AFCAT Exam Pattern 2021: Subject Wise Pattern, Marking Scheme, Syllabus

Updated On -

Jun 14, 2021

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Sudeshna Bhar

Exams Prepmaster

Indian Air Force (IAF) will carry out AFCAT and EKT in a computer-based mode. The questions of the AFCAT Exam will be displayed in a random sequence on the computer screen. The language of the exam will be English.

Latest Updates

  • May 04, 2021:The Indian Air Force Air Men admit card for Group X and Y is out. Read more
  • April 6, 2021:The tentative exam dates for the AFCAT exam 2021 is out. Read more
  • April 5, 2021:The recruitment for Group C civilian post in Indian Air Force is ongoing. Check details here
  • April 1, 2021:The AFCAT AFSB Interview process has started. Read more here

The duration of the exam is 150 Minutes. There will be four sections named Numerical Ability, General Awareness and Reasoning, Verbal Ability, and Military Aptitude. AFCAT Syllabus will be based on graduation level (Indian University).

The AFCAT 2021 selection process consists of three stages -Online Exam, AFSB Interview, and Final Selection. For better preparation, candidates can download the previous years' papers of the AFCAT Exam as well.

AFCAT Exam Pattern

AFCAT Exam Pattern 2021

  • The question paper is available in the English language only.
  • The duration of the exam isof2 hours (120 minutes).
  • A total number of 100 questions is asked in the written test.
  • Correct answer:+3 marks and Incorrect answer: 1 mark.
  • No marks will be deducted for un-attempted questions.
Exam AFCAT EKT (only for technical)
Mode of Exam Online i.e. computer-based Online i.e. computer-based
No. of Questions 100 50
Maximum Marks 300 150
Duration of Exam 2 hours (120 minutes) 45 minutes
Sections in Paper General Awareness, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability and Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test Mechanical, Computer Science and Electrical & Electronics
Negative Marking 1 mark 1 mark
EKT Exam Pattern

AFCAT and EKT Exam Pattern in Detail

The paper pattern for both the papers in terms of exam mode, type of questions and marking scheme is similar. Read on to get a clear idea about the same:

About AFCAT Exam Pattern

  • AFCAT 2021 is an online test, conducted in two shifts in the English language.
  • It will consist of 100 objective questions to be solved within a duration of 120 minutes.
  • The maximum mark an aspirant can score in AFCAT 2021 is 300 marks.

About EKT Exam Pattern

  • EKT or Engineering Knowledge Test is meant to test a candidate’s engineering knowledge.
  • The test is compulsory for candidates applying for the Technical Ground Duty branch.
  • EKT 2021 is an online test, conducted in two shifts in the English language.

AFCAT Marking Scheme

There has been no change in the marking scheme of AFCAT 2021The marking scheme is given as follows:

  • Three marks will be awarded for every correct answer.
  • One mark will be deducted for every incorrect answer.
  • No marks for unattempted questions.
AFCAT Syllabus

AFCAT Syllabus 2021

The standard of Numerical Ability Questions will be of Matriculation level. The standard of questions in other subjects will be of graduation level.

AFCAT Syllabus of General Awareness Section

The section is designed to test the general knowledge of the applicant. It will have questions to test aspirant’s awareness of ongoing, current events in various fields around the world.

Generally, about 20 questions are asked in this section. 

The main topics along for this section are given below:

  • History
  • Sports
  • Geography
  • Environment
  • Culture
  • Defence
  • Art and Culture
  • International Current Affairs
  • Politics
  • Civics
  • Basic Science

AFCAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus of Verbal Ability in English

As the name of the section suggests, this segment will assess the student’s knowledge, proficiency, and comprehension of the English language. The total number of questions asked from this section will be approximately 30.

The important topics for this section are:

  • Comprehension
  • Fill in the blanks by choosing the appropriate word
  • Error Detection
  • Sentence Completion
  • Synonyms and Antonyms
  • Testing of Vocabulary
  • Tenses
  • Basic Grammar

AFCAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus of Quantitative Ability

  • This section will test the basic mathematical ability of participants.
  • Around 15 questions will be asked from this section.
  • It is considered to be a relatively scoring section though the level of difficulty for this section is moderate to high.

