CDS-Combined Defence Services 2018: What is Officers Intelligence Test in SSB

Last Updated - January 30 2018

CDS examination is the gateway for admission in armed forces. Plenty of candidates appear for the CDS exam and only few are able to make to the intelligence test. Students who qualify the written examination are invited for the SSB interview. Now here this article guides you via the about what is the officer's intelligence test and how to prepare for it or complete the test.

On the day 1 of SSB interview under CDS, aspirants have to face the screening test, two rounds are organized as part of the procedure- first round is OIR test and the second round is PPDT (picture perception and description test). Combined performance in both the test will be used for forming the merit.

OIR exam is the stage 1 of the exam and requires the candidate to attempt minimum 55-60 questions. The OIR section has questions of moderate difficulty level on the basis of the syllabus of verbal and non-verbal reasoning.  PPDT is the second stage and requires the aspirant to create a story on the basis of the picture presented.

Verbal section

There is no official definition of verbal reasoning syllabus in the CDS Officers Intelligence test. The time duration defined for the test is almost 30 minutes and almost 50 questions have to be finished in the time period. Students can prepare the topics that are frequently asked.

  • Verbal Deductions
  • Problems on Ranks
  • Number Quiz
  • World Groups
  • coding Decoding
  • Letter Series
  • Spelling
  • Critical Reasoning
  • Direction Sense Test
  • Instruction
  • Sentence Completion
  • Grammar
  • Analogies
  • Blood Relation Test

Blood Relations questions in Officers intelligence test 

Pointing to a photograph of a boy Suresh stated, "He is the son of the only son of my mother." How is Suresh concerned about that boy?

  1. Brother
  2. Uncle
  3. Cousin
  4. Father

Response: D

The boy in the photograph is the only son of the son of Suresh's mother i.e., the son of Suresh. Hence, Suresh is the father of the boy.
Q2. If A + B means A is the mother of B; A - B means A is the brother B; A % B means A is the father of B and A x B means A is the sister of B, which of the following shows that P is the maternal uncle of Q?

  1. Q - N + M x P
  2. P + S x N – Q
  3. P - M + N x Q
  4. Q - S % P

Response: C

Solution: P - M → P is the brother of M

M + N → M is the mother of N

N x Q → N is the sister of Q

Therefore, P is the maternal uncle of Q.

Officers intelligence test CDS problems on logical deductions

Statements: No women teacher can play. Some women teachers are athletes.


  1. Male athletes can play.
  2. Some athletes can play.
  3. A. Only conclusion I follows
  4. B. Only conclusion II follows
  5. C. Either I or II follows
  6. D. Neither I nor II follows
  7. E. Both I and II follow

Response: D

Non-verbal section

It is expected that almost 50 questions can be designed in from the syllabus defined for non- verbal reasoning. Sometimes questions can vary from 30-60 depending upon the position applied by the aspirant. Total time allotted to clear this section is 25-30 minutes similar to verbal reasoning.

  • Figure Analogies
  • Problems on Cubes
  • Paper Cutting and Folding
  • Problems on Dice
  • Figure Matrix
  • Choosing Similar Figures
  • Series
  • Spatial Ability
  • Classification
  • Choosing the Odd Figure
  • Visualizing Format
  • Grouping of Identical Figures
  • Spotting the embedded Figure

Sample questions analogies

Example 1: In each of the following questions find out the alternative which will replace the question mark.

  1. CUP : LIP :: BIRD : ?
  1. BUSH
  1. GRASS
  1. BEAK

Response: Option D BEAK

Example 2: Phone: Cellphone  :: Computer ::___?____

a) Speaker                 b)Keyboard                     c) Theatre          d) Laptop

Absurd Statements and Statement Justification – Officer Intelligence Rating Test

Instructions: A statement has been offered in the question; choose from the option if the statement

Q. By how many degrees a minute hand rotates in 45 minutes

  • 270o
  • 180o
  • 90o
  • 45o

Absurd Statements and Statement Justification – Officer Intelligence Rating Test

Instructions: A statement has been offered in the question; choose from the option if the statement

Q. what is the last two digits of a number 78^379

A. 34    B.28    C. 72 92   D.

Response:  (2 × 39)379 = 2379 × 39379 = (210)37 × 29 × (392)189 × 39 = 24 × 12 × 81 × 39 = 92

Q. what is the last two digits of a number 87^ 474

A. 39   D. 29    B. 33 89    C.

Response: 87472 ×—872 = (874)118 ×—872 = (69 × 69)118 × 69 (The last two digits of 872 are 69) = 61118 ×— 69 = 81 ×— 69 = 89 

Series Completion – Officer Intelligence Rating Test

Instruction: Choose the accurate alternative and clear the given series

  1. 120, 99, 80, 63, 48, ?
  1. 35
  1. 38
  1. 39
  1. 40

Response: A


The format is - 21, - 19, - 17, - 15,.....

