Inter Services Selection Board (ISSB) screens and selects the candidates who are deemed fit for Pakistan Armed Forces. Like every other exam, ISSB also requires preparation. There are some common questions that almost every candidate asks. These are; Should we join the academy for ISSB preparation? Does ISSB recommend or allow it? Is it okay to join the academy for ISSB?
In our previous articles, we have explained in detail the complete procedure of the Pakistan Army Initial Test and ISSB. You must read those articles to have a clear understanding of the entire selection process. In this write-up, we shall discuss why you should join or avoid joining the academy for ISSB preparation.
First and foremost, ISSB clearly mentions on its ISSB form that joining any coaching center or academy would lead to disqualification. But still, most of the candidates who appear for ISSB join the academy for preparation. Moreover, most of the officers who are now serving in the armed forces had also taken coaching from academies.
Now the question is; should you join the academy? The short answer is, it depends. The second most asked question is; Is selection still possible without joining the academy for ISSB? Yes! It is quite possible. We have examples of people who had got recommended without joining the academy.
Now let us discuss the reasons for and benefits of joining the academy for ISSB preparation.
Here Is Why You Should Join Academy for ISSB
Not everyone should join the academy. Consider the following advantages of joining the academy and make a decision yourself.
1. Academy prepares for different Phases of the ISSB Test
ISSB is a five-day exam with different phases that we have already discussed in our articles mentioned above. Starting from day 1 to the last day of departure, a candidate undergoes multiple rigorous tests and screening phases.
Mental readiness or preparedness for these phases and prior know-how of these tests surely increase the chances of selection. With prior awareness, candidates become better equipped to perform well in these different tests.
So, if you would join a well-reputed academy having qualified staff, they will prepare you well for all those phases or screening processes. This will increase the chances of success.
However, if you are a repeater or you have someone to guide you through, you can do well in ISSB without the academy.
2. Academy provides Opportunities to Learn in Group
When you have like-minded people around or people with the same objectives, it increases the chances of success. This is a benefit that an academy has to offer for sure.
Academy provides you with the opportunity to meet different candidates who might be more experienced than you are.
Sometimes you find repeaters in academies sharing their experiences in the previous attempt(s).
In short, by joining the academy, you would not only have teachers for guidance but also candidates who can potentially teach you much more.
3. The Disciplined Environment will keep you Motivated
ISSB is a sort of testing phase that actually require constant learning and mental readiness. For this exam, one often finds it hard to stay motivated for preparation.
However, if you would join any reputed academy with able staff, you will find yourself motivated all the time.
A disciplined and constant effort is more important. For that, motivation is required.
One can find such a level of motivation by preparing in the company of peers. Such a social setting and environment can only be found in the academy.
4. Academies can highlight flaws in your Personality
Pakistan Armed Forces select/recruit officers with a certain set of qualities. If anyone lacks any of such qualities, this can potentially lead to disqualification.
Usually, it is hard to find such flaws in ourselves on our own. Moreover, being a candidate we are not actually aware of such a set of qualities.
Therefore, it is advisable to join the academy for ISSB preparation. Your supervisors or teachers would highlight such flaws in you and you can work on fixing them before appearing in the actual exam.
5. Academies provide you with Direction for Preparation
ISSB is a considerably difficult exam with multiple different testing phases. Being fresh candidates, we often find ourselves clueless about starting preparation.
The questions like, how to prepare for this phase, how to react in this situation, what is the dress code for such interviews, etc. can lead to great confusion.
However, if you would join an academy for ISSB, you will find all the answers. Teachers will provide you with directions for preparation.
Reasons to avoid Academies for ISSB
While joining an academy may offer you multiple benefits, there are also some good reasons why not to join any academy for ISSB.
Academies teach Unnatural Responses to Situations
The first rule to success is ISSB is staying natural in all situations. ISSB is all about the game of displaying your natural self.
On the other hand, it is often observed that those trained by academies usually adopt superficial behavior and provide superficial responses in the tests.
For instance, Deputy President (during an interview) usually asks the candidates what they would do if they got not-recommended by ISSB. One of the academies taught its candidates to answer, ‘we will definitely get recommended. There isn’t a question of not recommendations’.
Well, honestly, this was a very unnatural response. The possibility of getting a not-recommendation is always much higher given the fact that only 1 to 2 percent of candidates get recommendations in every batch of ISSB.
The natural response to that question ought to be what is your next plan; i.e. whether you will appear again or pursue your degree?
This is how academies make you learn superficial responses. This can potentially lead to non-recommendation by ISSB.
Not everyone who joins the academy gets a recommendation
Academies train hundreds of candidates for every batch or course. Yet, only 1 to 2 percent of candidates get successful.
This corroborates the fact that the passing ratio of candidates who get coaching from academies is still very low.
Thus, we can say that academies never ensure your success. They can provide you with direction or guidelines but cannot make you fit for forces if you naturally aren’t.
Moreover, there is ample guidance available on the internet today that actually minimizes the need of joining an academy for ISSB today.
Apart, most of the academies charge much higher and fill their own pocket without providing any value. So, it is better to avoid such academies and do your best by staying natural in ISSB.
In short, you can still crack the ISSB exam without joining any academy.
To conclude, ISSB is very much crackable even without joining any academy. Academies are only supposed to provide direction.
However, today every sort of guidance is available on Google and YouTube. It is who you naturally are that would decide your selection or rejection.
Academies cannot change your nature or psyche. So, it is always better to show your natural self in ISSB.
Some academies might benefit you in the ways we have discussed above. However, this does not means you must join the academy for ISSB preparation.
The Internet is your academy. Socialize with ambitious people who are pursuing the same objectives.
Note: This write-up is the perspective of a person thrice not-recommended by ISSB even after taking regular coaching from an academy.
In the end, the decision is yours.