Effective ways to Excel in PPDT

Effective ways to Excel in PPDT
29-October 2020 1 Comment(s) 2.00

Effective ways to excel in PPDT (Picture Perception And Description Test)


Services Selection Board (SSB) is an organization that assesses the candidates for becoming officers into the Indian Armed Forces. The board evaluates the suitability of the candidates for becoming an officer using a standardized protocol of evaluation system which constitutes of intelligence tests, and interviews. The tests are of both types i.e. written and practical tasks-based.

Further to ensure a fair, unbiased and sound system to infer the right and deserving candidate and by right it not only means a person of sound intellect or with high analytical skills but a person with right attitude, positive traits and Officer like qualities so that a balanced personality of the individual comes out as per  SSB  Assessment guidelines.  In a nutshell , it can be said that equilibrium of both the I.Q as well as the E.Q necessitates the designing and purpose of the screening tests.


What is PPDT and it’s objective

PPDT stands for Picture Perception and Description Test which is conducted as a part of screening in the SSB and plays a decisive factor of who would continue the journey of the next 4 days of evaluation of becoming an Officer. It is divided into 3 constituents which are Story Drafting, Individual Narration and Group Discussion with motive to make group story.

 The purpose or objective of this test is a scientific applicability towards assessment of the candidates so that a foolproof system can be developed and the intention is very clear as to sort out a balanced personality possessing all of the OLQ’s and leadership quality in a candidate. The perception, spatial ability, thoughts, emotions, attitudes and beliefs all are projected through these tests. Practical intelligence, cognition, reasoning, logic, confidence, spontaneity, communication skills, social attitude amongst other traits are also tested.


Dynamics of PPDT Story Drafting


The PPDT Story writing works on a three dimensional ideology which clearly depends on-

  1. What led to the situation
  2. What is presently going on
  3. The outcome of the situation.


What led to the situation- It involves identification of the central character or the Hero, an introduction of the task/ challenge or crisis. This should have a limitation of 2-3 lines (maximum of 15-20 words) because the story should be concise and short themed only.


What  is presently going on- It focuses on the whereabouts that a hero must be able to analyze or what is happening , to prioritize, analyze and properly execute the set of actions which must be related to day-to-day life and all of that by utilizing the resources available or shown in the slide. This should have a limitation of  4 -5  lines (maximum of 50-55 words).



The outcome of the situation-  It should depict a positive mood or positive ending and the catch is to not portray the Hero as a reward seeking personality rather as a gratuitous and satisfying  personality. This should have a limitation of 2-3 lines (maximum of 15-20 words) must include steps and efforts by central character.



Effective PPDT Story Drafting Techniques


  • - Story should be realistic and constructive.
  • - Visualization and observation in the form of background, no. of characters perceived,
  • - To identify the central character of the story and to weave the entire plot around the same,
  • - The central character should have a name and should portray traits as adjudged by the candidate,
  • - Analyzing the course of action,
  • - The apt reaction to that very course of action which can be positive, negative or neutral but nonetheless course of action should exhibit a positive mood only, even in adversity,
  • - Having relevancy in theme,
  • - Having a killer start of your story, mixing innovativeness with a vision or moralistic bent of mind and try to be as realistic as possible.
  • - Charting a positive course and depicting a positive approach of the hero as a problem solver consisting Officer Like Qualities.
  • - Trying using a central character which is similar to your age and gender (Hero Identification) which can be conveniently around your age.
  • - Observing the word limit count so that relevancy and preciseness does not disrupt the natural course of the story, which can be maximum of 100-120 words.


Tips to excel in Narration


You have seriously won over half of the battle if you have framed a good PPDT Story, the other half lies at the helm of executing a good narration and discussion. The time frame allotted is of a minute so you need to create a lasting impression on all of the three assessors. The tips for the same are summarized as below-


1- Be precise and clear in your narration and complete the same within 55-60 seconds, frame an introduction as per the instruction where certain points like no. of characters, age, mood, gender and action of the story needs to be incorporated.

2- Feel free to speak your mind but don’t sway from the relevancy and validity and don’t include any unnecessary topics.

3- While speaking express yourself to the fullest without any break or stammer because your power of expression should be lucid so the technique is to Practice, Practice and Practice unless you achieve a command over your oration.

4- Follow a logical and structured approach because this will lead to assertiveness in your expressions leading to good results.

5- Maintain a positive body language with the gestures, eye contact because this facilitates your alertness, readiness, dedication, confidence, concentration and an honest approach of your personality.

6- The choice and quality of words should be clear so that narration is effectively conveyed leading to a regular speech modulation with an appropriate tempo.

7- There should be a control on the non verbal expressions while narration which could positively odd out your chances for selection.

8- Always end your narration on an optimistic or positive note.

9- Always be courteous and considerate like start with a greeting such as ‘Good morning’, say ‘thank you friends’ with a pleasant smile.

10- Try completing your idea before 60 seconds so that you can convey your story effectively before all and also to avoid the assessor’s command of ‘NEXT’ which will render your narration as unfinished and may lead a negative impact if your intent is not clear.


Excelling in Group Discussion- The final screening round-


As soon as last candidate completes his or her own narration, G.D begins among group members and this test assumes immense potential and it serves the confirmatory nature and turns to be the ‘deciding’ factor in the SSB therefore after having conducted the PP & DT the candidates are made to interact with the whole group and mind it when you are in the group discussion you need to know all of their stories, to consolidate all the points through which a conclusion or consensus can be inferred. At the same time while in G.D never sway off from the ‘clue’ where you can accommodate what you have perceived and observed. The


Key points to be kept in mind are-


- Try to be the first candidate in initiating the discussion or if not the first at least be among the early speakers.

- You have not to wish or greet the assessors because during the entire process your focus should not be on the officials but on the speakers and the discussion.

- Try to contribute as many times as possible in the group discussion.

- The magical wand of acing G.D is having immense confidence and to shrug away any hesitation because this will disrupt your tempo of speech.

- Try not to create a fish market because it is very important to stay positive, be patient and considerate to let others also give their viewpoint and to not be aggressive and always keep a pleasant face and be gratuitous because this exhibits maturity and composed nature of the candidate.

- The aim should be to structure the common story and convince the whole group to reach a consensus or a common story through which conclusion can be inferred easily with all the relevant points like the theme, the objective or aim of the story that is shown by the picture.

- The conclusion reached should be a gradual effort and not by a sudden dive or leap.

- The discussion evolved should be progressive and have a positive direction involving equal and common contribution of all.


       If you observe clearly, then these tips given are clearly in lines with the Officer Like Qualities that are required in the SSB Interview and that said, don’t panic and burden your mind with anxiety because as it is said, “Knowledge is power”, therefore you can clear  this test easily if you know the intent or purpose of this test and having said that, just Practice, practice and practice and sharpen up your mental agility, your spontaneity, analyzation and synthesizing power and you are good to go and will undoubtedly ace up like a champion.



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