AFCAT: Know what it holds for you?

Updated Thu, 17 Dec 2020 10:58 AM IST

Air Force Common Admission test, AFCAT is a national level entrance exam conducted by IAF (Indian Air Force), it is organised twice every year. It intends to select potential candidates for various posts in IAF, these post either come under Permanent Commission or Short Service Commission. AFCAT is your route to apply for the three branches of IAF namely, Flying Branch, Technical Branch and Ground Duty Branch. AFCAT is open to both males and females.

The selection in AFCAT is definitely not easy, as a rough estimation claims of 1 to 2 lakh applicants every year and out of these only 10,000 to 15,000 candidates get selected for further tests and training. One needs to be thorough about further predicaments as the training offered to the candidates is way too disciplined and arduous. But those passionate about serving the nation and fear no fatigue are captivated by it's spiritedness and charms of valour. AFCAT is a doorway to get yourself the wings for the protection of the nation.

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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) for AFCAT Exam 2020

What does AFCAT stands for?

AFCAT exam i.e. the Air Force Common Admission Test which is also known as the Indian Air Force Exam. AFCAT is competitive exam which is conducted at a National level by the Indian Air Force (IAF) in order to select officers for all its branches. The only exception are the medical and dental branches. The exam is held in order to recruit the Commissioned Air-Force Officer for Grant of Short Service Commission (SSC) in Flying & Permanent Commission (PC)/Short Service Commission (SSC) in Ground Duty (Technical) and Ground Duty (Non-technical) Branches

Where can one apply/register for AFCAT?

All the aspiring candidates who want to appear for the AFCAT exam and join defence services have to register for AFCAT on the website or All the candidates are advised to keep in mind that the registration for AFCAT is being done through these two websites only. Candidates are advised not to register for AFCAT on any other website.

To know the complete process of applying for AFCAT check out  AFCAT- 2021 Process to Apply

What are the eligibility requirements for AFCAT?

AFCAT exam is conducted in order to recruit candidates in broadly three branches and the eligibility criteria differ with each branch.

Flying Branch – Age of the candidate must be above 23 years when the course is commenced. Candidate must have completed Graduation (Minimum three-year degree course) in any discipline from a designated University and must have attained minimum 60% marks in aggregate in all papers combined. It is mandatory that the candidate must have passed Maths and Physics at 10+2 level or at B. Tech level with minimum 60% marks aggregate in all papers combined.

Technical Branch- For Technical branch, the age of the candidate must lie between 18 to 28 years when the course is commenced. Candidate must have completed Graduation (Minimum three-year degree course) in any discipline from a designated University and must have attained minimum 60% marks in aggregate in all papers combined. It is mandatory that the candidate must have passed Maths and Physics at 10+2 level or at B. Tech level with minimum 60% marks aggregate in all papers combined.

Ground Duty Branch- For Ground Duty branch, the age must lie between 20-23 years for Graduates, 20-25 years for Post Graduates, 20-26 years for LLB (Three-year course after graduation) and 20-27 years for M.Ed./PhD/CA/ICWA.

To know the detailed eligibility requirement for AFCAT check out AFCAT- 2021 Eligibility Criteria

Does AFCAT allow women candidates?

Yes, Women candidates are eligible to apply for AFCAT provided the candidate fulfils all the eligibility criteria set by the exam committee. Female aspirants must keep in mind that that Women candidates are selected only for the Short Service Commission and not for the Permanent Commission.

Is there any application fee while registration?

Yes, there is a nominal fee of Rs.250 for all the candidates applying for AFCAT irrespective of their caste. However, candidates who are registering for NCC Special entry or Meteorology Entry do not need to pay any fee.

What documents should a candidate carry along on the examination day?

It is very important for a candidate to know all the documents he/she is supposed to carry along on the examination day. Forgetting any document may lead to undue stress before the exam and candidate must carry following documents to the exam centre:

  • e-Admit Card for the exam.
  • Aadhaar Card of the candidate.
  • Another photo ID like Pan card/Driving licence etc. with details of your name, father’s name and DOB.
  • Two quantity of passport size photographs same as uploaded in the application online.
  • Ballpoint Pen (Blue or Black).

Note: Candidates are not allowed to keep any objectionable material like text books, calculators, phones etc. otherwise their exam may be cancelled.

Is there any provision for rectifying details, if filled wrong in the application form?

There is no provision for rectifying details once the form is submitted. You need to be careful while filling the form and if there is some problem you can refill the form using another mail id only if you have not submitted the previous one.

What is the paper pattern of AFCAT?

The question paper is set in English. Total number of questions in the paper are 100 for which candidates are given 2 hours’ time. The paper type is objective. 3 marks are allotted for every correct answer.

Does AFCAT paper have negative marking for wrong answers?

Yes, one mark will be deducted for every incorrect choice. There is no penalty for untried questions.

How many attempts are offered for AFCAT?

There are no fixed number of attempts. A candidate can apply as long as he belongs to the age category of 20 to 24 years.

What is the syllabus for AFCAT?

The syllabus for AFCAT includes:

  • English Comprehension – Sentence completion, error detection, synonyms, antonyms, idioms, phrases and vocabulary test.
  • General Awareness – Current Affairs, history, geography, politics, civics, science, defence, sports, etc.
  • Numerical Ability – Profit and loss, percentage, decimal fraction, Tim and work, average, simple interest, ratio and proportion, time and distance.
  • Reasoning and military aptitude – It is a skill based test.

What will happen after selection in AFCAT? Will there be any kind of recruitment?

AFCAT is only a starting step for getting selected as an officer in IAF. After qualifying AFCAT candidates will be interviewed by SSB after qualifying it there will be a physical test. Based on all these results a merit list is declared according to which candidates are selected for various branches of IAF.

What are the different type of commission in AFCAT?

  • PC for Men - Candidates joining as PC officers would continue to serve till the age of superannuation as per their branch and rank.

  • SSC for Men & Women -The engagement period for Flying Branch SSC officers is fourteen years from the date of Commissioning (Non-extendable). The initial tenure for SSC officers in Ground Duty (Tech and Non-Tech) branches would be for a period of ten years. An extension of four years may be granted subject to service requirements, availability of vacancies, willingness, suitability and merit

What are different type of vacancies in AFCAT ?





Course Number 


AFCAT Entry 


SSC for Men &  Women

211/22F/SSC (M & W) SSC - 69


Ground Duty  



Engineer Electronics  and Aeronautical  Engineer Mechanical}

PC for Men and  SSC for Men &  Women

210/22T/PC/100AEC (M) 

210/22T/SSC/100AEC (M & W)

AE(L): PC- 27, SSC-40 AE(M): PC-12, SSC-17 

Ground Duty (Non Technical)  


Logistics & Accounts)

PC for Men &  SSC for Men

210/22G/PC (M) 

210/22G/SSC (M)

Admin: PC-12, SSC-19  Accts : PC-06, SSC-10 LGS : PC-09, SSC-14

NCC Special  Entry


PC for Men &  SSC for Men &  Women

211/22F/PC (M) and 211/22F/SSC(M & W)

10% seats out of CDSE vacancies for PC and 10% seats out of AFCAT vacancies for SSC

*Disclaimer. Vacancies indicated are tentative and subject to change without notice. The actual intake would depend on organisational requirements, various cadre control mechanisms, availability of training slots and the actual number of vacancies accruing in Jan 2022. No representation in this regard will be entertained.

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