To become a commissioned officer in Pak Armed Forces is the wish of every Young Man, here are the few tips for those candidates who ‘d appear in ISSB.

Understanding the test directions
ISSB Test consists of three separate exams conducted by three separated independent examiners. After these exams and separate assessment of each candidate the three different testing officers convene a conference for the final measure of the ability of the candidate.

Intelligence Test
The mode of these written intelligence tests for the selection of suitable officers for the Defense Forces of Pakistan at the ISSB is not very difficult. The candidate is required to make use of his acquired knowledge and his own inborn intelligence to solve problems. The questions set in these tests do not require long answers, but they are required to reply in “yes” or “no” or put a tick around the correct answer or to write the serial number of the correct answer out of a few suggested answers on the given sheet of paper, which usually begin from easy to lengthy questions. Although, question set in these tests are not so difficult but the time of answering these questions is short. The candidate has to make up his high speed in answering these numerous questions.

” There are two kinds of intelligence tests, Verbal and Non-verbal.
Verbal Tests
In Verbal Tests, the items are expressed in language forms. These tests are of various types, like;

  • Inserting of missing letter
    Example: Day is to night as truth is to “Falsehood”. (In this sentence the missing word falsehood has been inserted)
    Example 2: Man is to run as bird is to ———
    Answers: Fly, Run, Weak (correct answer is Fly),
  • Inserting of missing number or figure
    Example: Complete the series:
    2, 6, 9, 13, 16, –, –In missing figure questions, a series of drawing or patterns or designs are arranged in the particular pattern and the candidate is asked to choose the required figures out of the choices indicated, which will come next in the series. These are the non-verbal types of tests.
  • Words Forming
    This test measure the ability of the candidate in word building. Here, the words are built either by prefixing (before) or suffixing (fixing at the end) new letters or taking off from or adding new letters to the body of the words.Example: Imagine a single letter which when added to the body of the following words forms entirely new words;
    FIST, TICK, HEAT, BUST
    Solution: The candidate will see that if the word R is added to each of the given words then new words will be; FIRST, TRICK, HEART, BURST
    Hence the answer is R
  • Jumbled Words
    The word jumble means to be mixed together without order.
    Example: Which choice mentions the last letter of the word from the following jumbled spelling?
    Choices: L, B, F, T
    Answer: L (the correct word is Football)
  • Formation of correct sentence
    Example: Rearrange the following jumbled words to form a sensible sentence.

    • (1)The bud nipped must be evil in the.
      (2)All cats are not cats but all animals are animals.
      (3)One of the foretell to shape things cannot come.

    Answers:

    • (1)The evil must be nipped in the bud.
      (2)All cats are animals but all animals are not cats.
      (3)One cannot foretell the shape of things to come.
  • General knowledge tests
    This is a test of general knowledge where the candidate is required to keep his general knowledge up to date.
  • Alphabetical test
    This test is based on alphabets. If a candidate has sharp memory then this question becomes quite simple.
    Example: It takes 3 minutes to boil an egg. How much times will it take to boil 6 eggs together?
    Choices: 18, 6, 3
    Answer: 3
  • Completion test
    In this test, some letters of the words, whose meaning are given against them are missing, the candidate is asked to fill in those missing letters.
    Example: Insert suitable letters in the following:

    • (1)-ar-e (big)
      (2)quick-y (fast)
      (3)-h-rt (not tall)
      (4)-m-ll (not big)
      (5)-LL-H (creator)

    Answer: (2) L G (2)L (3)S O (4)S A (5)AA

  • Synonym test
    The word synonym means “a name or word having the same meaning with another”
    Example: Write the number of the pair of the words which do not possess the same kind of meaning as the others?

