AFCAT Exam Preparation Tips and Tricks
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AFCAT Exam Preparation Tips and Tricks:
AFCAT Examination Preparation Tips and Tricks
Introduction:
What is AFCAT?
AFCAT stands for Air Force Common Admission Test and is also referred to as the Indian Air Force Exam. AFCAT is a national level competitive exam conducted by the Indian Air Force (IAF) to select officers for all its branches, except for the medical and dental branches. The AFCAT is conducted twice every year, once in February, and the other time in August. The IAF recruits its officers broadly under three branches, they are, the Flying Branch, the Technical Branch, and the Ground Duty Branch.
The Flying Branch consists of Fighters, Transports, and Helicopters. The Technical Branch deals with the Mechanical and Electronic aspects, while the Ground Duty Branch comprises of Administration, Accounts, Logistics, Education and Meteorology.
Eligibility Criteria:
Educational Qualification:
Flying Branch:
Graduation (Minimum three year degree course) in any discipline from a recognized University with minimum 60% marks in aggregate in all papers & have passed Maths and Physics at 10+2 level.
Technical Branch:
Four year degree/ integrated Post Graduation qualification or cleared Sections A and B examination of Associate Membership of Institution of Engineers (India) or Aeronautical Society of India
Ground Duty Branch:
Graduation with 60% marks/ B. Com. Degree/ MBA/ MCA or MA/ M.Sc Degree in English/ Physics/ Mathematics/ Chemistry/ Statistics/ International relations/ International studies/ Defence studies/ Psychology/ Computer Science/ IT/ Management / Mass Communication/ Journalism/ Public Relation with minimum of 50% marks
Age Limit:
Flying Branch:
Minimum: 20 Years
Maximum: 24 Years
Technical Branch:
Minimum: 20 Years
Maximum: 26 Years
Nationality:
Candidates should be an Indian Citizen
Exam Pattern:
The AFCAT Examination consist of two main part of examinations. They are,
1. Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT)
The AFCAT syllabus can broadly be divided into four topics, they are, General Awareness, Verbal Ability in English, Numerical Ability, and Reasoning & Military Aptitude Test. These topics are further divided into subtopics.
The duration of AFCAT 1 2017 Exam will be 2 Hours.
There is a written paper of 300 marks. After clearing it, the candidate advances to the next rounds of personal interview and screening.
S.No 
Subject 
Number of Questions 
Maximum Marks 
1. 
Verbal Ability 
30 
90 
2. 
Numerical Ability 
15 
45 
3. 
Reasoning & Military Aptitude 
35 
105 
4. 
General Awareness 
20 
60 
Total Number of Questions: 100 

Maximum Marks: 300 

Total Time: 120 Minutes 
2. Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT)
EKT would be for 45 minutes and conducted immediately after AFCAT. It is mandatory for the candidates opting for ground duty (technical) branch to pass both AFCAT & EKT.
Preparation Tips:
· Start preparation before 1 month to crack the AFCAT exam.
· Use the rough paper given at the end by IAF to solve your maths or spatial ability part.
· Always start will the easiest section of the question paper.
· Double check your answers.
· Start preparing for the exam by using the syllabus from the AFCAT exam books, AFCAT classroom coaching or your could also join AFCAT exam coaching.
· Last year many candidates did wrong marking on their OMR sheet due to which their OMR sheet was marked as invalid, so make sure to stop doing silly mistake.
· Reach on time.
· Take more time in difficult part.
Written Test:
There are total 100 questions in the written entrance paper and each question carries three marks. The questions are in multiplechoice format. The subjects covered include General Awareness, Numerical Ability, Verbal Ability in English, and Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test. The time allotted for completion of this paper is 2 hours. There is also negative marking of 1 mark for every wrong answer.
Preparing For The Written Test:
1. Knowing the syllabus well is the most important thing.
2. Do not ignore any part of the syllabus as questions can come from any part of the syllabus.
3. Start practicing from the last few years' AFCAT question papers, as they will give you an idea of the exam pattern.
4. Maintain the time limit while solving questions, as speed is the very foundation of the exam.
5. Prepare notes on topics that seem difficult and revise them regularly.
6. For General Awareness, it is important to follow current events and news in magazines and newspapers.
7. Read more to increase your English verbal ability and vocabulary.
8. In the exam hall, attempt the known questions first as this will boost your confidence. After completing all the known questions, try the unknown and tougher ones.
Interview and Screening Test:
On clearing the written examination, the candidate has to appear in the next phase of interviews and aptitude tests. This is the most important part of the AFCAT exam.
