, do not snatch someone else’s idea.
5. Complements Others’ Skills: A good team member provides some unique skills and/or knowledge that move the team forward.
6. Good Communication Skills: A good team member must be an excellent communicator while working in a group. He/She must be able to throw the ideas and command clearly and firmly.
7. Positive Attitude: A good team member will also carry a positive attitude no matter what the end result is. He/She will always motivate other team members to keep moving forward.
This testing technique is based on four basic principles. They are:
- Social Field Theory
This theory lays foundations on the fact that individuals continuously interact with each other, influence and be influenced by each other in a group.
- Group Development
To perform as a group is essential when it comes to Armed Forces and it goes through a number of stages which overlap each other to give an overall performance include formation, exploration, cooperation and discipline.
- Free Association
The individuals are free to participate as much as possible in the group activity and the GTO observes the performance of each one of them individually.
- Group Dynamism
The GTO observes and evaluates each individual candidate for ‘group dynamism’ i.e. the contribution of each individual in the group activity or the task.
The group testing technique consists of nine tasks in total to assess the personality and the individuality of each candidate and they are:
- Group Discussion (GD)
- Group Planning Exercise (GPE)
- Progressive Group Tasks (PGT)
- Group Obstacles Race (GOR)
- Half Group Task (HGT)
- Individual Obstacles (IO)
- Command Task (CT)
- Final Group Task (FGT)
Day 3 and Day 4 of interview consist of these tests and tasks after all the candidates are divided into several groups. Along with these a few outdoor tasks are also conducted where the individuals warm up and prepare themselves mentally and physically making them more enthusiastic and confident to take on the tests actively.