What is AFCAT:

AFCAT stands for Air Force Common Admission Test. It is a paper based test is conducted by the Indian Air Force for selection of officers in all branches of the IAF (except medical and dental) viz. Flying Branch (Short Service Commission only), Technical Branch

(Permanent Commission and Short Service Commission) and Ground Duty Branch

(Permanent Commission and Short Service Commission). AFCAT is conducted twice a year (in the month of February and August). The advertisement for the same is published in the months of December and June respectively.

Types of commission: 

The candidates on qualifying AFCAT and other stages  of the process will either get a permanent commission or a short service commission.

  1. Permanent commission (for males only) : candidates joining the position of permanent commission officers would continue to serve till the  age of superannuation.
  1. Short service commission(for males and females):
  • the engagement period of SSC flying branch is 14 years.
  • The initial tenure of short service commission officers in technical and ground duty branches is 10 years.
  • An extension of 4 years may be granted subject to willingness, requirements and availability of vacancies.


Through AFCAT you can apply for all the three branches of the IAF which are Flying Branch, Technical Branch and Ground Duty Branches. The eligibility criteria for different branches vary. Both men and women can apply for all the three branches. While for women there is short service commission only in all the three branches, for men there is Permanent as well as Short Service Commission for men. However for Flying Branch only Short Service Commission is there through AFCAT. Thus if you clear the written exam and then clear the AFSB also then you have a chance of joining the Air Force Academy.


Prestige: The office of  IAF holds high amount of prestige with it and getting through with the exam is a matter of great pride.

Salary package: The starting salary / Gross salary / cash in hand, pay scale, allowances for this job are very good. After selection, candidates will be paid the following scales of Pay and perks / benefits.
IAF offers the following pay and allowances
Pay and Allowances:- Flying Officers will be entitled to Pay in Pay Band of Rs. 15,600 –
39,100 per month along with Grade Pay, Military Service Pay, Dearness Allowance, Kit
Maintenance Allowance, Transport Allowance. In addition, other allowances are applicable based on nature of duty / place of posting and would include Flying Allowance, Technical Allowance, Field Area Allowance, Special Compensatory (Hill area) Allowance, Special Force Allowance, Siachin Allowance, Island Special Duty Allowance, Test Pilot & Flight Test Engineer Allowance, Hard Area Allowance and Remote Locality Allowance. On successful completion of Training, the newly Commissioned Flying Officers would be entitled to approximate gross monthly emoluments in different branches including Transport Allowance of major cities as follows:-
(a) Flying Branch:- Rs. 80,238/-
(b) Technical Branch:- Rs. 69,238/-
(c) Ground Duty Branches :- Rs. 66,738/-

Benefits:- In addition to the Pay & Allowances, Officers are entitled to Furnished
Accommodation, Comprehensive Medical Cover for self and dependants, Leave Travel
Concession, Leave (60 days Annual and 20 days Casual) subject to service exigency, supply of entitled rations, canteen & Officers’ Mess facilities and many more.

Insurance for Officer posts : – Rs. 50 Lakh Insurance Cover (on contribution) is applicable to serving officers.
Additional cover of Rs. 10 Lakh (on contribution) is applicable to Flying Branch Officers.

TA for Commissioned officers:- Travelling Allowance by the shortest route for AC-III Tier Mail/ Express Trains to and fro for the journey from the place of Call Up or departure (whichever is nearer) is admissible. Change of address, if any, must be intimated to the Board well before your arrival. You shall furnish the railway ticket/ bus ticket (hard copy) to the Board, failing which no TA will be paid. For all other modes of travel, TA will be admissible as per the government authorized rules. No TA is admissible, if you have already appeared for the same type of entry at any of the Selection Boards.

