AFCAT Full Form: What is AFCAT? All You Need to Know

  AFCAT Full Form: The full form of AFCAT is the Air Force Common Admission Test. The Indian Air Force conducts the examination. This helps IAF select Group A Gazetted Officers for Ground Duties (Technical and Non-Technical) and Flying. The examination generally takes place in February and August of each year and is considered one of the most respected career options.

Pratiksha Shome
Sep 8, 2023, 18:52 IST

AFCAT full form: The Air Force Common Admission Test, or AFCAT, is an recruitment exam for the Air Force jobs. It is conducted to recruit the elite force as Group A Gazetted Officers in Flying and Ground Duty (Technical and Non-Technical) branches.  Overall AFCAT recruitment process is done based on the candidates performance in the written exam followed by SSB conducted by the Air Force Selection Board (AFSB). 

AFCAT is a national level exam conducted twice a year and above 2 lakh candidates appear in each exam session. Generally, AFCAT 1 is conducted in February while AFCAT 2 in August. Among the total candidates appearing in the exam 10 times of the available vacancy are called for SSB. 

What is the full form of AFCAT?

The full form of AFCAT is the Air Force Common Admission Test. The Indian Air Force conducts the examination. The test solely serves to select Group A Gazetted Officers for Ground Duties (Technical and Non-Technical) and Flying. The examination takes place in February and August of each year.

Candidates, both male and female, who want to join the Indian Air Force for both Short Service Commission in the Flying Branch and Permanent Commission/Short Service in Ground Duties for both Technical and Non-Technical jobs should apply through the AFCAT.

Candidates are selected based on their score secured in written test and Air Force Selection Board (AFSB) interview. However, those applying for technical branches are selected based on their marks secured in AFCAT, Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT) and AFSB. 

AFCAT Overview:

The Indian Air Force conducts the AFCAT aptitude test to choose candidates for the Flying (Short Service Commission only), Technical (Permanent and Short Service Commission), and Ground Duty (Permanent and Short Service Commission) branches. 

Under AFCAT Flying Branch, all the selected candidates will be working as pilots for fighter jets, cargo aircraft, and helicopters. While in the Technical branch candidates will be involved in mechanical and electronic related areas. Administrative, accounting, logistical, educational, and meteorological functions are all part of the Ground Duty branch. 

A career in the Indian Air Force is referred to as ‘permanent commission’ if it lasts till retirement, however a career in the IAF is referred to as "short service commission" if it lasts only a few years depending on your service type. Knowing the AFCAT full name, look at the exam overview below:




Examination name

Air Force Common Admission Test(AFCAT)

Examination Conducting Authority

Air Force Selection Board (AFSB)

Examination Held

Twice a year

AFCAT Nationality


AFCAT Marital Status


AFCAT Gender

Men and Women

AFCAT Age Limit

  • Flying Branch: 20 to 24 years
  • Ground Duty: 20 to 26 years

Educational Qualification required


Name of Positions AFCAT holds recruitment for

  • Ground Duties
  • Flying Duties

Official Website

AFCAT Eligibility: What qualifications do you need to join the AirForce?

Candidates must be familiar with the qualification requirements before applying for the AFCAT test:


Eligibility Requirements 


Must be Indian

Marital Status

Unmarried(Divorcees and widows under the age of 25 are not eligible)

Age criteria

  • Flying Branch: 20 to 24 years
  • Ground Duty: 20 to 26 years

Educational Qualification

Flying: Graduate of any degree with at least 60%. Received a 60% in class twelve for both math and physics.

Technical Branch: Must have completed Sections A and B of the Associate Membership Examination of the Indian Institute of Engineers or Aeronautical Society with at least a 60% and be enrolled in or eligible for a 4-year degree.

