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ISSB Guide

Updated on May 20, 2011

Pakistan Army :)


ISSB Complete

ISSB a dilemma

ISSB has a lot of myths associated with it. Those who get recommended say that its very easy, those who are not fortunate enough, say that its very tuff, its not merit based, “I performed well but they still rejected me”. “ Its impossible”.

What ever is said by others you have to realize that none if it matters. What matters is what you are and how you perform in that 4 days test. You abilities and talents would be checked there and if you have what it takes, then nothing can stop you from becoming an officer in Armed forces of Pakistan. You might have dreamed to be a fighter pilot, or sitting in a tank, or may be in a submarine, all these dreams can become realities if you follow a simple rule which is known as the art of war

“Know your self, know your enemy and know the time to strike”

What this means is that you first have to see and realize which abilities you have. Do you have confidence to face other people and challenges, are you able enough to face unexpected circumstances, are you bold enough to take on what others seem is impossible. If you then you KNOW YOUR SELF. Remember just knowing yourself increases your chances of success by 33%.

After analyzing your self , next step is to know what ISSB is all about. What are they looking for in the candidates and how can you become up to the mark and their requirements.

After this comes the third and final part of getting your self ready. Getting to know what is it that is not in you and is required by the ISSB. Please remember that there is no such attribute in the personality of a man that cannot be developed. What ever is needed in ISSB can be developed in your personality and you can be the best one for them. Knowing the time to strike comes here. You have to see in how much time you can prepare your self for the test and which batch are you going to apply.

When you have figured all this, then its time for you to realize your dreams.

Here I shall help you in the first two phases to make you (By grace of Almighty Allah) nations proud officers.

Journal Routine Of Five Days

• Reporting day:
(a) Reception.
(b) Checking of documents.

· What to bring with you and what are prohibited items (explained below)

· What are the Documents Required (explained below)

(c) Allotment of chest numbers.
(d) Candidates are photographed.
(e) Administration Staff's address
(f) Writing of unforgettable incident.

1st Testing day: Psychologist's day
(a) Opening Address by a Deputy President
(b) Psychological Tests:

· Intelligence Test

· Psychological Tests

(c) Announcement of screening out result
(d) Remaining Psychological Tests (Screened out Candidates will not attend the subsequent tests)

2nd Testing day: GTO's day

(a) Briefing
(b) Indoor Tasks:

· Group discussions.

· Group planning.

(c) Outdoor Tasks:

· Progressive group tasks (PGT).

· Half group tasks (HGT).

(d) Interview.

3rd Testing day: GTO's day
(a) Outdoor Tasks:

· Individuals obstacles

· Command Task.

· Final group task.

(b) Mutual assessment
(c) Interview (leftovers)
Day 5

4th Testing day: Conference day

(a) Conference.
(b) Re-interview (if required)
(c) Payment of TA/DA
(d) Departure

What are the Documents Required

You are required to bring along the following ORIGINAL documents:
• Original Matric certificate issued by board. Only result card/ mark sheet will not be accepted.
• Detailed marks sheet or Result card of matric
• Those candidates who have not been issued with Matric Certificate by their concerned board should furnish a certificate in this regard signed only by the Secretary Board. Any such certificate issued by school/college will no be accepted.
• The candidates who appear with a "Duplicate" or "Revised" matric certificate or if they have amendments in their names or date of births, should provide certificate explaining the circumstances under which they were issued with "Duplicate" or "Revised" or Amended matric Certificate, signed only by the Secretary Board.
• The original certificate and marks sheet/result card of Intermediate (FA/FSc, DAE/D.Com/DBA/ICS) is mandatory.
• Appearing candidates who have completed FA/FSc part-I will bring original part-I marks sheet along with surety/hope certificate of college.
• In case of "O", "A" level, equivalence certificate and birth certificate are compulsory. PHOTOCOPY OF ANY CERTIFICATE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTABLE.
• Those candidates who have applied for the courses demanding qualifications higher than intermediate are also required to bring their superior degree/ certificates as mentioned in the concerned course advertisement.
• Domicile is a must for all those candidates of remote areas, who are eligible to apply on 45% marks in FA/FSc.
• No plastic coating is allowed on degrees/certificates except those which are already coated and cannot be removed.
• In case of non-possession of above-mentioned documents you will not be allowed to appear in the test and will be reverted back without paying traveling allowance.
• Before your arrival, you may contact GSO-2 (Selection) of your concerned ISSB on telephone number mentioned at the end or GSO-2(Selection) ISSB Kohat to clarify any doubt about educational certificates.

