A Good story in TAT

Aspirants willing to join India Armed Forces as an officer apply for it through different types of entries but one thing that all these entries have in common is Service Selection Board (SSB) interview process, in SSB interview a candidate’s skills are tested intellectually, physically, psychologically and through group activities. Under psychological test, four tests are conducted:

  • Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  • Word Association Test (WAT)
  • Situation Reaction Test (SRT)
  • Self-Description Test (SD)

Thematic Apperception Test in SSB:
Technically Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is a projective psychological test. Proponents of this technique assert that a person’s responses reveal underlying motives, concerns, and the way they see the social world through the stories they make up about ambiguous pictures of people.

What is Thematic Apperception Test in SSB?
Thematic Apperception Test in SSB consists of set of ambiguous pictures that will be shown to the candidate, while looking on these pictures candidates must create a theme like a story which requires a hero and a challenge, how the hero will overcome the crisis and succeed.

In TAT a candidate will be asked to write a story from his own based on the images shown. A candidate shouldn’t just use his memory blocks and start preparing a story, he/she needs to see that every third or fourth line there is different meanings are coming, try interpretation and analyze those meaning as third person because that meaning shows candidate’s state of mind.

Tips on Thematic Apperception Test in SSB:
Consider these points while attempting TAT

  • What has led up to the situation ?
  • What the characters are feeling and thinking ?
  • What is happening at the moment ?
  • What is the final outcome of the story ?

Scoring systems of Thematic Apperception Test (TAT):
The TAT was developed during the 1930s by the American psychologist Henry A. Murray and lay psychoanalyst Christiana D. Morgan at the Harvard Clinic at Harvard University.

Murray developed a scoring system for Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), his scoring were based on intensity, frequency, duration, and importance to the plot/story. A story teller has to understand the need and presses of the story.

Defence Mechanisms Manual DMM method is also used as a scoring system for Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), it assesses three defence mechanisms: denial (least mature), projection (intermediate), and identification (most mature). A person’s thoughts/feelings are projected in stories involved.

Social Cognition and Object Relations SCOR scale is also one of the methods that’s been used as a scoring system for Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), it assesses four different dimensions of object relations: Complexity of Representations of People, Affect-Tone of Relationship Paradigms, Capacity for Emotional Investment in Relationships and Moral Standards, and Understanding of Social Causality.

Characteristics of the Story in Thematic Apperception Test in SSB:

  • Each story must have a chief character (Hero), it will be wise to use officer like qualities (OLQs) when creating the personality traits of the character.
  • Choose the age and profession of the main lead of your story very carefully. The age should be exactly what is evident from the picture. And choose the profession according to the age.
  • Avoid superficial base for the story, the practical a story sounds the positive will be the impression on assessors.
  • Always give the story a successful ending.
  • Keep a clean and calm thought process while writing story.
  • Avoid tough and negative language; keep it understandable and less technical.
  • Keep a keen eye when looking at picture, read every small detail.


Some Stories Written by Students

Story by Ajay k
Rahul is a young graduate who is coming from his friend’s house late night.On his way to his house heavy rain dropped in with huge thunders and lightning’s.He ran under the village community building for shelter.He understood that the rain is getting worse and observed many people in huts lying inside and the water pouring into their huts. He sensed trouble and ran with huge leaves which are lying there, by keeping on his head to the village sarpanch’s house.He explained the situation to the Sarpanch,took keys of the community building,and with the help of young men evacuated the people under huts to the community building.That night rain turned to cyclone and many huts were damaged.But all thanked Rahul for his timely action which saved many lives.

Story by Aravind Govindaraj
Mohan was a Sarpanch of Zaria village. He went to nearby city to purchase some seeds. While coming back to his home town, there was a huge thunderstorm and heavy lightning. Mohan tried to reach ASAP to his home but unfortunately the rain has started so he find some shelter to stand. Already some peoples stand in nearby shelter, Mohan also joined with them. Suddenly one huge tree has fallen down in centre of the road. At the time there was an ambulance with the emergency patient need to cross the road. Without evacuate the tree, ambulance could not able to move further so Mohan asked help to evacuate the tree from road side. Finally the tree has evacuated from the road side and got an ambulance get a way to go hospital.

Story by Praveen
Venkat was doing his final year mechanical engineering in Krishna College of technology. He came to his native in semester vacations in the month of July .he visited his friends and relatives in the day. While coming from his friend’s house it started to rain,he borrowed his friend’s umbrella and began to walk to his home. While on the way he saw his neighbour near a shelter .he called him and shared his umbrella and took her to home and he also returned home.

