AFCAT Exam Pattern – Marking Scheme, Question Distribution, Syllabus

AFCAT exam pattern comprises information on the mode of exam, test language, type of questions, marks allotted to each question or section, negative marking, etc. This year, IAF (Indian Air Force) has conducted the AFCAT exam on 26th and 28th August 2022.

This exam will be held in the CBT or Computer Based Test mode in more than 100 cities in India. As per the AFCAT exam pattern, the question paper in the exam is divided into two sections – AFCAT and EKT (Engineering Knowledge Test). EKT exam is conducted only for Ground Duty (Technical) posts in online mode. This year, IAF has allocated 105 vacancies only for Ground Duty technical positions.

Candidates will have to attempt 100 questions of 300 marks within 120  minutes (2 hours) for AFCAT examination and 50 questions of 150 marks within 45 minutes for the online EKT exam. 

AFCAT is a national level recruitment exam, which is held twice a year. This year, this exam will be conducted to fill 241 Commissioned Officers (Group A Gazetted Officers) vacancies in the Indian Air Force. 

In this article, Buddy4Study has compiled all the information related to the AFCAT exam pattern that will benefit all the aspiring candidates waiting for the upcoming exam.

Scholarship Registration, Find New Scholarship

AFCAT Exam Pattern – Key Highlights

Candidates who have registered and applied for the AFCAT exam should go through the exam pattern thoroughly before attempting the exam. Here are a few key points that they should keep in mind:

AFCAT Key Highlights

Buddy4Study - IDFC FIRST

Name of Examination AIR FORCE COMMON ADMISSION TEST (AFCAT- 01/2021)
Exam Conducting body Indian Air Force (IAF)
AFCAT Recruitment Official Website 
Exam frequency Twice a year
AFCAT Total Vacancies 241
AFCAT (1) Exam Date  February 2023
AFCAT (2) Exam Date August 2023
Mode of Exam Online (computer-based test)
Number of sections AFCAT: 4

EKT: 3

Language of paper English
Credentials required to download AFCAT Admit Card Registration Number


Compulsory documents to carry on exam day Colour Print of the Admit card

Valid Photo ID Proof

Two passport photographs

Aadhar Card of the candidate

Duration of AFCAT Exam AFCAT – 2 hours (120 minutes)

EKT (Engineering Knowledge Test) – 45 Minutes

Maximum Questions  AFCAT – 100

EKT – 50

Maximum Marks   AFCAT – 300 Marks

EKT (Engineering Knowledge Test) – 150 Marks 

Marking System Correct answer: 3 marks

Incorrect Answer: (-1) mark

Unattempted Answer: NIL

Explore Scholarships for Graduation Students

AFCAT Exam Pattern – Section-wise Distribution of Questions

As per IAF’s official announcement and official AFCAT exam pattern, there will be 3 stages of the AFCAT exam. All candidates will receive common questions in the AFCAT exam. In the case of the EKT exam, the questions will be based on technical knowledge and asked from the Mechanical, Computer Science and Electrical & Electronics section. The base questions asked in the AFCAT exam will be of 10+2 level. 

The AFCAT paper will have 100 questions, and EKT will have 50 questions. Candidates will have the freedom to attempt or move onto the next question anytime they want. 

The questions asked in the AFCAT exam will be presented to candidates as objective-type questions (MCQ). Each question will have 4 options. Among the 4, candidates will have to select one option that they consider as the most appropriate answer.

Candidates can know more about the AFCAT exam pattern in the table below, and check the sectional distribution of questions and marks for both AFCAT and EKT.

Stages Sections covered Questions Asked Maximum Marks Time limit
AFCAT General Awareness

Verbal Ability in English

Numerical Ability

Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test

100 questions 300 marks 120 minutes
EKT Mechanical

Computer Science

Electrical & Electronics

50 Questions 150 marks 45 minutes

Scholarship Registration, Get Scholarship Update

  1. Candidates will be awarded 3 marks for every correct answer.
  2. They will lose 1 mark for each incorrect answer.
  3. No marks will be awarded or deducted for questions that are left unattempted.
  4. Questions will be based on the metric system of Weights and Measures (wherever applicable).

Exam Pattern for AFCAT 2021

Sections Number of Questions Maximum Marks
Verbal Ability in English 30 90
Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test 35 105
Numerical Ability 15 45
General Awareness 20 60

Exam Pattern for Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT) 2021

Sections Number of Questions Maximum Marks
Computer Science/ Electrical & Electronics/Mechanical 50 150

AFCAT Exam Pattern – Interview Round

Shortlisted candidates in the AFCAT exam under the latest AFCAT exam pattern will be called for the AFSB (Air Force Selection Board) Interview round. The AFSB interview round is divided into three stages:

Stage 1 – In this stage, candidates have to go through 2 tests:

  • OIR (Officer Intelligence Rating) 
  • PPDT (Picture Perception and Discussion Test)

Candidates qualifying the Stage I screening test shall be subjected to eligibility check and document verification for the branches they have applied to.

