Hello everyone, this is Avinash J, this is not just an experience of a recommended candidate but the emotions of all those defence aspirants out there [special mentions to repeaters] who are desperately waiting for those magical words i.e. Chest number XYZ got recommended. From this note, let’s see how my journey started.
I had my FSB on [29/Aug/2021 -03/Sep/2021] in FSB NOIDA, I came to Delhi on Aug 1 to start my UPSC preparation, in that one month I felt that 24 hours isn’t enough to prepare for exams because you know newspaper, NCERT’s, Spectrum, Lakshmikanth, etc… adding to that I have to prepare for my SSB like psychology, lectures, mock interviews, apart from that I have to take online classes of MATHS for my students in our JAT Academy and I have to continue my sports activities like GYM to keep myself healthy. I just kept going, day after a day everything becomes normal to me and I can able to manage my time efficiently it gave me the confidence to increase my threshold limits and do more. I think I went a little of the track, so back to our reporting date. I started from my PG by 1:30 pm, had my lunch at Saravana Bhavan because lunch is not provided at the center took the metro from Karol bagh to Noida sector 62, reached FSB center by 3:30 pm. The Pradhan Adhikari checked my Asymptomatic certificate at first then saw my admit card and Adhar card. Then asked me to go to the candidate waiting hall on 1 st floor where 47 candidates are waiting for certificate verification. In certificate verification, they will call us individually, check our originals, once this is done we will be sent to biometric verification in the separate hall in 5 the floor in between this we will be provided with tea around 4:30 pm, all this documentation process will be completed within 6 pm. Then on behalf of the board president, GTO came and gave the instruction about the testing procedure, mess timings, dress code, out of the bond area, amenities available on the campus. After this by 6:45 pm the Uttam Adhikari divide the 47 candidates into 5 groups [9 10-9-9-10] depending on the number of SSB attempts not according to freshers, repeaters, screen-outs. From these 47 candidates 1 will be selected as batch leader,1 will be given the responsibility to collect 650rs [500rs as deposit amount(refundable) + 150rs for grocery items(non-refundable)], 1 will be given the responsibility to collect TA form from freshers, SC&ST candidates and from each batch 1 will be responsible to take care of 1 iron box,1 emergency light, apart from this 2 hanger will be given to all candidate for their usage during their stay in the campus, then we will be allocated rooms for our stay, when this ends time will be around 8:00 pm, then we will be instructed to finish our dinner and report to the same hall by 9.00 pm with our phones in switch off condition because we have to submit our phones there and after this, we be given the roll call timings tomorrow’s morning. After this all candidates go to their respective rooms, some iron their shirts for tomorrow, some start revising their notes, some sleep, some start making new mates So far we can see that, once we enter the campus we will be given responsibilities and treated as officers, which gives us a head start before the testing procedure, which encourages us to do well and gives confidence in the next 4 days.
I woke up did morning chores and assembled for roll call after our breakfast sharply by 8:00 am, then Uttam Adhikari came and informed us about the testing procedure timings, asked us to assemble on 5th floor by 8:45 am for the test. By 9:00 am psychologist arrived and gave clear instruction about the testing procedure with a sample page before each and every test. I was calm and just focused on the instruction given to us, then the test started I looked at the picture for 30sec, clearly saw the picture correlated it with my past used those actions but with the resources available that is shown in the picture completed all the TAT story as per the strategy, then WAT I was confident about it because I practiced with various strategies for WAT multiple times, it’s like I can form at least 3 sentences for every word which can directly relate with my PIQ and SD, then comes the SRT for which I used my logical and reasoning skill which I use every time with my cricket and handball team in convincing them to do extra practice sessions and get the work done in time, that helped me in SRT, like this everyone has their own set of qualities which you can use to write SRT but be logical and make sure that the solution you have given is feasible in real life. Then comes my favorite part i.e. SD because in this you just have to write all your qualities which you possess you and I am damm sure that everyone has ample amount of qualities, which cannot be written in those 3 sides of the sheet given because it is not sufficient. This will end our psychological testing part. So far everything is simple but everyone started worrying about this exam, but trust me this is the only written exam in our life in which there is neither correct nor wrong answer because whatever we have written is US in the exam paper and I am pretty confident that I will not be wrong while writing about me. Once this exam is completed, the psychologist wishes us the best of luck for other exam and leaves the exam hall, asking us to wait, then Uttam Adhikari comes read out the chest number who are having their interview on that day itself, fortunately, my chest number was there in that list. This time I was confident in myself because I worked on myself through introspection and not only that I even inculcated a habit of reading newspapers, taking small notes of those events which helped me in tackling the current affairs questions during the interview. I revised all those notes, groomed myself well, calmly waited outside the interview hall.
