Air Force Selection Board, Mysore – My Experience

Aim of this post: 
Describe my three weeks experience in the Selection for Flight Officer – Indian Air Force, 2AFSB (Air Force Selection Board), Mysore, India. I was Recommended for the 76 AEC course.
My sincere and belated thanks to C. Sandeep Giri, my Intermediate mate from LFJC whose invaluable ‘training’ sessions and unique (though odd at times) advices from his own experiences were the only reason I got through the SSB Selections.
The whole process generally takes more than 6 months. But since mine was a FTS – Fast Track Selection, the whole thing was over in apprx. two months. Here’z the overview of the selection procedure.
  1. EKT – Engineering Knowledge Test: Aptitude and Technical paper. It consists of two sections – General Engineering Test paper (Maths, Physics, Chemistry, General Aptitude – 40 Q’s) and Specialist Paper (Electronics, Computers, Mechanical, Aeronautical, etc – 35 Q’s). 60 Mins for 75 Q’s. No negative Marking. 60% aggregate in Engineering is Mandatory. Click Here for the sample paper of EKT
  2. PPDT and Group Discussion: Picture Perception and Description Test is a test of observation and Imagination. You have to observe a picture (Black/White Blurred Image) and identify the sex, age and mood of the persons present and Write a story on that picture along with the information you identified. This test is held for those who clear the EKT.
  3. Psychological Tests: Basically Written Tests to test a persons Psychology. See below for description
  4. Group Tests and Physical Tests: Both are physical tests. Group tests are held to test a candidates performance, leadership qualities and behavior when placed in a group. Physical tests are simple (not so simple) tests to test your physical ability whether you are upto the physical standards of the Indian Air Force.
  5. Interview: Individual interview for every candidate. Each interview generally takes more than half hour.
  6. Conference: Board Conference with all the officers and the President of the Selection Board, where each candidate is called individually and asked questions – sort of like a short interview.
  7. Announcing the Results
  8. Form filling and departure.
  9. Medicals in Bangalore IAM (Institute of Aerospace Medicine)
  10. Merit List Announcement.
  11. General Instructions For Reporting and Testing At Air Force Selection Board (New)
This is the overview of the selection procedure. All this takes around a week to complete if held continuously. For me, EKT and PPDT were held at Hyderabad and the selected candidates. Here is the complete step-by-step description of the selection procedure:
  1. EKT – Engineering Knowledge Test:
    My Centre was FTS-Hyderabad. The test was held at CBIT, Gandipet on 31 October, 2009 . Over 1,000 persons attended it. We were asked to bring our Matriculation Certificate, B.Tech/ BE Graduation Certificates and ID proof (License/Passport/etc) along with the filled forms (two copies) that we downloaded from the Air Force Website for Registration. Divided the students branch wise – Electronics, Computers, Electrical, Mechanical, Aeronautics. First they verified our certificates (nominal), then they signed (with a stamp) both the pro-formas, kept one and returned one (hall ticket). They held the exam in 3 batches. Mine was the second. As I mentioned earlier, the EKT exam consisted of two papers:

    a) General Engineering Test Paper – Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Aptitude, Electrical Concepts, Material Strengths, etc. Consists of 40 Questions.
    b) Specialist Paper – Course Specific Paper – Electronics and Communications, Computer Science, Information Technology, Mechanical, Electrical, Aeronautics, etc. This paper Consists of 35 Questions.
    Click Here for the sample paper of EKT

    One hour is given to answer these 75 Questions. No Negative marking for wrong answers. CET was also held on the same day.
    Around 120 persons cleared the EKT in Hyderabad. All those who cleared the EKT were asked to come on the next day, i.e., 01 Nov, 2009 for PPDT and Group Discussion
  2. PPDT and Group Discussion: 
    We (120) were assembled in a hall, attendance was taken, Chest Numbers were allotted to each of us. We wore those chest no's (similar to the Police Chest No’s, mine was 91, I think). The first 60 were taken to another hall. The rest of us were called after the first 60 No’s test and GD was over. Each of us were given a Pad and a paper with a box on the left side of the paper (We have to bring our own writing material – pen). We were instructed about the PPDT. They will first show us a picture (Black and White, blurred sketch) which is very unclear. Each picture has some characters in it, and we have to identify them. They will show the picture for around 30 Seconds during which we are asked to observe the picture. We shouldn’t write anything during this 30 Seconds. After this we have to identify the no. of persons,  sex (Male/Female/-), age(30+,40+, –), mood (Positive, Negative, Neutral)  of each person and note that in the box provided. Like if there is a lady and a guy in the picture, we have to write F,28,+ve  and M,40,-ve  at the respective position in the box provided. Then we have to write a story on that picture. We shouldn’t describe what’s there in the picture, but have to imagine a story about how we arrived at that picture. After the 30 Seconds is over, we are given 3 mins to do the marking and story writing.  Our picture consisted of an old lady (most probably blind) being escorted out of a hall by another male from a long corridor watched by another person from a corner. I wrote that it was a blind mother being escorted by her son out of the hospital after an eye operation (90% of us wrote almost the same version). They’ll then conduct a Group Discusison in groups of 15 persons. We’ll have to discuss the picture and have to arrive at a conclusion. Every guy/girl is given a chance to first explain his version of the story first, and then the discussion commences. One person has to conclude in the end. The GD is held for around 15 mins. GD is pretty easy. All you have to do is just express your version of the story confidently and then discuss it, why you thought your story is the best while agreeing/disagreeing to the other versions of the rest. In our GD, many versions were presented – blind mother and son, blind old pregnant lady being escorted out by her lover (absurd), and so on. People will definitely fight to either begin the GD (initiate) or Conclude the GD as they think that’ll fetch them more marks. After our GD, we were taken to another hall, waited for 10 mins and then the results were announced. 5 out of 15 members were selected. Our certificates were verified thoroughly and then we were given Forms and instructions that we have to report at Mysore Railway Station at 7.00 AM on 29 Nov, 2009.

    Me, Avinash, Vinay Teja and Vijay Mohan (alias Mahesh Babu :D) reached Mysore on 28 Nov 2009, took a room in a lodge, refreshed and took off to the Mysore Palace. Shopped for some essentials (shoes, etc) and then rested.  We reported at the Mysore railway station at 7.00 AM the next morning.

    Here are the pics from our stay in Mysore and AFSB.
  3. Day 1 – 29 Nov 2009, Mysore 2AFSB:
    Psychological Tests:

    Our Luggage was put in a truck and we boarded the AFSB buses. Two buses were arranged as ours was a large batch. 91 Candidates from all-over India ( I think 11 States from 7 FTS’). 19 Candidates from FTS Hyderabd, Andhra Pradesh. As soon as we reached the AFSB campus (which is around 6 KM from Mysore Railway Station) we were asked to stand in lines of 5 (5 Rows) and were escorted into a hall in the First Floor. Very big hall with a number of seats and tables. Attendance was taken and each candidate was given a unique Code No. Mine was 10804. Our Certificates were verified by the officers who sit in the front of the hall. We were asked to arrange our Certificates in a particular order – Our Declaration Forms, 10, 12, Graduation Originals (All Semesters), Consolidated Marks Memo, Provisional Certificate/Original Degree, etc. After that, we were escorted out, there was a sort of shed outside, were provided snacks and were allotted Chest No’s (different from the ones allotted at FTS). These Chest No’s are important because they identify you with these Chest No’s during your stay at AFSB. We have to wear them all the time. They call us with the Chest No’s. Mine was Ch.No. 11 (arranged according to Date of Birth). We were then again taken to the hall and were made to sit according to our Chest No’s. Then the Psychological Tests Commenced

    Psychological Tests:
    Conducted after Lunch at 2:40 PM.
    Time plays a very critical factor in Psychological Test. Since very little time is allotted to each test, a candidate has very less time to think and thus the first thought that comes to his mind is put on the paper. His answer is supposed to reflect his personality. I think this is a very difficult test and most of the Candidates fail in the Psychological Tests. The tests are:
    • Aptitude Test (Basic Maths and English)
    •Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)- Commonly known as Picture Story writing.
    • Word Association Test(WAT)
    • Situation Reaction Test(SRT)
    • Self Description Test(SD)

    Aptitude Test: 
    First each column of students is given a Question paper set – D.P.R. 35 to one column and D.P.R. 34 for the next column. After the test is completed, the columns interchange the Question paper sets. If I write Set 35 in the first go, I’ll get Set 34 in the next. Two Aptitude Tests.
    Each test consisted of 40 Questions. Time allotted is 20 Mins. That gives around 30 Seconds for every question. Attempt maximum number of questions. I attempted all the questions.
    The models asked were:
    a)Two cubes were given, with three sides of the cubes visible. Each side has a symbol on it. They ask us to write YES if both the cubes are similar and NO if they are dissimilar. – Easy but takes time.
    b)Two Groups are given. Group A and Group B. Group A consists of 3 cubes. Group B also consists of 3 Cubes. 3 sides of each cube has 3 different symbols. The question is  if the below given cube belongs to Group A. Yes/No – A little difficult, but solvable.
    c) A statement in English is given. And a Reason/Conclusion is given. We have to write if the given Reason/Conclusion is – True/False/Probable/Absurd – This one is pretty easy.
    d) An English Proverb/Idiom is given. Four possible explanations are given. Tick the most correct explanation. Very easy if you read newspapers/books.
    e) They give Four English Words. We have to mark the option which word comes last in the Dictionary. Easiest of the lot. They even give you the order of the alphabets on the answer sheets.
    f)Simple aptitude Questions. Takes time but easy.
    I don’t think any preparation is necessary to crack this test. All you have to do is to stay alert and attempt all questions. Speed matters in this test.

    I first attempted the Verbal Questions – Dictionary, proverbs, Statements. Then went on to Cube Similarity, then to Groups.. left the Aptitude ones to the end. I did around 35 Questions perfectly and merely attempted the rest. Then we were given some answer sheets with 7 sheets for TAT, WAT, SRT and SD.

    Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)-
    Commonly known as Picture Story writing. This is same as PPDT. Except that we don’t need to write the details of the characters. Each picture is a simple pencil sketch with 2 or more characters. Each picture will be displayed for 30 seconds and we have to immediately start writing the story. The time given to write the story is 4 minutes. And immediately the next picture is displayed. 12 Pictures are shown. The 12th Picture is a blank one. Imagine writing a story about a blank picture. The pictures shown to us were a boy following another person, a small boy drowning while a boat is coming, a guy jumping on a couple of thugs, a boy in a boat in a storm, some persons working on an equipment in polar region, Some people in a rally, etc.
    I prepared for this one by googling for some random pics and then imagining a story on that. I did it till I could come up with a story in less than 20 Secs. The pics are generally pessimistic and force you to write a story of some disaster. Just be optimistic. As my friend Vinay said, we have to write Past, Present and the Future of the shown picture. I followed that to the last letter… :)

    Word Association Test(WAT) –
    60  English Words. An English word is displayed on the screen for 25 seconds. And we WordListhave to write a sentence/feeling using the displayed word that comes to our mind in that time. The words are changed every 25 seconds. Its very difficult to keep up with the speed of the changing words. Its better to skip the word if you’re stuck or if it takes too much time. I just wrote the word if I didn’t know what to write and completed it in the end when I had a minute. The words too are generally negative, like bad, criminal, murder, etc. Simple everyday words are given. I practiced for this one, really. I downloaded the complete list of English words and Common Words, wrote a macro in Microsoft Excel VBA to randomly display words. I timed myself to write the sentence and brought it within 15 seconds. This is the only test I prepared for. Here is the file I created along with the code. After enabling macros in Excel open this excel file and press Ctrl+d to launch the Form. Click on the Common/Complete Words to change the words. 
    Code for this is given at the end of the Post. I attempted every word in this test.

    Situation Reaction Test(SRT) –
    60 Situations are given and you have to do what you/that person will do in that situation. 30 mins are given to complete 60 Situations. Just write whatever comes to your mind, but be sure that it is positive. I attempted every single situation. Examples are:
    Q)You with your friends, while in the morning walk, find that an old man is lying unconscious on the road. You….
    A)Give first aid and admit him into the nearest hospital.
    Q)While sitting in the examination hall you noticed that your best friend had expired. You….
    A)Complete the exam and then rush to his home.
    Q)You are loving a girl, who is of different religion. Your parents do not agree for marriage. They are against inter-religion marriage. You….
    A) Convince my parents and marry her.

