SSB Group Planning Exercise (GPE) - GTO

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Hello Aspirants, GPE is the test taken by the GTO at the SSB 3rd day. This test is very important as it shows many things about you what is needed in the Armed forces. Candidates can go through GPE rules below by reading the whole article. Feel free to ask below in comments regarding GPE GTO.

SSB Group Planning Exercise (GPE) - GTO

SSB Group Planning Exercise (GPE) - GTO

SSB Group Planning Exercise (GPE) - GTO:

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Every organisation has its own peculiar job requirements. A person who possess those qualities which enable him to meet these requirements naturally makes him a successful person in that organisation. As far as the Armed Forces are concerned the job requirement is quit different than civil counterparts. Therefore, the selection procedure should be capable of selecting the right person. A detailed and time tested system is in place for selecting an officer for the Armed Forces. To become an officer, one has to be recommended by Services Selection Board which aims at finding suitability based on personality assessment. For this a candidate has to go through the Interview, Psychology Tests and Group Tests.

The basis of Group Testing is six psycho-sociological principles namely, Gestalt, Group Development, Social Field, Consistency, Free Association and Sociometry. Out of this, principle of Group Development is the basis of Basic Series. Group development is the process of development of an amorphous or unorganized group into a fully developed group. This process goes through the five overlapping stages of Formation, Exploration, Competition, Cooperation and Discipline. The Group Planning Exercise incorporates the Competition stage with elements of both Exploration and Cooperation.


The aim is to make a presentation on Group Planning Exercise.


This Group Planning Exercise will be conducted in two parts as under:-


(i) Group Planning Exercise.

(ii) Conduct of GPE.

(iii) Consideration of designing of GPE.

(iv) Requirements of a Model/Sketch.

(v) Requirements of the Narrative.

(vi) Values of the GPE.

(vii) Emerging OLQs.


(I) Introduction to sketch.

(II) Narrative.

(III) Problems including Red – herring.

(IV) Resources.

(V) Solutions.

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Group Planning Exercise

Group Planning Exercise (GPE) consists of a situational problem given to candidates on a model. The problem affords a selection of possible solution and different ways of approach. This task is carried out in two phases:-
The individual planning phases, when each candidate is required to write down his own solution to the problem.

The group planning phase when the candidates are made to mutually discuss the problem and to work out corporate solution and plan of action.

In asking for a group solution, emphasis is laid for the first time on team endeavourer. Yet the need for a common solution introduces a sense of competition, as each candidate tries to secure the acceptance of his own plans.  The discussion in the Group Planning Exercise is, therefore, a ‘purposeful’ discussion. Its purpose is:-

To create inter-dependent interaction promotively in a social situation.

(b) To make one competitively inter-related with others with a view to achieve recognition of one’s ideas and plans in the group and to have the same accepted. The idea is to find the solution that is the best for every one in the group to which all or most are committed.

Each candidate naturally tries to make others accept his solution as the common group plan. The resultant interplay of conflicting wishes and ideas enables the GTO to observe how the individual strives to impress himself on others and whether or not he shows signs of beginning to adapt himself to being a member of the group. The candidates are allowed a free hand in shaping their discussion; GTO’s interruptions, if any, are with a view to keep control over the group and to promote the development of the group plan.

Conduct of GPE

The stages through which a GPE is conducted are given in succeeding paras.

Stage I – Introduction to Model: Candidates are seated in the numerical sequence in “U’ Shape around the Model. The GTO explains various features on the model and clarifies doubts about the same.

Stage II – The Narrative: The GTO reads out the story for the candidates.

Stage III – Reading of Narrative by the Candidates:  The candidates are given five minutes to read the narrative from a pad kept next to each one of them. This is done to facilitate the candidates getting the details of the story firmly in their minds. Doubts, if any are clarified by the GTO.

Stage IV – Individual Planning:  Each candidate is required to record his independent plan on a paper in ten minutes. No mutual discussions are allowed. At the end of ten minutes written work is collected back.

Stage V – Group Planning: During this stage the candidates are required to discuss and to work out a group plan within 20 minutes. At the end of this any one of the candidates is required to present the group plan to the GTO.

Considerations for Designing of GPE

Following considerations are to be kept in mind while designing the GPE:-

(a) It should be applicable to the group for which it is intended.

(b) The situation should be with in the knowledge and experience of all the candidates and provide equal opportunity to exercise their imagination.

(c) No specialised knowledge should be required to find a solution to the problem.

(d) There should be a minimum of three workable solutions to three problems.

(e) There should be one distraction i.e. a ‘Red herring’. It should neither be too simple nor too serious but strong enough to lead the less discriminatory away.

Requirements of a Model/Sketch

Requirements of the sketch are as following:-

(a) It should have wide border.

  (b) Must have a scale.

(c) North should be marked.

(d) No unnecessary details should be included.

(e) Distance and direction of relevant places.

(f) No military symbols should be used.

(g) Names of prominent places in existence should be avoided.

(h) Use correct colour code.

(j) Narrative should not be marked on the sketch.

(k) Marking should be self explanatory.

Requirement of the Narrative

A narrative should meet following requirements:-

(a) It should be simple.

(b) Should contain realistic problem.

(c) Should not be too long.