AFCAT 1 2016 Exam Date

  • Start of submission of forms: First week of December 2015
  • Last Date for submission: First week of January 2016.
  • How to Apply: Online only, from the career website of IAF (www.careerairforce.nic.in)
  • Date of Written Exam: April 2016
  • Date of Result: June 2016
  • Date of SSB Interview: Aug – Sep 2016

Exam pattern :

The AFCAT is  an objective paper based test which consists of 100 questions to be answered in two hours duration. The scheme of syllabus contains General Awareness, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability, Reasoning & Military Aptitude. It also comprises an additional Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT) (applicable only for candidates applying for technical branch) of 45 minutes which is conducted immediately after AFCAT.EKT tests the basic knowledge of candidates applying for Aeronautical Engineering Courses. EKT is grounded at pre final year knowledge level. EKT has two parts namely: General Engineering (40 questions) and Specialised Paper (35 questions).

Old question papers for AFCAT are available on the website careerairforce.nic.in

As per Indian air force based on the induction requirements of the IAF, performance of candidates in AFCAT as well as statistics of reporting and success rates at AFSBs, the cut off marks for AFCAT 1/ 2015 held on 22 Feb 15 is 126/ 300 for AFCAT and 55/ 150 for EKT. the AFCAT 1 2016 cut off marks would not fluctuate more from the previous cut off.

Candidates who are short-listed on the basis of (AFCAT/EKT) will be called for further testing at one of the Air Force Selection Boards (AFSBs) at Dehradun, Mysore, Gandhinagar, Varanasi or Kancharapara. The testing would consist of three stages as given below.

  • Stage-I Test consisting of Intelligence Test along with other tests will be conducted on the first day. Stage-I test is a screening test and only those who qualify would undergo subsequent testing. All Stage-I qualified candidates would be subjected to document check to ascertain their eligibility for the branches applied for. Those candidates who either do not qualify in Stage I testing or do not meet the required eligibility criteria would be sent back on the first day itself.
  • Stage-II testing consisting of Psychological test, Group Tests and Interview will be conducted on subsequent days (Five Days).
  • For Flying Branch: CPSS (Computerised Pilot Selection System) and or PABT would be administered to eligible candidates

 Exam strategy:

  1. Always start will the easiest section, if you think you can do better in mathematics section, always start with mathematics, this will not only increase the efficiency but will also fetch you more marks in other sections because after solving your favorite section, you will feel more confident and perform better.
  2. Avoid attempting questions which you are not sure about, AFCAT has negative marking scheme so you will lose 3 marks if you attempt three question wrong. 3 marks here are equal to one correct question. So in short three wrong answers will make you lose one correct answer.
  3. Utilize the rough paper provided by IAF to solve your maths or spatial ability part. Even if you are sure about the answer, double check your answer by solving it on a rough paper.
  4. Spatial ability is also one of the easy sections in AFCAT exam, 80-90% candidates can get more marks in spatial ability and military aptitude sections of afcat exam. Only thing you need is to know what kind of questions you will face in spatial ability and mental ability sections of afcat exam. In ssbcrackexams.com we have prepared a best online coaching solution which will help you to know real questions you will face in afcat exam.
  5. Last year many candidates did wrong marking on their OMR sheet due to which their OMR sheet was marked as invalid and wasn’t considered for AFCAT exams. So make sure you are thinking twice before filling any data or marking anything on OMR sheet. Nevertheless you will find the officials over there and you can clarify anything which is confusing.
  6. Start your afcat exam preparation which different sources like AFCAT exam books, AFCAT classroom coaching. Options coaching academy provides excellent study resource and faculty for Afcat preparation. At least 1 month prior preparation is required to crack the afcat exam. But candidates who are confident about their potential can prepare for afcat exam in just a week and clear it with very good marks.
  7. Be on time, reach your afcat centre well before the time mentioned on your afcat exam admit card, there are many candidates who have missed their afcat exam just because they were late to the examination centre. Indian air force is very strict regarding this issue so make sure you know your afcat exam location well before the exam and reach there on time.
  8. As per the trend and afcat exam cut off, it is good to attempt at least 50 questions correctly without any negative marking. 50 correct questions will fetch you 150 marks which is more than enough to crack afcat exam.
  9. Candidates who are applying for technical exams have to face EKT exam along with the afcat exam. If you fail in EKT exam though you have cleared the afcat exam, you won’t be eligible for technical branch in AFSB interview. Candidates who are only eligible for technical branch have to clear EKT exam along with afcat exam else they won’t be able to clear for AFSB interview.
  1. To prepare best for EKT exam, refer to previous EKT question papers and books which have basic questions answers related to your respective branch. If suppose your want to prepare for Electrical and Electronics, you could refer to a good engineering book which covers the basic concepts of electrical and electronics.