Stage 2 – It comprises Psychological test, Group Test and Interview.

Stage 3 – This test is mainly for Flying Branch. The test is known as the CPSS or Computerised Pilot Selection System. This is once in a lifetime test. Those who fail in this test are not eligible for Flying Training at all.

Know About Scholarships for Postgraduate Students

AFCAT Exam Pattern – Syllabus in Brief

IAF has released the AFCAT syllabus 2021 along with the AFCAT notification. Candidates can find the syllabus by visiting the official website. 

As per the AFCAT notification, AFCAT (1) syllabus is divided into 4 sections:

  1. Verbal Ability in English
  2. Numerical Ability 
  3. General Awareness
  4. Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test

Candidates are required to study the topics highlighted below to crack the first part of the exam.

AFCAT (1) Syllabus

Verbal Ability in English Numerical Ability General Awareness Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test

Error Detection

Sentence Completion/Filling in of the correct word



Testing of Vocabulary





Time and Work


Profit & Loss


Ratio & Proportion and Simple Interest

Time & Distance (Trains/Boats & Streams)





Current Affairs


Basic Science




Sports, etc.

Verbal skills and Spatial abilities

Data interpretation

Rotated blocks


Sets based on arrangements

Missing Character

Hidden figures

Embedded Figure

EKT Syllabus

The EKT syllabus is divided into 3 sections:

  1. Electrical and Electronics Engineering
  2. Computer Science Engineering
  3. Mechanical Engineering

For Electrical and Electronics Engineering

Fundamental Engineering Allied Engineering Specialised Branch
Engineering Physics

Engineering Mathematics

Engineering Drawing

Switching Theory

Computer Networks

Radar Theory

Network Theory Design


Information Technology

Microwave Engineering

Analog and Digital Electronics

Electronic Devices

Telecommunication Systems

Microwave Engineering

Control Engineering

Electrical Engineering

For Computer Science Engineering

Fundamental Engineering Allied Engineering Specialised Branch
Engineering Physics

Engineering Mathematics

Engineering Drawing

Control Engineering

Telecommunication Systems

Electrical Engineering

Radar Theory


Antenna and Wave Propagation

Microwave Engineering

Information Technology

Network Theory Design

Analog and Digital Electronics

Computer Networks

Switching Theory

Electronic Devices

For Mechanical Engineering

Fundamental Engineering Allied Engineering Specialised Branch
Engineering Physics

Engineering Mathematics

Engineering Drawing/ Engineering Graphics


Flight Mechanics

Aircraft Structures

Power Plant Engineering.

Industrial Engineering

Automotive Engineering


Fluid Mechanics/Hydraulic Machines

Engineering Mechanics

Materials Science


Manufacturing Science

Machine Drawing

AFCAT Exam Pattern – Marking Scheme

Candidates will get 4 options for every question. For every correct answer, they will be awarded 3 marks. However, 1 mark will be deducted for every wrong answer.

AFCAT Marking Scheme

Type of Answers Marks Allotted
Correct Answer 3
Wrong Answer -1
Unattempted NIL

AFCAT Exam Pattern – Previous Years’ Question Papers

Buddy4Study has compiled previous years’ question papers alongside the model question papers in the below table. Candidates can download these to understand the AFCAT exam pattern thoroughly and prepare for the upcoming examination accordingly.

AFCAT Previous Year Question Papers

AFCAT Question Paper 2011 AFCAT Question Paper 2012 AFCAT Question Paper 2013 AFCAT Question Paper 2014
AFCAT Question Paper 2015 AFCAT Question Paper 2016 AFCAT Question Paper 2017 AFCAT Question Paper 2018

EKT Previous Year Question Papers

EKT Sample Paper – (Mechanical) EKT Sample Paper – (Electrical & Electronics) EKT Sample Paper – (Computer Science)

AFCAT Model Question Papers

AFCAT Model Question Paper 1 AFCAT Model Question Paper 2
AFCAT Model Question Paper 3 AFCAT Model Question Paper 4
EKT Model Question Paper (Mechanical) 1 EKT Model Question Paper (Mechanical) 2
EKT Model Question Paper (Computer Science) 1 EKT Model Question Paper (Computer Science) 2
EKT Model Question Paper (Electrical & Electronics) 1 EKT Model Question Paper (Electrical & Electronics) 2

AFCAT Answer Key to Model Question Papers

Answer Keys AFCAT Answer Keys EKT

AFCAT Exam Pattern – General Instructions for Online Test

Candidates must follow the online test instructions and guidelines set by IAF. The test instructions will help the candidates to attempt the computer-based exam without any hassles. Given below is a list of online test instructions set by the IAF panel:

  1. Download a colour print of the AFCAT (1) Admit Card.
  2. Report to the examination hall at least an hour before the examination starts.
  3. Candidates reporting after the reporting time mentioned in the hall ticket, will not be allowed to enter the examination hall.
  4. Carry the AFCAT admit card without fail.
  5. Paste a self-attested photograph on the admit card similar to the one submitted in the online application form.
  6. Do not carry valuable items or electronic devices to the exam hall.
  7. Try to reach the exam centre at least an hour before the designated reporting time.
  8. Bring along a valid photo identity (ID of College, Passport, Driving License, Aadhaar Card, Pan Card, Voters ID Card).
  9. Bring blue/black ballpoint pen and clipboard.
  10. Do not bring xeroxed admit cards as examination authority will scan the admit card through the barcode present in the original admit card. 
  11. Duplicate AFCAT admit cards would not be issued at the examination centres if the original admit card is torn or lost by a candidate.
  12. Tampering of the admit card automatically disqualifies the candidate from sitting for the exam. 
  13. The admit card has to be presented to the invigilator on the day of the entrance exam.
  14. Read the instructions in the admit card before starting the online examination or computer-based test.
  15. Preserve the admit card until the final admission.
  16. Remove any unwanted things from your pocket before entering the examination hall.
  17. Candidates should not have any markings in any of their visible body parts.
  18. Original Admit Card that has been duly signed by SIO/ IO of the exam centre at the day of examination is to be preserved carefully for future use.
  19. Adoption of any unfair means or violation of any instructions during the exam will render a candidate liable for cancellation of his/her script and forfeit his/her claims for admission.
  20. Requests for change of the exam centre will not be entertained.
  21. Candidates are to make their own arrangements for conveyance. They won’t be provided with any travel or dearness allowance for appearing in the test.

AFCAT Exam Pattern – Mandatory COVID-19 Guidelines

Candidates must check out these general COVID-19 related guidelines and follow them at all the AFCAT exam centres:

  1. Social distancing would be maintained strictly at the exam centres. Candidates have to maintain at least 6 feet or 2-metre distance from other candidates.
  2. All candidates will be checked for temperature with thermo guns at the entry point.
  3. The Arogya Setu App must be installed on the candidate’s mobile phone.
  4. After the Aarogya Setu status display at the entry gate, candidates need to switch off their mobile phones and deposit them at the designated location. The same has to be collected while exiting.
  5. Exam authority will ensure that monitor, keyboard, mouse, webcam, desk, chair, etc. are thoroughly sanitised.
  6. A significant gap has to be present between two seats inside the exam hall.
  7. Besides the admit card and photo ID card, gloves, a personal transparent water bottle, personal hand sanitizer (50 ml), and a pen will also be allowed in the exam hall.
  8. Invigilators will distribute rough sheets to candidates wearing gloves.
  9. To avoid crowding, exam room numbers would not be displayed outside the centre.
  10. Candidates violating COVID-19 directives/advisories would not be allowed to sit for the exam
  11. Candidates would be allowed to leave the test centre one at a time to avoid the rush and maintain social distancing.

AFCAT Exam Pattern – Recommended Books

Candidates need to prepare well from the topics highlighted as per the AFCAT syllabus to score well in the upcoming test.

Buddy4Study advises candidates to prepare well for their upcoming exam with the help of the below-mentioned books that are recommended by candidates who cracked the exam successfully in the previous years.

Book Author
AFCAT for Flying, Technical & Ground Duty Branch with Solved Papers (English, Paperback) Arihant Experts
SSB Interview: The Complete Guide Dr N.K. Natarajan
AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) Arihant Experts
Manorama Yearbook 2019 Philip Mathew
Let’s Crack AFCAT – Air Force Common Admission Test SSBCrack
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations R. S. Aggarwal
AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) Self Study Guide-cum-Practice Work Book – 1810 Kiran Prakashan
AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) Exam Guide: For Flying and Technical Branch (Popular Master Guide) R. Gupta
AFCAT Solved Papers and Practice Sets Arihant Experts

Check Out Live Scholarships 

AFCAT Exam Pattern – FAQs

In which format are the questions asked in the AFCAT 2021 exam?

As per the AFCAT exam pattern, candidates will have to attempt the paper as per the Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ) format.

What is the duration of the AFCAT exam?

According to the AFCAT exam pattern, the duration of the AFCAT exam is 2 hours. For the EKT exam, candidates will be given 45 minutes.

Is there any negative marking in the AFCAT exam?

Yes. For every incorrect answer in both AFCAT and EKT exam of AFCAT 2021, 1 mark will be deducted.

What is the age limit for AFCAT?

The age limit for the flying branch is between 20 and 24 years, whereas the age limit for Ground Duty (Technical & Non-Technical) Branch is between 20 and 26 years.

How many times is AFCAT conducted in a year?

The AFCAT recruitment test is conducted twice every year.

follow us for social updates


  1. Source of Information: Buddy4Study app compiles details on scholarships/fellowships from government websites and private scholarship sources. Links to the official sources accompany each listing detail pages.
  2. Non-affiliation: The Buddy4Study app is not associated with any government entity in India or elsewhere. When featuring government scholarships, we rely on publicly accessible information from central and state government websites in India.