I was waiting outside the interview hall, just thinking of the matches in which I played exceptionally well, this gave me confidence and I wasn’t nervous also. Then the interviewing officer rang the bell which was the signal for me to enter the room. I went in with a brisk walk, at first I wished him after I entered the hall, they call out my name and asked me to have a seat, I thanked him and sat on the armless chair. He said that for the next 45min to 1hour we will be discussing. At first, he made me comfortable by telling how the conversation will go on, he gave an overall view, from that I can able to understand that rapid-fire questions are the first to start with, then shot around 15 to 20 questions, even for this I have kept few tactics with me, I followed those gave very crisp and clear answers for those questions. This session itself took around 25 min after he asked 2 current affairs questions [asset monetization pipeline and Afghan issue], but he didn’t ask what are these instead he asked my opinion on those issues and how I will take a decision in these matters, here I used the editorial part of the newspaper to take a decision and that moment I felt satisfied because the hard work I did once helped me to now to tackle this situation. Then he asked the question related to INDIAN COAST GUARD i,e what is the charter role of ICG written in Indian constitution basically it says what is the predominant role of ICG, I have content to speak for 10 to 15 min on ICG, so I answered this question also. Then he asked capitals of south American countries, President and PM of Bangladesh, Pakistan, how many continents, etc I answered a few questions, left a few. Then he said ok Avinash, questions are over from my side, if you have any ask me, generally I don’t have any questions but this time I had a doubt of integrated forces which India is planning, so I asked that question. He answered it and he asked anything else,I said no sir. Then he said Ok Avinash, had a good time knowing you, All the best for GTO. I replied thank you and stood up, leaving the room with satisfaction of doing well for my potential.
Both these days I was free, so after breakfast, I interacted with other mates in the Antique room [entertainment hall],I got a lot of information regarding UPSC preparation because most of the people in my batch were seniors for me in UPSC preparation, apart from this I got information regarding medicals from one of the previously recommended candidate, then we played mafia which was a new game for me, dipanshu was the one who conducted the game, then, as usual, we shared our horror stories with each other.
Today my batch had our GTO testing. Since in FSB we don’t have outdoor GTO, so we have to go in formal attire, I got ready and went to the hall, where we sat in a semi-circular fashion. GTO briefed us about the GD procedure where we will be given 2 GD topics [cyber crime in India & air pollution] in 1 st set, we have to choose 1 GD topic, the topic which our batch has chosen is a cybercrime in India, in this GD I waited for around 3 min to analyze in which direction GD topic is going, after 3 min mostly all the points are exhausted, then I spoke when I started everyone stopped and started listening to me, I used that opportunity and spoke about the cyber security which was in recent news, then my mates started taking points from my point, so whenever I spoke again in GD no one interrupt me and keenly listens to me for new points which weren’t spoken in the discussion. In 2 nd set, GD topic only 1 topic[sports in India] is given and we have to discuss that since this topic is very familiar to my life, I took initiative and started off the topic, I spoke for around more than 1 min, fortunately, no one interrupted me because of the impact of my 1 st GD. This gave me a great boost for the upcoming testing procedure. Then the 2 nd testing procedure in GTO was GPE [Group Planning Exercise], here we are given a map where we have given 4 to 5 problems simultaneously and we have to tackle those problems simultaneously. we have to listen to the instruction when the GTO reads the problem statement, then the paper will be given to us for reading after 5 min it will be taken back, we have to write our solution in an A4 sheet within 10 min. this was the easy part of GPE actual problem starts here because we have to discuss among ourselves and come to a common conclusion time given for discussion is 15 mins. Because of my good impression in 2 GDs in GPE, I have been given few chance to put forward my point in the discussion, once the GD ends GTO officer informed the group to nominate 1 person to give the common solution, 1 hand was raised by chest number 29 I thought he will nominate himself but he nominated the chest number 37 for 2 sec I was looking who is he, then I realized it was my chest number,I was so excited but I made myself calm and properly utilized this opportunity to narrate the final conclusion of our group to the GTO I have given all the solutions except one which was we will be returning to the college after our quiz competition, which I didn’t include in my narration, but of my teammate included when the GTO asked my team.