AFCAT 1 2016 Vacancies List


  • No. 201/18F/SSC/M (Short Service Commission)


  • No. 200/18T/PC/M (Permanent Commission)
  • No. 200/18T/SSC/M (Short Service Commission)


  • No. 200/18G/PC/M (Permanent Commission)
  • No. 200/18G/SSC/M (Short Service Commission)


  • No. 201/18F/SSC/W (Short Service Commission)


  • No. 201/18T/SSC/W (Short Service Commission)


  • No. 201/18G/SSC/W (Short Service Commission)


AFCAT 1 2016 Exam Age Limit

  • Flying Branch – Age: 20 to 24 years as on 01 Jan 2017 i.e. Born between 02 Jan 1993 to 01 Jan 1997 (both dates inclusive). (Upper age limit for candidates holding valid and Current Commercial Pilot License issued by DGCA (India) is relaxable up to 26 years i.e. born between 02 Jan 1991 to 01 Jan 1997 (both dates inclusive).
  • Technical Branch– Age: 20 to 26 years as on 01 Jan 2017 i.e. born between 02  Jan 1991 to 01 Jan 1997 (both dates inclusive).
  • GDOC– Age: 20 to 26 years as on 01 Jan 2017 i.e. born between 02 Jan 1991 to 01 Jan 1997 (both dates inclusive).

AFCAT 1 2016 Education Qualification Required

  • Technical Branch: Candidates would be eligible if they have undergone a minimum of four year degree qualification from a recognised University or cleared Sections A and B examination of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India or Graduate membership examination of the Institute of Electronics and Telecommunication Engineers by actual studies. Candidates should have studied minimum 8 subjects mentioned here.
  • Flying Branch: Graduates (Minimum three year degree course) in any discipline from a recognised University who have attained minimum 60% marks in aggregate in all papers put together and have passed Maths and Physics at 10+2 level or BE / B Tech degree (Four year course) from a recognised University with minimum 60% marks in aggregate in all papers put together.
  • GDOC: Graduate Degree (Minimum three year degree course) in any discipline with a minimum of 60%marks in aggregate of all papers put together or a Post Graduate Degree / equivalent Diploma in any discipline with a minimum of 50% marks in aggregate of all papers put together. For Education Branch, Post Graduate Degree in any discipline with a minimum of 50% marks in aggregate of all papers put together.

Recent changes:

The Indian air force has made some changes in the eligibility criteria of AFCAT exam since AFCAT 1 2015 which was held this year in Feb 2015 .the notable changes made by the  Indian air force in AFCAT exam eligibility are:

  • Maximum age limit for the technical branch was reduced from 26 years to 24 years maximum. Previously, technical graduates were eligible to apply for the IAF technical branch till the age of 26 years. With this change, one must be losing around 4 AFCAT attempts.
  • Another change was again for the technical graduates, now they are eligible for GDOC branch.
  • For The first time the exam has four different sets of AFCAT question papers and six different sets of EKT question papers.

How Options can help:

Options Coaching Academy has been a premier institute for training of SSB, OTA and AFCAT candidates for 17 years continues doing  so. With good study material and well trained faculty which have experience of cracking various competitive exams, Options easily can be counted as one of the best places to train for the respective examinations.

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