    Self Description Test(SD) –
    We have to write what
    My Parents say about me,
    My Teacher thinks about me,
    My Friends/Colleagues say about me,
    My Boss thinks about me (for employed only),
    My Strengths,
    My weakness’,
    How I’d imrove myself.
    I didn’t prepare for this, but I should have. Just write about yourself, and all the above mentioned columns before going to AFSB. Be sure you write about yourself and not about others/ bluff. Because whatever you write here, will be cross-verified in you interview. Your interview will be based on what you write in these papers. Be honest, precise and most of all, be careful. Time give for SD is 10 mins. If you prepare prior to the test, you can easily complete this in 6 or 7 mins.

    Optionally Non-Verbal Intelligence Tests may be conducted.
    These are the Psychological Tests conducted for us. After this we retired to the Candidates Mess present at the other end of the campus (Had to walk in a straight line according to chest no’s). We were instructed on the rules to follow in the campus like – formals only, Chest No’s must be worn all the time, lights off at 10.30, breakfast at 6.30, lunch, dinner, reporting times, dhobi, store room, no roaming in the campus, Internet cafe, CSD canteen, sports, can check-out of the campus after 2.30 PM everyday, TV room, Inspiration room, etc. We were divided into batches of 12 and each batch was given a dormitory with beds and cupboards in the Candidates mess. 1-12 in room no 1, 13-24 in room no 2, so on. There was a notice board where all the schedule was posted. The Meals were served in a dining hall beside the Candidates Mess. Each candidate is given a blanket, bed sheet and a pillow cover. Pretty neat.
    We were divided into groups like
    Chest Nos 1-9: Group A
    Chest Nos 10-18: Group B
    Chest Nos 19-28: Group C
    Chest Nos 29-38 Group D and so on.
    And Schedule was divided with the groups.

  4. Day 2 – 30 Nov 2009, Mysore 2AFSB:
    Group Tests and Individual Tasks:

    The first four groups had Group tests on this day. We were in white t-shirts and white shorts with white socks and canvas shoes. After assembling at 7.00 AM, our group (1-9) was escorted into a planning room where there were 9 chairs placed in a semi-square form around a large box covered with a cloth. There was a writing pad with a paper beside every chair. Our Group Testing Officer - GTO (Mr. Gagan, Avinash asked his name after everything) came in and explained the process. We were first asked to introduced ourselves, school, college, interests, books and sports (He noted everything).

    Two Group Discussions and a Military Planning Session.
    In the First Group Discussion, the group will be given two topics and it will have to decide to discuss one. After deciding on the topic 15 mins were allotted to the discussion (but it went on for over 20 mins).
    In the Second Group Discussion, the group will be given only one topic and it’ll have to discuss that. 15 mins for this too.
    No conclusion is necessary. The GTO stops you if the group decided to first go in order and give each candidate a chance to express his views. He says it must be a discussion. He doesn’t allow the Discussion to be structured. We have to fight.
    Our first two topics  for GD were:
    a)Air Pollution is increasing every day. What do you think will most reduce the Air Pollution? Discuss
            ii)Vehicular Activity
            iii)Moving the industries outside the populated areas
    b) Female Foeticide. Reasons……
    We chose the first option. And discussed it over 20 mins.
    Our Second GD topic was
    c)What do you think contributes most to the Indian Foreign Exchange .. Factors..
    We discussed this too. Our group discussion went very well. We even concluded both the GD’s. During the whole discussion, the GTO was taking notes. Whenever someone speaks he takes notes. He observes every move of every single person.

    Military Planning:
    First, the GTO removed the cloth over the box to reveal a sand model of a rural area. He explained the geography.  That green meant grass. Brown is mountains. Two lanes meant Road. Railway Tracks. Footpath. River. Canal. Airport. Alibad palace. Alibad village. Railway station. CRPF – Central Reserve Police Force Camp, etc., with a pointer stick. It was basically a 3d map of an area. It even had a scale, 4 cm = 1 km. Now after everyone understood everything, the GTO gave each candidate a paper. He gave us 5 mins to read that paper and took it back. The paper contained some 5 to 6  problems which happen in the before mentioned geography.

    Our problem was – We were local students who went to Alibad palace on a cycling trip. There we heard a blast and Palace caught fire. When we reached there we found and unconscious man in whose pockets we found a plot to destroy the Airport at 7.00 PM. at the other end of the geography. There was a businessman near the palace who needs to leave the area very urgently. Its now 3.30. If the palace fire is not stopped within two hours, the whole palace will be on fire.

    After the papers were returned we were given 10 mins to write the solution to these problems in the Paper provided. After we wrote the solutions, he collected everyone’s sheet and gave us 10 mins to discuss the solution TOGETHER. And a conclusion was MANDATORY. We sucked at this one. Since every one of us had a concrete solution in our mind, we fought with each other about the others version. Anyway after 10 mins he stopped the discussion. And told us to move to the Ground.

    Group Tasks:
    Group tasks consisted of
    • Progressive Group Tasks
    • Half Group Tasks
    • Individual Obstacles
    • Group Obstacles Race
    • Command Task
    • Lecturette
    • Final Group Task

    • Progressive Group Task:
    All the 9 members of the group are given a series of tasks (four tasks) to complete within 45 mins.  These four tasks are arranged in such a way that the difficulty increases as you go further. The first task will be easy, the second one will be a little difficult, third is tough and the fourth one is very tough. The group is provided with some materials – A Wooden Log, A wooden Plank, A thick long rope and an Oil Can (Load). Every single one of the 9 membered group has to cross the first task along with the materials in order to move to the second task. These tasks have to be completed by following certain rules… or we better call them restrictions. Here is the summary of the rules: You have to cross these tasks without you or the materials touching the ground. There are some fixed structures and you have to use the materials provided to construct bridges and then walk over them. You shouldn’t jump if the distance is more than 4 feet. There are 3 colors in the structures in the tasks. White colored structures can be touched by anything, living(candidates) or non-living(materials). Yellow colored structures can only be touched by living things. Red colored structures shouldn’t be touched by either living or non living things. You shouldn’t tie a rope to the plank and the log. But you can tie either log or plank to a fixed structure. If you fall in the middle, you have to start from the beginning. If you break any rules, minus marks (Doubtful about this). Only after everyone crosses the first task, the candidates are allowed to look at the second task and so on. These are the summarized rules. I only remember these ones. I am sure there were some more, like rule of infinity, rigidity and so on.
    There are many ways to solve these tasks. Choosing the best one is necessary. Or else you’ll waste time. Our mistake was, we took more time in planning than in executing.
    Crossing our first task was very difficult because none of us had any idea how to use those materials. We were stuck in the second task at a point. The GTO hinted that we already constructed and broke a bridge. For the third and fourth tasks, after one of us reached the end, he asked all the other to come to the other side and told the last person to cross the task with the materials. This Progressive Group Task is very difficult. There will be many ideas from many guys, depends on which ones you choose to follow and who’ll be the first one to act. And someone should also take care that nobody is breaking the rules. Some will act first and think later. Others will think first and act later. The rest don’t even know whats happening on the field. Well, we managed to complete it somehow.

    • Half Group Tasks
    After we completed our Progressive task, we were divided into two groups (Odd No’s and Even No’s). One group was asked to sit facing the other side so that they wouldn’t know what is happening behind them. The other group was taken into the ground and was given a task. The same rules as in the Progressive Group Task with the same materials provided This is for the people who did not have the opportunity to present their ideas in the progressive group task. 10 Mins was the time allotted to complete the Half Group Task. Once the first group completed the half-group task, the sitting group was asked to perform the same task while the first group sat. My half group task rocked. Because I came up with the plan and I was the first to go and cross it and help the others to cross it too.

    • Command Task:
    Every candidate is called in random order to the ground while the others sit down facing the opposite direction. The GTO takes the candidate and pep talks with him casually roaming around the ground and takes him to his obstacle and suddenly tells him that this is your task. Call your subordinates and Complete it. Each candidate will be given an individual obstacle. Same materials and same rules apply. He has to act like a commander. He can call anywhere between 2 to all of the candidates (subordinates) who are sitting to help him in completing the command task. The subordinates (the helpers) should do whatever the commander tells them to do without saying anything else. Even if the subordinate has a better plan, he has to shut up unless the commander asks him for his help. If the commander tells the subordinate to lift the plank and place it over there, he has to say ‘yes, sir’ and do it without any questions. This brings out the strategic planning and commanding ability of the commander and the order following ability of the subordinate. Each candidate will be given 5-10 mins to solve his individual obstacle. My obstacle was:
    A table was placed in the middle of a big circle with the materials on top of the table. Me, and the two helpers I called were asked to stand on the table. Aim was to get out of the circle using the materials. Had to construct a bridge to cross it. But the length of the plank or log was not enough. Completed it with many errors using the counter-weight policy. The GTO asked me to construct a non-wobbly bridge to prevent the see-saw motion. He helped me figure out the solution with hints and once I figured it out, he asked me to leave. After everyone completes their command task, the GTO will group everyone and proceed to the Individual tasks.

    • Individual Obstacles or Individual Tasks (Physical Tasks):
    The GTO first explains the rules. There are 10 Individual tasks numbered from 1 to 10. And each candidate has only 3 minutes to complete them (not enough time at all). Task no.1 carries 1 point. No.2 carries 2 points… No.10 carries 10 points. He took us all to each of the tasks and explained what we need to do and explained how we should do it. We can skip any task, and we can do it in any order. We can repeat the tasks once we complete the whole set of tasks. The individual tasks were -
    1. Inclined Bench Jump:  Run up the inclined bench and jump into the sand below. Very Easy
    2. Hurdle Jump: Run and jump from the top of the hurdle (A stick placed on two poles at about your stomach high). Very Easy
    3. Wall Climbing: A wooden wall of 8 feet high. Have to run and jump from an inclined plank attached to the wall, climb the wall, sit on it and jump into the sand on the other side. Easy if you are fast enough.
    4. Log Walk/Balance:  A horizontal log is placed at a height attached to two vertical logs. You have to climb up from one side of the log, cross the middle log by walking on it balancing yourself throughout and climb down on the other side of the log. Easy if you aren’t scared of heights and are good at balancing.
    5. Platforms Jump:  Climb on to the first tall platform via a ladder attached to it. Then jump from the first platform to the second platform which is a little lower than the first and which is placed a little away. From the second platform, jump into the sand below. Easy. But a guy got his knee injured(displaced) pretty bad. Btw, he got selected.
    6. Go Through the tire: A tire is placed at a height, left hanging via rope, and we have to put our body through it. Easy for tall guys, a little difficult for short guys.
    7.  Burma Bridge/ Parallel rope walk:  Two parallel ropes at a height. You have to catch the top rope with your hands and walk on the bottom rope. Very Easy.
    8. Tarzan Jump or Tiger Leap: Climb a very tall platform. There is a rope hanging a little away from you. Take a leap and catch that rope with your hands. And slowly get down the rope. Many of them got hurt badly in this. Hands burned. Legs hurt. etc. I did it easily. I just followed what the GTO told us. Try and catch the rope above your eye-level, and once you hold it, wait till the swinging of the rope stabilizes and then come down.
    9. Monkey Crawling: A very long horizontal hanging log is tied to two long vertical logs via rope. We have to jump and catch the rope and put your hands and legs on the log and crawl to the other end. If you fall down, there is sand below, so that you won’t get hurt.
    10. Rope Climbing: Climb a rope. And Climb down. As simple as that. No, its not as simple as that. I think this was the hardest of them all. Thats why its given 10 points. Aravinda Shenoy, Ch.No. 10, did all the 10 tasks and then did the rope climbing again. Akshay Mishra, Ch.No. 18 also did this one. Now that's what I call – Physically fit. I skipped this.

    All in all, I did 8 tasks, I skipped two tasks – 9. Monkey Crawling and 10. Rope Climbing (two highest scored tasks..hehe)
    The order I followed was 2, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10(climbed half way and got down – time was running out), 7.

