Key Differences Between AFSB & SSB Interview

Hello Defence LoversSSB stands for Service Selection Board whereas AFSB stands for Air Force Selection Board. They more or less follow the same procedure for recommending any candidate but there are few minor differences. In this article we have provided the key differences between both of them.




Also Read, 10 Amazing Tips To Improve Your Spoken English For SSB Interview
  • The only difference between the two is that AFSB also conducts PABT and CPSS exams which are for candidates who have opted for flying branch in Air Force.
  • Those candidates who have applied for Indian Air Force Entries might get confuse between AFSB and SSB Interview procedure, though there is not much difference in the whole process, but there are certain things one must know about both of Interview process.
  • SSB ( Service Selection Board)  is the selection board which conducts Personality and Intelligence Interview spread over 5 to 6 days which scientifically analyses each candidate’s potential and compatibility for commission into the Armed Forces of India. Complete 5 to 6 days procedure is called as SSB interview.
  • SSB interview is not a one day stuff. It is not like a regular interview also. Most of the selected candidates make this mistake. They don’t know important details about SSB and its procedures .
  • One can prepare for SSB or AFSB, it doesn’t matter because both follow the same tests procedure and expect the same level of performance.
Also Read, Do’s & Dont’s : SSB Interview Tips



 AFSB  Interview Process :

  • AFSB’s duration is mandatory 6 days where as in SSB’s the usual duration is of 5 days. One extra day is for conducting CPSS ( Computerized pilot selection system) for the candidates who have opted for flying branch.
  • Group progressive task will be a little bit more challenging in AFSB than SSB.
  • AFSB is board for recommending candidates for AIR FORCE only.
  • The tasks are more or less the same with the exception of Pilot Battery Aptitude Test ( now its computerised) ,this test checks the candidates reaction time and how quickly he tackles the given problem.
  • If you are able to get recommend the medicals standards required are tougher than other boards however i read that they have been relaxed now.
  • There is no difference in selection procedure. Although AFSB is exclusively for Airforce. PABT and CPSS for PILOT entry tests are conducted in AFSB only. Also individual task are bit tougher than Army.
  • There are total four AFSBs all over India which are, 1 AFSB Dehradun, 2 AFSB Mysore, 3 AFSB Gandhinagar and 4 AFSB Varanasi.
  • One can attend AFSB interviews through CDSE and AFCAT entry. Sometimes Indian Air Force also conducts FTS [Fast Track Selection], which is another way to get into Indian Air Force.
Also Read, 7 Interview Etiquettes Every Defence Aspirant Should Know

So Let’s talk about AFSB Interview procedure :

(1.) Day 1: This is the projection of a AFSB day and usually asked to report early morning 6: 45-7 pm at the station. They take you on a bus from there to the sorting center and the test begins. First, you’ll be asked to fill out forms, then you are on a stretcher OIR. After which he proceeded to PPDT. Based on the strength in general the results are announced at 15 hours and the selected candidates will be allocated, the rest are sent to the station. Verification of documents followed by the selected candidates immediately and after that you are free for the day.

(2).  Day 2: The second day the candidates who applied for branch flight PABT be taken for testing, following generally up to 12 h. After these psychological tests follow. They are about 2 hours and once you are in you are free for the day.

(3.) Day 3,4 and 5: Your maintenance GTO tests and can fall any day now. In general, you get a day off AFSB. Some of you may have your GTO / Interview on the last day too. Some may have GTO / interview the same day, but, of course, time will not be in conflict for both. You may have to go directly from GTO to the interview. You must bring the record of all her certificates, university academic and extra with the interviewer. The interview is usually a 30-minute procedure, 60 minutes. You will be informed in advance by a notice placed on the bulletin board on the test schedule.

(4.) Day 6:  This is the day of the conference. Some may have their interview / GTO scheduled before the conference too. The conference is a place where you can see all the members of the Board in uniform. You result is discussed there. You have been called into the conference room and the process is just a minute, can stretch for ships of the border. According to press results are announced, his breakfast now. Those who make it through are invited to stay behind the remaining procedures and others are brought back to the station.




SSB Interview Procedure :

Also Read, Best Ever Tips For SSB Interview

Day 0 (Day of Reporting)

(a) Reporting on the center is usually one day before first day of testing. Time of reporting varies from center to center. Sometimes the candidates need to report on the same day of testing i.e. DAY 1 or Stage I. On the day of reporting, the candidates are required to verify their educational documents from assigned staff. Candidates are then allotted the SSB board and the chest numbers or a vest on which a number is printed on it. This vest or chest no. becomes the identity of a candidate, as it is easier to identify a person by a number than his/her name. The chest number is also used while interacting with fellow candidates during testing.

(b) SSB is a two-stage process. To qualify for Stage II, a candidate needs to clear Screening Test or Stage I. On the date of reporting, the candidates are picked from the railway station and during the evening, certain Forms and Travelling allowance forms are filled. Candidates are also briefed on testing schedule and general instructions, which must be followed throughout the duration of stay in selection center.

Day 1 (Screening Tests)

(a)  Screening process is to pick up some potential candidates from all those who  have reported for the particular entry.

(b) It Consist of activities like Verbal and Non-verbal Test. You can check some verbal and non-verbal sample questions . After this test you will get some rest, and later proceed for PPDT.

