ISSB Selection Procedure and Types of Tests

General Introduction

ISSB- Inter Service Selection Board Selection & Guidelines It is a 5 day program for the recruitment of Commissioned Officers for the Army, Navy and Air Forces. After clearing the initial test, interviews and medical the candidates are then called for the test through “call letters” to appear in the test. At ISSB, the candidates undergo basically 4 Categories of Tests, Which includes

  • Screening Test
  • Psychological Test
  • Group Testing Officers (GTO) Test
  • Interview

5 Day Schedule of ISSB

The schedule of the ISSB is as follows:

Arrival Day

  • Reception
  • Checking of Documents
  • Allotment of ID/ Chest numbers
  • Photographs
  • Administration Staff’s address
  • Completion of Board Questionnaires

1st Day

  • Opening Address by a Deputy President
  • Intelligence Tests
  • Announcement of screening out result
  • Remaining Psychological Tests
  • (Screened out Candidates will not attend the subsequent tests

2nd Day

  • Briefing
  • Indoor Tasks
  • Group Discussion
  • Group Planning
  • Outdoor Tasks
  • Progressive Group Task (PGT)
  • Half Group Task (HGT)
  • Interviews:

3rd Day:

  • Individual Obstacles
  • Command Task
  • Final Group Task (FGT)
  • Interviews (leftovers)

4th Day

  • Conferences
  • Preparation of all the results
  • Dispersal of candidates

Day 1: Screening Test

Soon after the arrival the candidates have to fill in certain Forms including the Personal Information Questionnaire (PIQ), the candidates are given two types of INTELLIGENCE Tests which are both Verbal and non-verbal just like the candidates have appeared in their preliminary or initial tests. These tests are called Screening Tests. The result of screening test is declared within 15 – 30 minutes of the completion of the test. The candidates who qualify while remain there for the next 4 days to undergo the remaining tests, the rest are excused and asked to return home.

Day 2: Psychological Tests

The second day is reserved for the Psychological Test. In Psychological test you must write neatly and legibly as your Handwriting is the mirror to judge your quality.

Remember, Psychological test are meant to calculate your IQ, try to complete maximum number of questions. Be mindful of the facts that your answer should flow your thinking process. Since every test is co-related, be positive in what you write. And remember you are being compared with all other candidates your best performance will take you to your ultimate Goal. In Psychological tests there are four categories that include:-

1. Picture Story Writing Test.

2. Word Association Test.

3. Situation Reaction Test.

4. Self-Description Test.

Story Writing:

The candidates are required to write 12 stories in total out of which 11 are having some picture and one is without picture. You will get about 3 minutes for each story. Do not write stereotype stories. Try different theme for different stories. Remember you are the Hero; the aim should be to bring out leadership qualities of the hero through these stories. Only during the perception test you are to give age, sex, mood and number of persons you see in the picture. Your story must suit the picture yet tells something about the past incident which would have lead to this situation that is happening in the picture. You must also highlight that what is likely to happen in the future.

Word Association Test: Write the first positive thought that comes to your mind. Time given is 15 seconds to write. The sentences need to be grammatically correct. Remember this is not sentence making exam. This is designed to test your inner thought. So be careful in whatever you write.

Situation Reaction Test: The test contains day to day practical incidents which we face in our life. Write what actions you are likely to take in case you are in those situations. There are no right /wrong answers. Best approach is to write a positive action which a good citizen is likely to take. Here your qualities such as Courage, Helping attitude, empathy, responsibilities, social interaction, boldness, honesty are tested. Never try the suggested actions as these are likely to lead you for a trouble.

Self-Description Test: In the last part of the psychological test every candidate is supposed to write a self-appraisal with aim of knowing from you that how much you know about yourself. Usually the candidates are asked to give self-appraisal under following heading:

  • What is your personal opinion about yourself?
  • What does your parent think of you?
  • What does your best friend think of you?
  • What does your worst enemy think of you?
  • What does your teacher think of you?
  • What are your strong points?
  • What are your weak points?
  • What are the qualities you would like to develop?

Go systematic. Suggested heading are:

  • About your parents and place of birth and family background.
  • Physical Attributes
  • Social Contacts.
  • Education.
  • Extra-curricular activities, achievements.
  • Your aims and goals. Both short and long term.
  • Religion.

Day 3 & 4: Grouping Testing Officers (GTO) Test

The 3rd and 4th Days are kept for GTO Tests which include:

  • Group Planning Exercise
  • Progressive Group Tasks
  • Half Group Tasks
  • Individual Obstacles
  • Command Tasks
  • Final Group Tasks

Remember to be natural and calm, be yourself and do your best. Put the interest of the group before your own and always be alert. By being yourself your qualities are easily seen by the selectors. All the selectors are well trained, so please do not use any unfair means / bluff. What do they judge at ISSB in Group Tasks?

  • Assessment of the candidate’s participation within the formulated Rules
  • Planning and Intelligent Assessment of the situation.
  • Individual Quality in context to the Group
  • Assuming control of a Group to execute a task
  • Assess the responsibility to Team mates
  • Ability to realize the potential of Group Members
  • Capacity to motivate others
  • Alertness
  • Creative Thinking
  • Putting the Group before the self
  • Helping Tendency
  • Originality of Thoughts
  • Quick Decision Making
  • Cooperative with Others
  • Group Integration
  • Planning and Execution
  • Leadership Initiative


Interviews are held during afternoon/evening hours on 2nd, 3rd or on the 4th day.


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