SSB Interview Decoded – The Link Between Manasa, Vacha and Karmana

About to appear for SSB interview and looking for what actually needed for passing SSB interview? Check out SSB interview board expectations from candidates appearing for the interview to pass the SSB.

SSB or the Services Selection Board is the board responsible for selecting officers for the armed forces. It undertakes a 5-day selection process to choose the best suitable candidate for the armed forces. Hence, the selection process itself came to be known as SSB or SSB interview.

Selecting right people for the forces and placing them in right roles plays an important role in determining, whether they are giving their best to the organisation.

SSB is a tested and researched method of selection of an officer for the forces. And although there is a shortage of officers in the forces, SSB would never compromise with the quality of the officer needed to be in that role just to fill in the extra vacancies. If you are capable and have the 15 OLQs, you’re in, else, no.

This proper Selection System helps choose the right people to the organisation. One wrong person selected for a given job can cause a host of problems in an organisation. Therefore, an organisation should ensure that suitable people are recruited, even if it involves some investment. And that is exactly the reason why selection for the armed forces differ from that of the private companies and corporate enterprises.

The armed forces follow a strict “right fit” policy of candidates whereas the corporate follows a “best fit” policy. This means that the best of the lot is selected in the corporate selections whereas only the right candidates are selected in the armed forces.

Since the corporate works on “best fit” policy, it has a general assessment technique for each of its candidate. But in the armed forces, the relation between three critical qualities is checked – Manasa, Vacha and Karma. That means, your thoughts, words and actions are in perfect sync with each other. Hence, based on this, there are three techniques of assessing in the SSB:

Psychological Testing (Manasa), Interview Testing (Vacha) and Group Testing (Karmana).

Manasa or Psychological Testing relates to observing how one utilises his Mental Faculties. Vacha is all about listening to his Conversation and in Karmana, his performance on the Ground is tested.

These three categories form the basis of Officer Like Qualities in which each quality is assessed as per the Manasa, Vacha and Karmana testing.

This brings us to the various tests in the SSBs:

Stage I Testing – To screen out 40% to 60% candidates who do not possess inadequate measure, the required OLQs. The

Stage II – It is the personality testing which consists of

1. Manasa Testing

  • Thematic Apperception Test.
  • Word Association Test.
  • Situation Reaction Test.
  • Self-Description Test.

2. Karmana Testing

  • Group Discussions.
  • Group Planning Exercise
  • Progressive Group Task.
  • Group Obstacle Race.
  • Half Group Task.
  • Lecturette.
  • Individual Obstacles.
  • Command Task.
  • Final Group Task.

3. The Vacha testing

It is carried out by an Interviewing Officer on the day, the aspirant is available.

At the end, a final conference of all the three assessors who have been assessing each aspirant is held. Before that, the assessors are not allowed to talk to each other about any candidate, as per protocols. Finally, when they meet, each aspirant is discussed and based on the assessment of all the three assessors, the aspirant is termed to be recommended or not for Stage II.



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