How to perform well in Group Planning Exercise in SSB Interview

How to perform well in Group Planning Exercise in SSB Interview
20-February 2020 2.00

Tips to Excel in Group Planning Exercise in SSB

Being an Army Officer is not everyone’s cup of tea it needs determination and courage as well. In many situations, an officer has to encounter adversities, and at that time the responsibility of the troops rely entirely upon the officer’s decision. Thus this test of Group Planning Exercise is conducted for the same purpose in the Services Selection Board. GPE is thus the best activity to analyze your leadership quality and is concerned with your decision taking abilities. It is done basically to check the reaction of candidates when put under a series of stressful situation, in which decision making ability and quick reactions of a candidate is examined.


What is Group Planning Exercise?

  • - Group planning exercise is conducted during the third day of the SSB under GTO Tasks.
  • - This particular task falls under the Group task that is usually conducted by a Group testing officer.
  • - In this task, candidates are arranged in the form of the group’s size varying from 8-10 candidates.
  • - The task comprises of some problems that we face in day to day life and the notion is how we solve these problems as a group.
  • - Entire focus in the Group Planning is on team coordination or how candidates work with their team.
  • - The task is divided into two major parts, firstly writing of individual solutions to a problem and then discussing a common group solution.



It is an indoor task. All the participants are briefed about the task while they are sitting in a horseshoe formation with the map/modal placed between them. There are five stages.


• - The G.T.O introduces the candidates to the map or the model in a simple and detailed manner.

• - The G.T.O then reads out the story and relates it to the map/model. The story will bring out a set of problems which the candidates have to resolve in their planning.

• - The same story card is handed over to the candidates individually for them to read and understand in the stipulated time frame of five minutes.

• - The candidates are then given 10 minutes to make their plans individually and also to write the plan.

• - Once the plans are written individually, the group is then put through a discussion for 15-20 minutes with an aim to work out over a common plan. After a common plan is arrived at, one of the members narrates the same to the G.T.O on behalf of the group.


Structure of GPE Problems

Generally there are four problems given in GPE. One is of a serious nature which involves immediate reaction or is costing more life; such problem must be assigned first priority. Second kind of problem is also of a serious nature and has some time left to solve it, assign them second priority; third problem is comparatively less serious. Also there will be one silly problem, assign it least priority.


Expectations from the Candidate

  • - Has the candidate been able to grasp the situations/problems properly.
  • - Having grasped the situation, can the candidate deal with them in rational and logical manner.
  • - Is the candidate able to understand the nature and gravity of each problems in some order of priority.
  • - Can the candidate identify the given and available resources and put them to effective use.
  • - Is the candidate able to understand and manage the time required to deal with each situation/problem separately.
  • - Is the candidate able to provide a workable solution.
  • - Has the candidate been able to overcome all the problems in an organized manner?
  • - Was the candidate able to put across his point of view effectively during the discussion?
  • - Was the candidate open to accepting others point of view? Did the candidate show keenness to come to a final common plan or was he adamant?
  • - Is the candidate able to convince others on the common workable plan?


Tips for writing the Individual solution

  • - Keep in mind that whatever responses you articulate are particularly noted and checked by the GTO, he evaluates your individual plans also.
  • - The first thing to keep in mind is the time constraint within which you have to write the entire solution.
  • - Secondly, the plan written should be legible and should not be very lengthy.
  • - Try to make the solution in the form of points as it improves the readability.
  • - Prioritize the problems given and solve them accordingly.
  • - Also, mention the time in your solution as the deadline is very important while you are solving any task.
  • - Try to use most of the resources given in the problem as it shows your resourcefulness.
  • - Also, solve problems as a team with good coordination.
  • - Also once all problems are solved you also have to carry on with the primary task that you were doing.
  • - While writing the plan do not be too verbose.  Be brief while writing the plan.
  • - To get well versed with GPE try to solve some examples that could be found over the internet.


Tips for Discussion of the plan


  • - Try to initiate the discussion as it shows your quality to initiate and taking charge of the situation.
  • - If you don’t get a chance to initiate, try to butt in and dive in the discussion as soon as you can.
  • - Don’t be mute observers of the discussion, it shows your lack of interest.
  • - Give valid points with full confidence and represent the entire group.
  • - If you agree with someone’s point praise him or her.
  • - Also if you don’t agree with someone, try to convince them with your point giving valid reasons.
  • - Try to give at least 4-5 valid points.
  • - Don’t dominate the entire group. Let others also have a fair chance to speak.
  • - In the end, if you want to give the common group solution ask the group, no one would deny.


Give the common plan to the GTO confidently with clarity and crispness in your narration, including all the above points that were discussed.

Thus the prima facie rule one must follow is to listen and read the plan carefully with a correct classification of the problem with in the apt time, utilizing the resources judiciously, having a patterned way to write your responses and lastly practice and practice because that will only render your calm and composure while discussion.  Hope this will add up to your knowledge and help you excel in the GPE.  All the Best!!!