وَإِذَا حَكَمْتُم بَيْنَ النَّاسِ أَن تَحْكُمُواْ بِالْعَدْلِ
And when you judge between people, judge with justice. (Al Quran)



ISSB is an esteemed institution entrusted with the selection of HR for induction in armed forces of Pakistan.  To carry out said prestigious task ISSB has devised a comprehensive assessment framework for personality profiling. To assess an individual’s personality, especially in view of futuristic behaviour, few important aspects of his personality are deemed paramount, such as:-

  • Strength of intellectual faculties
  • Emotional disposition
  • Social domain
  • Leadership qualities

 The selection technique followed by the ISSB is three dimensional. candidates appearing before the ISSB are tested in three different domains, i.e, psych tests, GTO tests and Interview. The Psychologist Officers, Group Testing Officers and the Deputy Presidents, who are specialists in their respective fields, administer these tests. We assess you in order to determine who amongst you possesses the potential for leading the military outfits in peace and war.


  • Psychologist Dimension ascertains suitability of Individuals w.r.t Psychological makeup and social adaptability. To carry out in depth analysis in order to devise a holistic picture of each candidate, following tests are employed:-
    • Intelligence Tests. Intelligence is a very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. Intelligence tests are designed to measure mental alertness, learning ability, reasoning power and clarity of thoughts. This is a fact that modern warfare (involving speed, new weapons and ever changing techniques) has greater demand on the mental qualities of an officer’s intelligence. Intelligence tests were previously conducted in ISSB for all candidates, however, now these tests are conducted in the preliminary selection centers except in a few cases where the candidate applies directly from abroad via embassies.
    • Types of Intelligence Test. Intelligence tests are of two types. One is verbal intelligence test and the second is Non-verbal tests:-
      • Verbal Intelligence Test.  Intelligence is assessed by tests that rely upon ability with verbal materials. In VIT, comprehension of a given problem depends upon a person’s degree of language acquisition. Verbal intelligence tests may be composed of as under:-

(a)       General Information.         E.g. what is the significance of 14 August for Pakistan?

(b)       General Comprehension. E.g. Why does people buy fire insurance?

(c)        Arithmetic Reasoning.  E.g. If ten pens cost Rs. 55/- find the cost of seven pens.

(d)       Similarities. E.g. what way wool and cotton alike?

(e)       Digit Span.   E.g. Memory for six/seven digit telephone number?

(f)        Vocabulary. (In relation to understanding of words meaning i.e synonyms, antonyms, etc)

  1. Non Verbal Intelligence Test. Nonverbal intelligence tests are mostly paper and pencil variety which requires little or no use of words in attaching meaning and responding to test items. Items consist of graphical representations. Nonverbal intelligence is specific intelligence which is related to the ability to deal with novelty, to adapt and thinking ‘fluidly’ to a new, novel and unfamiliar problem. It is ability to reason and solve problems using new information without relying on previously acquired knowledge and skill”. Nonverbal intelligence tests at ISSB are composed of matrices. The matrices are best used to assess the reasoning power, cognitive functioning and abstract reasoning ability. They required integration of multiple abilities such as visual coding, pattern detection, rule integration and analogical transfer and problem solving. Matrices are generally created in 3×3 formats (three rows and three columns) there is set pattern of sequence either move left to right row wise or vertically column wise. The test taker has to reason out the pattern and figure out picture that completes the pattern.
  2. Mechanical Aptitude Tests. These are designed to find out mechanical and practical aptitude of the candidates. “Any test designed to measure potential for achievement is called aptitude test”. Analytical studies of human abilities support the genuineness and importance of these special abilities. Numerous tests of special abilities have appeared, and more recently tests of this sort have been organized into comprehensive aptitude batteries for use in vocational guidance or personal classification. All candidates appearing at ISSB have to undergo this test, it has 50 items in total for which 15 minutes are given.
  3. Personality Test. Personality tests are instruments for assessing or evaluating personality by using directs (objective) or indirect (projective) methods. The beauty of the test is that there is nothing right or wrong as regards the answers. Whatever you write is considered to be correct. These are time-bound tests, therefore, following are advantageous:-
  4. Good expression
  5. Hand writing speed
  6. Depth of vision
  7. Logic
  8. Clarity of thoughts



  • There are 26 incomplete sentences with one example.
  • There is no right and wrong sentence, whatever written will be considered as a right sentence.
  • In case one gets stuck up at any one of the sentence, it is advised to not waste time           on it, try to complete the preceding ones and return later if       time permits.
  • However, try to complete as many sentences as possible. It is helpful. Examples:-
  • When you have got nothing to do……….
  • Picnic may be planned.
  • I am preparing for my examination.


In this test emotional, social and dynamic aspects are explored.

  • English words are shown in quick succession.
  • Each word will be shown for 10 seconds only.
  • Candidates are required to quickly pen down, the first thing that comes into          their mind.