    After we completed our tasks, we left for lunch. That was it for today. We had off the next day. I had my interview on 02 Dec, 2009. So I had one day to prepare for the interview. I was very lucky for that.
  5. Day 3 – 01 Dec 2009, Mysore 2AFSB:
    Day Off for me – Preparation for the Interview:

    This was a free day for me. We were given a schedule for the interview. Some of the candidates had their interview on the first day and some on the last. Here is the schedule. 04122009103  
    I spent most of this day preparing for the interview. I asked the other guys who already had their interview regarding the questions asked. They told me some frequently asked ones and where they made their mistakes or where they scored. One thing I forgot was to prepare on the Flights/Planes and Current Affairs. I am very very weak in current affairs and Planes that are being used in IAF. I tried to read as much as possible in the available time. But there is only so much you can do in 3 days. I asked the other guys and they were pretty helpful too. I was stuck at my strengths and weakness'. I even did not write these in my Self-Description due to unavailability of time. So we held a group discussion of sorts in our room about everyone’s strengths and weakness’. And I noted my things which others observed in me. Friends strengths and weakness’. My background. Family Background. Touch up on my hobbies. Studies. etc. The whole day went to preparation. I had my interview at 8.00 AM the next morning.

  6. Day 4 – 02 Dec 2009, Mysore 2AFSB:
    My Interview:

    My interview was scheduled at 8.00 AM. But started after 11.00 AM. There are over 4 interviewing officers taking interviews at a time in individual rooms. We have to wait in the waiting hall till we are called for the interview. From what I heard, the IO (Interviewing Officer) first asks around 10 to 15 questions at a time (rapid fire) and the candidate has to answer them one by one. Since they are questions like, which school did you study, Percentage, father, mothers name and occupation, etc, its not that difficult. My interview started on a whole different level. My interviewer was the same guy who monitored our GD in FTS – Hyderabad. Herez a rough overview of my interview…

    q) Good Morning Ashok.
    a) Good Morning Sir.

    q) How did your group tests go, Ashok?
    a) *Surprised expression as I expected rapid fire* The tests went sort of fine, Sir. The first progressive task took time as none of us were used to applying those materials in real-life. Once we got the hang of it we picked up the pace. We were stuck at a point in the Second task. But we constructed a bridge somehow and crossed it. The rest of them were Ok, Sir.
    q) How many of your group mates called you as a subordinate, Ashok?
    a) 3 of them called me Sir. Chest No’s so and so.

    q) How do you think they completed their task?
    a) The first guy was Ch. No…. There were four wooden circles on the ground at the corners which formed a square, and he needed to cross those by building a bridge. But the length of the plank or log wasn’t enough to do it. He asked me to measure the distance and I did. When he realized that the length wasn’t enough, he saw a square log outside the perimeter and asked the GTO whether he could use it. The GTO told him that if there is no other way, then you can. As he couldn’t find any other way, he used it and crossed the bridge. He could have done it in an easier way without using the square log, Sir.

    q) Why didn’t you tell him that there was a better way to solve it if you knew it?
    a) I was told to follow orders, Sir. And my commander didn’t order me to help or express my view. So I didn’t.

    q) How do you think the second Chest No... Avinash that called you, performed?
    a) He was also given the same individual task as before. He was the best strategist that I’ve seen, Sir. He took his time planning before jumping into the field. When he realized that the length of the plank/log wasn’t enough, he criss-crossed both the plank and log in the shape of ‘Y’, and I had to place one end on the wooden circle and hold the other end with my hands. The criss-crossing distributed the weight so that when a person walks on the plank, their weight is distributed from the center. This helped reduce the weight I had to hold.

    q) But didn’t he take time to complete it? You say he was good.
    a) Yes Sir, he was really good. He figured out the solution within a couple of minutes. But once he crossed the obstacle, he realized that he forgot the load. Thats where he took time. He had to repeat the procedure all over again.

    q) How do you think you performed in your Group task?
    a) I did not participate much in the first couple of tasks in Progressive Tasks, Sir, but I helped in the last two ones. I think I did the half group task pretty well. But I failed in my command task, Sir

    q) *Surprised* Failed, Ashok? What do you mean??
    a) I completed it fine, Sir. But my method was imperfect. I used the counter weight technique sir. I put the plank below the table, stuck it so that it wouldn’t fall down, made one subordinate stand on one side, and the other to the other side. I increased the range of the bridge by putting the log on the plank. And as he started to climb on to the log, to balance the weight on either side, I started putting my weight on the plank. Once we did it right, one subordinate was able to go outside the circle. The bridge I constructed was not stable and my GTO was not satisfied. He asked me to do it without the see-saw motion. Once I figured it out, he asked me to leave.

    q) Whom did you call for your individual tasks?
    a) Chest No’s 10 – Aravinda Shenoy and 11 – Akshay Mishra

    q) Why only 10 and 11? Why not the chest no’s who called you? Why not others?
    a) Sir, after looking at my task, I felt that there would be holding and jumping involved. Along with risk taking. Chest No. 10 walks in front of me every day. And today morning while we were walking, since he was in  a short, I could see his calf muscles. And they were good. It was clear that he works out everyday. Since I was sure he had strong legs, I called him.

    q) But I am sure Ch.No 18 did not have good calf muscles…*he laughed here*. Why did you select him?
    a) Yes Sir, he may not have had good legs.  But he was the captain of his school basketball team. And I needed a guy with a good pair of hands. He was my obvious choice.

    q) How did you know that he was the captain of the basketball team?
    a) He told that in his introduction at our Group Discussion. (Actually he told us at the Group Test Discussion, but I thought that he told it at our GD…hehe)

    q)Who did 10 and 18 call as their subordinates?
    a) Chest No’s so and so.

    q) You called them as subordinates. Why didn’t they call you, then?
    a) I think its not a give and take policy. They thought that someone else suited their task and they called them. Just because I called them, it doesn’t mean they should call me, Sir. Besides, their individual tasks were completed long before mine…. *I smiled*

    q) Which one’s in your group do you think has done well overall?
    a) Done well, Sir? Planning or executing the tasks, Sir?

    q)  Both. In all the aspects.
    a) Well Sir, I think Ch. Nos 10 and 18 have participated the most in the tasks. They were physically very agile. Their solution was from the execution point of view. Chest No’s so and so planned very well. Sanathan, Avinash, Vinay, etc., were planning from the background.

    q) Who do you think could have done, but did not have the opportunity to execute his ideas?
    a) Chest No’s so and so did not have enough space to execute their ideas sir. 10 wanted to use the rope but everyone else was busy executing their own ideas. Vinay proved his mettle in his command task.

    q) What did you do in these 6 months after B.Tech?
    a) I was helping my father run his business, Sir.

    The next half hour revolved around the business. For every one of my answers he was trying to counter it, trying to prove me wrong. I answered in a straight forward manner. Very Serious discussion. No comedy here. And then he asked me about my brother, his job, background.

    q) Ok Ashok, What do you know about planes used in the Indian Air Force?
    a) I am sorry Sir, I don’t have much idea about planes and current affairs.

    q) You must have some idea. C’mon tell me what you know.
    a) Sir, all I know is that Sukhoi planes are the best we’ve got now. The recent addition to IAF is the Falcon which contains the Airborne Early Warning Control System mounted on top of it……..

    q) You said you did not have any idea of planes. But you seem to have prepared. Where did you get this information?
    a) I learned this within the campus from my friends Sir.

    q) Tell me about some wars India has fought in the recent years.
    a) I already told you Sir, I am very weak in current affairs.

    q) Tell me whatever you know (Dangerous)
    a) India fought on behalf of the British in the Second World War. Since it was under the Queen’s rule then, it did not really have a choice. Then there is a continuous conflict between India and Pakistan Regarding Kashmir. Then with China… etc.

    q) Tell me your Strengths and Weaknesses. I need qualities not facts, Ashok
    a) I told him. He pushed me to tell around 3 or each

    q) What is your biggest failure in life, Ashok? It might be academic / non – academic.
    a) This is where I got stuck. I took a minute before answering. I don’t think he was satisfied with the answer.

    q) Who are your best friends?
    a) I told him a few names – M,Madhav, Prasanna, Shivakar, Srinivas, Vikas, Asish, Pardhu, Kranthi etc.

    q) On what basis do you divide/reject friends from becoming best friends?
    a) All my friends have independent decision making ability Sir. They don’t look for backup or they don’t depend on others decision/guidance.

    q) I didn’t quite get you. Would you elaborate?
    a) For example, we went to a restaurant. Every person orders his/her favorite item. But there are some who ‘always’ ask someone else to choose for them. Always. I don’t like them, Sir. They always let their decisions be controlled by other people. They depend on others for their decision.

    q) Ok, I still didn’t get what you mean. Can you explain with a couple of examples?
    a) Sir, My friends are like an independent ring, rather than a chain where each ring is connected to other. They are capable of becoming shepherds who guide their sheep.

    q) But doesn’t those independent decisions conflict with the others? If they contradict your decisions, then?
    a) I told you that they have the capability to make those independent decisions Sir. Not force their decisions on their friends.

    q) How was your stay at Mysore? Do you have any suggestions for AFSB?
    a) It was very good Sir. Suggestions? My friends from AP are used to having curd in every meal. But it is not provided here. Thats the only thing lacking here sir.

    q) I asked for your suggestions Ashok, not your friends’.
    a) I don’t have a problem with anything. You see, I don’t eat curd, Sir. (*Silly Answer, but he laughed).

    q) Ok Ashok. It was very nice talking with you. All the very best.
    a) Thank You Sir. Have a good day.

    This was an overview of the question he asked. It was well over 45 mins (I did not check the time, but Vinay told me from his calling time as he was next). All in all, it was a strange interview. But I didn’t think I committed any fatal mistakes, although I could have performed better. The rest of the day was spent in peace. Had our lunch. Then we left for the Mysore Tour. (We even signed up for the Group photograph, which was taken as soon as my interview was over). The tour was a lot of fun. Enjoyed it. Guys danced, sang and shouted the whole way. Returned at 9.30 PM. Had supper and slept heartily after a long time.
  7. Day 5 – 03 Dec 2009, Mysore 2AFSB:
    Board Conference:

    All the officers, GTO’s, IO’s along with the President of the Air Force Selection Board will be present for the conference. They were with their uniforms fully clad this day with all their batches, etc. The conference is sort of a mini-interview, but not too stressing.
    All the interviews/Group Tasks of all the candidates was over before lunch. At 2.00 PM, we assembled in front of the hall. We were taken into the hall where we gave our Psych tests, and we were issued our TA – Transport Allowances. I got around Rs.625 /- for my trip from Hyderabad to Mysore and back. First we were given very strict instructions to follow.
    We’ll be called in groups of 10 and we have to wait in the waiting hall in the ground floor where the conference room is also present. Once your number is called, wait outside the waiting hall. Look at the two bulbs outside the conference room. If it is RED, do not enter. If it turns GREEN, then go into the room, and sit in the allotted chair. Look for the guy who has the India Flag and the AFSB flag in front of him. You should look only at him, and address him alone. He will ask you some questions, answer them and when he says, “Thank you, all the best”, that’s your cue to leave. Leave the room without turning back. They started calling numbers from 1 to 10. When our batch was called, Aravinda (no. 10) was still waiting outside. Once his number was called, he went inside and came out in a couple of minutes. I had to wait for around 5 to 10 minutes before they called me.
    I entered, sat in the chair allotted. There was a large U shaped table in front of me (with me at the open end). All the officers were present. The flags were present in front of the middle person – the President of AFSB. I thought I was doomed. He wished me and I wished back. The questions he asked me were:
    1) Which college are you from?
    2)Which group are you from?
    3) What was your Main Project in your final Semester? (Implementation of Advanced Encryption Standard using VHDL)
    4) Explain me briefly about your Project? What is it about? (I got stuck here, but explained something)
    5) How many of you did this project? (Three)
    6) Whose idea was this? (Mine)
    7) What did the other two do in this project? (Coding)
    8) What did you do? (I was the Project leader, I managed and helped in the structuring of the project)
    9) How was your stay at AFSB? (Good Sir, Thank You)
    10) Any suggestions you’d like to give? (No sir, not really. It was better than I expected)
    11) Thank You Mr. Ashok. All the best.
    I left the room.