(d) Opening sentence should be: - You are a group of students.
Coming from ………………………Going to ………………
By …………………………….. (transport). Required to reach
………………………………… (purpose).

(e) Last sentence should be: - Time now is ……………….. What will you do?

(f) Some resources should be obvious and some hidden.

(g) It should contain three problems and one red – herring.


During this task the GTO observes:-

(a) Ability to think constructively and imaginatively.

(b) Ability to appreciate a situation both in detail and as a whole.

(c) Extent of objectivity.

(d) Open mindedness to the problem and others.

(e) Goodwill towards others.

(f) Contribution to wards collective solution.

(g) Planning and organising ability.

(h) Ability to convince others.

(j) Ability to cooperate/coordinate.


After having recorded the observations of GPE, the interpretations that these could lead to are as under:-

(a) Entry.

(b) Participation.

(c) Grasp

(d) Analytical or generalizes.

(e) Level of ideas.

(f) Realistic.

(g) Resourcefulness.

(h) Workability of indl soln.

(j) Justification of the soln.

(k) Contribution to group solution.

(l) Interest in task and group.

(m) Agreement to group solution.

(n) Expressions – verbal and written.

(o) Impact on group.

(p) Reaction to stress.

(q) Mannerisms.

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Emerging OLQs 

The interpretations read in conjunction with values of the task would lead to specific OLQs and the degree to which possessed. While, like any other task, the GPE should also provide input to all OLQ, certain qualities would be more evident than the others. These are as under:-

(a) Reasoning Ability. - The interpretations relating to the group and analysis of the situation would indicate the reasoning ability of the indl.

(b) Effective Intelligence.- The ability of an indl to arrive at a workable solution would reflect upon his El.

(c) Organising Ability.- The ability of the indl to identify and allocate resources as also coord simultaneous activity would indicate his OA. In addn, his ability to coord different ideas emerging during the discussion and evolve a group plan would also reflect upon his org ability.

(d) Power of Expression.-  The way a candidate goes about expressing his ideas to the group will be an indicator of his Power of Expression. Here it is pertinent to mention that written solution submitted by the candidate is the only source of assessing written expression for the GTO.

(e) Social Adaptability.- The ability of a candidate to adapt himself to the group and contribute effectively as a useful team member would be a fair indicator of his SA. In this his mannerisms as also reaction to others, forms the basis of his response to the group and task.

(f) Sense of Responsibility. -  The conscious effort in terms of participation as also contribution during the discussion stage, in addition to the responsiveness towards each problem during either stage would reflect upon the sense of responsibility, the indl possesses or lacks.

(g) Ability to Influence Group. - The candidate through his participation and contribution would leave some impact on the group, which would be reflected in the willing acceptance or rebuttal of his views/ ideas and result in a directed effort from the group.

(h) Courage. - The situation is so designed so as to bring about a sense of daring in the candidates when dealing with the problems. The tendency of an individual to take purposive risks and actively participate in such actions while evolving a solution would broadly reflect upon his courage.

E.G. Group Planning Exercise

You are a group of students from Loni going to Rampur in a taxi to participate in Inter College Music Competition. The competition starts at 7 PM. On the way to Rampur, you decide to stay at the Rest House and spend the day sight seeing at Nili Lake. At the end of the day, when you were preparing to leave for Rampur, one of your friends complained of upset stomach and fever. Meanwhile, a foreigner lady tourist drove in. She told you that at the View Point, two miscreants had robbed her case and passport. She needed your help.  She also mentioned that she had seen them going towards the temple in ruins. In the meantime, a young boy came running and brought the news that a bus had gone off the road near the bridge. A few passengers were also injured. You called your taxi and were about to move out when a Boat House guard stopped you and said he had seen two men taking a girl who lived in Staff Quarters forcibly towards Purana Kila. The guard had a gun and he wanted a few of you to come along with him to save the girl. The time now is 4 PM. As bold, energetic students, what will you do?


Problems/ Red herring as per priority are:-

(a) Evacuation of injured boy.

(b) Rescue the girl.

(c) Save the MLA from kidnapping.

(d) Red – herring. The Jeep had caused a road block near the unmanned railway crossing. There is no train coming. It can distract the less discriminatory away.


Obvious Resources

(a) Students – 10

(b) Cycle – 4

(c) Man from Kali Mandir – 1

(d) Motor boat – 1

(e) Hand push wheel cart - 1

(f) Guard with weapon – 1

(g) Rest House keeper – 1

Hidden Resources

(a) Police Station, LOHA.

(b) City Bus at main road.

(c) PHC at PANNA.

(d) Villagers of PANNA Village.

(e) Medical facility at Base Camp.

 (f)    Public address organisers at TEJPUR.

 (g) District Hospital at TEJPUR.


(a) Speed of tractor   - 40 KMPH.

(b) Speed of cycle on road and kaccha rasta -10 KMPH

(c) Speed of hand push wheel cart  - 10 KMPH.

(d) Speed of boat   - 10 KMPH.

(e) Running speed   - 10 KMPH.

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This was all bout SSB Group Planning Exercise(GPE) – GTO at the SSB. Hope you would have known all the importance of GPE and the rules how to write GPE in the SSB. Candidate keep following us for further SSB guidance on Facebook or subscribe us through email address.Feel free to ask below regarding GPE – GTO at the SSB.

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