TAT and PPDT Story Writing Tips | SSB Interview TAT & PPDT Test

The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is the initial test in the Phase-2 screening of the SSB interview. It includes a set of 11+1 pictures. In the first 11 pictures, candidates are required to create stories based on the images provided. The 12th picture is a blank slide, allowing candidates to craft a story drawing from their own life experiences or challenges they’ve encountered and how they successfully resolved them. In this blog , we will know about TAT & PPDT Story Writing Tips

Candidates are given 30 seconds to observe each picture, followed by a time limit of 4 minutes to write a story in response to the image. The TAT assesses the candidate’s ability to create coherent narratives and their imaginative and analytical skills. It provides insights into their personality, thought processes, and Officer Like Qualities (OLQs).

TAT and PPDT Story Writing Tips

The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is not an assessment of one’s ability to use complex or fancy language. It’s not about showcasing your vocabulary or trying to impress with literary expressions. Instead, the goal is to create a simple, coherent story based on the picture provided.

The psychologist employs the TAT, along with other tests like Word Association Test (WAT), Situation Reaction Test (SRT), and Self Description, to analyze your personality and assess whether you possess the qualities expected of an officer. These tests are used in conjunction to gain a comprehensive understanding of your character and attributes.

It’s important to note that the responses you provide in the TAT, WAT, SRT, and self-description are compared and analyzed together to determine your true personality and suitability for the role.

Let me provide you with an example to illustrate how to construct a story based on the given picture.

Picture Perception

Based on the picture, I see an elderly lady, approximately 45-50 years old, lying on a bed. She appears frail and weak. There is a young man, around 20-22 years old, standing beside her. The boy’s expression seems positive or neutral. The setting appears to be inside a house.

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Story Idea

In light of the picture, we can envision Person Y as a 22-year-old young man who has a strong inclination for social service. He actively engaged with the street children in his vicinity by providing them with tutoring and educational support. One day, during his community involvement, he happened to visit the home of one of his students. To his surprise, he discovered that the child’s mother was unwell and in need of medical attention. Acting swiftly, Person Y rallied the support of a few locals and ensured the woman received prompt medical care. His timely intervention contributed to her full recovery.

Alternatively, Person Y is a 22-year-old individual who possesses an average routine and a great passion for outdoor games and physical fitness. His usual day would involve indulging in sports and exercises. However, one day, an unexpected event unfolded in his life. A close friend’s mother suffered a fall in their home and sustained a hairline fracture. She was advised to observe bed rest during her recovery. In a gesture of friendship and support, Y extended his helping hand by assisting his friend with studies and managing household tasks. Furthermore, he played a role in aiding the mother with her prescribed exercises, which ultimately played a part in her rehabilitation.

Indeed, the hero of the story is marked by a strong sense of responsibility towards society, driven by a desire to bring about positive change in his surroundings. His commitment is evident through his proactive actions and ability to confront challenges.

For instance, consider a scenario in which a boy’s hand is placed on his head in a picture. This image can be linked to X, a young man who faced unemployment due to an economic recession. To overcome this setback, he adapted by leveraging social networking sites to keep track of HR professionals from various companies. After months of perseverance, his dedication bore fruit as he received an interview call, showcasing his resilience and resourcefulness.

In another picture featuring two girls, the story can be tailored to reflect the theme of women empowerment, addressing issues such as harassment or promoting women’s education. The hero’s character in this context embodies the spirit of female empowerment, advocating for gender equality and women’s rights.

Furthermore, if the picture portrays two people engaged in a heated confrontation, it can be reimagined as a martial arts showdown, whether in karate, taekwondo, or a boxing match. This twist emphasizes discipline, sportsmanship, and the pursuit of excellence, highlighting the hero’s dedication to mastering their chosen discipline.

In essence, each picture provides a canvas for crafting a story that resonates with practical issues and showcases the hero’s qualities and values.

Frequently Asked Questions :-

1: What is the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) in the SSB Interview?

Answer: The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is a psychological assessment tool used during the SSB (Services Selection Board) interview to evaluate a candidate’s personality, thought processes, and emotional responses. In the TAT, candidates are shown a series of pictures and are required to create a story based on each picture. The test assesses your imagination, problem-solving ability, interpersonal skills, and your approach to handling various situations. It helps the assessors understand your subconscious thoughts and attitudes.

2: How many pictures are typically shown in the TAT, and how much time is given for each picture?

Answer: In the TAT, you are generally shown a total of 12 pictures, one after the other. Each picture is displayed for 30 seconds, and then you are given 4 minutes to write a story based on that picture. This limited time frame is intentional and aims to assess your ability to think on your feet, make quick decisions, and express your thoughts clearly. It is essential to stay composed and structured while constructing your stories.

3: What should I keep in mind while attempting the Thematic Apperception Test in the SSB Interview?

Answer: When attempting the TAT in the SSB interview, remember these key points:

  • Be spontaneous: Your stories should flow naturally and reflect your immediate thoughts. Avoid overthinking or trying to craft overly elaborate narratives.
  • Include a beginning, middle, and end: Your story should have a clear structure, with a beginning that introduces the situation, a middle that describes the action or conflict, and an end that resolves the scenario.
  • Stay positive: It’s advisable to create stories with positive or constructive outcomes. The assessors look for candidates who exhibit optimism and problem-solving skills.
  • Use your imagination: The TAT is an opportunity to showcase your creativity. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and come up with unique and interesting stories.
  • Maintain a consistent character: If you introduce a character in one story, try to maintain the same character throughout the other stories. This helps in creating a coherent personality profile.
  • Practice and be confident: Familiarize yourself with TAT practice exercises to get a sense of the test format and hone your skills. Confidence in your storytelling abilities is key.

Remember that there are no right or wrong answers in the TAT; the goal is to provide insights into your personality and thought processes. So, be genuine and express yourself authentically

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