    Each one was asked a different set of questions but the accommodation thing was common. One hilarious Question and answer episode of ‘Commander Narendra’  was

    q) Which college did you study?
    a) Hyderabad, Sir. *hits his head* Sorry Sir. So and so engg. coll.

    q) How was your stay here?
    a) Food, Sir? Good Sir!!!

    All time classic.

    By the time everyone’s conference was over, it was around 5. We were gathered in the hall and given a pep talk by Mr. Jagan (Our Boss) about Success and Failure, that this is not the last step, etc. Then the results were announced from the last chest no.

    11 of us were selected. I was the only guy from Andhra Pradesh State to be shortlisted (thanks to my friends for all the help, they were the lights that showed me the way to this one). All the rest were dropped at the Railway Station (I think). We were given a large number of forms, filled a couple of them. We were given permission to stay up all night and ‘enjoy’ but we had to complete the stack of forms that were given to us and submit them by the next day. Once we complete them, we were told that we’ll be given some more forms the next day. We were also given a chance to have a go at PABT – Pilot Aptitude and Battery Tests. 3 of us were eligible to take PABT (under 23 years/no glasses/unmarried, etc). Their PABT was to be held the next day on 04th Dec, 2009.
    Since most of us were over weight, we started eating less. From the discussion we had at dinner on that day: Many many others deserved this selection more than us. But it was our lucky day. We were selected because it was our day. It was not because others lacked something we had. It was because we were able to show the right thing on the right time at the right place. The others did not get a chance to do that.

    After filling the forms the whole night, and spending all the balance in all our mobiles (Roaming yaar), we barely got 3 hours sleep.
  8. Day 6 – 04 Dec 2009, Mysore 2AFSB:
    Form Filling and Departure:

    From morning to afternoon, we filled the forms in the hall (these forms were different than what we filled the previous night). 4 of us were supposed to report to IAM – Indian Aerospace Medicine, Vimanpura, Bangalore on Monday, 07 Dec 2009 at 7.00 AM. The rest were supposed to report on 10 Dec 2009 at the same time.
    The three guys who were eligible for PABT gave their exam.  All three of them cleared it. Ha.
    PABT is once in a lifetime opportunity to become a pilot. You can’t attempt it twice. If you fail once, you are ineligible to apply for a second time). So the guys who cleared it were clearly gonna get extra attention in their medical exams… :D

    We had our lunch. Had some time off. We were asked to keep our luggage outside so that we can leave as soon as we get our forms that we have to submit in Bangalore. We were given our respective forms. We left for the Railway station along with all our luggage in the rain. Some of us got down at the Bus Station, but the rest of us got down at the Railway station. We got into the train leaving for Bangalore and got a room for ourselves and settled ourselves. The train journey was a memorable one. Laughed the whole way. Jokes and Jokes and more Jokes.
    Since Jerry Chaco (Kerala) and Harsha Vardhan (Belgaum) were searching for a place to stay in Bangalore, I offered them to stay with me at my uncle’s place. All of us got down in Bangalore and the 3 of us went and met my uncle, and we left for his place.

  9. Medicals at IAM, Bangalore:

    We had to stay for 6 days at IAM (they provide quarters and food, although the accommodation and rules are nowhere near AFSB) to complete all our Medicals where as, if planned perfectly, it could have been completed in 3 days. Here is the brief about the medical exams conducted:

    1) Reception: Collection of Blank Forms
    2) Cardiac Examination Lab (1st Floor): for height and weight
    3) Officer i/c Medical Boards (Room No 2, Ground Floor) – For witnessing Signature. Referral to specialist opinion if any. (generally not needed if you are fit)
    4) Aviation Pathology for blood and urine samples
    5) Radiology for X-Ray and USG (at Command Hospital 4 Kms away from IAM)
    6) Audio Vestibular Lab (Near to X-Ray Lab) for Audiometry – Puts headphones around you and when you hear a beep, you have to click a button. He tests you for your hearing level in various frequencies with varying decibel range.
    7) Dept. of ENT (1st Floor): for ENT examination
    8) Dept. of EYE (1st Floor): for EYE examination
    9) AFIDS (Dental Centre) Near Command Hospital: for Dental Examination (Civil/Service Candidates only)
    10) Gynecology (In case of women): Gynae checkup by SMO/LMO under arrangement of i/c Reception
    11) Cardiac Examination Lab (1st Floor): for ECG/TMT/General Medical & Surgical Examination
    12) Misc: 
                  a) Anthropometrics Measurements (for aircrew duties only)
                  b) Human Engineering
                  c) Aviation Medical Specialist
                  d) Psychometry
                  e) Psychiatrist
                  f) Surg Splst/Ortho/Neuro Surg/Neuro Physician/Cardiologist/Dermatologist
    1) Preparation of Medical Board by SNCO i/c Med Board.
    2) Interview by President Medical Board

    The order that you should follow to complete it asap:
    First get and fill the forms. Then height and weight  immediately. Then go to Aviation Pathology before 8.30 on empty stomach and give samples. Rush to X-Ray as soon as you complete. Reach X-Ray before 10. After he gives you the X-Rays, take those X-Rays and go to Command Hospital which is about 4 Km from IAM. Submit your X-Rays in the Radiology Dept. which will be returned the next morning, take an appointment for USG and rush to Dental Dept. which is a little further in. The Dental closes at 11 AM. Complete your Dental examination before 11. A.M. and come back to USG and complete that too. Return to IAM, complete Audiometry, EYE, ENT and ECG. If you are not able to complete this in a single day, don’t worry you can continue the tests the next day. Early Morning the next day, complete Aviation Pathology if you’ve missed it, then go to Cardiology to get your ECG, go to Command Hospital, get your X-Rays, complete your remaining tests. Then go to General Medical Checkup opposite Cardiology Dept. Surgical Examination (really funny and embarrassing) in the Second Floor. Once you complete these, then submit your file in the Office on the Ground Floor. He does some paper work and will send you and your file into the President’s room He’ll just tell you what’s there in your file and if you are Medically Recommended, Temporarily Rejected (if your disability is curable within a specified time, not so bad, you can appeal again),  Permanently Rejected (from all the defense services including NAVY and ARMY, happens to many people, too bad). Once the president signs your file, you’ll be given appeal forms if you are temporarily rejected, or some other forms if you are selected. Fill those and then you are ready to leave.

    Your work for the selection procedure for the Indian Air Force is done.

    In our batch of four, Yateesh pulled through well, I somehow scraped through and the other two – Jerry and Harsha had some minor problems.

    Common problems in Medicals:
    ECG abnormality: Heart problems – Permanent Rejection
    EYE Test: Squint Eyes – Permanent Rejection
    USG abnormality: Renal Calculus – Temporary Rejection
    Over/Under Weight: Temporary Rejection. I was 3 to 4 Kgs overweight before coming to IAM. I managed to reduce those 4 Kgs in 2 days. Imagine that. No intake and workouts. hehe…
    Eye-Glasses: No problem for Technical Branch. For flying branch perfect 6/6 vision is required.
    X-Ray abnormality: Depends on what problem you have. They check for the backbone curvature I think.
    Audiometry: Depends on the decibel range that you can hear for a particular frequency. You may be very sensitive for some frequencies and have difficulty hearing at other frequencies.

  10. All India Merit List Announcement:

    Once you are recommended from AFSB, that does not mean ‘you got a job’. Your scores are compared against all the Merit List candidates who are recommended from all the three AFSB’s (Mysore, Varnasi and Dundigal) for that particular course. And depending on the requirement they post the All India Merit List containing the names of the candidates who are recommended for the course. Even if you are recommended at AFSB, there is a possibility that your name might not come in the All India Merit List. This Merit List is not connected to the Medical Examinations. Even if you are Medically unfit for the course, your name will be there in the Merit List. Click here to download the Merit List.

  11. General Instructions For Reporting and Testing At Air Force Selection Board (New)
1. Reporting.
The attached Call letter is the authority for you to report at the Board for interview. The same is to be handed over to the Board on your arrival. You must report for the interview on the date and time as specified in the Call letter. Late comers, on any account (including of late running of trains) will not be admitted for tests. A representative of the Board will meet you in front of Parcel office at the Mysore(or any other afsb) Railway Station and escort you to the Selection Board.
2. Boarding and Lodging.
Free boarding and lodging will be provided during your stay at the Board. Those candidates who arrive before the dale and time indicated in the Call letter will have to make their own arrangements. You are advised to bring a medium size Pad Lock to safeguard your personal luggage during your stay at this Board.
3, Selection Procedure.
The testing schedule is in two phases and normally for a period of five or six days depending upon the contingencies,and will be as follows.
Schedule Flying Branch Technical & Ground Duty Branch
Day 2 OIR Test & PPDT Psychological Test and Group Test/Interview
Day 3 Psychological Test/Group Test/Interview Group Test/Interview
Day 4 Groupt Test/Interview Group Test/Interview
Day 5 Groupt Test/Interview Groupt Test/Interview and Conference
Day 6 Groupt Test/Interview and Conference ------
a) Instrument Comprehension Battery (INSB) Tests followed by Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT) for Flying Branch are screening tests. Candidates, who do not qualify, will be routed back. on the same day itself.
(b) NDA/CDSE candidates who do not qualify the INSB and PAB Tests will be tested for their second/third choice of service, if already opted for.
(c) Officer Intelligence Rating (OIR) test followed by Picture Perception and Discussion Test (PP&DT)are conducted for all entries in Phase I testing and only those, who qualify in Phase I test,will be retained at AFSB for further testing in Phase II.
4. Documents.
You are required to bring the following relevant documents. which will be checked/returned after verification.
(a) Twenty copies of recent passport size colour photogrnpns taken in light coloured clothes against white background
(b) Original matriculation/Secondary School Mark sheet & Pass certificate issued by CBSE/ICSE/State Board. (No other certificate will be accepted for verification of Date of birth).
(c) Original Mark sheet and Pass certificate of XII
(d) Original/Provisional Graduation Degree/Post Graduation Degree certificates and mark sheets of each year/semister issued by University only, for verification of educational qualification which makes you eligible for the course. Provisional certificates issued by college principal is not acceptable. In case these are nor available the candidates,may carry original mark sheets which entitle him for an award of the degree and a certificate to that effects signed by the college principal.
(e) Original NCC 'C' Certificate (If applicable).
(f) Two attested photo copies of each of the above mentioned certificates.
(g) Indemnify Bond duly signed hy the candidates and parent or guardian (applicable for candidates below 18 years of age). Other candidates will fill the same on arriva1 at the Board.
(h)NOC from employers for candidates working in Central/State Government or PSUs
(j) Declaration Form (Attached).
(k) Identity proof(Passport/VoterID/Driving Licence/HallTicket/Admit card of the latest Board/ University exams, attended)
Candidates not in possession of the above documents should not report to the Selection Board, as they will not be accepted for the tests and will be routed back without payment of TA (Transport Allowance).
5. Requisites. You are advised to bring the following items .
(a) Light bedding (except mattress and pillow) and clothing (according to season).
(b) One pair of white shorts & white T-shirts or Tack Suit (For Men),
One pair of Trouser - shirt or Salwar Kurta or Track suit (For women), socks and a pair of  Shoes/Sports shoes.
(c) Adequate writing material(ink/ball point pens and lead pencils).
(d) Medium size Pad Lock.
(Extra Info from other application I have: You are to bring two bedsheets & a pillow cover and any one of the following dresses with white PT shoes for the pupose of Group Testing: -
(a) White Shorts/Trousers & White T-Shirts
(b) Track Suit)

6. Traveling Allowance (TA).
Traveling Allowance by the shortest route in Sleeper Class on Mail/Express trains to and fro for the journey from the place of call-up or departure (whichever is nearer) is admissible. Change of address. if any, must be intimated to the Board well before your arrival. You have to produce original/Xerox copy of Railway/Bus ticket or PNR No. of the Railway Tickets. Otherwise TA will not be paid. For all other modes of travel, TA will he admissible as per the Government authorised rules. NO TA is admissible, if you have already appeared for the same type of entry at any of the Selection Boards.
7. Medical Examination.
Recommended candidates for the Flying Branch will be required to proceed for medical examination for a duration of four to seven davs to Air Force Central Medical Establishment, New Delhi or Institute of Aerospace Medicine. Bangalore. The NDA/CDSE candidates recommended for Army/Navy will be routed to Command Hospital (Air Force), Bangalore for the medical examination. Recommended candidates of GDOC and Technical Branches may be routed back home from AFSB at times. In such cases, their medical examination will he conducted at a later date and Air Headquarters will intimate them accordingly. It may be noted that the Air Force Medical Board/Services Medical Beard is the final authority while deciding the medical fitness for joining the Indian Air Force/Army/Navy. You are advised to see the details about Medical Standards in our website
8. Discipline.
Your conduct and behavior during your stay at the Board is expected to be disciplined and orderly. Any act of indiscipline or misconduct will lead to cancellation of your candidature. in all manners pertaining to indiscipline and/or misconduct, the decision of the President of the Board shall be final and no appeal against his decision will be entertained. Should you try and influence any member of the Board directly or indirectly. your candidature will be cancelled.
9. General.
No facility exists at the.Board for safe custody of cash and valuables. Therefore do not bring any valuable or excess money.
10. All correspondence with regard to this Call letter should be addressed to the President of the Board giving full details including Course/Batch No/Code No.etc. Request for second call is not normally entertained except on extreme compassionate grounds or as per the selection schedule being followed by the Board. For queries contact us on e-mail quoting your above details.
Note: These instructions are general in nature. The instructions contained in the advertisement for your course and call up letter will be binding in determining your candidature for test and interview. In all matters the decision of Air Force authority shall be final.