For example:- Word is GARDEN. Sentences can be as:-

  • I see my family sitting in the garden.
  • Vegetables are good for health.
  • I hate Digging.
  • Rose is a beautiful flower.
  • While writing response, word shown may be used. But remember one. Important thing that sentences must be associated with the corresponding
  • If nothing strikes the mind in time, that line can be left blank.
  • Small phrase can also be written.
  • However, it is always better to write as much as possible.
  • There is no right or wrong sentence; write whatever comes to your mind.


Imaginative thinking, basic themes and personality domains are assessed in this test.

  • Use imagination to construct a story around a situation given in the picture.
  • While writing the story, keep three things in mind.
  • What event led up to the occurrence?
  • What the characters in the picture are thinking and feeling?
  • What will be the final outcome of the story?
  • The method of setting down story is not very important, it is the contents that
  • There are five pictures in all, one for ‘example’ and other four to write stories.
  • For each story the time limit is 4 minutes. A picture will be shown to for first 30 seconds, during which sketch of the story is to be planned in mind.
  • In the next three minutes and 30 Seconds, story shall be completed. Try to adhere to time.


  • Candidates are required to complete a story with the opening sentence.
  • It will start with the opening sentence and be completed in any way.
  • More characters may be added, situation can be built in one’s own way and any ending is acceptable.
  • Beginning of story will be by writing the opening sentence given on the screen and then proceed further.
  • Total time limit for the each story is 4 minutes


  • Candidates are required to imagine two persons, who have known them long and thoroughly. One of them is a friend that will describe the positive side of candidate.
  • The second one is a opponent who will explain negative side of candidate’s personality.
  • This will become a sort of character sketch.
  • 4 minutes for each point of view.
  • It can written in the shape of paragraph or points or in             any way deemed feasible.


Officer’s personality inventory is a newly incorporated test which measures the candidates’ EQ (Emotional Quotient) and SQ (Social Quotient). This test has a total of 150 statements, each statement has 7 different options for the candidate to choose ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree.


A short interaction, as a post-test probe is also conducted by the Psychologist. That, roughly takes for 5-10 minutes. It is a semi-formal interaction through which the Psychologist validates his/ her assessment or inquires further if anything remains ambiguous.


  • Group Testing Officers’ (GTO) Dimension forms an important tier of selection system at Inter Services Selection Board. To assess a candidate’s suitability for commissioning, a GTO employs different tests. The initial five tasks includes Group Discussion, Lecturrete, Group Planning, Progressive Group Task and Half Group Task are conducted on first GTO day. Whereas, tests on second GTO day include Command Task, Individual Obstacles, Final Group Task and assessment of the group by candidates.
    • Group Discussion. In this task, candidates will be given two topics (each in Urdu & English) to discuss amongst themselves in an informal way. It provides an opportunity to candidates to express their ideas on given topics. The main goal of group discussion is to assess candidates thinking about his surroundings. Candidates will be assessed in communication skills, logics in arguments, confidence and verbal expression. Moreover, candidates ability to articulate and defend his view point. List of general topics is attached at Anx A.
    • Lecturette. Lecturette will be conducted after Group Discussion. The candidates are given two topics out of which on one topic, candidate will be given 3-5 minutes for preparation for an extempore speech. Each candidate is given 3-5 minutes to speak on the given topic in English language. Th purpose of lecturette is to check candidates confidence, public speaking skill and ability to convince others on a given topic. List of suggested topics is attached at Anx B.
    • Group Planning Exercise. Candidates are shown a model on smart board and explained a situation with a problem to solve. This task presents a certain problem to candidates and they are required to discuss amongst themselves in order to find out its solution. During this task, candidates are required to give out individual as well as combined plan. The objective of group planning is to assess whether candidate possesses the ability to comprehend the situation, determine the problem and is able to think of a workable solution within given timeframe.
    • Progressive Group Task. It is the first outdoor task, and constitutes a series of practical problems that increase in difficulty as the task progresses. In this task, candidates are required to cross obstacles of hindrances or restrictions in 40 minutes. Usually it takes the shape of successive obstacles over which the group is required to carry some objects of sufficient bulk and weight to afford each candidate opportunity to work in a group. It also makes some degree of common essential actions by all members. The first stage is relatively easier; the second stage comparatively difficult than the first and the third stage is more difficult than the first two stages and requires more time. In this task candidates work as a team and there is no leader or commander. The planning, execution and completion of the task is the joint responsibility of everyone in the group.
    • Half Group Task In this test the group is split into two or three sub-groups and each sub-group is presented with a simple task on the same lines as the Progressive Group Task. It is relatively a simpler and shorter task in which all candidates will not work at one time. In half group task every candidate has a wider opportunity to show his various character traits and leadership qualities.
    • Command Task. In this task every candidate will be given a chance to become a leader or commander. Candidates will be tested in commanding skills, ability to lead and to accomplish the task in controlled environment.
    • Individual Obstacles. This includes 9 different obstacles which a candidate has to pass in 2 minutes. These obstacles are of various types which will utilize physical and mental capability of candidates. Before performing Individual Obstacles, GTO will play an introductory video to candidates on multimedia showing various ways to negotiate each obstacle. Moreover, candidates will also be given a chance to familiarize themselves with obstacles on ground visually before test. Details are:-
    • Hanging Log
    • Tyre
    • High Jump
    • Long Jump
    • Monkey bridge
    • Double Boxing Ring
    • Hangman Rope
    • Tarzan Swing
    • Zig-Zag