Story by Kaprykon
Raj was coming home from work on a cold stormy evening.At first he felt that he would reach home before the weather got any worse,but the downpour only got worst.He took shelter underneath some trees.And as he stood there,he heard a loud cry for help,he rushed towards the direction from where he heard the cry,and in front of him he saw what remained of a destroyed hut because of the storm. Quickly he started searching underneath the ruins only to find a small little girl fighting for life against the weight of the debris. He quickly pulled her out and asked if there were others also in danger. She said no and that her parents were out working the fields of others in another village and hadn’t come back yet. He wrapped her up with whatever material he could find and then carrying her on his back ran as fast as his legs could take him towards the nearest village to help her. The village doctor saw her and gave her the required medicines and advised that she must get a lot of rest.

Story by Rahul
Ramesh was a B.A graduate hailing from a small village of Uttar Pradesh.His father was Sarpanch of the village.Ramesh was preparing for IAS and every month in the starting weeks he used to go to magazine shop to buy Pratiyogita darpan as deer was limited stocks.It was monsoon season,he went to take the book on Monday and when he was on his way his father called him and told him about sum women along with their small babies had cum to seek help becausetheir babies didn’t take the polio drops on Sunday because of heavy rain.His father instructed him to go to d doctor and report him about the situation.He went there but the shop was fully packed with patients,he requested the assistant to report the problem to doctor.The doc as he was busy couldn’t be able to go to his village so he just instructed him about how to give polio drops.He took d small bottles and walked towards his village and gave the drops to the babies.

Story by Anupama khanduja
Atish was pursuing graduation in the local college in his village.That day he was returning to his home from his friend’s place after studying as he had an exam the next day. But it started raining heavily so he stopped under the shed beside the road for the rain to stop.In this mean time he got a call from the hospital on his mobile that a patient needs O+ blood in emergency because there is shortage of O+. As, he was voluntary donor in some of the hospitals. So he decided to move to the hospital in the heavy rain and reach hospital as quickly as possible. He also informed his mother that he might get late as he is going to the hospital for donating blood.He walked quickly and reached the hospital on time .He donated the blood to the patient. Till that time rain also stopped so he was able to return to his home on time.

Story by Aam banda
Naval was headmaster in the village high school. As always he was on the walk around the fields in the village. But today he was not feeling the fresh air;rather he was coughing due to the polluted air. As he moved on, he saw big flames of fire in the field. He ran up to that field quickly and what he saw was the farmers were burning the waste after cultivating their crop, which was polluting the fresh environment of early morning. On the same evening, Naval with the help of panchayat members talked to the farmers of the village and told them about the new government plans for controlling air pollution, according to which they can sell the waste to fertilizer companies and they should keep some amount of it in fields itself, as it will provide nutrients to the soil for next crop. In this way Naval help the cause of pollution control in his village.

Story by Kamal
Sambodh was a teacher of a primary school in lohjang area of Uttarakhand. One day while coming from school, there was a huge thunderstorm and heavy rain.All the roads were blocked. He took shelter under a tree.After some time he got a phone call from one of the parents of his students that their son has still not reached home. Despite the thunderstorm he went back to the school. But he didn’t find anyone there. He again left from the school and finally found the boy stuck under a tree. He took him to hospital for first aid and later took him to his home.

Story by Rajat
Ravi was a college student living in a village. One day while coming from the college huge rainfall started with heavy thunderstorm. He took shelter under averted with other people standing there. Suddenly a jeep overturned while turning due to slippery mud as the road was not concrete made. Ravi quickly rushed toward the spot and overturned the jeep with the help of other people. He took out the driver and tied his handkerchief to his hand as blood was flowing out of it. He along with two more persons put him in the jeep and took him to nearby hospital and informed his relatives,after their arrival Ravi went to his home. Next day he visited again to hospital and found that driver condition was improved.

Story by Amit Sharma
Kamal belong to a small city near the Kangra district and was studying in MCA final year one day while going to his area he saw that a speeding car hit a man who was crossing a road he immediately note down the car number and saw a passing vehicle and took a lift to admit him to hospital after admitting him he was sad with the traffic rules of the police and casual behaviour of the police on duty after reaching his area he report to the representative of his village and went to police station to report against such careless duty by traffic police as that speeding car driver was driving after consuming liquor and later he visit hospital and then was very happy to know that that man is out of danger.

All the stories are judged on the basis theme and qualities, rather than the words and grammatical way of it.