The Post-Words:

All in all, it was a unique experience. I met so many different kinds of persons, each doing something else, but having a common aim of getting into the Indian Air Force. The week at 2AFSB were truly enlightening, although a little tight around the corners. So many  guys, each with his own unique personality and his own outlook on life. The kind of determination you find in these people is very rare. Determination and Perseverance. There were guys who were attempting it for the 3rd or 4rth time too.
Me and Harsha met two girls – Basanthi and Deepthi at IAM Bangalore who cleared the medicals and were leaving. You’ll be amazed at Basanthi’s determination to get this. (will post it after taking her permission… he he… :D ). Now that I think of it, the rejection rate in males is very high when you put it against the rejection rate in females. All of them (girls) who were recommended from AFSB, Mysore cleared the medicals. But very few recommended guys manage to pull through medicals.

  • Code for Random Words Generation in Excel:
    • WordList Macro Code:
      Sub RandomWork()
      ' RandomWork Macro
      ' Keyboard Shortcut: Ctrl+d
      End Sub
    • '  UserForm1 Code:
      Dim a As Byte Private Sub AutoButton_Click()
          Cells(50, 8) = "= INDEX($D:$D,RANDBETWEEN(1,COUNTA($D:$D)),1)"
          Label1.Caption = "Common: " & Cells(50, 8)
              Dim Row2 As Double
          Cells(50, 8) = "= INDEX($D:$D,RANDBETWEEN(1,COUNTA($D:$D)),1)"
          'Row2 = Int((58112 - 1 + 1) * Rnd + 1)
          Label2.Caption = "Random: " & Cells(50, 8).Value
      '    Application.Wait Now + TimeValue("00:00:6")
      '    Loop While (a <> 26)
      End Sub
      Private Sub CommandButton1_Click()
          Cells(50, 8) = "= INDEX($D:$D,RANDBETWEEN(1,COUNTA($D:$D)),1)"
          Label1.Caption = "Common: " & Cells(50, 8)
      End Sub
      Private Sub CommandButton2_Click()
          Dim Row2 As Double
          Cells(50, 8) = "= INDEX($D:$D,RANDBETWEEN(1,COUNTA($D:$D)),1)"
          'Row2 = Int((58112 - 1 + 1) * Rnd + 1)
          Label2.Caption = "Random: " & Cells(50, 8).Value
      End Sub
      Sub PerformClick()
      End Sub
      Private Sub StopButton_Click()
          a = 26
      End Sub

    • IAF – Indian Air Force
    • AFSB – Air Force Selection Board
    • SSB – Service Selection Board
    • FTS – Fast Track Selections
    • 2AFSB – Air Force Selection Board, Mysore
    • EKT – Engineering Knowledge Test (For Technical and Flying Branch)
    • CET – Common Entrance Test (For Meteorological Branch)
    • B.Tech – Bachelor of Technology
    • BE – Bachelor of Engineering
    • CBIT – Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology, Hyderabad
    • PPDT – Picture Perception and Group Discussion
    • GD – Group Discussion
    • +ve – Positive
    • -ve – Negative
    • ECE – Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE Rocks … hehe…)
    • CSE – Computer Science Engineering
    • ME – Mechanical Engineering
    • IT – Information Technology
    • Candidates – Applicants staying at AFSB for Selections
    • TAT - Thematic Apperception Test
    • WAT – Word Association Test
    • SRT – Situation Reaction Test
    • SD – Self – Description
    • GTO – Group Testing Officer
    • IAM – Institute of Aerospace Medicine
    • IO – Interviewing Officer
    • TA – Transport Allowance
    • PABT – Pilot Aptitude and Battery Tests
    • AEC – Aeronatucal Engineers Course
    • PC – Permanent Commission
    • SSC – Short Service Commision
    So… that was my experience. Forgive the grammatical errors in this post, as I did not bother to re-check it. 
    I know only a handful of you will have enough Patience to go through the whole post (as there are no colorful pictures in it). I removed the funny parts of the story as they spoilt the mood of the whole Selection Procedure (sry Prasanna… I am afraid I will have to tell you the hilarious parts personally).

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    Sports4uch said...

    enti mama edhi test lekunte job anni test lu pass avvali...denni kanna okka mla or mp kavchuu easy ga......nenu ithe fisrt round lone entki vache vadini....

    Unknown said...

    :D !!
    and that's how the advanced learner's oxford defines a 'detailed description' ;) !!
    naakite nene poi ochinanta feeling ochindi :P !! hehe !!
    mighty neat work soccer :) !!

    Ashok Felix said...

    Torture aa? Antha pedha maata endhukule mama.. Asalu torture training start ayyaka untundhi.... hehe

    Ya, took a whole day to write this.. but I omitted the major (comedy) part of this thingy....
    Wow, happy to hear that atleast one of the readers read it completely....
    Thank You...

    Happy New Year btw... :)

    Unknown said...

    Cadavatanike chala time pattela undhi.. Ela rasavo...
    Glance ke 10 to 15 min pine pattindhi...
    chadavalnte oka sari refresh avalsindhe...
    U r great man... Really....
    Anyway Hearty Congratulations.... Weather u join or not... U did it...

    Unknown said...
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    Unknown said...

    hahahahaaa :D !!!
    so...the comedy part huh ? u shud have posted that soccer... neeku anta prob unte naaku cheppu ;)! nenu ikkada comment box lo ne essay raassi pedtaa :P !!
    haha ha !!!

    Ashok Felix said...

    wow, nu motham chadhivav ante naakendhuko doubt ga undhi... entha kaali ga unte chadhivavo...
    Thank You. I did it for a whole different thing altogether.. but it was a good experience.

    Adhi chaduvuthey, Janaalu evaru naa site ki raru. Kaani, I have no problem telling you..hehe.. thattukune strength neekunte.... he he

    Anonymous said...

    hiiee there!!!
    I have my SSB at Mysore on the 14th of Jan and this post really helped me a lot.........
    Thank You!!!!!!

    Ashok Felix said...

    Glad I could be of help.
    Anything you wish to know, just leave a mail/comment here.....

    Unknown said...

    actly im gonna give the ssb in Mysore on 14th Jan for 10+2 NDA and this post has really helped me a lot.
    I dont have much time but i want to practice the WAT....
    I downloaded the file you have uploadedand even enabled macros in excel. BUt i don't know how to use the downloaded RAR file......
    PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!
    I have only 3 days left for preparing......
    THANXX A LOT YAAR!!!!!!!!1

    Ashok Felix said...
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    Ashok Felix said...

    Hey Jeremy,

    What RAR file are you talking about? I haven't put up any RAR file dude...
    For WAT, I directly put up the Excel File... Here's the link again...
    But as I mentioned, you need Office 2007. Just open it, enable macros and press Ctrl+D. Thats it.
    If you don't have Office 2007, gimme your e-mail, I'll send you the Office 2000 compatible file.
    Don't worry too much over this. Just pick up random words and start working out in your mind and reduce the time period in which you can make a sentence with any given word. Any word will do.

    All the very best for your SSB Mysore Selections...
    Don't be so tensed dude. You can't change your personality. Just practice the physicals (running, climbing up a rope), Stories (make up characters, background stories around 10), Sentence Formation, and most important of all, Your Self - Description (strengths and weakness). Thats it. And be good at your current affairs/Defense News.

    My final advice.
    Be confident and be yourself.
    You'll easily get through.

    Aravinda said...

    hey... man thats too .... good... the description...will definitely help a new candidate. i will forward if i find anny.... as i said that day.... i still agree with ur selection.. defence needs u man... any way... use ur management skills for our country... ALL the best... keep in touch...

    vinayteja(ch.12) said...

    hey its really good...
    i finished reading all. u have one spelling mistake in it.
    but how much time have u taken to prepare for writing this and how much time to type it...
    and one more thing where did u manage to get the code????

    Ashok Felix said...

    Thanks man... I knew you'd like it mate... :)
    I hope it helps someone clear everything.... Hehe... will try...
    All the best to you too... Scientist... :D

    Ashok Felix said...

    Couldn't have done without you guys.. believe me or not... but thats the truth... :D
    You read everything? entha patience ra neeku....
    One complete day pattindhi ra.... to write this...
    Actually, the notes I was taking in AFSB was to write this post... I wanted to write this from the moment I entered the campus. hehe.... Thought it'd help a lot lot of people out there...

    Code aa? I wrote that... I told you already, I am very good at this programming stuff.... :D

    Jerry said...

    hello buddy...
    itz going to really help the guys want to join indian defence..B proud to b an indian.....

    sreelakshmi said...
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    sreelakshmi said...

    hi... ashok congratulations for ur success in IAF...

    hey i was also the one who came to CBIT for ssb in hyd.. but i was not qualified for the first round..

    can u plz tell me the details tat how many girls were selected for fts from andhra as well whole INDIA.. i am very interested in joining IAF as a technical officer and i can achieve it if u help me in some aspects like preparation,how to clear the rounds,ekt preparation etc...

    PLZ DO HELP ME ...


    Ashok Felix said...

    Hi, Thanks.
    Oh, you were there at CBIT? Cool.
    I think around 7-9 girls were finally recruited. I don't think there was anyone from Andhra Pradesh. I saw around 5 of them at IAM, Bangalore and met a couple of them. For a girl, I think it's pretty easy to get it. Obviously, they have lower physical standards for females.

    Always ready to help. Just ask what you wanna know.

    Great to know that this post is helping some guys out there.... :)

    sreelakshmi said...

    hi.. ashok thank you..for ur quick response... actually i wanted the help regarding the EKT exam .. how did u prepare for it? i mean did u buy any book for EKT? and for ssb which book did u follow? and for girls how will be the ssb interview?
    i mean if we r able to pass ekt first then can we easily go through the ssb ? or else any special coaching or anything else is required?plz help me out bcoz i want to join the IAF..



    Ashok Felix said...

    No Probs. Yaar, I am your avg. Hyderabadi B.Tech Guy. I'm not a moderator/administrator or something.
    EKT? No Special prep, ma'am.
    Just dust off the old Engineering Books and 'go through' it. You don't even have to remember anything. Just have a glance at everything, so that you know whats there.
    My brance was Electronics and Communications (ECE Rocks..hehe...)... So I went through - Microprocessors,AC(Modulations - AM, FM, etc), Simple Electronic Stuff. Physics Chemistry tho I don't even know what I looked at.

    But I tell you this, Chemistry, have a good idea about the periodic table... isotopes, isobars,... and stuff like that.

    There are two sections in EKT as I've already written above.

    I don't think the EKT is much of a problem. Just keep your cool in the exam. Brush your basics and you'll easily clear it. Which branch/college are you by the way?

    For EKT, you DON'T need any books. For SSB, I bought two books (which didn't contain that much stuff) but I think Upkar's SSB Interviews by Major P.N. Joshi (Retd.) was okay. Actually after every round I opened the book (instead of opening it before) and compared my feeling and experience to that in the book. They did not match. But just for reference, you might want to have it.