Ground duty(Non-tech):B. Com graduates with at least 60%. For training official positions, applicants must hold an MBA/MCA or M.A./M.Sc. degree in either English, physics, mathematics, chemistry, statistics, international relations, defence studies, psychology, computer science, information technology, management, journalism, public relations, or mass communication with 50%

AFCAT syllabus: Topics you need to study while preparing for AFCAT

Candidates for the AFCAT must pay attention to the recommended syllabus in order to perform well on the exam. Details about the test are provided below:





Comprehension, Error Detection, Sentence Completion/Filling in the Correct Word, Synonyms, Antonyms, and Testing of Vocabulary, Idioms, and Phrases

General Awareness

History, Sports, Current Affairs, civics, environment, Geography, defense, basic science, art and culture

Numerical Ability

Number system, Decimal, Fraction, Time and Work, Average, Profit and Loss, Percentage, magnitude, magnitude relationship, proportion and Simple Interest, Time and Distance


Odd One Out, Analogy, Venn Diagram, Pattern Completion, and Dot Situation Analysis, Blood Relation, Missing Figures, Figure Classification, Coding, Decoding, Spotting the Embedded Figures, and Sequencing.

AFCAT Preparation tips: How to crack AFCAT?

While preparing for the examination, keep in mind that the syllabus is huge and requires attention to each subject. Below are some tips to crack AFCAT exam:

  • Take time to review the syllabus, including its format, eligibility requirements, and other information
  • Read newspapers and publications to become familiar with current events
  • Solve a variety of the logic and number section's questions
  • Solve mock sheets every other week
  • Attending previous year question paper is a must
  • Emphasising on physical training is very necessary 
  • Effective time management is essential as the syllabus is huge

AFCAT Exam Pattern: How is the written exam for AFCAT conducted?

The AFCAT exam takes place online and is held for two hours. Three marks are awarded for each correctly answered question, while one mark is deducted for each incorrect one. All non-technical candidates must pass only the AFCAT exam, however all technical positions require passing both the AFCAT and the EKT (Engineering knowledge test).


Paper Pattern 

Total number of Questions


Total time

2 hours

Marking scheme

3 marks for a right answer

Negative marks 

-1 for each wrong answer


English, GS, math, reasoning

AFCAT Selection Process: How does the academy select candidates?

Every year, lakhs of applicants submit applications for both technical and non-technical professions. Based on the screening procedure, the Air Force screening Board (AFSB) narrows the field of applicants. The desired position is subsequently awarded to the candidate who successfully completes all phases and meets the cut-off requirements. A candidate must thoroughly understand the entire selection process in order to properly prepare. The AFSB has a three-tiered hiring procedure. It is as follows:


  • AFCAT written exam: Candidates will have to appear for written exam that is divided into two sections, the AFCAT and EKT. They will be evaluated based on their understanding of general awareness, reasoning, verbal ability, and other topics in the first section. The second component, called EKT, will evaluate the candidate's technical engineering knowledge. (Note that EKT is for technical candidates)
  • Air Force Selection Board SSB: There will be two phases to this round. Examinations including the Officer Intelligence Rating, Picture Perception, and Discussion examinations will be administered in the first section. Psychological exams, group discussions, interviews, and computerised pilot selection system (CPSS) assessments will be administered in the second section.
  • Physical test: Candidates who pass the first two stages will be invited to the Aviation Medicine Centre for a medical examination.

AFCAT salary: How much Airforce officers earn?

During their training, students in the Indian Air Force would receive a stipend of Rs 52,600. The AFCAT training course is twelve months long.

Monthly Pay Band for All Branches

Rs. 56,100

Within the Pay Matrix, Level 10 

VIIth CPC – 56,100-1,10,700


Officials also get compensations, including the Transport Allowance and the Children's Education Allowance, among others.

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  • What is the AFCAT exam for?
    The Indian Air Force administers the AFCAT, or Air Force Common Admission Test, to choose Class-I Gazetted Officers in Flying and Ground Duties (Technical and Non-Technical). In February and August/September of each year, the exam is given.
  • Can 12 pass apply for AFCAT?
    For flying, candidates must hold a BE/BTECH degree from a recognised college and have passed maths and physics with at least 60% in each course. Candidates for ground duty (non-tech) must have earned a Bcom with at least a 60% grade point average. Students who have only completed their 12th grade cannot apply for the AFCAT.
  • What is the AFCAT exam salary?
    The starting salary for applicants who pass the AFCAT exam is Rs 56,100. To find qualified applicants (including men and women) for the Indian Air Force, AFCAT is held.
  • What is eligibility in AFCAT?
    The applicant must hold a graduate degree in any field from a renowned university and have received at least 60% in both math and physics in their class of 12.


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