    • Final Group Task. The “Final Group Task”, is the last task. The time allowed in this task is 20 minutes. This is again a leaderless group task in which the qualities of team spirit, co-operation and leadership potentials will be assessed.
    • Mutual Assessment. During this task, candidates are required to assess their individual performance as well as other candidates within group.
  • Guidelines for Preparation. In order to determine your suitability for commission in Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Air Force , your tests and interviews will be held at ISSB. Here, we are looking for alert, motivated candidates who have the potential to complete the long, arduous and extensive training at Armed Forces Academies. The Selection Board is looking for many things, such as clear thinking, the ability to remain calm under stress and strain, team skills and willingness to participate. We don’t want you to display rashness or aggression; neither do we want you to be dull or spiritless. Be honest, straightforward and frank. Don’t display over-consciousness, false projection or superficial behavior. Following are few guidelines to be kept in mind:-
    • Appearance. You can tell a lot from a person’s appearance. Show us you have got a sense of personal pride.
    • Self- Confidence. Self-confidence and maturity are largely the product of experience. You can strengthen these qualities by participating in-group activities, taking on responsibility and exercising independence.
    • Expression. We look for people with good expression, preferably in English with clear direction, a good vocabulary and sense of grammar. Try to develop these traits by participating in debates and group discussions.
    • Fitness. A healthy body has healthy mind. Adequate physical fitness and mental agility will pay you more at the ISSB.
    • Awareness. We are looking for candidates with better awareness of the world around them in general and interest in military matters in particular. Discuss current affairs and defence related issues with your parents, teachers and friends. Keep yourself updated by reading newspapers/ Journals/ Periodicals to enhance your breadth of outlook.
    • Motivation. You should be convincing and sincere in your reasons and actions for want to join armed forces. Make sure you really know for what and why you are applying. Moreover, your attitude will pay you at the end so be positive, motivated and energetic.
    • Caution. Over the years some private institutions and coaching centers have mushroomed in the country to train the candidate for passing ISSB tests. You are advised not to join these for training and guidance. The training imparted in these centers is too restricted and brings in rigidity in thought process. Moreover, their dictation will spoil your originality.


  • Interview has always remained a vital and effective method for selection of an employee for a particular job. It is a procedure designed to know about an individual’s personality, abilities and his suitability for a specific employment. It is a formal conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee, where the interviewee is expected to display his original personality traits and abilities. For selection in Armed Forces of Pakistan, interviews of candidates are held at all selection stages i.e. screening interview at Selection and Recruitment Centers followed by selection interviews during ISSB tests. At ISSB, Deputy Presidents of Lieutenant Colonel and equivalent rank interview the candidates in a formal and congenial environment in form of an intellectual discourse with focus on following aspects:-
    • Family background and social circle.
    • Academic qualifications and conceptual understanding/ application.
    • Sports, hobbies and extra-curricular activities.
    • General awareness about local, national and international environment.
    • Verbal and written expression, both in English and Urdu.
  • During the interview, Deputy President expects very frank and candid views/ opinions from candidates instead of borrowed/ fake ideas. Statistically original responses always increase the chances of selection.
  • A common misperception in the minds of potential candidates is that coaching academies and ISSB specific books are effective and helpful aid for preparation. Candidates are advised to broaden their mental horizon instead of relying on coaching academies as those are MISLEADING and normally lead to artificial responses and fake personality.
  • Guidelines for preparation are:-
    • Be yourself, act natural and avoid being artificial as it will help you to remain focused, logical and confident.
    • Refresh family details including their professions, education and other information.
    • Improve general awareness (regional, national and international) through print and electronic media and various GK mediums like books and internet.
    • Improve written and verbal expression both in English and Urdu.
    • Candidates are expected to be soberly dressed for interview. National dress, shirt trouser and lounge suite may be worn as per convenience.


– Reception
– Checking of Documents
– Allotment of ID / Chest numbers
– Photographs
– Administration Staff’s address
– Completion of Board
– Questionnaires

– Opening Address by a Deputy President.
– Intelligence Tests
– Announcement of screening out result
– Remaining Psychological Tests
(Screened out Candidates will not attend the subsequent tests

– Briefing
– Indoor Tasks
– Group Discussion
– Group Planning
– Outdoor Tasks
– Progressive Group Task (PGT)
– Half Group Task (HGT)
– Interviews

– Individual Obstacles.
– Command Task
– Final Group Task (FGT)
– Interviews (leftovers)

– Conferences
– Preparation of all the results
– Dispersal of candidates

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