Attending AFSB (Air Force Selection Board) interview: There are various segments in the AFSB interview and the whole process takes about 6 days to complete. Various traits of candidates are checked to see if they are fit for the posts they have applied for.
Screening test:
There are two tests in this group  Rating test, which includes Picture Perception and Description Test (PPDT), and Officer's Intelligence Test.
Psychological tests:
Various kinds of tests are carried out to check the amount of pressure a candidate can take successfully.
Group tasks:
Various kinds of tasks are assigned to different groups. This test spans for two days.
Interview with the President of the Board or a senior member
Conference  the final result
Preparing for the various AFCAT tests:
Be strong mentally. If you don't lose your confidence throughout the process, you're halfway there.
Practice writing on anything that you see. This will help you in the screening and psychological test where you will need to write on a picture shown for just 30 seconds.
Pay great attention to your body language in story narration and group tasks. This will also be helpful in the interview and conference part.
Concentrate on overall personality development as it is the main key to success in the AFCAT exam.
Syllabus:
Syllabus for Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT):
General Awareness:
Politics, Current Affairs, Culture, Art, Defence, Basic Science, Civics, Environment, Geography, Sports, History etc.
Verbal Ability in English:
Antonyms, Testing of Vocabulary, Synonyms, Sentence Completion, Error Detection and Comprehension.
Numerical Ability:
Simple Interest, Ratio & Proportion, Percentage, Profit & Loss, Average, Simplification and Decimal Fraction.
Reasoning and Military Aptitude Test:
Verbal Skills and Spatial Ability
Syllabus for Engineering Knowledge Test (EKT):
EKT SYLLABUS GENERAL ENGINEERING
1. Modern Physics: Quantum Mechanics, Electrical Conductivity in Metals, Dielectric and magnetic properties of materials, Lasers, Super Conductivity and optical fibers.
2. Chemistry : Chemical Energy Sources, Solar Energy, Electrochemical Energy Systems, Battery Technology, Fuel Cell, Corrosion Science & Control, Metal finishing & Electroless Plating.
3. Mathematics : Differential Calculus, Partial Differentiation, Integral Calculus & Application, Differential Equation, Vector Calculus & Infinite Series, Laplace Transform, Vector Integration, Integral Calculus.
4. Computers : Computer peripherals, Data Processing, Data storage, Operation Systems, Networks of an Internets, Algorithms & Flow charts, Computer aided sketching.
5. Electrical : DC Circuits, Electromagnetism, Single phase AC Circuits, Three phase Circuits, Measuring Instruments, Domestic Wiring, DC Machine Transformer, Synchronous Generation, Three phase Induction motor.
6. Electronics : Semiconductors diodes, Transistor, SCR, Amp & oscillators, OP Amp, Communication Systems, Number System and Digital Logic.
7. Mechanical Engineering : Energy & Steam, Turbines steam, Gas & Water, Internal combustion Engines, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Lathe & Drilling Machines, Milling & Grinding Machines, Joining Processes, Lubrication & Bearing , Power Transmission and workshop technologies.
EKT SYLLABUS – COMPUTER AND ELECTRONICS
1. Digital Electronic Circuits: Number representation and computer arithmetic (fixed and floating point),Boolean algebra and minimization of Boolean functions, Logic functions and logic gates, Minimization, Digital IC families (DTL, TTL, ECL, MOS, CMOS),Design and synthesis of combinational and sequential circuits, Combinational Circuits: arithmetic circuits, code converters, multiplexers, Decoders. Sequential circuits: latches and flipflops, counters, shiftregisters.
2. Analog Electronic Circuits: Small Signal Equivalent circuits of diodes ,Simple diode circuits, clipping, clamping, rectifiers, Biasing and bias stability of transistor and FET amplifiers, Amplifiers, singleand multistage amplifiers, frequency response of amplifiers, Simple opamp circuits, Sinusoidal oscillators and criterion for oscillation
3. Computer Organization and Architecture: Machine instructions and addressing modes, Memory interface, Cache and main memory and Secondary storage. Microprocessor (8085): architecture and memory organisation.
4. Operating System: Processes, Threads and Interprocess communication, Concurrency, Synchronization and Deadlock, CPU scheduling, Memory management and virtual memory, File systems and I/O systems, Protection and security.
5. Programming and Data Structures: Programming in C and similar Structured programming languages. Functions, Recursion, Parameter passing, Scope, Binding; Abstract data types, Arrays, Stacks, Queues, Linked Lists, Trees, Binary search trees, Binary heaps.