Importance of making friends at ISSB

One of the most important things you have to do at ISSB is to make friends. You have to start making friends right from the moment when you enter the ISSB centre gate, or perhaps before that e.g. Rahwali check post waiting room.

The question might come in your mind, why make friends with these guys who are there to get selected? They are my competitors. Why would I be friends with them? Or other thoughts might arise like “ Nahe he seems like a paindo”, “oh no he is from another city, ill make friends with guys who are from my own city”. Or “4 din ke tu bat hay, phir in sy tu kabhe milna he nahe ho ga, phir dostian bananay ka kia fada?”

Well the answer to all these questions fall in two categories. One is that its perhaps the first and only chance where you get to make friends from different parts of the country. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a friend from Lahore, another from Multan, one from Rawalpindi and another from Sahiwal, perhaps someone from Quetta, Karachi, Hayderabad or Peshawar. You will realize in the later stage that these friendships last quite long and are quite beneficial. I know I met some of the best guys here, some of them are still my very good friends.

The second category is of strategic alliances. Now what does that mean? It means that you have to make friends for your own good. Just think, you are at a new place where there are 60 or 100 guys, all strangers. For most of them this is the first time they are out of their city, in fact for some of them it’s the first time they are not going to spend night at their home. They might look OK but inside everyone is a little bit scared; the same kinds of feeling which you get on the first day at school. Everyone would be shy, not talking to one another. At that time if you break the “Glass ceiling” that can do wonders. If you start gapshap with others, like asking them where are they from, how did they reach ISSB, where did they study, it would make them feel that you are a nice guy and a friend. They would naturally be tilted towards you and you would feel that you are not in a strange place anymore.

What is most important in these friendship ties is that if these friends you make are also in your GTO task group, they can help you a lot. Those who lack confidence and who are scared would take you as your leader and your friend in time of need, giving you confidence and opportunity to look good before GTO. GTO looks at the fact that who is shining in the group, who is the one everyone looks up to as the reliable one, the one who is blue eyed boy of the rest of the group.

During the interview, and when GTO tasks end, all the members of the group are asked to rate their fellows. Now if others are your friends and take you as their savior, there are chances that they will rate you No.1. If that rating is supported by your performance in tasks and other tests of GTO, its very likely that you got the GTO’s vote of recommendation. The MOST IMPORTANT vote of all.

Bio Data Form

Bio data form is the first thing you encounter when you go for ISSB. Bio data form is a multi sheet form which requires different personal information regarding you.This form is very important.This form is with the interviewer on the third day of I.S.S.B. and he asked questions related to you by reading from that form.

This form contains some general questions which you need to answer. But there are some questions about which most of the candidates don't know about, and they face difficulty while filling that form, I' ll jot down some of those important questions here.

CAST and SUB CAST question:
One question is related to your CAST, which means your "zaat" and its second part is SUB CAST. What Cast means is whether you are "Raja" "Malik" "Chohadry" etc. and subcast means "Awan", " Janua", " chandio". For example if there is a candidate who'se name is "Raja Waqar Ali Awan" This means that RAJA is his cast and Awan Sub cast. If any of you don't know about your cast and sub cast its recommended that you ask your father and prepare the answer .

About your Date Of Birth:
Another question that is a bit tricky is related to your date of birth, you are asked to calculate your age to the day your are at ISSB. Meaning how may years, months, and days old are you today?

For instance my date of birth is 6th May 1982 and today its 4 April 2008, how should i calculate my Age? The answer is simple . Do simple subtraction

4 - 4 - 2008 (minus)
6 - 5 - 1982
gives you 25 years 10 months 28 days. This is what you have to write over there.

About your relatives in Armed Forces:
Another question asked is about your relatives who are in the armed forces of Pakistan. Now that's a bit tricky one, that not only ask for names and ranks, they also ask where they are posted now, and what is their current address, you have to prepare and ask them before going for ISSB what is their current address so that you are not worried over there and scratching your head

A frequent reader of my blog couple of days ago asked a very important question that previously slipped my mind. The question is related to the bio data form, This question is about writing some event in your life. The title of the event is written and you have to write one based on it from your life.

The topic can be "write about the most tragic event of your life" , "write about the unforgettable incident of your life" "the most happiest event of your life" "the most shocking event of your life"

The main purpose of this question is to get to know you better, to see your emotional level, to see what kind of things you can bear, and how eventful your life has been, and if the event is life changing, then how has it influenced your life.