    As for the SSB, for girls (even for boys), if you are strong-willed AND relaxed, then I believe it's easy.
    I met some guys who went to coaching. From their words, its a waste of time. They just bore you with some boring stuff.
    The interview depends on your answers missy. Either it may be the easiest/toughest - totally depends on YOU. But as I mentioned earlier (did you read the whole page?...hehe) the next question is always based on your present answer.

    Inka em kaavali???
    (Are you Telugu?)

    SwethaReddy said...

    Hey Ashok,
    I read d whole thing this time....
    U r simply super man...Hats off 2 ur patience...
    Own Code...Gr8...

    Nice pics b/w...

    Ashok Felix said...

    Seriously motham chadhivava?
    Naa opika kaadhu.. nee opikaki mechukovali... hehe....
    Own Code lo great emundhi?
    Excel Macros chaala mandhi raastharu...
    its just not that popular yet....;)

    Thanks ... :D

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    Ashok Felix said...

    I completely forgot...

    The first thing I wanted to write in this post was my thanks to C. Sandeep Giri, my Intermediate Classmate from LFJC, whose invaluable 'training' sessions and advice(unique and useful, though odd at first look) were the only preparation I had for this selections.

    Unknown said...

    llllooooooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggg procedure ...:)

    i had 1 querry that i'm overweight by 8kgs nd i hav qualified EKT nd my ssb is on 23rd feb n varanasi .. what should i do ?? plz help me....

    Ashok Felix said...


    Ya, the length of the procedure can be pretty overwhelming at first look...

    Weight is not a major problem...
    The Weight Can be +10% above the mentioned weight.... So if you reduce around 4 Kgs within One Month... then you would be definitely in the range. I don't think reducing 4 to 5 Kgs in so many days would be a big deal....

    Varnasi, wow.... Mysore was pretty tough for me... Varnasi, I think it'd be pretty much the same... ;)
    Well, Good Luck to you....
    And be sure to ask anything you need here..... and reply once you complete your selections... :D :D

    Anonymous said...
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
    vishnukaimal said...

    Nothing more....

    u r fabulous.....

    brother tis s vishnu from kerala,i am also interested in IAF..and need to be in the gravity suit....

    can i get the contact number of ur friend..Jerry Chaco

    All the best...

    Ashok Felix said...

    Hi Vishnu... :)
    Aiming high? Thats very cool.

    Ya, Jerry'll help you better.
    Gimme your mail id. I'll send it to ya.
    I think he'z now working in Reliance.
    Cool Guy.

    Pradeep Nair said...

    Hi Ashok...i ve gone through so many ssb experiences blog but nothing comes closer to your description.Normally Im too lazy to write a response and here im writing one for was too good and too informative. Ive my ssb coming up on 27th of march for IAF AE(m). Your exp will really help me in preparing better for it.....and thanks a lot for that Word association macro..its g8.thanks once again.

    Ashok Felix said...

    Hey Pradeep :)

    Wow, I am honored then....
    I had hoped it would help people who aim to be in the armed forces...
    Always happy to help dude...
    Good Luck for your Selections... Do Your Best :D

    Ya, as for the macro? Is it working for you? Some people complained above that it wasn't working and when I tested it in my sys, its working just fine.

    Once again, All the Best :)

    Pradeep Nair said...

    yea..its working fine for me.i think ppl forget to enable macros option or may be a version problem.another thing ashok,by gods grace if i do clear the selection process,I m lil worried about my medicals.I was asthmatic and has sinus problem too and to add to that a recent sports injury on my right shoulder. though it doesnt affect my routines in anyway,i want to know if the medical check up is so particular about all these things?. Could u elaborate a bit more on the medicals if u remember?

    thanks in advance

    Ashok Felix said...

    Asthmatic: You said you 'were'. Are you still? I wuz too when I was a kid. But it was no probs for me.

    The right shoulder injury won't be a bother in the medicals at all. Just see that it won't be a hindrance in your Physicals/Group Tests (Important as you might hurt yourself).

    There is a column in the medical form about previous asthma thingy. But itz no big deal. As far as I've seen, there is no test especially asthma in medicals. Therez ECG that takes your Heart beat rate. And then there is a specialist's inspection where you have to be in your innerwear and he'll test you for respiratory problems (just like an normal doc - with a stethoscope).

    My Final Answer:
    UNLESS you STILL have TERRIBLE asthma and a SEVERE shoulder injury that prevents you from doing your best in physicals, you have nothing to worry about.

    Physicals is just a formality I think. Do your best there. But concentrate more on Psychological and Interview. That's where they'll judge you PERSONALLY.

    Be confident and BE SURE of what you want. No humpty dumpty stuff. You might as well gather some info from the net on the Flights used in the Indian Army. Just surface stuff. Anyways, YOUR Answer directs the interviewers NEXT question. Remember that. Always.

    Enjoy. Hope this clears things a bit. Anything more? Just ask away.

    vivek said...

    This is the best detail i could get about AFSB..Congrats and thank u

    Ashok Felix said...

    Thanks pal.... :)
    Hope that itz useful..

    PREETY said...

    thanks n gr8 help
    but after reading it i totally freaked out.
    god help us

    Ashok Felix said...

    Thanx Preety :)
    There iz nothin to freak out about (actually there is, but I'm not supposed to say that, am I?)
    Do your best and expect the worst, that's alwayz been my motto... :D
    I am really happy that this description is helping so many people... :D

    Ronita said...

    It's not everyday I come across posts like this, it's so explicitly informative! Thanks Ashok. I have my CET coming up on 25th April,2010. Do you, by any chance, know what sort of questions to expect in CET? And how should I prepare for the same? I am just an ordinary girl with no prior sporting experience. Will the physical tests (provided I advance to that level!) be a barrier for me? Please help! :)

    Ashok Felix said...

    Hi Ronita :)

    First, I've given the link below for the model CET. Check it out for an idea of the sort of questions to expect in CET. And don't forget to go through the official Air-Force site:

    From what I know and heard from my friends who've cleared CET, its for Ground Duties (Tech and Non-Tech branches). CET lays more stress on the Language and General Awareness part than the Tech part. The test mostly comprises of English Grammar Questions, GK, Letter Writing, etc.
    If its really you, who wrote that comment, from the proficiency in your language, you can easily clear off the first round. If you are bold enough, then GD's and PPDT's won't be a big deal.
    But if you are applying for a Tech-branch, then it may be a little different. Leave a comment if you are interested and I'll find out more details from my friends :)

    From what I've heard from the girls (at Bangalore Medicals) who cleared the Air Force Selections, Physicals for girls was cool. "Not too hard" - that were their exact words. Half of the people who are selected have no prior experience in Physicals (both men and women). So you needn't worry too much. But I advice you to just increase your stamina by jogging or any other means you may find comfortable. The individual physicals are a little hard because they are timed. But don't work yourself out. Clear the first round and then you'll have enough time to prepare for the physicals.

    I copied the below description from the CET Model Paper which can be found here:

    Common entrance Test (CET) is a tool to assess the proficiency of the candidate in English and General Awareness, for selection in
    Ground Duties Branches. CET has two parts, namely

    Part A- Multiple Choice Questions: English and General Awareness (30 Questions) (Duration 20 Minutes)

    Part B- Descriptive Test in English: Three Questions - One Comprehension passage with 5 Questions, one letter writing and
    One paragraph writing (Duration: 30 minutes).

    This test is applicable to all those aspirants who apply for non-technical branches. The contents of the test include the following in
    Part-A and Part-B respectively:-

    Part A: English (Grammar and usage) and General Awareness – MCQs

    Part B: General Composition in English
    (i) Reading and Comprehension
    (ii) Letter writing
    (iii) Paragraph Writing

    So, that's about it.
    Hope I gave you something new AND useful to think about.
    All the best and get back if you need anything else.
    Enjoy :)

    I wish people leave their info in the comments... but now that I think of it, I didn't leave any info for people to contact me.. Privacy issues I guess.... he he.. Have Fun.

    Anonymous said...
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    Pradeep Nair said...

    Hi Ashok..Im back after some time..hope u stil remember me.Im back with a happy news..cleared my ssb and medicals :)...thanks a lot Ashok.really u were of great help :).

    Ronita said...

    Thanks a ton for your quick and encouraging response Ashok! I got a bit late in replying back though :(
    Yes, I went through IAF's career page and read the model questions of CET in detail. Now I'm brushing up my GA, exam on 25th :( Wish me luck!

    Ashok Felix said...

    Hi Ronita,
    The Pleasure is all mine...
    I like the vodafone motto: Always happy to help.. :D

    Good Luck with your CET, do you best.. :)

    sreelakshmi said...

    hi.. ashok i am sreelakshmi.. i read all the information written u. by it is really helpful i am preparing for the ekt 30 may .refering all my engg books.. i am from ece .
    Hey ashok if u dnt mind small doubts ie; r u now in training or about to join training? if u r training then how is it going on? i mean the aeronautical classes r started or the physical training going on? how r the training classes r they really very tough? one more question a bit sensitive .. how many girls r there in the training bangalore? i am asking this question because i want to know that how many girls r getting selected in IAF ..
    by the way iam a telugu.

    thanks in advance

    Ashok Felix said...

    Hi Sri,
    Cool. Prepare well. Don't forget Physics and Chemistry. Good Luck with your EKT.

    I decided that my destiny lies elsewhere so I declined the offer after clearing my medicals. I can help you only till you get selected. After that, I'm afraid it's a deer hunt. But I am in touch with my mates who got selected along with me (even dropped one on his first day).

    Hey, Training is not in Bangalore. The First Six months it's completely Physicals in Dundigal Hyderabad (No mobiles allowed). No matter the post, its mandatory for everyone who gets selected for IAF. After these first 6 months of Physicals, you have to go to Bangalore for Technical Training (Aeronautical Classes). Physical training is hard, its a fact. But I think YOU should be more worried about the moral consequences than the physical ones (its not too tough for girls, I persume).
    I think there is a moderate strength of girls. I can't say you shouldn't worry as there are some dangers that come bundled with every profession for women. Since recently, the women Officers have also been granted Permanent Commission (instead of mandatory Temporary Commission) I think there'll be rush from the females to get into the Armed forces.

    Don't worry too much as you'll have more company than you can imagine once you get selected.

    I tried my best to tell you what I learned. Hope I did not frighten you.

    Neeku inka complete details kaavalante chepthanu. Nee mail id ni pettu (tharuvaatha theesestha). Anni vishayalu ikkada open ga pettalemu kadha :)

    sreelakshmi said...

    Hi ashok thanks for ur valuable information..
    by the by my email id is if there is any important information plz mail to this address.

    thank u

    Unknown said...

    you've really done a gud job by sharing your experience..quite informative thanks for dat,,
    I've recently done wid my EKT test that ws held on 30th May ..awaiting fr results keeping fingers crossd.

    And yeh..i would like to know how the training differs frm boys..


    Ashok Felix said...

    @Reshu: Hi Reshu,
    Thanks for that.
    Took quite a time too, this post.
    Let me know when you are through EKT and I'll link you up with a girl(Basanthi) who's selected in AFSB and who also completed the rigorous 6 months physical training in Dundigal, Hyderabad.

    From what she says, it was cool.. :)

    pramod said...

    hi man!!!
    thats a long story !!
    hm i was called up to the afsb for pilot.
    how can i crack this .to be frank im little weak in verbal.and it was dificult for me in group discussion?
    and other thing was that i hav xerox of my certificates(10th,inter). can i make it through? is it ok?
    and finally congrates u grea man and lucky enough too.....

    sujith said...

    u did a wonderful job..
    i am sujith and wrote the EKT on may 30,2010.i'm uncertain abt the u have any pictures of ssb obstacles in gp tasks..also how long we need 2 climb inthe rope wud be nice to have the pictures of gp tasks and individual ones..what r the pitfalls u had 2 face in the gp & individual tsks..& wht r the precautions to be taken.... :)


    Ashok Felix said...


    Hi Pramod... sry for the delay in my reply.
    Wow, thats great news buddy.
    Then you'll have some extra stuff look forward to - like the Pilot Aptitude Based Tests (PABT's), along with all the other above mentioned tests.

