Tips for SSB Word Association Test (WAT)

Tips for SSB Word Association Test (WAT)
20-November 2018 2.00

Tips for SSB Word Association Test (WAT)


WAT is a test of personality and test of mental function in which the candidate is required to respond to the w1ords shown, with the first thought that comes to his/her mind. It is a test of personality and mental function.

In word association test (WAT) candidate will be shown a word for 15 seconds and whatever comes in candidate's mind he/she needs to write. 60 words will be shown back to back without break. word will remain for 15 seconds. Test will be conducted on day 2 stage 2 in psychological tests.


In WAT officers will check the mentality of candidates. As the time given is less so they can notice your behaviour from your answers. This test will show your personal life that how you think about the problems or how you experience the day to day things.

It's only your second day at SSB and you already have completed the Screening and TAT. The immediate next test waiting for you on the same day is the Word Association Test (WAT). This test is also called Confirmatory Test  to TAT or Idea Writing Test. This means that Word Association Test confirms qualities that you display in Thematic Apperception Test. Giving WAT immediately after the TAT brings your natural qualities in front of the assessors.

In the beginning, just try to make sentences which-

are factual, based on recent happenings
are positive
 show your attitude towards that word
reflect your own values and beliefs

Here is what shouldn’t be written-

Idioms and phrases which lack originality of your thoughts/imagination
Sentences that tend to preach
use of, it reflects self-centeredness
Negative sentences
Frequent references to celebrities or known figures


Make your own sentences:

Steer away from sentences that you have memorised or have learnt during practice. This shows a lack of originality. Instead, try making a link to the previous sentence as this is more natural and try showing your OLQ's through the sentences. E.g. for the word4, don't just write Do or Die is a slogan given by Gandhiji. Instead write, I'm a die-hard cricket fan. The sentence is both positive and shows your creative ability.

  1. Make sure you write meaningful and logical sentences. Don't use your imaginary power too much while forming sentences in WAT. Make real sentences and be grounded.
  2. Write grammatically correct sentences and maintain a good handwriting. This is just something that no one will tell you and no one will bother telling. But through this, the assessors test your ability to remain calm and composed under pressure. A person struggling to write sentences with bad handwriting and scribbling answers is more likely not to have the ability to remain calm and composed under pressure.
  3. Don't make sentences related to Defence too much. Writing sentences solely on defence will not take you anywhere. Instead, it shows a lack of originality and thoughts.
  4. Do not give suggestion or advice to the board or to anyone implicitly through the sentences. For instance, for the work 'bring', don't write, 'India should bring back Dawood Ibrahim. India knows what to do well, so don't give advice to anyone, which takes us to our next point:
  1. Don't use words like should, could, might, ought, can, may, must, etc. too much. Again, these form the basis of imaginary sentences.
  2. Keep the sentences to as short as possible. I’d say, sentences having 4-10 words are optimal. Don't make it too short or too long.
  3. While thinking about a sentence to make from a word, think of the first image that comes to your mind. This is your original idea of that word. Now, try to make a positive sentence from that word or relate that image to a positive story or current affair.
  4. From negative words, try negating the words or having remedial approach. For example, for the word hate, try remedial approach as,Love overcomes the fear hatred. In negating this word, you can go, “A mother do not hate her children.
  5. If, for some words, you are unable to form full sentences, just write your idea about that sentence in a word or two. The assessor will understand what you want to convey. For instance, for the word imagination, if you couldn't complete sentence within the given time, just write good. The assessor will understand that you are conveying something about good imagination or are stating that imagination is good.
  6. The last thing about succeeding in WAT is practice a lot with a timer.



Shishir Dixit
Centurion Education Pvt Ltd
Author is SSB expert (Psychology), Motivational speaker & Air Veteran.