I would highly recommend you to prepare all of these topics in a way that they truly are from your real life, and also off course positive. Tragic event can be the death of some close loved one, unforgettable incident can either be tragic or happy event, the word "unforgettable" has the meaning that its something that was so startling that you just cannot forget about it for the rest of your life, so it can be some happy event, like for example you met someone you take as hero, or you got a chance to be on live TV or something like this. Most shocking as the title says can be both positive or negative but again positive shock and happy shock is advised.

The reason why am I saying is the event should be from your real life is that they might ask you questions related to that event, especially the interviewer if he finds it interesting or has the suspicion that it's a made up fake event, if its such an unforgettable event and it really happened then you might give a hint of it in any of the psychological tests, that's natural. You can only defend it if it actually happened, it cant be a mega event, it can be a simple event, like getting first position in 7th grade, or getting something really interesting as winning a debating compitition in your school or college, anything that is appealing and real can be written.

You have to right at most 7 to 10 lines which are more then enough, but it plays a key role in your I.S.S.B

Group Discussion

· In group discussion these are the things you have to be careful about.
Try to be calm, tension is there as it’s a very important task and you have a tough competition before you.

· Sit in a proper way, don’t look casual.

· When you are given a topic by GTO listen to it carefully, and for a second or two, revise what he said, in your mind to get a clear idea about the topic so that you can arrange your thoughts about the topic.

· Its written in many books and many people say that you should take initiative. That’s not a good idea. The initiator is always in trouble if he has not properly understood the topic, and if he has he would start the topic and give a long speech, which is totally a wrong approach.

· You keep quiet for a while and see if someone other tries to start the discussion, in the mean time keep your mind busy thinking about the topic.

· If everyone is looking at each other like idiots for 3 4 seconds then start and take the initiative.

· When you initiate you should explain the topic don’t say that I agree or disagree and jump to conclusions, save it for the second turn which you would get.

· If the topic is simple then you can give your views as well when you initiate.

· Don’t take too much time it might irritate other members and GTO.

· Don’t say “I agree with chest no. 123…” do not make another guy look good, it would give an impression that you take him as your leader. You should use words like “I agree with the argument that………..”

· While talking don’t look at the GTO, keep your neck on the move, look at all the members “sab per nazar doraani hay” giving the impression that you are addressing all of the members. Some people look down other look at the wall or ceiling or just one of the group members, don’t ever do that, it would have a very negative impression.

· Don’t get aggressive if someone constantly goes against you, just be calm and have a slight smile.

When you see some member is not getting a chance to talk , while others are in argument, just break them by saying “ Gentlemen I think we should give a chance to chest no./….. to express his views”. This would have a superb impact on your image.

Group Discussion (Example)

Topic : “Basant should be banned or not”

(This topic has many dimensions, a very controversial topic and people would have a lot of fights while having discussion, some of the main points are:

· Some would say that Basant is non Islamic, its said that hindus celebrate in remembrance for some bad thing done by someone.(cant recall the history).

· Other would say that it’s a cultural event to celebrate the start of spring, has nothing to do with Islamic teachings.

· Someone might say that we have a lot of loss of life because of kites and chords.

· Some would argue that because of kite industry a lot of people earn money who would suffer if a ban is implemented.

So what is the right answer to this topic that would make others say “yes I agree with chest no…….” ??? The answer to this problem is to be diplomatic, neutral and give middle a solution rather then fight to convince others. Here is a possible answer.
“Bismillah Alrahman Alraheem. Gentlemen the topic that we have been given to us has been in debate for quite some time, that is the basant which is celebrated as a festival be banned or not.(this is a easy topic so you can go on with your views). As far as the religious issue is concerned it depends on thinking of people, The intention of people while celebrating basant is not to adobt some values of Hinduism, but to enjoy and to have some fun with their families and get some time off from their hectic life. But It has been seen that when ever basant is celebrated the society has to face a lot of troubles, many kids fall from roofs while chasing kites, people get cut because of chord, we have power fluctuation because of the electric wire that is used to fly kites. This festival brings nothing but problems for the society. Its history may not be good but its now a cultural thing especially for Lahore and we have seen that when it was celebrated on official level it attracted a lot of tourism.
What should be done is that Basant should be celebrated with responsibility, rather then flying kites on roof tops, public parks should be used where people can fly safely, and it would be a controlled environment so it would be easy to see that people use harmless chord not plastic or metal wire. By doing so no harm would be done to public and this festival would be enjoyed by all.”

What happens in this discussion is that

· you explain the topic,

· Highlight the key issues.

· Give proper solution for those issues.

This makes the discussion complete.