    • (1)Honesty and Integrity
      (2)Bondage and Freedom
      (3)Risk and Danger
      (4)Pain and Agony

    Answer: (2)

  • Direction test
    This test required a keen sense of section. The candidate must remember the distance covered in the direction. This will help him to answer the question correctly.
    Example: If you start from point A and walk 5 miles towards the west, then turn right and walk 4 miles towards the north, then turn right again and walk 3 miles, then which choices mentions the direction in which you are going?
    Choices: North, South, West, East
    Answer: East
  • Spotting the stranger
    The candidates are supplied a group of words or numerical values in this test. Some of the words in group relate to one particular class but one or more words do not belong to that class.
    Example: Write the number of the subject which is dissimilar from the other subjects;
    Choices: Principal, Professor, Headmaster, Teacher, Students
    Answer is ‘Student’
  • Coding and decoding
    Giving code or artificial values to letter of alphabet. The word code means “a collection of digit of law or a system of rules and regulations” . Letters of alphabets in this test do not stand for themselves but for some other letters.
    Example: if Y C V G T means W A T E R then what does H K T G mean?
    Solution: In this question;

    • Y stands for W
      C stands for A
      V stands for T
      G stands for E
      T stands for R

    A careful observation brings out that each letter in the alphabets stands for the letter two paces preceding it. Using the same principle, the letter H K T G will stand for F I R E.

  • Commonsense test
    This is a simple and easy test and it required only a common sence.
    Example: 5 years ago, khalid was 10 years older then ali. What is the difference between their ages at present?
    Choices: 10, 5, 15
    Answer: 10
  • Multiple choice test
    In this test, an incomplete statement is followed by some alternative choices as answers. The candidate is asked to chose one or more suitable choices of answers that complete the question or the statement.
    Example: Which choice answers the following question?
    Islamabad is famous because;

    • (1)It is very clear city.
      (2) Numerous foreigners live in it.
      (3) The president lives in it.
      (4) It is the capital of Pakistan.

    Answer is (4)

  • Arithmetic test
    These type of tests involves some arithmetic values which are added, multiplied, divide, subtracted by some other numerical values.

Non-Verbal Tests
The non-verbal intelligence tests comprise of;

  • Matrix test
    In these tests a series of designs are displayed. The candidate is required to complete the series or delete any particular design which does not relate to the series.
  • Word association test
    The word association means, free association in which a word serves as the stimulus object. Candidates are advised that while using a word as stimulus, not to write lengthy sentences. Meaningful and brief sentences are very helpful.
  • Thematic apperception (Picture story) test
  • Physiological situational test (the story of Theo or Mr. “X”) etc..
Analogy Tests
One word substitution, Insertion of missing letter, Insertion of missing number or figure, Word association, Jumbled words, Sentence completion test, Letter distinction, General Knowledge Test, Alphabetical test, Completion Test, Synonym test, Direction test, Spotting the stranger, Code test, Coding and decoding, Commonsense test, Multiple choice test, Arithmetic test etc.Word association test : This test give an idea to a psychologist whether a candidate can perfectly understand and initiates or originates new ideas in his mind. In ISSB, there are only 50 words which are to be tested. Each word is kept before a candidate in a printed form on a car board. In some cases hand written words may also be displayed. The candidate is given only 15 second for each words for using as a stimulus. i,e. Love, Fortune, Power, Father, Stop etc.
Self Description test
This test is very important test in the series of psychological tests. In this test the candidate is asked to give a pen picture, giving all the good and bad points of himself. This test is also studies by the interviewing officer who first form an opinion regarding the candidate in his mind without seeing or talking to him. Generally, the interview is based on the information given in the self description of the candidate, so as to confirm as to how far the information given by the candidate is correct.You should not conceal your weak points and mention only good points. You should make a free, frank and bold confession of your weakness and faults if any. You should discuss different aspects of your personality separately to make it easier for the psychologist to assess your personality. These aspects could be;