The important topics for this section are as follows:

  • Decimal Fraction
  • Simplification
  • Average
  • Ratio and Proportion
  • Simple interest
  • Profit and loss
  • Percentage

AFCAT Exam Pattern & Syllabus of Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test

  • This section is the most important segment as maximum questions are asked in this section.
  • The candidate’s mental and military aptitude is tested.
  • The difficulty level is moderate and approximately 35 questions are asked from this section.

The important topics are listed below:

  • Verbal Skills and Spatial Ability
  • Data interpretation
  • Embedded Figure
  • Missing Character
  • Sets based on arrangements
  • Rotated blocks
  • Hidden figures
  • Analogy

The following table represents the approximate number of questions asked from each section:

Section-wise Exam Pattern of AFCAT 2021 Exam

Section Questions Marks Time
General Awareness 20 60 2 hours
Verbal Ability in English 30 90
Numerical Ability 15 45
Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test 35 105
Reference Books

AFCAT Reference Books

AFCAT 2021: Reference Books are given below to help students score well:

Name of Book Author/ Publisher
AFCAT Exam Guide 1stedition for Flying and Technical Branch Ramesh Publishing House
AFCAT Solved Paper Arihant Publication
General Knowledge Arihant Publication
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations RS Aggarwal
A modern approach to Verbal Reasoning RS Aggarwal

Lucent GK is also considered a good source for the GK section and for Aptitude Test, candidates can refer to Quantitative Aptitude by S Chand and Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Exams by McGraw-Hill Education.

*The article might have information for the previous academic years, please refer the official website of the exam.


I have earned a degree from a foreign university. Am I eligible for the exam?
jaya garg

Hi. For being eligible for AFCAT exam, the degree must be recognised by UGC / AICTE / Ministry of HRD / DEC. Failing to meet the minimum eligibility criteria might result in the cancellation of the application form. So make sure you apply after keeping all the points in mind.

Do I need to send any documents / self-addressed envelope to AFCAT Cell to get the Admit Card, etc. ?
jaya garg

Hi. There is no need to send anything by post to AFCAT Cell. All details mentioned by you while applying online will be considered at the time of posting the Admit Card details. For more information related to the same, you need to refer to the official website, you will get the correct information there.

lakshay kakkar
I don’t remember my Username and Password. How can I get the same?
jaya garg

Hi. The username is your registered E mail ID. In order to get a new password, please tap on the ‘Forgot Password’ option and follow the instructions mentioned there. Make sure that you pen down your password so that you don’t forget it the next time.

sunny pandey
Can you tell me about AFCAT Marking Scheme, will I lose some marks for incorrect option?
jaya garg

Hi. Candidates will get three marks for every correct answer while will lose one mark for every incorrect answer. They will not get any marks for unattempted questions. Detailed AFCAT Marking Scheme is here.

What is the purpose of taking Engineering Knowledge Test?
jaya garg

Hi. EKT or Engineering Knowledge Test is designed to test candidate’s engineering knowledge. This test is mandatory for all the candidates who have applied for the Technical Ground Duty branch. More details on EKT 2021 are here.

avantika yadav
Sir, I am in my graduation right now. I will be in my 3rd year at the time of AFCAT exam. Am I eligible to apply for AFCAT exam this year?
diya suresh

No you cannot appear for AFCAT exam without completing the UG course as according to eligibility norm, one must have at least 60% marks at UG level to be eligible. There are other criterias of eligibility including that of age, nationality etc. that must be satisfied before applying. It is suggested to complete the degree first and then apply for the test.

saurav suresh awatirak
Sir How can I get notification of latest recruitments.
diya suresh

AFCAT exam is conducted twice in a year and the official notification for the vacancies will be released by the authority on the official website, The exam 2020 was conducted in CBT mode and for next session, notification is yet to be released. You need to keep an eye on the official website for latest notification or visit this page for future updates.

saurav suresh awatirak
Mam How can I join Indian navy as a sailor.
diya suresh

Around 235 vacancies will be filled by AFCAT exam 2021 for 3 branches as follows:

  • Flying Branch
  • Ground Duty (Technical)
  • Ground Duty (Non Technical)

The eligibility criteria and allowances after selection will vary according to the post.

priyanka kumari
I m in 1st year nd doing Specialization in Banking and Finance. Am I eligible to appear this exam?
diya suresh