So, missing term = 48 - 13 = 35.

  1. 589654237, 89654237, 8965423, 965423, ?
  1. 58965
  1. 65423
  1. 89654
  1. 96542

Response: D

Solution: The digits are removed one by one from the beginning and the end in order alternately

So as to obtain the subsequent terms of the series.

Coding and Decoding – Officer Intelligence Rating Test

  1. If in a certain language, FROG is coded as 6 18 15 7, how is DOCTOR coded in that code?

A. 4 12 13 6 1 6

     B. 8 12 7 9 34 18

     C. 9 12 6 7 6 13

     D. 4 15 3 20 15 18

Response: D

What is PPDT (Picture Perception Description Test)? 

P.P.D.T is a picture perception and description test, and it is part of the CDS screening procedure. The student has to write clear story in 3 minutes by noting down the basic seven parameters: In this, the aspirant is shown a hazy picture for about time period of 30 seconds and the aspirant has to create a story about the same.

  • Character
  • Mood
  • Age
  • Sex

The time must be classified into the following three dimensions:

  • Future (what will he do)
  • Past (what he done)
  • Current (what is going on in the story)

Environment of organizing P.P.D.T

All the aspirants are invited to sit in a big auditorium and psychologist gives instructions about P.P.D.T.  Then the lights are turned off and on the projection screen, a hazy picture is projected for 30 seconds. A student must not down the details on the basis of the pointers defined above.

Students are then given a time of around 3 minutes to write a story. , the psychologist sits there to select them for the next 4 days along with the rest of the team to finalize the students. Students are arranged in a semi-circle and then they are asked to discuss their own stories in front of the president of the board, G.T.O.

Before you start writing the response, there is just one thing that a student needs to mark, in a rectangular box given on the screen.

  1. Who is the main character in the picture?
  2. What is the age, mood, situation presented?
  3. What led to the situation (past), what is going on in the situation (current), and what will happen at the end (future).

How to project story in PPDT?

The story narration must be done following the pattern below:

  • Story must be written in the past tense only.
  • There must be a hero in the story.
  • The story must end on a positive note and written with a positive attitude.
  • The hero must be of same age and same sex.
  • In case you do not find a hero in the story, then create a story of same sex and age.
  • Write an introduction to the story i.e. what lead to the story in the past, the current and the future.

Tips to succeed in P.P.D.T

  1. While the story is being narrated or group discussion is in the procedure, never look at the officials.
  2. Listen to the speaker with the clear focus and never look any way around.
  3. Focus on your body language; it must be confident and strong.
  4. While the discussion is in the procedure, try to talk in about three times, this will help you get noticed. It is not necessary to talk about P.P.D.T.
  5. While presenting your viewpoint never argue with a co-aspirant, make sure you current your viewpoint completely and with a precise attitude.
  6. Always carry a smile while discussing ideas in P.P.D.T.
  7. Help the weak members of the group to talk and express their view point.
  8. While the instructions are presented for dispersing from the room of P.P.D.T., stand erect in your position with chest out, head held high. This will show that you are confident in your participation.  

How to prepare for officers Intelligence Rating Test?

In final merit list OIR and PPDT both are considered equally important. Often students assume that OIR is less important and thus can end up losing marks and thus, the position in the CDS examination.

It is suggested that do not assume that OIR is less important or fall prey to this common misconception. Rather on a practical level, you can identify that both are equally important and CDS has never said that OIR is less important. 

OIR is designed to check the skills of verbal and non- verbal reasoning based questions and practical problems. Every aspirant must try to solve maximum questions in the limited duration of time to overcome the barrier of at least cut off defined by the authorities. An aspirant thus must perform well in the PPDT and OIR equally well.

As CDS examinations are tricky, so you can expect any last minute changes in the difficulty level of the exam and the quality of content in the question paper, so you must put in your best effort to excel in the exam. There are no shortcuts thus to perform well in the exam.

Aspirants must closely observe the syllabus and pick one topic at a time and start preparing. It has been observed that questions are generally easy in the officer's Intelligence Rating Test and the difficulty level is moderate. More the exercise better is the performance, so do a lot of exercises to improve your accuracy.

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