6. Databases: ERmodel, Relational model (relational algebra, tuple calculus), Database design (integrity constraints, normal forms), Query languages (SQL), File structures (sequential files, indexing, B and B+ trees), Transactions and concurrency control.
7. Computer Networks: ISO/OSI stack, LAN technologies (Ethernet, Token ring), Flow and error control techniques, Routing algorithms, Congestion control, TCP/UDP and sockets, IP(v4), Application layer protocols (icmp, dns, smtp, pop, ftp, http); Basic concepts of hubs, switches, gateways, and routers. Network security: basic concepts of public key and private key cryptography, digital signature, firewalls.
8. Information Systems and Software Engineering: information gathering, requirement and feasibility analysis, data flow diagrams, process specifications, input/output design, process life cycle, planning and managing the project, design, coding, testing, implementation, maintenance.
EKT SYLLABUS MECHANICAL
1. Engineering Mechanics : Equivalent force systems, freebody concepts, equations of equilibrium, trusses and frames, virtual work and minimum potential energy. Kinematics and dynamics of particles and rigid bodies, impulse and momentum (linear and angular), energy methods, central force motion.
2. Strength of Materials : Stress and strain, stressstrain relationship and elastic constants, Mohr’s circle for plane stress and plane strain, shear force and bending moment diagrams, bending and shear stresses, deflection of beams torsion of circular shafts, thin and thick cylinders, Euler’s theory of columns, strain energy methods, thermal stresses.
3. Theory of Machines : Displacement, velocity and acceleration, analysis of plane mechanisms, dynamic analysis of slidercrank mechanism, planar cams and followers, gear tooth profiles, kinematics and design of gears, governors and flywheels, balancing of reciprocating and rotating masses.
4. Vibrations : Free and forced vibration of single degree freedom systems, effect of damping, vibration isolation, resonance, critical speed of rotors.
5. Fluid Mechanics: Fluid properties, fluid statics, manometry, buoyancy  Controlvolume analysis of mass, momentum and energy, fluid acceleration  Differential equation of continuity and momentum  Bernoulli’s equation  Viscous flow of incompressible fluids  Boundary layer, Elementary turbulent flow  Flow through pipes, head losses in pipes, bends etc.
6. Heat Transfer : Modes of heat transfer  One dimensional heat conduction, resistance concept, electrical analogy, unsteady heat conduction, fins  Dimensionless parameters in free and forced convective heat transfer, Various correlations for heat transfer in flow over flat plates and through pipes  Thermal boundary layer  effect of turbulence  Radiative heat transfer, black and grey surfaces, shape factors, network analysis  Heat exchanger.
EKT SYLLABUS  ELECTRONICS AND COMMUNICATION ENGINEERING
1. Networks: Network graphs: matrices associated with graphs; incidence, fundamental cut set and fundamental circuit matrices. Solution methods: nodal and mesh analysis. Network theorems: superposition, Thevenin and Norton's maximum power transfer, WayeDelta transformation. Steady state sinusoidal analysis using phasors. Linear constant coefficient differential equations; time domain analysis of simple RLC circuits, Solution of network equations using Laplace transform: frequency domain analysis of RLC circuits. 2port network parameters: driving point and transfer functions. Stateequations for networks.
2. Electronic Devices: Energy bands in silicon, intrinsic and extrinsic silicon. Carrier transport in silicon: diffusion current, drift current, mobility, and resistivity. Generation and recombination of carriers. pn junction diode, Zener diode, tunnel diode, BJT, JFET, MOS capacitor, MOSFET, LED, pIn and avalanche photo diode, Basics of LASERs. Device technology: integrated circuits fabrication process, oxidation, diffusion, ion implantation, photolithography, ntub, ptub and twintub CMOS process.
3. Analog Circuits: Small Signal Equivalent circuits of diodes, BJTs, MOSFETs and analog CMOS. Simple diode circuits, clipping, clamping, rectifier. Biasing and bias stability of transistor and FET amplifiers. Amplifiers: singleand multistage, differential and operational, feedback, and power. Frequency response of amplifiers. Simple opamp circuits. Filters. Sinusoidal oscillators; criterion for oscillation; singletransistor and opamp configurations. Function generators and waveshaping circuits, 555 Timers. Power supplies.