Command Task (1)

Command task is one of the most important tasks you have with your GTO. After seeing your performance in the Discussions, GTO by now has made a judgment about you and would like to check you more and verify his decision whether you are to be recommended by him or now.

First of all your whole group would be called for fall in, meaning you would be ask to stand in a straight line. Then GTO would ask who would like to become the first commander. It has been seen that almost all the candidates raise their hand. But its up to GTO to select one among you all. Usually he picks the candidates based on his assumption that guy no 1 is the best among the rest according to his performance in discussion and should be tested first. But this is not a hard and fast rule. He might pick anyone.

Now comes a tricky part. He selects one candidate and takes him to the Command task. During that walk he asks the candidates some questions. He says that this is an "informal discussion and has nothing to do with ISSB" but in reality its also an assessment. He asks you questions like "aj kal kia ker rahay ho?" and other question in very polite and friendly manner as if he is your close friend. That's a trick to get an insight. BE CAUTIOUS.

When you reach the task, he gives you a briefing, telling you about the time you have, which items you can use like drum, ropes, planks etc. He would tell you which points are "out of bound" marked red , which are "in bound" which are "out of bound for you but in bound for your items" marked with red and yellow strips. Ground is usually out of bound. Out of bound means that if you touch that point it would be a foul and you would have to do it again. More over, some times even jumping and throwing are also declared foul.

NOTE: Listen to his briefing clearly and remember the position of how the items(drums ropes planks) are placed before the task, as you have to put them back in the same position and order after the task. After hearing the entire briefing, call your group and then the you start the task.... (how you start the task would be told in part 2)... Continued...

Command Task (2)

After getting the briefing from the GTO , he would give you some seconds to think of a plan as how you would get the people across. After that time you have to call your group. Once they arrive you have to give them briefing as given to you by the GTO. Usually in Command tasks the main objective is to transport the material and the group across a certain piece of land which has some ditches, some ( pi ) shaped wooden stands on which you have to put the plank and cross that particular piece of land.

After giving the briefing to the group you have to ask them if they have any questions. If they say NO, then you should tell them your plan as how you want to get the things done. If some one gives a valuable advise then consider it otherwise if some one in your group tries to show efficiency and act as a "smart ass" ignore his points and make the people concentrate on your plan. You should only change your plan if its not working and there is a strong opposition of the group.

In my case the group wanted to opt for a path which I didn't. But when they all said no we should go for their choice I let them. But they failed. So i moved forward my self and showed them what I was planning was actually right, and when i executed my plan my self I actually did it what others could not do.

When your task is over then try to perform well in other's task, don't try to show off efficiency, but actually perform efficiently. GTO will be monitoring each and everyone. And when others would see that you give valuable suggestions, and act efficiently they would even rely on you and that makes a great impression before the GTO.

Some words of Advice and caution:

1. When you are a commander don't think that you are just to give orders and others will execute. When your help is needed, you should work with the group.
2. Avoid using the words "difficult" "impossible" "no" " not" "never" etc. Instead of saying "doing this would be difficult" you can say "doing this would be more TIME CONSUMING".
3. Call everyone with their chest number not by their name. Its a foul to call them by their name.
4. Use the people in your group wisely. Those who are trouble makers , keep them behind or away from the critical work. Those who are physically strong, make them lift loads like drums and planks. Those who are slim, to climb up the plank. Those who are thin and tall are good for jumping. In other words you should use your human resource efficiently.
5. In other's command task when you have a suggestion you should convey it first to Commander "Sir if we do this it would save alot of time" or "it would help us greatly". THis would catch the attention of GTO.
6. Always try to remain at the most critical point of the Task from where u can get the task done.
7. Its not compulsory that the task gets completed in the time alloted, when the GTO sees that the task would get completed or there is no way it would get done in time, he usually tells to stop and finishes it to save time. In my own task just 1st step was done in time and the whole task was still to be done, but when GTO saw that i can do it, he said "your time is up". GTO just wants to check your nerves , your ability to command others, your ability to come up with instant plans to solve some problem or challenge.
8. When the time is UP, put all the planks drums and other stuff back to their original place where they were at the start of the task. In exactly the same order.

Individual Tasks (1)

When it comes to individual tasks people think the more tasks they do the better impression they will make, but that's just a myth. I have seen people crossing 17 obstacles and getting rejected and those who did only 4 5 got recommended. The game is not about the number of tasks, the game is of how you cross those tasks, whether you showed reluctance before jumping or going up any obstacle.

