The GTO administers the indoor as well as outdoor tests with the objective of assessing the candidate as a potential service officer. The GTO’s outdoor tests have a greater scope of testing the physical qualities of candidates like toughness, stamina etc. but leadership qualities like originality of ideas, planning, organizing, and confidence, co-operation are also equally well brought into play.

GTO gives the following tests in the same order as under:
  • Group Discussion (GD)
  • Group Planning Exercise (GPE)
  • Progressive Group Task
  • Inter Group Obstacle Race or Snake Race
  • Half Group Task
  • Lecturette
  • Individual Obstacles
  • Command Task
  • Final Group Task
Guidelines to the Candidates
  • Listen to the briefing of the GTO very carefully.
  • As the subjects for discussion are offered by the GTO, try to grasp and choose one.
  • Take a convincing lead to ensure that the subject chosen by you is finally accepted by majority of the candidates and announced by the GTO. You should argue and convince the group that your choice is an important current topic and offers a wider scope for exchange of views.
  • As the subject for discussion is announced by the GTO, try to find the earliest opportunity to put forth your views. Naturally everyone will be eager to take his turn as early as possible. You must use your skill to grab a chance for yourself as early as possible. In case you are the first speaker you will be in a better position to impress the GTO. If you get a chance to speak at later stage, you will either be repeating the arguments already advanced or you will be putting forth less important points. Therefore try to get an opportunity to speak earliest.
  • The advice to speak earliest does not mean that you start speaking simultaneously. There are various methods to grab opportunity to speak. Show your eagerness as though you have some very important point to make. You may request the group to allow you to make a point. You may plead “Gentlemen, I have an important and interesting point to place for your consideration, will you permit me to explain it”.
  • Neither try to address the GTO nor try to catch his eye. Address the whole group and look into the eyes of each candidate in turn GTO’s attention will automatically be drawn if you are showing qualities he is looking for.
  • Listen to other candidates carefully. Good listening will provide you more ideas. You will be able to know what the other candidates have missed. Keep on planning and polishing your views ideas on the subject. When you get an opportunity give a pleasant surprise of a fine, logical, sound and lively ideas to the group.
  • Concentrate on what others are saying. You will get plenty of new ideas. Blend them into your own ideas. Arrange your ideas in a logical order.
  • Be active and keep interest in the ongoing discussion. Try to appreciate other’s good points.

Always be polite. Cultivate the habit of using expressions as under:-
  • Gentlemen, I concede to my friend.
  • The Previous speaker made very valuable points but he was slightly off the point of our discussion.
  • I beg to differ with previous speaker.
  • Friends, I do not understand the logic of the criticism.

  • When you get an opportunity to speak, first try to demolish the arguments already offered by others. After doing that put forward your well planned, intelligent and interesting ideas in an effective manner and with conviction.
  • Avoid all unwanted gestures during the GD.
  • Do not have any fear of GTO. Feel relaxed as if you are discussing a point with your friends in a coffee house. Do not feel shy, nervous, hesitant or embarrassed.
  • Always talk to the point and avoid self contradiction and repetion.
  • Avoid bluffing; be accurate when you give out facts and figures.
  • Do not engage yourself in side talks or sub- group conversation.
  • When you get an opportunity speak clearly, slowly and pleasantly with correct accent and pronunciation. Be brief, concise and communicate effectively.
  • Keep your knowledge updated.

Procedure : The GPE is conducted in three stages.

Stage I

  • The GTO seats the candidates in a semi- circle around the model.
  • GTO then explains the features of the model to the group.
  • After introducing the model, GTO reads a narrative (story) to the group. The story will have few problems.
  • Each candidate now gets 5 minutes to read the same story himself. After 5 minutes the story card is taken back by the GTO.


  • Read the narrative carefully and make sure you understand all the problems and allot them priority keeping in mind seriousness and the time constraint.
  • Identify the obvious resources and make practical assumptions.
  • You are not allowed to make any notes and as such make mental note of every detail.

Stage II

  • Now the GTO will give response sheet to each candidate and you will be given 10 minutes to write your individual solutions i.e how your group consisting of 10 members will solve all the problems.
  • This again is an individual task so do not consult / talk to other members.
  • While writing solution first jot down the problems followed by resources which are available to you. Finally you have to write down the solution.
  • After 10 minutes your written solution will be taken back by the GTO. This will be assessed by the GTO afterwards.