  • Physical aspects
  • Social aspects
  • Educational background
  • Parentage and economic status of the family
  • Morel and religious practices
  • Interest in cultural and co-curricular activities
  • Who are your best judges, like what your parents, friends or enemies think about you.
G.T.O (Group Testing Officer) TestGroup discussions
The group discussion or group discussion task has assumed great importance. In the Group Testing Officer Task or G.T.O Task, the candidate creates the first impression on the Group Testing Officer (G.T.O) and other members of his group. The good performance of the candidate in the task of group discussion creates a good impression on the Group Testing Officer, and enrich his role in subsequent group tasks. As first impression is the last impression, hence the candidate must try his best to show his worth in group discussion.During group discussion all candidates are arranged to sit in a circle. In the beginning every candidate introduces himself, like which city he belongs to, his educational qualifications, hobbies etc.  Thereafter, the group discussions exercise begins. In this task, usually, two subjects are read out to the candidates and they are required to choose one of them for the sake of discussion. The subject which is agreed upon by the majority of the candidates is accepted by the Group Testing Officer for discussion.

Helpful Tips for Group Discussions

  • Carefully listen to the briefing of the Group Testing Officer.
  • Take interest in the discussion and remain very active during the discussion.
  • Try to understand the topic first and make your effort to take lead in determining the choice of the subject.
  • Talk with confidence to the whole group looking in the eye of each candidate, and you must not keep looking at the Group Testing officer.
  • Don’t be rigid in your ideas, must accept criticism with open mind.
  • Co-operate with others in friendly manner.
  • Remember its not the command of English language checked during this discussion, do not hesitate even if you are making grammatical mistakes.
Group Planning Exercise
This exercise begins soon after the Group Discussion, It is an outdoor task, where the Group Testing officer reads out the narrative and with the help of the sand-model or sketch map explains the situation to the candidates. The map or model contains the scale, legend etc. If the candidates required any clarification to some pints, then it is cleared by the Group Testing Officer.
Thereafter, the candidates are to write down their individual solutions in the paper provided for the purpose. The candidate are not allowed to consult each other while writing down their solutions. The candidate have to write down their chest numbers on the tip of the writing papers.
The time for this written work is about 10 minutes. Thereafter, the candidate are required to discuss among themselves the situation and problems so as to arrive at a group solutions or plan. Every candidate is desired to express his views on the situation.
All the candidates must arrive at a group plan. In the case the whole group is not unanimous in deciding the solution, then the plan accepted by the majority of the candidates is presented as the plan of the group.
Then one of the candidate who is selected by the group itself stand up as a spokesman and present the plan to the Group Testing Officer.
The time limit for discussion presentation is the observation and study of natural phenomena all around him. The time limit for discussion and presentation of the group plan is usually 20 minutes.
After the presentation of group plan, the Group Testing Officer may ask the other candidate to give comments or criticism or suggestion. If any, to improve or modify the plan.
Helpful tips for Group Planning Exercise

  • You must strive for winning the distinction of being the spokesman of the group.
  • The situations in these planning exercises are usually involved destroying the enemy and his equipment, his bridges etc. You must examine the narrative and try to understand the situation. Try to catch the importance of the matter in your mind before presenting your solution to the group members.
  • If your given judgment appears to be wrong then you must admit it cheerfully and quickly.
Physical Tasks
For these physical tasks you should be carrying white short shirt, while shorts, white canvas shoes and white socks.Progressive Group task
This task falls in outdoor series of tasks. In this task a group of 8 to 0 candidates are required to cross 4 obstacles of hindrances or restrictions in 40 minutes as a whole group. In tackling these hindrances, the candidates have to attach much importance to bridge, lever and swing as well as the helping material which they have to carry while crossing obstacles. Group testing officer will explain the nature and rules of task in the beginning.
Helpful Hints for Progressive Group task
In tackling the obstacles of “Progressive Group Task”, there are as a matter of fact, three main principles which are involved. They are, lever, bridge and swing. The plank or planks that are employed as helping material can be used either in the form of a lever  or bridge according to the circumstances. A rope should invariably be tied, as the case may be, to the remotest end of the lever or bridge. This is very essential because it becomes impossible for the candidates to get or pull back the plank once they crossed over.Some of the fundamental rules which the Group Testing Officer clears to the candidates before beginning the task are;