  • PPDT (Picture Perception & Discussion Test)
  •  PPDT is the Picture Perception and Discussion Tes in which a slide (hazy or clear) is shown for 30 seconds, the candidate has to observe it very carefully and in the next one minute he/she has to mark number of characters seen in the picture in a box made in the sheet provided to them and the main theme of their story. First the mood of character whether in positive, negative or neutral, then approximate age and sex.
  • Candidates also need to identify one character which they saw first, which is often termed as Central character or main character of story they are going to write, this character’s details should be encircled so that assessor can identify which character has been observed by the candidate as a main character.
  • In a 4-minute time candidates need to write story, it is expected that a candidate should write a story in 70 words or more. Candidates are advised to write the story on the picture shown to them but some candidates describe the picture which gives them a disadvantage over others.
  • Once the written part is over then comes the second part which is the continuation of first part i.e. written part, the candidates are given their sheets back to revise their stories and are told to sit in semicircular fashion for a Group Discussion. First each candidate will narrate his/her story in one minute without looking at sheet to the rest of candidates one by one, in the duration of one minute
  • Often the candidates take more than one minute to narrate their story, in that case the assessors give chance to next candidate. As individual narration of stories ends with the last candidate, it is expected that the group should start the discussion and come to a common story, as it is obvious that all candidates can perceive the same picture with different theme or background and a different story from one another. This sequence is popularly called PPDT- Picture Perception and Discussion Test.
  • After the completion of these tests, results are announced and those who do not make it in this attempt are dropped back to the railway station and the successful ones are retained for 4 days of detailed assessment. A certain number of candidates are short listed based on their performance in screening round, rest are sent back. The screened candidates are required to fill the Bio Data forms known as “Personal Information Questionnaire” (PIQ). PIQ is very important- there must be no cutting and consistency in each of the four or five copies of PIQ you are to fill. PIQ is also the basis for the individual candidate interview, which is scrutinized by the Interviewing officer before the interview of the candidate.
To crack SSB interview,  Best Book for you is Recommended below

Day 2 (Psychology Tests)

  • It is a battery of projective tests, all tests are used to check the psychological suitability of the candidate to be an officer. Candidates are required to write their responses based on the particular test. Here the time limit is very crucial , so you are required to write your first response in time.
  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)- Commonly known as Picture Story writing
  • TAT is very similar to PPDT, but here the candidates are shown clear pictures, in which the candidate has to observe it for 30 seconds then needs to write a story on it in four minutes. There are total 12 slides are shown, 11 slides will be shown one by one i.e. after 4 minutes and 30 seconds the next slide will appear. There will be only one answer booklet for all the psychological tests, and will be provided only once, no supplementary sheets are provided. The twelfth slide will be a blank slide where a candidate is supposed to write any story of his own choice. But here candidates will not be marking the no of characters and related information, also there will be no group discussion on it.
  • Word Association Test (WAT)
  • WAT is the second psychological test of SSB selection process, in this test the candidates are shown a word on a screen for a period of 15 seconds, in this time duration the candidate has to write the first thought that comes in his/her mind for that word. Total 60 words will be shown one after another( i.e. between each word the gap will be of 15 seconds). The answer sheets will be provided to candidates only once, candidates are required to make no mistakes such as unnecessary cutting or scribbling. There will be no blank slide, as in the case of TAT, so candidates should not write any response on a blank slide. The words shown will be very simple and of day to day use, this test will not assess a candidates proficiency in English language. If a candidate is not aware of meaning of a certain words he can skip that word and wait for next word to flash, and write the response for the next word. The main idea is to maintain the sequence of responses given to the word, the maintenance of sequence is important, as assessor can derive the result systematically for the respective response.
  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT)

Self Description Test (SD), or a variation of this like description from the point of view of parents, teachers, colleagues, neighbours, etc. Total 15 minutes are given to write their responses.




Day 3 and Day 4 (GTO Tasks)

  • GTO is stands for Group Testing Oficers Test. The following tests are conducted in this category :-
  1. Group discussion
  2. Group Planning Exercise (sometimes known as Military Planning Exercise)
  3. Progressive Group Tasks
  4. Half Group Tasks
  5. Individual Obstacles
  6. Group Obstacles Race or Snake Race
  7. Command Task
  8. Lecturette
  9. Final Group Task

Interview  held during afternoon/evening hours on 2nd/3rd/4th day.

Day 5 (Conference)

  • On the final day, every Assessor and the candidate sit together for and have a chat- the fate of the candidate for that SSB is decided by the Assessors collectively there. The candidates are required to appear before the complete Board of Examiners composed of President, Deputy President, all the psychologists, all the GTOs, and Technical Officer.
  • After the Board Meeting of every candidate is over,the final result is declared within ½ an hour. Selected candidates are required to stay back for their medical examination (takes about 3 to 5 working days) in the Military Hospital nearby or at a different place and the remaining candidates are dropped at the Railway Station.

For all the tasks one has to face at the SSB, confidence of speech and expression is one thing that is heavily noted. Making your weaknesses as your strong points is an art which can be done only through positive attitude. Truth is something regarded at every point of life and SSB is all about how one views life, a realistic wonderland or a pessimistic terror land. Be true and confident, it is a full proof system of testing checked through experiments over a long period of time.

Jai Hind

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