4. Digital circuits: Boolean algebra, minimization of Boolean functions; logic gates; digital IC families (DTL, TTL, ECL, MOS, CMOS). Combinatorial circuits: arithmetic circuits, code converters, multiplexers, decoders, PROMs and PLAs. Sequential circuits: latches and flipflops, counters and shiftregisters. Sample and hold circuits, ADCs, DACs. Semiconductor memories. Microprocessor(8085): architecture, programming, memory and I/O interfacing.
5. Signals and Systems: Definitions and properties of Laplace transform, continuoustime and discretetime Fourier series, continuoustime and discretetime Fourier Transform, DFT and FFT, ztransform. Sampling theorem. Linear TimeInvariant (LTI) Systems: definitions and properties; causality, stability, impulse response, convolution, poles and zeros, parallel and cascade structure, frequency response, group delay, phase delay. Signal transmission through LTI systems.
6. Control Systems: Basic control system components; block diagrammatic description, reduction of block diagrams. Openloop and closedloop (feedback) systems and stability analysis of these systems. Signal flow graphs and their use in determining transfer functions of systems; transient and steady state analysis of LTI control systems and frequency response. Tools and techniques for LTI control system analysis: root loci, RouthHurwitz criterion, Bode and Nyquist plots. Control system compensators: elements of lead and lag compensation, elements of ProportionalIntegralDerivative (PID) control. State variable representation and solution of state equation of LTI control systems.
7. Communications: Random signals and noise: probability, random variables, probability density function, autocorrelation, power spectral density. Analog communication systems: amplitude and angle modulation and demodulation systems, spectral analysis of these operations, superheterodyne receivers; elements of hardware, realizations of analog communication systems; signaltonoise ratio (SNR) calculations for amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM) for low noise conditions. Fundamentals of information theory and channel capacity theorem. Digital communication systems: pulse code modulation (PCM), differential pulse code modulation (DPCM), digital modulation schemes: amplitude, phase and frequency shift keying schemes (ASK, PSK, FSK), matched filter receivers, bandwidth consideration and probability of error calculations for these schemes. Basics of TDMA, FDMA and CDMA and GSM.
8. Electromagnetics: Elements of vector calculus: divergence and curl; Gauss and Stokes theorems, Maxwell's equations: differential and integral forms. Wave equation, Poynting vector. Plane waves: propagation through various media; reflection and refraction; phase and group velocity; skin depth. Transmission lines: characteristic impedance; impedance transformation; Smith chart; impedance matching; S parameters, pulse excitation. Waveguides: modes in rectangular waveguides; boundary conditions; cutoff frequencies; dispersion relations. Basics of propagation in dielectric waveguide and optical fibers. Basics of Antennas: Dipole antennas; radiation pattern; antenna gain.
EKT SYLLABUS – ELECTRICAL & INSTRUMENTATION ENGINEERING
1. Electrical Circuits and Fields: Network graph, KCL, KVL, node/ cut set, mesh/ tie set analysis, transient response of d.c. and a.c. networks  sinusoidal steadystate analysis  resonance in electrical circuits  concepts of ideal voltage and current sources, network theorems, driving point, immittance and transfer functions of two port networks, elementary concepts of filters three phase circuits  Fourier series and its application  Gauss theorem, electric field intensity and potential due to point, line, plane and spherical charge distribution, dielectrics, capacitance calculations for simple configurations  Ampere's and BiotSavart's law, inductance calculations for simple configurations.
2. Electrical Machines : Single phase transformer  equivalent circuit, phasor diagram, tests, regulation and efficiency  three phase transformers  connections, parallel operation  auto transformer and threewinding transformer  principles of energy conversion, windings of rotating machines: D. C. generators and motors  characteristics, staring and speed control, armature reaction and commutation  three phase induction motors  performance characteristics, starting and speed control  singlephase induction motors  synchronous generators performance, regulation, parallel operation  synchronous motors  starting, characteristics, applications, synchronous condensers  fractional horse power motors, permanent magnet and stepper motors.
3. Control Systems : Principles of feedback  transfer function  block diagrams: Signal flow graphs. Transient Response steadystate errors  stabilityRouth and Nyquist criteria  Bode plots  compensation  root loci  time delay systems phase and gain margin elementary state variable formulation  state transition matrix and response for LTI systems. Mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic system components. Synchro pair, servo and step motors. On off, cascade, P, PI, PID, feed forward and derivative controller, Fuzzy controllers.
