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AFCAT 2018: Preparation Tips for Numerical Ability

Updated On -

Jun 12, 2019

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Shivani Tiwari

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The Air Force Common Admission Test is conducted by the Indian Air Force twice in a year; February and September for the selection of officers in different branches. The section Numerical Ability consists of basic mathematics questions and with thorough practice you can master Math problems easily. Check More Details About AFCAT 2018.

This section has basic elementary knowledge of the concepts.

The first step is to check all the important topics that have been asked in the previous years. The section includes topics like: Decimal Fraction, Simplification, Average, Percentage, Ratio & Proportion, and Simple Interest, Profit & Loss. But before that, let’s take a look at AFCAT 2018 exam pattern.


AFCAT 2018 Exam Pattern

The AFCAT will be of two hours duration and will contain multiple choice questions on verbal ability, numerical ability, reasoning, general awareness and military aptitude. AFCAT consists of 100 questions and each question will be of three marks. There is one-third negative marking in AFCAT 2018. For every wrong answer. 1 mark will be deducted as penalty. There will be no penalty with the question is left unanswered. 


AFCAT 2018 has four sections with following sub-sections:

  1. General Awareness - History, Sports, Geography, Environment, Civics, Basic Science, Defence, Art, Culture, Current Affairs, Politics etc.
  2. Verbal Ability - Comprehension, Error Detection, Sentence Completion, Synonyms, Antonyms and Testing of Vocabulary.
  3. Numerical Ability - Decimal Fraction, Simplification, Average, Profit & loss, Percentage, Ratio & Proportion and Simple interest.
  4. Reasoning & Military Aptitude test - Verbal Skills and Spatial Ability.

There will be multiple choice-based questions of 3 marks each. The candidates will be penalized in the form of deduction of 1 mark for every wrong answer. The cutoff depends on how tough the paper is.

Subjects No. of Questions Marks
Verbal Ability 30 (Approximately) 90 (approximately)
Numerical Ability 15 (approximately) 45(approximately)
Reasoning & Military Aptitude 35 (approximately) 105(approximately)
General Awareness 35 (approximately) 60 (approximately)
Total 100 2 Hours

Testing consists of various stages

Stage 1- It is a screening test and those who qualify for the subsequent tests will be called for the further screening process. Candidate who qualify in Stage 1 will be subjected to document check to see if they are eligible for the branches that they have applied for. Candidates who do not qualify in Stage 1 of testing and do not meet the eligibility standards will be sent home on Day 1 and their candidature will be cancelled beyond this.

Stage 2- consists of Psychological Test, Group Test, and Interview which is conducted for a period of 5 days.

Stage 3- For Flying Branch: Pilot Aptitude Battery Test would be conducted for eligible candidates who are pursuing Flying Branch.


AFCAT 2018 Test Numerical Ability Tips

  • Remember important derivatives in the ratio topic like if a:b, b:c given then value of a:b:c and similar forms.
  • In profit and loss, learn formulas for S.P, C.P, M.P, successive discount, error % etc.                                                                                                            
  • In involution, learn derivatives for cubic terms like A cube + B cube etc.
  • In simple interest and C.I general formulas are required; likewise for work force.
  • Remember, practice questions based on canisters/ buckets/ pipes.

Important Topics to be focused in Numerical Ability

  • Simplification- Simplification techniques are based on BODMAS rule, Fractions, Surds and Indices etc.
  • Interest- Go through the theory of interest. One must solve the Simple Interest Problems on a different rate of interest. Also, study the quickest ways to solve the Compound Interest Problems that would help increase speed.
  • Percentage- You can practice calculation of percentage of a given number mentally. This will help in increasing the calculation speed.
  • Average- Quant section of AFCAT questions on the basics of averages.
  • Ratio & Proportion- To calculate faster in the ration & proportion section you could refer to the previous year examination papers.
  • Profit & Loss- For Profit and Loss, one must learn the basic concepts and focus on solving problem based on Dishonest/ Successive dealings, Partnerships etc.
Level Topics Number of Questions Distributed
Easy Simplification 1 - 2
Easy Interest 1 - 2
Easy Percentage 1
Easy Average 1
Easy Ratio and Proportion 1 - 2

Follow the Best Preparation Tips:

  1. Know the Syllabus: Groom yourself in the numerical section in the following topics Ratio and Proportion, Simplification, Profit and Loss, Decimal Fraction, Simple Interest, Percentage and Average.
  2. Self- preparation can help you succeed: This mode of self- preparation for candidates have faith in their abilities and do not require any sort of assistance from their friends or coaching classes/ institutes.
  3. Prepare Notes: Creating your own notes would help you to study more and retain information. It makes it easier to revise regularly.
  4. Solve As Many Test Paper As Possible: Remember, thorough practice on maths syllabus will master your numerical ability skills and will also help to increase your speed.

Books for AFCAT 2018 Numerical Ability Test:

Books are the best source of any examination preparation and series of practice will clear the candidates’ doubts and help in planning accordingly.

Following table shows the books name along with their authors name for the preparation of AFCAT Numerical Ability Test:

Book’s Name Author’s Name
AFCAT Arihant Along With Solved Paper (English) 3rd Edition
AFCAT Previous Year’s Papers & Practice Test Papers
AFCAT Guide Disha Publication
AFCAT Self Study Guide Cum Practice Work Book Kiran Publication

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

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