Stage III

  • This is the most important part of the GPE. Now all the group members are required to discuss among themselves and make a common group plan.
  • Like GD, you must take initiative and open the discussion.
  • First discuss problems and priority, then discuss resources which are available to you.
  • If you are unable to open the discussion then listen to the first speaker and see what important problem or resources he has missed out and immediately bring it to the notice of group about the same.
  • It is important for the candidates to take an active part in this discussion and contribute maximum ideas.
  • When another candidate is giving his solution, listen to him patiently and speak out when you have some more rational and constructive suggestion to make.
  • The group will get approx 20 minutes to discuss and reach a common solution.
  • At the end when GTO feels that the group has finalized the Group plan he will invite the group to nominate one member from the group to give out the plan on behalf of the group.
  • Group is most likely to nominate a candidate who has contributed maximum and is sure of himself to give the plan to GTO. Since everyone is hesitant to stand, you may try to take this opportunity and confidently give out the Group Plan.

Hints for PGT/ HGT/ FGT

  • Listen carefully to GTO’s briefing. Pay attention to rules to be observed and penalty for breaking rule.
  • Take initiative and think of solution quickly.
  • Explain your idea’s to other group members and convince them about workability of your idea.
  • If you get stuck listen to ideas offered by others and help them in executing their ideas. Your endeavor must be to be always in the centre of activity. Be a willing and cooperative member of the group.
  • Do not merely stand at the back waiting to be ordered about.
  • Throughout the task give your active help in lifting the Balli, tying the rope to a plank or structure, lifting or carrying the load. But do not be a just load carrier only.
  • Show your agility, initiative and drive and be prepared to take any risk when necessary.
  • Make serious attempts to execute your idea or plan. If it does not work, repeat your attempt or try an alternative. Do not give up.
  • If you break rule do not try to conceal it. If fact own up and follow penalty.

Obstacle Race or Snake Race

Obstacle race is known as the snake race. A rolled-up tent or bag-like object is the load which the group has to carry from the start line. It has to be passed through a series of obstacles. All the groups start this race simultaneously in a competitive spirit and the group that reaches the finish line first wins the race.

Tips for Candidates

Since this is an inter-group competitive race, the members of each group must work in a spirit of competition and try for the success of the entire group. Individual interest should be subordinated to that of the group. In this task, the ideal group is one in which the individual members sink personal differences and work for the entire group. Discipline of a very high standard is called for.

Individual Obstacles
  • As opposed to group obstacles, each one of the individual obstacles is to be tackled by the candidate alone. There are generally 9-10 obstacles in all and the time given is 8 minutes. These obstacles are so arranged that they progressively become more difficult.
  • The number of marks carried by these obstacles is in an ascending order, the first carrying 1 mark, the second 2 marks, the third 3 marks, the fourth 4 marks and last 9 or 10 marks.
  • The candidates need not proceed in the serial order but in any order to secure the maximum number of marks.
  • If any candidate completes his first round and achieves the maximum number of marks, he is at liberty to repeat any number of obstacles and add to his score.
  • In addition, there is a track also. Before starting on the obstacles, the candidate has to run a distance of about 500 feet on the track in which are placed a few hurdles like ditches and barrels. The candidate has to pass through these. The aim of this event is to warm him up before tackling the individual obstacles and to test his endurance and stamina.
  • In addition, there is a beam situated near the finish point of the track. The candidate, after having completed all the nine obstacles, can go to the beam and try pull-ups. Each carries one mark. After the pull-ups, the candidates can again repeat the main obstacles and get additional marks for each repeated obstacle. {The track exercise and pull-ups may have been omitted in some SSBs}


  • Listen to GTO’s briefing carefully.
  • No negative body language.
  • Discard below average topic, unless you can make that topic very interesting.
  • Out of remaining three topics, chose the one on which you can speak for three minutes.
  • Prepare the topic in a logical and organised manner.
  • Most of the topics will have a background. Start with the background.
  • Stand in CASUAL wishram position and display a pleasant bearing.
  • Avoid hand movements.
  • Introduction of the topic
  • Avoid criticizing Govt policies/ decisions. However, you can criticize implementation part of it if you, so feel.
  • After the first bell, start concluding. Speak about 12 to 13 sentences, say thanks and take your seat.
  • When others are speaking, listen to them.
  • Listen to GTO’s briefing carefully and make mental note of structures and the helping material available to you as it may help you in choosing the subordinates.
  • While choosing the subordinates consider their strong points and the requirement of your task.
  • Once subordinates report to you give them quick briefing about the task and explain them rules.
  • Take quick decision and make an early entry into the obstacle. Preferably you must get into the obstacle first as it will allow you to plan further and also work out solution to get the last man out.
  • As Cdr, issue orders to the members boldly and assertively. At the same time do not be rude.
  • As Cdr you need not do physical work however be ready to soil your hands if it becomes necessary.
  • If at any stage, the level of difficulty is raised by the GTO or you are faced with a complex structure, do not seek ideas or suggestions from the subordinates. Apply yourself and use different combinations to find a way out. If need be switch channel of your approach.
  • Supervise the work of your subordinates and ensure rules are not broken. If any rule is broken then observe the penalty.
  • GTO will be applying external pressure on you by either denying you use of certain helping material or structure. Take it in you stride and tackle the problem with the positive mind set.