SSB Interview Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) Explained

TAT-ssb-interview-Thematic-Apperception-TestIn the series of psychological tests at SSB interview, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is the first step. This is a test of your underlying personality and attributes. In this projective test, the aspirants are shown 12 slides, each having different pictures. Remember these pictures are more often vague but stimulating to write a story. That’s exactly what you are required to do in this test. Each picture is shown for 30 seconds and subsequently, 4 minutes are allotted to write a dramatic story based on that picture.

As this test is designed to invoke the thought process to reveal the secreted attributes of the aspirants, you must be very adaptive in writing these short stories. The moment a picture is shown on projector, the candidates are required to write the story immediately perceived by them from that slide. The last slide is kept blank in TAT and this is the real litmus for all aspirants to express their imagination and attitude.


If you are appearing in Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) for the first time, we have some valuable tips and guidelines to help you sail through successfully in it. Primarily you must understand that you ought to write a meaningful and realistic story that has happy ending. Normally, all the pictures shown are real life incidences having male or female figures whom you should depict to be the leader of story. The hero or heroine of your story should be of same age as yours so that you can easily relate to him/her. Along with supporting characters, your story must possess a positive theme which is strong enough to instigate the interest of reader.

While writing these stories, remember these points:

  • Your story must not be too lengthy and you also cannot afford to write a long story in 3-4 minutes. Generally it should contain 10-15 sentences with a prologue, main body, and conclusion.
  • Keep the stories simple yet captivating with creativity. You should write what you perceived but avoid any negativity to creep into your story.
  • The stories must have a definite and positive ending while they should be written in Past tense.
  • Avoid framing very twisting language rather use simple words with well structured sentences that pass on the message clearly.
  • No anti national or anti social sentiments should be included in them.
  • While the time allotted is pretty short yet manage to keep legibility in your hand writing.
  • The story must have a hero and not super hero. This hero or main lead should have a positive mind frame to tackle complex situations with guts. He should be a man of conviction with attributes like compassion, diligence, self confidence, perseverance, adaptability, quick response, and ambitious attitude.
  • Relate this lead character with your age and sex and also depict him as a common man with strong personality.
  • Do not make your stories a fairy tale with a super hero. Rather he should be the true leader in crunchiest situations also.
  • Joining Armed Forces requires you to be highly patriotic. So should be the main character of your story.
  • You should practice for this test well in advance by observing the happenings around you and penning them down in stipulated time. You can use practice slides and pictures as well to crack this test effectively.
  • For the psychologist, you are the main hero of your story so be careful and depict only the characteristics that you have or wish to attain in your life.