The most difficult tasks are tarzen swing, monkey bridge, zig zag, and last but not the least, climbing rope. The main difficulty in these tasks is the fear of height, and the fear that if u fall you will get hurt and that's exactly what they are looking for in you. if you show that your out.

Tasks mainly are arranged in an improper manner and there is no particular sequence which u can adopt, you are told to go from which ever direction you like, GTO keenly observes the way you go through these tasks and sees if you go via proper pattern or haphazardly do those tasks. if you stop when ur about to jump or show any sort of fear that can create bad impression.

here are a few tips

1. if u get some scratches don't worry, and don't sit there and cry, in fact if u get little injured and still carry on this shows ur determination.

2. try to go for the tasks in a sequence.

3. if u fail to cross an obstacle once try again and again but if u cant do it in the third attempt, then leave it and go for next.

4. try to practice climbing rope if you can find some facility.

5. Monkey bridge is not that difficult but people do feel scared while swinging on the tarzan swing. They can let go the rope fearing that they would fall.

6. High jump is not an issue if u takes a long run up.

7. Remember if you make a foul, by touching areas marked red on obstacles then attempt the obstacle again, don’t think you would be able to deceive the GTO or he might have not seen it.

Individual Task (2)

Individual tasks are considered by many as the most important test of ISSB. I have seen many aspirants who are "not recommended" evaluating their ISSB performance on the number of Individual tasks they have done and saying that they performed very good but still were not recommended.

The thing is, Individual tasks are not the ONLY test on which you are evaluated. Its just a part of a bigger test, in which your ability to tackle physical hurdles and you courage is evaluated along with your honesty.

When am saying courage i mean physical courage. Fear of height, fear of falling, fear of getting injured and fear of not accomplishing a task are some of the things evaluated.

The real courage and power lies in the brain, not in arms and legs. If you have the will "I CAN DO IT" you can do almost everything. If you get a thought "NO, THIS IS TOO HIGH, I CANNOT JUMP" or "I MAY FALL AND HURT MY SELF" then you will clearly show your cowardliness and hesitation. GTO will see that instantly and mark that point of yours.

Individual tasks comprise of

1. HangingBridge
2. High Jump
3. Ditch Jump
4. Zig Zag
5. Going through a hanging Tier
6. MonkeyBridge
7. Tarzan Swing
8. Boxing Ring
9. Rope Climbing

They are arranged in a small size ground and are placed randomly, meaning there is no pattern as which task should be done first and which at the end. You can start from one side and complete tasks which come before you. Usually all obstacles are arranged in circular manner with 2 or 3 tasks in the center.

Each obstacle has certain points which are calculated when candidate crosses them. If your body touches any part marked red it is considered a foul. You have to do that task all over again. Usually if some one has committed a foul he should try to cross that obstacle again, if again same foul is made then try it for the third time. If even on the third time you can’t clear it then move forward to the next obstacle. By trying to clear the obstacle 3 times you give 2 impressions.

1. You are determined to complete the job that is why you are trying again and again.
2. If you can’t clear 3 times you move on and try to complete other jobs rather then wasting your time on just one.

Learn About ISSB Psychological Tests?

Learn About ISSB Interview Question?

Some Imporatant Tips for Interview & Guideline for Presenting your Self in Front of ISSB Interviewer


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      salam sir i had clear my initial test in PMA l/c 133 and go for Issb the ISSB administrated ddid not leave me their for test because I have no original certificates now what WILL i have to do either i will do regestration for 134 course or i will wait for the letter pllzzzzzzz reply and also rep me that will i give the initial test in the 134???????

    • profile image

      asif afridi 

      5 years ago

      well written

    • profile image 

      5 years ago

      aoa,sir professional girls ke lie kia criteria hai,i try my best to perform tasks,is tasks are always important in test.or psychological and interviews are also equally important,reply me waiting

    • alikhan3 profile image


      6 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      yaar obstacle area or group task area ka map mil sakta ha kahi sy...?

    • profile image

      naseebullah from raisani road quetta 

      7 years ago

      sir, in some of guidence you have written that if you have your natural quality you will be selected but here you are saying that do this or that so if i will show you quality here do you know if they are good physclogist how will they not judge that they are not showing his own quality

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      You will be given guarantee of recommendation...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Please join Guarantee Academy in Faisalabad for best training 03157636659 {hostel facility is available for outsiders}

    • Shakeelkalhoro profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Sukkur, Sindh Pakistan

      thanks Doctor Kristy :)

    • Doctor Kristy profile image

      Kristy Callan 

      7 years ago from Australia

      An incredibly detailed article! Congratulations! Voted up.


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