Air Force Common Admission Test

AFCAT is a national level competitive exam conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to select officers for all its branches, except for the medical and dental branches

  • For all entries other than NDA and CDSE and for all branches, candidates have to undergo the AFCAT.
  • The test is conducted twice a year in February and August
  • Advertisements inviting applications for AFCAT are out in June and December. Candidates are to apply as per the advertisement.
  • The test is conducted all across India by the Indian Air Force.


  1. The AFCAT Question Paper will have 100 questions. All questions will be of three marks each. For every correct answer the candidate will get three marks and for every wrong answer one mark will be deducted under negative marking. The total time allotted for the paper is two hours.
  2. Each Question Paper will have questions from the following topics:-
  • General Awareness – History, Sports, Geography, Environment, Civics, Basic Science, Defence, Art, Culture, Current Affairs, Politics etc.
  • Verbal Ability in English – Comprehension, Error Detection, Sentence Completion, Synonyms, Antonyms and Testing of Vocabulary.
  • Numerical Ability – Decimal Fraction, Simplification, Average, Profit & loss, Percentage, Ratio & Proportion and Simple interest.
  • Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test – Verbal Skills and Spatial Ability.

For Examples of questions asked in AFCAT, follow this link →

Coming to preparation part, as compared to other Defence exams namely CDSE, AFCAT is comparatively on easier side, but having said that, one should not take it that easy also, as day by day competition in AFCAT is increasing exponentially.

First step, towards the preparation for AFCAT, i believe, should be, understanding the syllabus and pattern, syllabus for first timers, is not any different from any other competitive exams, only Military Aptitude Test holds exception, but with little practise, it will be a piece of cake, and a sweet one.

Next, after going through the syllabus and pattern, one can start solving previous year papers, the more you solve,the more you get familiar with two things, one, the time constraint, and two, your question solving ability for various type of questions.

Following links for Previous Sample papers would be helpful →

After solving say, 4–5 previous years question paper, you will be in the position, to judge, to start with which section first and score more, the objective is to score more and not to simply attempt questions, negative marking had been drowning anchor for many candidates in past, and this anchor weighs & hurts more, when you miss it by one or two marks. So, plan ahead, always aim to score as high as possible, normally candidates, go through the past trends of cut-offs, and once confident with same, they stop answering other questions, this is not a good practise, as recent past has shown that cut-offs can very well go of course shooting very high.

Having said all this, For General Knowledge, you keep track with current affairs, inShorts and Current Affairs app can help a lot, For rest all other sections, previous year question papers can really helpful, or else if you want make it a sure shot, you can go ahead and buy some good AFCAT books, Arihant Publications has proved good for me, you can give it a try.

In AFCAT exam speed matters, you have to complete 100 questions in 2 hours. There are few sections where you need just 5 secs to answer a questions, you are right, general knowledge sections is something you can do with speed, another sections is English, these sections do not take much time to solve because you either know the answer or you don’t. Mathematics and Military aptitude will definitely take more time. So plan accordingly.

Following is just an example of approach which you can take, or else, go ahead with your strategy, if you are confident.

  1. Maths—>Military Aptitude—> English—>GK [If you Maths is strong]
  2. GK—>English—>Military Aptitude—>Maths [If you are weak in Maths]


Study Materials : 

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