  1. Out of Bounds Rule
    The whole ground area and any other structure painted red between the start line and the finish line, and their helping materials and loads are out of bounds to the candidates. There is punishment for any candidate or any object that touches the out of bounds area. The defaulter have soon to go back to the star line of that obstacle. If any object touches the out bounds areas, then the object should be carried back by the defaulter to the stat-line and then it should be brought forward again.
  2. The Four Feet Rule
    The candidates are not permitted to jump any distance exceeding 4 feet either in length or in height. Such distances, are to be crossed with the assistance of the helping materials (ropes or bellies).
  3. The Group Rule
    Every obstacle should be crossed by the whole group with its material and load, before the next obstacle is tried by  anybody in the group.
  4. The Time Rule
    The task should be concluded in 40 minutes. There is no time limit for each of the four obstacles which are included in this task.
Example
In the following hindrances, with the assistance of a plank and two ropes, the candidates are required to cross it over, where candidates are forbidden to jump up or down or cover a distance of four feet. There is punishment for any candidate or any object that touches the out of bounds red area. The time require to tackle the hindrances is 40 minutes.
Half Group Task
In Half Group Task candidates of a group who are, usually 8 to 10 are divided into two groups. In this task, each half group has to face only a single hindrance. They must carry the main material and the helping material with them, on crossing the obstacle to the other side of the obstacle.Example
Within the starting line and the finishing line, there are two wooden platform Q and R and a moveable drum P. The middle portion of the drum which is marked red, is out of bounds. There are also three small planks lying outside the starting line. The candidate should cross over from the starting line to the finishing line with the aid of those small planks.

Final Group Task
In the series of Group Testing Officers’ outdoor tasks, the “Final Group Task”, is the last task. The time allowed in this task is usually 10 minutes but generally it is shortened by one or two minutes. As this task , once again is a task of group as whole, hence the qualities of team spirit, co-operation, initiative, proper planning, etc will count much.Example
In the following obstacle, the candidates are given a rope, a plank and a structure. It is also their duty to take wounded man on the structure. The red portion is out of bound in this task.

 

 

 

Individual Obstacles
It is the individual task of each candidate, where candidate has to face every obstacle or hindrance or restriction in his individual or personal manner. These obstacles are usually 10 in  number which are to tackled by a candidate in a brief time of 3 minutes only.

  1. Long jump.
  2. Walking over inclined small wooden planks.
  3. Crawling like a monkey.
  4. Waking across parallel ropes.
  5. Rope climbing
  6. Passing through tyre.
  7. Tarzan swing
  8. Tarzan jump.
  9. Crossing over horizontal plank.
  10. Running over inclined plank.Command Task
    In this task, each candidate in the group, is selected in turn as commander by the Group Testing Officer. The commander chooses three or four candidates as his assistants for tackling an obstacle. The commander will be successful in his task if possesses qualities of a leader. He should be very intelligent in the selection of his assistants, in imparting them proper brief instructions, in getting labor out of them and assisting them properly whenever required. The assistants of the commander should also strive for the success of their leader. All the way, they should carry out his orders with sincere spirit and loyalty. The main purpose of the Group Testing Officer in the performance of command task, is to assess the value of the candidate as a commander. He also gets a glimpse of the qualities of the assistants of the commander, The candidates should also prove themselves to be useful, sincere, and loyal subordinates.The time allowed for the execution of the command task is usually 10 minutes.

    Helpful Hints

    • As a commander he should avoid seeking any suggestions from his subordinates.
    • In order to perform the duty of a commandership the candidate should avoid to do the work himself. He should supervise the whole work. At times, if necessary, he can extend his helping hand to others in the performance of smooth work.
    • The candidate as a commander, must see that nobody stands idle.
    • He must give utmost importance to the items of planning, supervising and execution of the work.
    • He should select a place which can enable him supervise the work in a most efficient manner.

