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CDS – SSB Interview

CDS – SSB Interview


The “Combined Defence Services” (CDS) Examination is conducted twice a year by the Union Public Service Commission for recruitment into the Indian Military Academy, Officers Training Academy, Indian Naval Academy and Indian Air Force Academy. The Notification for the examination is usually released in the months of October and June, and the examinations are conducted in February and November respectively. Only unmarried graduates are eligible to sit for the exam. Successful candidates are admitted into the respective Academies after an interview conducted by the Services Selection Board (SSB).

CDS SSB Interview Involves 2 stages. Stage 1 being Officer Intelligence Rating and Picture Perception & Description Test while stage 2 involves Interview, Group Testing Officer Task, Psychology Test and Conference.  The second stage of CDS SSB Interview 2019 takes 4 days to get completed. The other details have been elaborated in the article below.

CDS SSB Interview 2019- Stage 1

CDS SSB Interview 2019 is a 4-day process which involves intense scrutinization of candidates covering all the major aspects of the overall personality. Candidates are judged physically, mentally and psychologically as well.

However, before undergoing the 4-day process (stage 2), candidates must appear for stage 1 tests. The Officer Intelligence Rating & PPDT is a 1-day program. Candidates are scrutinized for their verbal and non-verbal abilities.

Officer Intelligence Rating

Officer Intelligence Rating test is the first part of the Stage 1 selection via CDS SSB Interview 2019. The test comprises two sections- Verbal and Non Verbal Reasoning. In this test, candidates have to answer some 55-60 questions from both the sections combinedly.

Verbal Reasoning Section: The total number of questions asked in Verbal Ability Reasoning section in OIR test is 50. Candidates will be given 30 minutes to complete the test and then proceed to Non Verbal Reasoning Section.

Non- Verbal Reasoning Section: In this section of CDS SSB Interview Stage 1, candidates are asked to attempt 50 questions in the time period of 25 to 30 minutes.

Once done, the second set of the test is given to the applicants, i.e., Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT).

Picture Perception and Description Test

This section of Stage 1 CDS SSB Interview is quite challenging since it examines candidate’s memory retention along with the abilities to comprehend situations. This screening test is interesting to attempt as candidates are given only 30 seconds to observe a hazy picture and expound on it within 3 minutes.

Within this limited time frame, candidates have to focus upon seven basic parameters-

  • Age
  • Sex
  • Mood
  • Character
  • Past (what happened in the picture situation just before the click)
  • Present (what events currently take place)
  • Future (what will happen next in the picture)

CDS SSB Interview 2019- Stage 2

CDS SSB Interview 2019 for Stage 2 Selection is a four day process which involves Interview, Group Testing Officer Tasks, Psychology Tests and the Conference. There is a proper schedule which is followed in the span of 4-days. The schedule for stage 2 CDS SSB Interview is as follows:

Day 1: Psychological Test

Psychological Test entails a series of examinations for emotional and behavioral reactions of the candidates. This includes TAT (Thematic Appreciation Test), WAT (Word Association Test), SRT (Situation Reaction Test). SD (Self- Description)

Day 2 & 3: Group Task 

The most important leg of CDS SSB Interview is Group Tasks wherein candidates have to prove their physical as well as mental prowess. Also, Officer Like Qualities are judged on the basis of these tasks. The tasks allotted to candidates include Group Discussion, Military Planning Exercise, Progressive Group Task, Group Obstacle Race, Half Group Task, Individual Obstacles, Lecturette, Command Task and Final Group Task.

Day 3: Personal Interview

On the third day of CDS SSB Interview, candidates appear for personal interview session in front of the senior officers. These officers judge you on the basis of the answers you give and keep your both verbal abilities and thought exercises (in the psychological test) into the loop.

Day 4: Conference

This is the conclusive stage of the CDS SSB Interview, wherein candidates appear in front of the Board Committee. This committee consists of members from President of the board, Deputy President, Group Testing Officers, Psychologists. However, those who seek admission to Air Force Academy have to appear for Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT). The questions asked in Interview are general, informal and based on everyday activities.

Requests for postponing the interview will only be considered only for very genuine circumstances. It will be considered if it is convenient for which Army headquarters /Air Headquarter /Naval HQ will be the sole deciding authority. Such kinds of requests should be sent to the Selection Centre/SSB from where the call for SSB interview has been received.

Navy candidates can download their call up letters from the naval website or send email atofficer-navy” 3 weeks after the declaration of CDS 2019 results.

Note: In case a candidate does not get the interview call for SSB interview for IMA by the 4th week of August, 2019(tentatively), candidates should write to-

Army HQ/Rtg. (CDSE Entry/ SSC Women Entry for Officers Training Academy)

175, West Block-III,

Ramakrishnapuram, New Delhi- 110066

OR contact on telephone No. 26176028

For similar query by the Navy/Air Force candidates, having first choice, should write to Naval HQ or Air HQ (in case of non-receipt of call by the 4th week of August, 2019).

What after CDS SSB Interview 2019

After the interview process of CDS SSB 2019 is completed, candidate’s verification takes place which includes the document verification. Candidates who qualify the SSB interview will have to present their required set of original documents along with the 2 self-attested copies at SSC (Services Selection Center) after SSB interview. Given below is the list of documents that are to be carried at the time of selection process.

Original certificates will be returned after the verification. Certified true copies or Photostat copies of the certificates will not be accepted in any case.

  • Qualification Certificates
  • Proof of Identity (Pan Card, Aadhar Card, Voter ID etc.)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport Size Photographs
  • Category Certificate for the Reserved Category Candidates
  • Proof of Residence

Medical Examination is the last but very important step. This step is held to verify that the selected aspirant is physically fit for the officer cadre or not. This verification is must. For final recruitment, you have to clear all the verification formalities.


Disqualification Criteria

  1. Candidates who were admitted at the Air Force Academy, Indian Military Academy, National Defence Academy, Indian Naval Academy, Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai but were removed due to objectionable behavior, will not be considered for getting into the Indian Military Academy, Air Force Academy, Indian Naval Academy or for Short Service Commission in the Army.
  2. Candidates who have been withdrawn from the Indian Military Academy for the lack of Officer-Like Qualities (OLQ) will not be admitted to the Indian Military Academy.
  3. Candidates who have previously selected as Special Entry Naval Cadets but have withdrawn from the National Defence Academy or from the Naval Training Establishments for lacking in Officer-like qualities, will not be eligible for admission to the Indian Navy Academy.
  4. Candidates who have withdrawn from the Indian Military Academy (IMA), Officers’ Training Academy (OTA), NCC and Graduate course for lacking in Officer-like qualities will not be considered for grant of Short Service Commission in the Army.



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