    Don't worry too much about verbal Pramod. They won't be testing your vocabulary. Its enough if you can speak and the other guy can understand what you are saying. I'd say being confident in what you say is the key to Success in AFSB. Just get involved and you can crack it.

    I've put up an Excel file to help guys like you (and me) prepare for Verbal assaults. Download it and follow the instructions and everything will be fine.

    As for the certificates, I think you need to have the originals. Most of the eliminants are guys who don't have the originals. If you can't get them, atleast get a letter signed by the people who possess your certificates along with attested Xerox copies. I think that'd be sufficient.

    Hey Sujith.
    Oh, Good Luck with that EKT mate.
    No, I don't have any pictures of Group/Individual tasks. Taking pictures inside the campus is not at all allowed. I dared and took some pics anyways(see the above slideshow), but they all cover the dorm part.

    Its difficult to prepare from pictures Sujith. There are many rules you need to follow while doing the tasks, and those rules are explained prior to beginning them. I don't think anyone can understand what they should do when they look at the pictures. You have to be IN THERE to UNDERSTAND it. Well, thats my opinion. I can draw them if you'd like.

    I think the rope is around ... hmm... around 6-8 meters. I'd say practice using 10 meters. That'd cover everything. This rope length is limited for females (they'll tie a colored ribbon in the middle to indicate it).

    Pitfalls in group:
    1. Too much time consumed to work out a solution TOGETHER with the team.
    2. Worried too much about following the rules, instead of solving the task.
    3. Took some time... very much time to figure out ALTERNATE solutions where we got stuck.
    4. Have to listen to each and every one of the team member's solutions and try to be the first to ACT UPON IT - I mean, try to be the first to jump into the group task field (even if that means you have to listen to others telling you what you have to do).
    5. Try and work out so you can lift relatively heavy objects with either hands.

    Pitfalls in Individuals Tasks:
    1. Don't take too much time thinking as there'll be only 3 minutes to complete the 10 tasks.
    2. If you feel anything is difficult, don't even try it as that'll waste valuable time.
    3. Along with the number of tasks a candidate does, I think the ORDER in which the candidate chooses to do them is also important.
    4. If you attempt and fail to complete an individual task, try to do it again to show that you won't give up too easily. But don't waste too much time doing it.
    5. Rope climbing is the toughest according to me (although Arvind Shenoy of our batch did it TWICE in the allocated time), so practicing for it forehand is gonna be a definite plus.

    Well, if you feel something is too dangerous for you, don't do it. Leave it.
    Although, I don't think there is anything in the group taks that can be termed as 'dangerous'.
    But be careful while doing individual tasks. Many return with injuries in this one. Burned hands (Tarzan jump), Broken legs, Bruised hands and knees, etc.. are common while doing this.
    Build up stamina before you go for the tests as this will help you a lot.

    Ronita said...

    Hi Ashok, I'm back seeking your help once more! I've cleared the CET held on 25th Apr and I'm to attend my SSB @ Varanasi, 20th Jul onwards. :)

    I haven't yet received my call letter so I have a few questions lined up for you to tackle ;)

    1)What sort of clothes, shoes and accessories (if any) to carry along for the GTO (indoor+outdoor) and the formal rounds?

    2)Will the selection procedure and tasks be identical for both men and women?

    3)Will the SSB bear our railway travel expenses to and fro or only for one half of the journey?

    4)And last but not a bit the least, can you link me up with Basanthi for a first hand account of a lady who has been through it all? :)

    Ronita. (

    Ashok Felix said...

    Hey Ronita:

    1. You don't have to worry about that too much. You'll receive explicit instructions regarding those when you receive your letter/form.

    2. Yes, almost. But women get it easier in the individual physicals than for men.

    3. Yes. SSB will bear you to AND fro travel expenses (by train only - read above description).

    4. Sure, if you need to. I'll send you a mail with details.

    Good Luck Ronita :)

    Asish said...

    Emra post length kante comments ekuva unayi(64 till now). Em pani leda ra job chesukoka inta peda articles rayadaniki?? :p

    M.Madhav endi ra full form rayali.

    Comments madyalo anta sensor cut chesav emra??

    Free Suggestion: Oka training institute petey bagane gitubatayetatu undi.

    Anonymous said...

    Nice work Mr. Ashok. I cleared my ekt and now off to varanasi in oct for the ssb round. but i have a problem. the weight standard the've given, compared to that I am 10 kgs underweight, though I'm atheletic. Is it going to be a problem ?


    Ashok Felix said...


    Thank you.
    Ali, Underweight poses more of a problem than overweight. Be sure that you are withing the +/-10% margin that they specified for your height and age. If you are within that range then you have no need to worry. And one more common problem they check for underweight (and for all others too) is 'KNOCKING KNEES' while walking or running. Check yourself for that too.

    If you are not within that range, then all I can say is EAT UP Buddy.

    Good Luck with your SSB Brother.

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks !
    Seems like I have to eat as much as I can !

    DINESH said...

    Hi Ashok!! This is Dinesh from chennai.I cleared EKT and was called for AFSB inteview at mysore but was not sure whether to attend the interview,but after reading your blog i've made up my mind to give it a shot at AFSB.Thank you!!!

    Ashok Felix said...

    Wow, that's great.
    You woudn't wanna miss it pal. Its an experience of a lifetime, I tell you.

    You go get'em Ali.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi there !
    I know its a little early and silly but I'm so excited...
    Can you tell me what to take ( as in clothes & accessories ) to the afsb varanasi.

    Sorry to disturb you but I cant help it, will do it again.


    Ashok Felix said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Ashok Felix said...


    Hey buddy. No problem at all.
    It is a question that'll answer a lot of others inquiries as well.
    I updated the post Ali (with your question as its 'inception', thanks to you). Check out the complete thing in the "General Instructions For Reporting and Testing At Air Force Selection Board" Section which is present at the end (almost) just before the "Post Words" Section. You'll find everything you need.

    And ALI, coming to your specific question, here is my answer:

    5. Requisites. You are advised to bring the following items .
    (a) Light bedding (except mattress and pillow) and clothing (according to season).
    (b) One pair of white shorts & white T-shirts or Tack Suit (For Men),
    One pair of Trouser - shirt or Salwar Kurta or Track suit (For women), socks and a pair of Shoes/Sports shoes.
    (c) Adequate writing material(ink/ball point pens and lead pencils).
    (d) Medium size Pad Lock.

    (Extra Info from other application I have: You are to bring two bedsheets & a pillow cover and any one of the following dresses with white PT shoes for the pupose of Group Testing: -
    (a) White Shorts/Trousers & White T-Shirts
    (b) Track Suit)

    If you want me to be more specific dude, then here is the EXACT list I prepared before going to AFSB in my scrapbook(Don't laugh at it when you see it... he he)

    1. Brush & Paste, Mug (he he ;) )
    2. Soap (Bathing and Washing) & Shampoo Sachets.
    3. Towel & Undergarments, all informal(3 pairs) and formal clothing (3 pairs).
    4. White Shorts/T-Shirts/Tracks/Canvas Shoes and White Socks
    5. Sandals/Formal Shoes with Socks/Slippers
    6. Shaving cream/Razor, Small Mirror & Comb
    7. Mobile, Mobile Charger & Spike
    8. Pens, Pencils, Erasers, Sharpners and Lock
    9. Wallet and Money
    10. Air Pillow, Head Cover, a Bedsheet/Shawl/Sweater
    11. USB Pendrive (in case of emergencies) with all my scanned photos, Certificates and Forms, and a couple of empty CD's
    12. Phone Songs/Head Phones/Mp3 player
    13. Belt
    14. Phone Balance (a lot, roaming)
    15. Shoe Polish(the one they have is always empty) & Socks
    16. Gadgets (not entirely necessary.... he he)

    Things to remember: Take Xerox copies of your train ticket

    Gunner said...

    Hey Ashok,
    I have received a AFSB call for Air-Force Technical. Have to report at Mysore on July 27th.
    Would be really grateful if you answer a query of mine.
    I have spectacles with number of around -3. Also, i am overweight (80KG / 175cm). So would this matter during the interview. Also, since its for Technical, do they give equal importance for physical fitness ?..
    Also, since i too am from Hyderabad, could you tell me the best way to reach mysore from hyd.

    Please help me as i am yet to decide whether to attend or not.

    Anonymous said...

    hey gunner i m kishore leaving for afsb interview on same day to mysore. take my no. 9966285003. i m goin by bus on 25.hope we can meet if poss.... no prob wid specs.i 2 hav dem.

    Unknown said...

    thanks for your suggestion. It has been very helpful to me.
    I will be facing ssb on 26th of october.
    I want to ask you does ocasionally smoking will affect my medical ground there.

    Ashok Felix said...

    As long as you don't have respiratory problems, I don't think you have to fear anything.
    Good Luck with you AFSB pal.

    sachin said...

    thank you
    i more question plz.......
    in what getup i should at varanasi platform(where is my ssb)?
    my height is 160cm,is it enough.
    any special suggestion for ues as i am plz.

    Ashok Felix said...

    I suggest you be in your formal attire (Full Sleeve Shirt and a Trouser with formal black/brown shoes) and take care that you reach the platform before time as punctuality is one area where I think the IAF won't allow any concessions.
    As far as the location for AFSB, Varnasi -

    160cm is not a problem. But be sure you match these requirements...

    saurav said...

    @ashok felix: nice recollection n thanks for the itinerary of the entire proces.
    but dude i wanted to know..
    After how many days of ur ssb does the merit list come out ?

    Ashok Felix said...

    Thanks pal.
    I think it takes around 10 days to release the merit list on the Air Force Website.

    After our SSB, we went to Bangalore (stayed there for 2 days) then to the Hospital (stayed there for 4 days) returned and the results were announced after around 3 days.

    sachin said...

    hi ashok,
    do mind plzz
    i have i question that what is the overall percent intake rate for ues generally in iaf.

    sachin said...

    if u could provide suggestion for ues2011 plzz
    my email id is

    sunny adams said...

    hey ashok,
    good work gentle man.but i shud ve read it earlier.i was out after passing the pabt in 2nd day..for the next time its very useful..thank you

    Ashok Felix said...

    I'm sorry Sachin, but I absolutely have no idea about UES. But I'll let you know if I come across anything.

    @Sunny Adams:
    Thank you Sunny. Oh, you left after passing PABT?
    You mean you cleared it? Wow, thats great.
    Well, if you ever take it up again, I hope this article helps you...
    Good Luck :)

    Anonymous said...

    Very Immpresive.. now u have been light for many aspirants through net.. thanks a lot..!!

    Ashok Felix said...

    Thanks a lot. :)
    Hope it helps as many people as you say this article has inspired.

    Anonymous said...

    my ssb is on 26th oct...
    I haven't received the letter yet...
    Is there a reason to panic ?
    If I dont get my admit letter then what ?

    Ashok Felix said...

    26 Oct? Have your friends received it yet?

    Anonymous said...

    Ahem !
    Well none of my friends cracked the EKT !
    Now What ?

    Unknown said...

    hi ashok sir,
    i m krish.i m very much impressed with the written experience of urs about iaf ssb selections.hats off to u ! u r like a true counsellor giving ur suggetions and advices to many guys and helping them in this way. its really shows ur motto - happy to help! May god bless u.

    i also have some questions .please guide me as soon as possible. there is a fts @greater noida on 25 sept qualifaction is technology & Mgmt.) frm Amity University,noida,U.P .i have studied ccna,linux, A+,c,optical technologies as my major subjects. earlier i had done BCA. so am i eligible to face ekt? please do reply.

    Ashok Felix said...

    Well, if you say you cracked EKT, then that's it. The official letter is just a formality. Don't bother calling or e-mailing them. No one will reply to you... properly. You must have introduced yourself to a handful of guys who cracked EKT along with you. If you haven't, then you should have done so. Well, don't make this small mistake again. Always introduce yourself, make friends and take their contact info - mails/phones. It will help a lot in the future.

    Don't worry about the letter. It will come in due time. Prepare for the next rounds. You must be ready for all the Physical/Psychological tests by the time you receive your call.

    Hey Krish. No need of Sir and stuff like that yaar. I'm also a simple student like you. Thank you for the token of appreciation. It means a lot to me.