    Example
    In this problem, the commander is supplied with a little wooden ladder P and a small wooden plank Q. The portions of the material which are indicated in the black shades are allowed to touch the ground between the finishing line and the starting line. Otherwise it is, for material and men out of bounds.

  11. Personal Interview
    In interview, generally, such questions are put to the candidate which bring out his common sense, his familiarity with the current national and international happenings and current social and political trends of the world.Remember, the person who conducts interview is not merely interest in his mere knowledge. Its gibes close attention to the candidate’s reactions to various situations. It may, intentionally, endeavor to upset the mental stability of the candidate in order to discover his true personality. The Interviewer may attempt to annoy or provoke him by pronouncing his incorrectly, by not offering a chair to sit immediately, by asking to person certain odd errand, like, fetching water, serving tea, removing some furniture, etc. It is against respect to his by deliberately attributing certain wrong statements to him, pointing out to certain sports on his clothes, mixing up of personal facts. There are instances, where the interviewee has been asked to sing a song, recite a poem, crack a joke, etc. Such curious situations are coined by the Interviewer for bringing our the true value of the interviewee. In all such odd circumstances, the interviewee should attempt to retains his calmness and presence of mind.Usually the subjects for interview are Indo Pak history, World history, Geography, Physics, Chemistry, General Knowledge, Current affairs.

    Helpful Hints for Personal Interview

    (1) Speak in natural way: The interviewee should not speak fast, incoherently or inaudibly in the course of an interview. He should try to speak every word in a well pronounced and distinct manner. He should speak in quite a natural way. Every word should be quiet clear and well pronounced. Slang words should be avoided altogether. Every person develops his won method of speaking. It is not wise to imitate the style of any other person.

    (2) Don’t Bluff : It is always a wrong practice to bluff. The interviewee should never forget that the interviewers are scholars, well read, accomplished and experienced people and they seldom mistake in judging the real worth of the candidate. It is beneficial for the interviewee, therefore, that he should be as frank, truthful and sincere as possible.

    (3) Don’t be rude : A person should develop the habit of politeness. It has a great importance in the case of a candidate. Some candidates, finding themselves unable to answer a few questions, lose their temper and even become rude. This is a dangerous habit and should be abondoned.

    (4) Sticking to one’s point of view : In an interview, the interviewee should stick to his own point of view. The candidate is expected to have distinguished personality of his own and his preference and prejudices and his definite ideas on important matters. Once a candidate has expressed his approach to a certain problem, he should stick to it, even though the interviewer may express his disagreement with his views. An instance will make this point more clear. If the candidate is of the view that there is food shortage in the country, then he should not agree with the interviewer that the country has not real food deficit, simply because they have so insisted.

    (5) Argument and challenge : To try to be “clever” is something bad and harmful. One should not throw a challenge or put question to the examiner. Avoid argument with him. Never tell him that he is wrong. When he says something, listen to him patiently and attentively, even if he is wrong. The interviewer should not be interrupted when he is talking. Avoid given offence to the interviewer in any form.

    (6) Manners : “The loud laugh bespeaks the vacant mind” Goldsmith. You may laugh with the examiner but not at the examiner.
    *Do not smoke unless your are asked to. Don’t offer a cigarette to the examine.

    *Look at the examiner in the face without staring. A candidate with wandering eyes is liable to give an impression of being unreliable.

    *Do not continually move small articles like ashtrays, smoothing your hair or do movements of that sort. These habits suggest lack of confidence.

    *Do not try to show off your knowledge on any subject unnecessarily. Try to be sticking strictly to the point.

    *Do not start chewing sweets, gum or pan which can be objectionable.

    (7) Dress : The candidate must appear in an appropriate dress as demanded by the Board. Suitable dress impresses the examiner. It also helps producing a favorable impression on the minds of his fellow competitors.

    (8) Above all keep faith in ALLAH (God)


     

    Tribal candidates undergoing ISSB training at Divisional Battle School Noweshara. (29-1-2009)


     

Basic Guideline & Tips for ISSB.
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