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How is TAT Evaluated in SSB and How to Prepare (Strategy Decoded)

Written by The Trooper on Jun 11, 2017

Thematic Apperception Test evaluation is very important in selection of candidates in SSB interview. Read on to know more about how TAT stories are evaluated in SSB interview to prepare for SSB TAT test.

How is TAT Evaluated in SSB and How to Prepare

Hello all. Recently, we have shared some insights about how candidates are evaluated in SSB Screening and it got a well-appreciated response that candidates are asking us to share insights about other tests as well and share with them, how these tests are evaluated.

To begin with, let’s start with TAT – Thematic Apperception Test. Here is all about how a candidate is evaluated in Thematic Apperception Test in the SSB interview.

History of SSB TAT

TAT was conceptualised in 1935 and was established in 1938 in Harvard Psychological Clinic. Apperception means projecting your own personality by projecting it on the ideas presented to you.

The SSB version of TAT consists of 12 pictures (ideas) that are shown to you and you have to project your personality through it. The last picture is a blank slide in which you have to write a story of your own choice.

This, by far is not an issue, since you can write any imaginary story you want. The problem arises when you are put under pressure – here the pressure is the time limit. With the time limit, you feel under pressure and hence you write the story based on the first idea that comes to your mind, hence projecting your true self.

The Process of TAT in SSB

  1. In TAT, a picture is shown for 30 seconds and 4 minutes are given to write a story on it.
  2. There will be 12 pictures shown slide by slide.
  3. The 12th slide is the blank one and candidate should write an imaginary story based on it.
  4. Also, in TAT, there will not be any group discussion, like PPDT has.

How is TAT Evaluated in SSB?

After you have written your responses of TAT, the candidates' noteworthy behavioural responses are recorded from the answer booklet: Exclamation, Stuttering, Pauses, Blushing, Degree of Involvement and Change of Theme from the current one.

It is believed that the assessors put tick marks based on the qualities and characteristics shown in five different aspects. One tick for the mere presence of qualities, two ticks for a moderate presence of qualities and three ticks for showing more number of the officer like qualities.

The story is evaluated based on the following five different aspects:

  1. The Hero: This aspect is marked on identifying the central character of the theme. Three ticks if you have identified the central character and displayed all OLQs there.
  2. The need of the Hero: This aspect includes identification of the needs, motives and desires of the hero. This way you project your quality of identifying a problem.
  3. Identification of Factors: This is referred to as identifying the presses. A press may be factors that may influence the hero and his story. The typical examples of the press are supporting characters, identification of situation from the picture, etc.
  4. Handling the Theme Situation: This involves noting the nature of the situation, conflict between the hero and factors, types of emotions the hero goes through and the way the situation is handled and resolved.
  5. The Final Outcome:  This involving scoring the TAT by noting how the story ends – happy vs unhappy ending and what role the hero plays in controlling the final outcome. One golden thing to be noted for the final outcome of the TAT is that the final outcome must be interpreted in the context of hero’s personal history, his age, sex, occupation, ethnicity, race and other important characteristics.

The results are tough to generalise. The results are often subjective and are based on candidates personal thinking, the story shown, etc. Hence any formal type of scoring in this part is not used as the whole result depends on the story that candidate writes before it.

So, this was all about how a candidate is evaluated in TAT based on his/her responses in the SSB. Read to know more about TAT and golden tips on how to tackle TAT.


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