Then the 3rd testing procedure in GTO was LECTURETTE. Here we will be given 1 lecturette card in which 4 topics will be there, we have to choose 1 topic from that and we have to prepare on that for 3 min and speak on that topic for 3 min after 2:30min GTO officer will give 1 ring to indicate that only 30 sec is left and we have to finish our topic within that. My topics were women empowerment and the other 3 I don’t know I choose women empowerment and gave a lecture in that with confidence which I carried from the start of the 1 st GD.with this all our testing procedures came to end.
Everyone on to day’s eve felt relaxed because all the testing procedures for all my mates got completed and we were eagerly waiting for out result on Day 5 i.e. tomorrow
This is one such day where all our efforts pay off and an eagerly awaited moment will arrive soon. This day will give heartbreak to a few and lay a new path to a few.
Today we will wake up very soon, finish morning chores by 5:45 am and we will finish our breakfast by 6:30 am itself. We have to pack our things and take all our luggage to the waiting hall on 1 st floor while coming for breakfast. After this, we will be assembled in front of the mess for further instructions, from where we will be taken to another waiting hall at 5th floor and after that we will be taken in a small group to the conference hall for a demo of how to enter, how to proceed in the hall, how to leave the hall, etc… After this, we will be seated in the waiting hall, where an officer comes and address us, share some of his own personal experience of clearing SSB in XYZ attempts. As soon as he finishes his speech and leaves the hall, the conference procedure starts everyone from chest number 1 will be called in chronological order. Me and my friend started singing a song why this Kolaveri di….. which helped us to keep calm before our turn, as the time passed by my turn was about to come.
Before my turn when I was standing outside the conference room, I was imagining myself in those MIGHTY WHITES to keep myself calm, because however, we have done well, we will be feeling nervous, I was waiting and waiting for around 15 min outside the hall which increased my nervousness, other candidates were encouraging me to do well in the conference. Then finally the alarm bell rang, I embraced myself and this to me “Avi you have done well till now this is your moment, don’t lose it”, with this note I entered the hall with a brisk walk and in a confident manner. As soon as I went in THE BOARD PRESIDENT wished me and asked me to take a seat. I wished him again and took my seat. They asked me to remove my mask, with a confident smile I removed my mask, as soon as I removed my mask, a few officers started nodding their heads with a smile again, which increased my confidence. The president asked few questions
1) How do you assess yourself and tell me in the order of max to min marks?
2) What are the question you left unanswered during the interview?
3) What are the new things you learned from here?
4) How was your stay and any suggestions?
I answered them one by one, in a cool and composed manner, I answered him correctly but for the 1 st question I answered in min to max marks order, for which he asked me in which order you answered it, I replied in the order in which I gave the exam. After that, he said thank you and I left the hall. I thought I didn’t do well in the conference because of the 1 st question’s answer. Everyone was asking me what happened and a few congratulated me, but I was not so confident about it.
Then I came to the waiting hall on the 1st floor, took back our mobiles and I was eagerly waiting for the results. Sharply by 12:45 pm, one officer entered the room with a list, my heart started to pump in very the rapid manner I immediately closed my eyes and ears, because I don’t want to get another heartbreak, he started to announce the results starting with chest number 22 then jumped to 47 which was the last chest number, then I thought this time also I have to inform parents about conference out, the all of a sudden chest number 47 started tapping back continuously, I asked him what happened, he replied it’s your chest number, literally, I was in shock, stood up said my name and roll number, then tears of joy, instead, I can say tears of hard work, sacrifice, pain, etc…. started to flow.
So, this is my FSB experience as a repeater, hope one day each and every defence aspirant out there will be sharing their experience and laying their path for a new journey.
With this note, I wish all the very best for all the aspirants out there for their SSB.