AFCAT Exam: Most Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs) and their Answers


1. What is AFCAT?

Ans. AFCAT stands for Air Force Common Admission Test. This 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.

Newly commissioned IAF officers

2. Is AFCAT the same as the UPSC exam for NDA / CDSE entry?

Ans. No. AFCAT and UPSC exams are different. UPSC conducts exam for entry into NDA (after Class XII, for males only). Entry through CDSE (after graduation, for males only in IAF) is also conducted by UPSC. The UPSC exam for NDA / CDSE is primarily for Flying Branch (Permanent Commission). For further details you may refer to the UPSC website.

3. What are the eligibility criteria for AFCAT?

Ans. The eligibility criteria with respect to age limit, educational qualifications etc. for AFCAT are spelt out in the advertisement published in the Employment News as well as the same is displayed on the website Minimum qualification required is graduation.

Three women fighters of IAF

4. Are women candidates eligible to apply for AFCAT?

Ans. Yes, women candidates may also apply for AFCAT. For details regarding age limit, qualifications, eligibility for various branches etc. please refer the advertisement published in the Employment News as well as the same displayed on the website Minimum qualification required is graduation.

5. How do I apply for the AFCAT?

Ans. AFCAT applications now have to be made online only. The earlier scheme allowing candidates to apply offline (by post) has been discontinued. Candidates are to apply online through website using a valid and current email address only.

6. Do I need to send any documents / self-addressed envelope to AFCAT Cell for Admit Card etc.?

Ans. No. There is no requirement of sending anything by post to AFCAT Cell. Applications are to be made online only

7. What is the scheme of exam for AFCAT?

Ans. Duration of AFCAT is two hours .It consists of 100 questions. It is an objective test and the scheme of syllabus contains General Awareness, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability, Reasoning & Military Aptitude. A sample paper and old question papers are available on the website (in the sub link ‘Selection’).

8. Whether qualifying in AFCAT will make me an officer in the IAF?

Ans. AFCAT is only one of the steps involved in the entire selection process for getting selected as an officer in the IAF. On clearing the AFCAT, shortlisted candidates will be called for SSB (Services Selection Board) Testing. If recommended by the SSB, candidates will undergo medical fitness tests conducted by Air Force medical authorities. Subsequently, subject to medical fitness, a merit list will be prepared depending on the number of vacancies available in various branches of the IAF.

9. I have completed my Class XIIth exam. Am I eligible for AFCAT?

Ans. No. Minimum qualification required for AFCAT is graduation / post-graduation (depending on the branch you are applying for). There is also a minimum requirement of marks in graduation / post-graduation. For full details, you are requested to go through the advertisement published in the Employment News. The advertisement is also displayed on the website

10. Where should I register for the AFCAT online?

Ans. You have to register for AFCAT on the website Please note that the registration is being done through this website only. Do not register for AFCAT on any other website.

11. Is there any fee / registration charges etc. for AFCAT?

Ans. No. There is no fee / registration charges of any kind for applying / appearing in the AFCAT. Please note that no money is charged or taken at any stage during the entire selection process. If anyone demands money / bribe, you may approach Air Force authorities. However, no TA or any other allowance is paid for appearing in the AFCAT. Candidates have to make their own arrangements for reaching the exam centre, accommodation etc.

12. I have registered online on the website for AFCAT. However, I have not received any password. What should I do?

Ans. The password is sent to the email address through which you have registered. The password is usually sent within 24 hours of the registration. If you do not receive your password even after 48 hours you may also use “Forgot Password Option” to receive a new pass word. However, candidates must note that they have to enter their email address correctly. Email address should be a valid one and in use.

Past experience has shown that many candidates during the registration process wrote incorrect email address and password was therefore not delivered. Be careful regarding the spellings etc. when you fill in the email address. Even one letter / alphabet mis-spelt in the email address will lead to entry of wrong email address.

13. I am meeting the age criteria as per the advertisement. However when I am filling up the form online, it is showing error indicating I am not eligible

Ans. Please read the advertisement carefully. The age given in the advertisement, say between 19 to 23 years for example, is as on 01 January 2014. Are you meeting the relevant age as on that day. Recheck and then fill the form. The advertisement in fact also indicates born between dates. So refer the advertisement, ascertain your eligibility, and then fill the form.

14. I am not a science graduate. Am I eligible for the flying branch?

Ans. Graduate (minimum three years course) in any discipline from a recognised university who have attained minimum 60% marks in aggregate (all papers put together) and have passed Maths and Physics at the 10+2 level are eligible to apply. Please refer the advertisement / website for detailed notification regarding eligibility criteria.

Cadets rejoicing after POP is concluded

15. I have a Commercial Pilot Licence issued by DGCA (India). Am I eligible to apply in the flying branch?

Ans. You may apply if you meet age criteria and other educational / medical criteria. Please note there is certain age relaxation for CPL holders. However, one needs to meet the educational qualification criteria. Also note that the age relaxation is for holders of CPL issued by DGCA (India) only. CPL issued by any other body / country may not qualify you for age relaxation etc. Also note that even the Student Pilot Licence (SPL) issued by DGCA (India) does not qualify you for age relaxation.