Education qualification and other eligibility criteria varies with post, so please specify the post you are interested in so that accurate answer can be provided. There are other factor sof eligibility including that of age, marital status, nationality, physical standards etc. that must be followed as well to be eligible. Check all details at AFACT eligibility criteria 2021 before applying.

omkar barate
How many papers I will need to give to qualify for SSB Interview? For ground duty non-technical.
diya suresh

Before selection, a candidate needs to qualify AFCAT written test followed by AFSB Interview. The written test consists of objective type questions and those qualifying the written test will be called for interview round. It is required from candidates to qualify both stages in order to get selection.

pankaj joshi
How many times does afcat form will came in a year
diya suresh

AFCAT exam is conducted twice in a year and it is conducted by Indian Air Force. For 2021, AFCAT exam will be conducted for 3 days in CBT mode. There will be exam conducted for technical and non technical branches.

jatin sharma
Is clearing AFCAT exam gives you good opportunities?
jaya garg

AFCAT is an exam to test the knowledge, intelligence, speed, and accuracy of the candidate. Qualifying the AFCAT Exam is a wonderful opportunity to attain a reputable post and serve your nation. Thus, to qualify such an exam is a good accomplishment. Further details are here.

arushi thankur
For how many marks the AFCAT exam is conducted? How many questions will be there in the technical exam?
jaya garg

The AFCAT exam is conducted for 300 marks for all candidates and 450 marks for technical candidates. The entire duration of the exam is 120 minutes. There will be 50 questions in the technical paper of the AFCAT exam.
Further details are here.

shruti verma
How many questions are there in the AFCAT exam? What sections do I need to study for the AFCAT exam?
jaya garg

Candidates will be asked to solve 100 questions (AFCAT) and for technical, there are 50 more technical questions. Sections in AFACT paper include General Awareness, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability and Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test. Further details are here.

sourajit mukherjee
what is screening test in afcat?
jaya garg

Hi Sourajit. On Day 1, stage one of testing is administered which includes a verbal and non-verbal intelligence test (almost 50 questions each) and then a Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT). In this test, a picture, either clear or hazy will be shown to the candidates for 30 seconds and relevant questions will be asked. More details are present here.

murali krishnan s
I have 89% of aggregate in mathematics and 49 in physics. Can i apply for AFCAT. But my graduation aggregate is 78%
aniket ranjan

Hii Murali. Yes, you can apply for AFCAT Exam as candidates with Graduation with a minimum of three years degree course in any discipline from a recognized University with a minimum of 60% marks or equivalent are eligible for AFCAT Exam. You should also check out you 10+2 marks as only candidate with 60% both in Maths and Physics at 10+2 level are eligible for AFCAT. For more details Click Here

I am a Bsc.CBZ graduate. Can i apply for AFCAT flying branch.
diya suresh

Hi Jyothi, For AFCAT flying branch, you need to have a minimum of 60% at graduation level and in physics and maths individually at 12th level. Being a graduate you are eligible but you need to have that minimum aggregate to be eligible. To know more details of AFCAT eligibility norms click here.

amit singh
Bsc student can apply for which post in afcat 1 2021
aditi arun

Hello Amit,

You can apply for the Flying Branch if you had Physics and Mathematics as a compulsory subject in class 12th and scored a minimum of 60% in each of them. In case you didn’t have PCM, you can apply for the non-technical ground duty in Administration & Logistics. For more details, visit- AFCAT Eligibility

lancia vijayadarshini k
What is the difference between AFCAT and EKT out of 300 marks how much marks is eligible to joint in IAF
aditi arun

Hello Lancia,

The candidates who have applied for Technical Ground duty have to give the EKT. EKT stands for ‘Engineering Knowledge Test’ and it tests the technical knowledge of the candidate on the subject. The expected AFCAT cutoffs for 2020 should be around 140-150 out of 300. Similarly, the EKT cutoffs should be around 50-55 for the candidates appearing for the same in 2020. For more details, visit- AFCAT Cut-Offs.

nafisa khatoon
How was AFCAT 1 2020 different from the previous year’s exams, apart from it being online? E.g. question patterns, weightage of the different sections, etc.
jaya garg

Hi Nafisa.  A total of 100 questions (maximum marks 300) will be asked in the AFCAT exam. For every correct option, 3 marks will be given while for an incorrect option, 1 mark will be deducted. No marks will be deducted for the questions that are left un-attempted. For detailed exam pattern, refer here.