4. Electrical and Electronic Measurements : Transducers, Mechanical Measurement and Industrial Instrumentation: Resistive, Capacitive, Inductive and piezoelectric transducers and their signal conditioning. Measurement of displacement, velocity and acceleration (translational and rotational), force, torque, vibration and shock. Measurement of pressure, flow, temperature and liquid level. Measurement of pH, conductivity, viscosity and humidity. Bridges and potentiometers, PMMC moving iron, dynamometer and induction type instruments  measurement of voltage, current, power, energy and power factor  instrument transformers  digital voltmeters and multimeters  phase, time and frequency measurement  Qmeter, oscilloscopes, potentiometric recorders, error analysis.
5. Analog and Digital Electronics : Analog Electronics: Characteristics of diodes, BJT, FET, SCR  amplifiersbiasing, equivalent circuit and frequency response  oscillators and feedback amplifiers, operational amplifiers characteristics and applications  simple active filters  Instrumentation amplifier precision rectifier VtoI and ItoV converter oscillators and signal generatorsVCOs and timers.Digital Electronics: Combinational logic circuits, minimization of Boolean functions. IC families, TTL, MOS and CMOS. Arithmetic circuits. Comparators, Schmitt trigger, timers and monostable multivibrator. Sequential circuits, flipflops, counters, shift registers. Multiplexer, S/H circuit. AnalogtoDigital and DigitaltoAnalog converters. Basics of number system. Microprocessor applications, memory and inputoutput interfacing. Microcontrollers.
6. Telecommunication Engineering : Signals, Systems and Communications: Periodic and aperiodic signals. Impulse response, transfer function and frequency response of first and second order systems. Convolution, correlation and characteristics of linear time invariant systems. Discrete time system, impulse and frequency response. Pulse transfer function. IIR and FIR filters. Amplitude and frequency modulation and demodulation. Sampling theorem, pulse code modulation. Frequency and time division multiplexing. Amplitude shift keying, frequency shift keying and pulse shift keying for digital modulation.
EKT STLLABUS  AEAERONAUTICAL ENGINEERING (MECHANICAL)
1. FLIGHT MECHANICS / AERODYNAMICS : Atmosphere, standard atmosphere, Properties, Pressure altitude, density altitude. Classification of aircraft. Airplane (fixed wing aircraft) configuration and various parts. Bernoulli’s equation, static, dynamic pressure equivalent, calibrated, indicated air speeds, various corrections for airspeeds, Equations of equilibrium, work and energy, Incompressible flow, viscous flows, introduction to Reynolds number, Laminar turbulent flow, transition, Aerodynamic forces and moments, Lift, drag, centre of pressure, Primary flight instruments, Altimeter, ASI, VSI, Turnbank indicator, gyroscope
2. THERMODYNAMICS: Zeroth, First and Second laws of thermodynamics  Thermodynamic system and processes  Irreversibility and availability  Behaviour of ideal and real gases, Properties of pure substances, calculation of work and heat Analysis of thermodynamic cycles related to energy conversion  Carnot, Rankine, Otto, Diesel, Brayton and Vapour compression cycles.
3. ENGINEERING MATERIALS : Structure and properties of engineering materials and their applications, heat treatment, fatigue and creep.
4. STRUCTURES: Stress and Strain, Young’s modulus, Poissons ratio, Equations of equilibrium, straindisplacement relationship, plane stress and strain. Classification of structures, preliminary, secondary and tertiary , stressed skin, Characteristics of aircraft structures and materials, torsion, bending and flexural shear. Flexural shear flow in thinwalled sections. Buckling. Failure theories. Loads on aircraft. Vn diagram
5. PROPULSION : Thermodynamics, Theory of Aircraft Gas Turbine engines, Brayton cycle, Otto cycle, Classification of jet propulsion, turboprop, turbojet, turbofan etc., effect of speed, altitude, temperature etc thrust equation, propeller theory basics. Axial compressors and turbines, centrifugal pumps and compressors. Aerothermodynamics of non rotating propulsion components: Intakes, combustor and nozzle, Elements of rocket propulsion.
Reference Books:
S.No 
Book Name 
Author/Publication 
1. 
AFCAT Exam Guide 1st Edition For Flying and Technical Branch

R Gupta’s/Ramesh Publishing House (RPH) 
2. 
AFCAT (Air Force Common Admission Test) : With Solved Paper 2017 (English) 3rd Edition 
Arihant’s 
3. 
Quantitative Aptitude for Competitive Examinations 
R.S. Aggarwal 
4. 
A Modern Approach to Verbal Reasoning 
R.S. Aggarwal 
5. 
Manorama Yearbook 
K. M. Mathew, Mammen Mathew 
6. 
General Knowledge 
Arihant Publication 
7. 
How to Prepare For AFCAT 
Chandresh Agrawal 
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