    Here are the minimum qualifications for a graduate in the Indian Air Force. Hope this clears your doubt:

    Flying Branch:Any Graduate ( Three Year Course )/ BE / B Tech( Four Year Course) with Physics and Mathematics at 10+2 level.

    Technical Branch: BE/B.Tech Mandatory

    Ground Duty Branch: Any Graduate with minimum 60 % marks in aggregate in all papers put together OR Post Graduate Degreewith minimum 50 % marks in aggregate in all papers put together in Arts / Science / Commerce / Management / Engineering or LLB . [For law graduates (three years course) the upper age is relaxed upto 26 years]

    So Krish, I guess since you don't hold an Engineering Degree (BE/B.Tech), you are not eligible for Flying Branch or Technical Branch since it involves an indepth technical knowledge on certain topics which are only covered in the Engineering courses.

    But you are Eligible for Ground Branches in Administration/Accounts/Logistics Branch.
    Here is the link for you. Please check it out...

    Anonymous said...

    Plz shed some light on the UES...
    thank you.

    Ashok Felix said...


    Sure buddy.
    I don't know much personally, but I've heard and read about it.
    University Entry Scheme (UES) Course.
    Read the stuff in this link... it provides all the info.

    DINESH said...

    Hi Ashok!
    Am having afsb interview on 26th october.I need contacts of some guys attending afsb on the same day.
    As sunny has said dat he too attending on 26th, how can i contact him.

    This is my mail id

    Ashok Felix said...

    Hi Dinesh :)
    Well, he hasn't left any contact info.
    All we can do is hope he comes back to this page (which I think he will, eventually just to check the procedures), and see your and my comment.

    I'll let you know if anybody contacts me regarding AFSB on your date.
    Good Luck buddy.

    Anonymous said...

    Mine is also on 26th OCT AFSB varanasi....
    ALI from kolkata...

    Anonymous said...

    Hi again,
    one more query.
    Are PT shoes compulsory ? Cant I take my spikes(used for FOOTBALL)...


    Ashok Felix said...

    No, not compulsory, I've seen many guys with sports shoes. Spikes would do just fine :)

    Anonymous said...

    Few days to go for my 1st SSB(26th)...
    Any last tips or suggestions..?
    Your blog has been very helpful all through..

    krish said...

    hello ashok,
    could u please tell me about the life and different sorts of trainings given to candidates after ekt , by consulting ur friends ,who r actually going through the training? are mobile phones totally banned during training period? i also want to join airforce so i have much curiosity to know about it.

    krish said...

    wish u a very-very happy Diwali this year.

    Ashok Felix said...

    Hi Krish :)

    A very Happy Diwali to You too buddy.
    And sorry for the delay in replying. Wuz a lil' busy.

    You mean training after getting into the job right?
    Here's a small video clip -

    That's just a sample. There are if I remember it right, 3 (or was that 2?) semesters. The first is the physical's at Dundigal, Hyderabad. The second is the Technical at Bangalore. I still don't know about the third one.... :)

    Yup. Phones are banned all right. I know that for sure. I will let you know when I find out more pal.

    krish said...

    hi Ashok,
    can u please tell me how to go to AFTC ,jallahalli,Banglore from New delhi? i mean which station could be nearer to Aftc? plz reply soon if u have any idea about it ? i have my CET there on 28th nov.

    Anonymous said...

    hello bro great post... thank u so much for sharing so much of info.. i am from hyd. hav to attend AFSB on from JAN 11 2011 for SSC (women)at MYSORE.
    pls give me more details and advice for the same. If possible can you pls send me the link of Ms Basanthi's blog so that i can learn abt her personal experience. Hoping for a reply.

    Ashok Felix said...

    Thank you. Would be great if you post your name.
    Cool. Good Luck for your AFSB.
    What specific details do you need?
    My advice is the same as before:
    1. Increase your stamina for physicals
    2. Don't ignore preparation for the Psychological tests (Sentence formation, SRT, etc as explained above). Prepare well for this.
    3. Prepare a write-up about yourself. It'll save you, honest.
    4. Prepare all the commonly asked questions in interviews - non-technical I mean.
    5. When you are in AFSB, remember what you write and where you write anything and everything. Because all the questions the Officers ask you later will be based on what you inform them via the forms and in GD.
    6. Take a random topic and try to speak for a couple of minutes about it - CONTINUOUSLY. Develop a style for youself, like a sequence while talking. Like - Introduction, example/sample, Explanation, Reason, Conclusion.
    7. Most importantly, be confident in yourself and try not to bluff. Remember that you can get through AFSB just by being yourself.

    I hope this is useful. Reply if you need any specific info.

    Ms. Basanthi unfortunately doesn't have a blog (although the idea is pretty cool, I'll pass on your idea to her, although I don't think they meaning IAF employees are at liberty to discuss their work ;) ). I'll give you her e-mail if you'd like, but I'd rather not make it public.

    Anonymous said...

    Am so so glad that you replied to me. Thank you very very much. Well i understand that u cant send me her id publicly. I actually wanted to ask regarding the type of dressings suitable for girls for the interview. I am preparing to take western formal(pant and shirt) but some relative say that being an Indian girl Indian Churidar will be good. unable to decide. actually i am very serious about this and want to make out everything perfectly so want to hear more details b4 going. well i am stella persuing IV BTECH in IT under JNTU-H. And also will a track suit work for the group test or i need to take specifically white salwar kameez as mentioned in the CALL UP letter.

    Anonymous said...

    I am very very glad that you replied to me. Thank you very very much.I understand that you cant provide me Ms Basanti's id. I actually wanted to ask her in detail about the stay there and also dressings for the interview. I want to make it a sure shot so wanna consult wit someone who has already faced it. By the way i am Stella doing Btech (IT) under JNTU-H. Can you please suggest me something regarding dressing.

    Anonymous said...

    I am unable to use the excel sheet. downloaded it but cant use, actually unable to ENABLE MACRO.. pls help

    Ashok Felix said...

    Okay, that's a common startup issue.
    Which version of Office are you using?
    In office 2010:
    File->Options->Trust Center->Trust Center Settings->Macros Settings->Enable All Macros.

    In Office 2007:
    Microsoft Office Button->Excel Options->Trust Center->Trust Center Settings->Macros Settings->Enable All Macros

    If this doesn't help you, just post the Microsoft Office version you are using, then I can help you better. Is it Office XP, 2000, 2003, 2007 or 2010?

    GIRI said...

    thats good work, u are helping a many people like this..........

    Rajesh P K said...

    Hi Ashok,

    I am very happy to read your experience in 2AFSB.
    Recently from (23rd to 27th April 2012) i attended the testing process.
    And from your experience its very similar to mine.
    But got conference out:-( ...

    This was my first time experience. But i am a bit disappointed as i had full confidence of getting recomended but finally failed.
    I am still trying to find my mistakes.
    Can u pls guide me.
    As i will once again appear and hope to clear AFSB.


    Ashok Felix said...

    Hey Rajesh,
    Great to know that you went through the selection process. Must have been quite an experience :)
    I'll be glad to help in anyway I can.

    Rajesh P K said...

    Hi Ashok,

    Thank you very much for replying...

    In my batch out of 78 members only 7 got selected...
    out of which 5 members are in final year engineering...

    So my doubt is :-

    --> Do i have less chances in getting thru? (as i have 3 years experience in software industry)
    cos majority candidates selected are final year engineering students...

    I got this doubt because...
    the interviewing officer and in the conference they asked me about why i dint try for armed forces as i finished college...

    --> And what standards in ssb selection we are being tested?...
    can u pls share with me... i am still not able to rectify my mistakes... :-)

    Your reply is very valuable to me... :-)

    Tarun Kumar Chand said...

    Hey Ashok,

    Quite an informative blog you've got :). Going for my SSB in a couple of days so i'm a bit nervous.

    Waned to ask you in your experience which is the most difficult or rather toughest part of the SSB?

    Thanking you in advance,
    Tarun C

    jessie said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Unknown said...

    hey gd job.
    my afsb is on 31st dec 2012 for afcat any who have interview on same date?

    Nikaash said...

    really amazing and great work... its very helpful and informative for ppl going for the first time...

    Anonymous said...

    hi..thanks for sharing the experience...I'll be doing my test this month...just wanted to know where the selected candidates are finally posted...and also its mentioned in the call letter that mobiles are not allowed...not even in the hostel ?

    Anonymous said...

    hi..thanks for sharing the experience...I'll be doing my test this month...just wanted to know where the selected candidates are finally posted...and also its mentioned in the call letter that mobiles are not allowed...not even in the hostel ?

    Ashok Felix said...

    Mobiles are allowed within the dormitory :D
    Placement area depends. Tentative mostly.

    Anonymous said...

    cool ! Do you have any idea about the dress code for girls ? and i actually applied for the ground duty the testing process the same for all branches ??

    Nikhil Bharatiya said...

    I am a third year engineering student, I have appeared in afcat and I am positive that I will clear the written paper but I have 59 % in 6 semester but I am sure I can make it above 60%including last two semester, will they accept me for AFSB??
    I will be very grateful if you could tell me about it.

    Raksha said...

    Hi Ashok,
    A very informative blog. Thank you.
    I got selected in AFCAT which was held in Feb. Results were declared yesterday. Feeling a bit nervous!
    I have a few clarifications.
    1. My permanent address is in Mysore. Can I choose Mysore as the AFSB centre?
    2. 3 dates have been provided. One in May, June and August. We have to choose any one date for AFSB interview. Do you have any idea what will be conducted on this day? (I presume it might be OIR. Please confirm.)
    3. Will the group tests/interviews (on day 2, 3 and 4) be conducted immediately (next day) after OIR?
    For example, if I choose the date as 06-05-2013, will the whole selection process get over in 6 days i.e., on 11-05-2013?

    It will be really helpful for me if I can get your reply as soon as possible, as I have to choose a date before all the seats are taken!. Looking forward to your reply.. :)

    Aravind Sridharan said...

    A very informative blog. Thank you.
    I got selected in AFCAT which was held in Feb. Results were declared yesterday. Feeling a bit nervous!
    I have a few clarifications.
    1. My permanent address is in Mysore. Can I choose Mysore as the AFSB centre?
    2. 3 dates have been provided. One in May, June and August. We have to choose any one date for AFSB interview. Do you have any idea what will be conducted on this day? (I presume it might be OIR. Please confirm.)
    3. Will the group tests/interviews (on day 2, 3 and 4) be conducted immediately (next day) after OIR?
    For example, if I choose the date as 06-05-2013, will the whole selection process get over in 6 days i.e., on 11-05-2013?

    It will be really helpful for me if I can get your reply as soon as possible, as I have to choose a date before all the seats are taken!. Looking forward to your reply.. :)

    Hi Raksha, Congrats on passing the exam. Even I've cleared it this time. I think I can answer your questions.

    1. No, You cannot select Mysore if you are from Mysore. You'll have to select a different center.

    2&3 . Once you select any one of the available slot and submit it, it shows you the schedule in the next page along with instructions. Guess that answers your question. Go ahead and select a convenient slot of your asap. Wish you all the best.

    Aravind Sridharan said...

    Hi Raksha, Congrats on passing the exam. Even I've cleared it this time. I think I can answer your questions.

    1. No, You cannot select Mysore if you are from Mysore. You'll have to select a different center.

    2&3 . Once you select any one of the available slot and submit it, it shows you the schedule in the next page along with instructions. Guess that answers your question. Go ahead and select a convenient slot of your asap. Wish you all the best.

    yashi said...

    Hey buddy............your blog proves great help........i am having my ssb in varanasi on 6th may 2013,ground duty,m facing it for the first time......will the selected candidates immediately sent for medicals or that is after few days......plzzzzzzz reply ...:)

    Unknown said...

    Hi i have been recommended for AE(M) and have my medical on 9/3/15 ,so i wanted to know about what is the exact power of specs allowed for technical branch( or 6/6 with specs is allowed).It would be very kind of you if you can help me in clearing this doubt. Thank You.

    Unknown said...

    Seriously amazing blog ... I felt like I was going on through the ssb.
    And sir i m doing my diploma in aeronautical engineering final year. My dream is to be a part of airforce.and i started working on afcat papers ..I know its a bit to i m scared of failures.n shud i take any ssb training centres or wt? I m physically fit according to air force standards bt my tooth is improper(like in a zig zag format)..will that cause a probelm?