17. I have an engineering degree, yet I am not eligible for technical branch. How is that?

Ans. For technical branch, you also need to fulfil the criteria as given in Para 4 of the advertisement. You need to have a minimum of eight subjects from the individual list of AE (L) or AE (M) branch subjects. To amplify, one should have studied eight subjects from at least one list exclusively i.e. to say one cannot have five subjects from the list of AE(L) and remaining three from AE(M) list. All eight subjects should be from one list only. If that is not the case, then you may not be eligible for technical branch. You may however be eligible for flying / ground duty branch (if meeting age criteria and other medical standards etc.). Please read advertisement.

18. I have a degree from a foreign university. Am I eligible?

Ans. If the degree is recognised by UGC / AICTE / Ministry of HRD / DEC, you may be eligible for AFCAT.

19. I have filled all columns in page ___, yet I am unable to proceed to the next page during filling up of the form.

Ans. You would have entered certain information which may not be in consonance with the eligibility criteria. The most common mistakes are regarding the age criteria (check the date of birth and ascertain if you are eligible). Also if applying on the basis of graduation do you have 60% aggregate (all papers put together). If applying on postgraduate basis, do you have 50% aggregate marks? Please check the eligibility criteria from the advertisement and then fill the form. Ascertain that you meet all criteria before you apply.

The Academy

20. My university has awarded CGPA. How do I fill up the marks column?

Ans In case of candidates being awarded Grades/CGPA instead of marks, the conversion of Grades/CGPA to percentage of marks would be based on the procedure certified by the university/ institution from where they have obtained the Bachelor’s degree.

In case the university/ institution does not have any scheme for converting CGPA into equivalent marks, the equivalence would be established by dividing the candidate’s CGPA by the maximum possible CGPA and multiplying the result with 100.

21. Do I write the marks in decimal form or only in two digits?

Ans. Ignore the decimal. Write complete figures only. Please note that you need to have 60% aggregate marks in all papers put together if applying on the basis of graduation. 59.9% is NOT equal to 60%. You need to have 60% aggregate and above if applying on the basis of graduation. Same is the case if applying on the basis of postgraduation, marks have to be 50% or above.

22. I am interested in applying for flying branch. I have filled up all the columns correctly to my knowledge. Yet, it is showing that I am not eligible for flying branch.

Ans. Please check if you have filled all columns properly. Check the age and educational qualification criteria firstly. Also check if you have filled the PABT column correctly. Also check if you have written correctly regarding Physics and Maths in Class XII.

23. What are the cut-off marks for passing in AFCAT?

Ans. There is no standard cut-off. It varies depending on various factors like the number of vacancies etc.

24. I am having problems uploading my photograph, thumb impression and signature?

Ans. You need to upload passport size photograph (size 10 to 250 KB) in jpg / jpeg format. Uploading of Thumb impression and signature is not mandatory.

25. During the registration process, I have written my name (or) date of birth incorrectly. What should I do?

Ans. Such a mistake at the outset should not occur. You are advised to fill the basic data regarding yourself correctly. Data once submitted cannot be changed.

26. I wear spectacles. Am I eligible for flying branch?

AFA Hyderabad
Source: Deccanchronicle

Ans. Medical criteria are well laid down. Medical fitness is ascertained only after qualifying the written part of AFCAT and after being recommended by the SSB. Primafacie, candidates wearing spectacles having short / long-sightedness may not be eligible for flying branch. However, medical fitness is determined by the medical authorities. Please read the advertisement where basic details regarding medical standards have been mentioned.

27. How do I know which centre would I be allotted for the AFCAT?

Ans. You are to fill the application form and clearly indicate your choices in order of priority for seat preferences. AFCAT will endeavour to provide your choice, but you may appreciate that the entire process is automated and seats are allotted on the number of availability in every centre.

28. I am married. Am I eligible to apply?

Image courtesy- Tarmak

Ans. Candidates below 25 years of age must be unmarried. The term unmarried excludes widower and divorcee even though without encumbrances. Marriage is not permitted during training. Married candidates above 25 years of age are eligible to apply but during training period they will neither be provided married accommodation nor can they live out with family

29. I am presently in my final year of my Engineering / Degree Course. Am I eligible to apply for AFCAT?

Ans. You may apply subject to meeting the requisite criteria of age and education qualification. If you are in the final year, you should not have any present backlog and should have a minimum of 60% marks in aggregate in all papers put together up to the last semester / year for which results have been declared.

30. I have submitted my application form, but now I want to change my exam centre. Is it possible?

Ans. Choices once given are treated as final.

31. I have given flying branch as my first choice, technical as second. Can I change my choice now after submitting the form?

Ans. Choices once given are treated as final.

32. I am a serving airman. How do I apply for AFCAT?

Ans. Serving airmen are to apply online at par with other candidates. In addition, airmen are to apply in service format as per AFO 39 / 2006 through service channel.

33. Can one register once again for AFCAT if there was some mistake in filling up the application form?

Ans. Candidates are advised to check and re-check their application form for correctness before submitting the application. In case of mistake you may register afresh and intimate AFCAT Cell for cancellation of the first.

Courtesy- Indian Air Force