The Indian Air Force conducts the Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) for the aspirants to build a career in the defense forces of the nation. Through the exam, the successful candidates become part of the Indian Air Force. The job provides lucrative pay and career prospects.
The AFCAT is held two times a year, during the months of February and September. The exam has a total of 300 marks; and the shortlisted candidates, then, have to appear for other rounds such as personal interview and screening. Only if they are successful in all the rounds, they are inducted in the IAF.
In the Indian Air Force, there are 2 commissions: Permanent and Short Service ones.
Under Permanent Commission, the aspirants can serve up to retirement. Also, males can serve in Ground Duty (both tech and non-tech); and females, in Education and Accounting duties.
For the Short Service Commission, the service period is 14 years in the Flying Branch and 10 years in Ground duty, for both males and females.
AFCAT: Eligibility Criteria
Nationality: Only Indian Nationals are eligible to apply.
Age Limit: The candidate should be between 19-23 years of age.
Educational Qualification: The candidates should be a graduate from a recognized Board / University. Also, they should secure minimum 60% marks in the qualifying exam.
AFCAT: Exam Syllabus
The AFCAT exam includes 100 multiple-choice questions, carrying 3 marks each. Also, the duration of the examination is 2 hours. The exam covers subjects such as Military Aptitude Test, Reasoning, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability, and General Awareness. Also, there is negative marking where 1 mark is deducted for every incorrect answer.
AFCAT: Tips for Exam Preparation
- Revise the syllabus regularly and thoroughly.
- Practice from the previous years’ AFCAT question papers to be well-versed with the exam pattern.
- Try to increase the speed of answering questions and work towards maintaining the time limit.
- Recognize your weak areas and take steps for improving the same.
- Read newspapers to remain updated on the latest trends.
- Inculcate the habit of reading to enhance your English vocabulary.
- Always answer the questions that you find easy to answer before attempting the tougher ones.
AFCAT: Interview and Screening Test Rounds
The candidates who clear the written exam have to, then, appear for the following phase of personal interviews and aptitude tests, as seen below.
Air Force Selection Board (AFSB) interview: The AFSB interview rounds last for around 6 days where the applicants’ traits are studied to analyze if they are suitable for the posts that they applying to.
Screening Test: Under screening tests, there is the Rating Test and Officer’s Intelligence Test. The Raging Test entails Picture Percept and Description ones.
Psychological Tests: Psychological tests help to determine if the candidates can work under pressure.
Group Tasks: Different tasks are given to varied groups over a period of 2 days.
Interview with the Board President or senior members
Conference: The final results are declared.
AFCAT: Tips for Preparing for Other Tests
- Be mentally prepared and try not to lose confidence during the interview rounds.
- Scribble on paper or any other surfaces. This helps because during the screening and psychological tests, you have to inscribe on a picture that is shown for 30 seconds.
- Through all the rounds, study your body language and maintain your composure.
- Focus on improving your overall personality, so the interviewees find you appealing.
AFCAT: Recommended Books
1) Book Name: ‘How to Prepare For AFCAT’
Author: Chandresh Agrawal
2) Book Name: ‘AFCAT Air Force Common Admission Test for Flying and Technical Branch’
Author: Arihant Experts
3) Book Name: ‘A Modern Approach to Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning’
Author: R.S. Agarwal and S. Chand Publishers