What is the Difference between Indian Air Force Group XY and AFCAT Exam?

By Sajneet|Updated : July 27th, 2021

Difference between Indian Air Force Group X Y and AFCAT exam - To recruit airmen, the IAF conducts a Group XY examination (soldiers). Airmen can advance to the rank of master warrant officer (MWO), and after 25-30 years of service, they may be awarded an honorary permanent commissioned rank (such as flight lieutenant or squadron leader).

However, The AFCAT exam is conducted to recruit officers for the technical, non-technical, flying, and ground duty branches. Cadets obtain the rank of the flying officer after completing their training (permanent commissioned rank). The only thing you need to know is that airmen are assigned non-commissioned ranks, whereas officers are assigned permanent commissioned levels.

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To recruit airmen, the IAF conducts a Group XY examination (soldiers). Airmen can advance to the rank of master warrant officer (MWO), and after 25-30 years of service, they may be awarded an honorary permanent commissioned rank (such as flight lieutenant or squadron leader). However, The AFCAT exam is conducted to recruit officers for the technical, non-technical, flying, and ground duty branches. Cadets obtain the rank of the flying officer after completing their training (permanent commissioned rank). The only thing you need to know is that airmen are assigned non-commissioned ranks, whereas officers are assigned permanent commissioned levels. 

AFCAT vs Indian Air Force Exam - Detailed Comparison

About AFCAT Exam

AFCAT is a test that can provide you with wings! All of you who have ever fantasized about working between the vast planes can make that fantasy a reality by passing this exam. The Indian Air Force conducts the Air Force Common Admission Test twice a year to induct officers into the IAF. The written exam is followed by an interview with the Air Force Selection Board for those who have been shortlisted.

What options are available through AFCAT?

  • You can apply for all three branches of the IAF, namely the Flying Branch, Technical Branch, and Ground Duty Branch, through AFCAT.
  • Various branches have different eligibility requirements.
  • All the three branches are open to both men & women.
  • While women are only eligible for short service commission in all three branches, men are eligible for both permanent and short service commission.
  • However, only the Short Service Commission is available through AFCAT for the Flying Branch.
  • Thus, if you pass the written exam and then the AFSB, you will be eligible to attend the Air Force Academy.

AFCAT exam selection process:

  • Filling Out the AFCAT Application Form for 2021
  • Appearing for the AFCAT Written Exam
  • Followed by AFSB, which consists of 3 stages
    • Stage I: OIR & PPDT 
    • Stage II: Stage II consists of a psychological test, a group test, an interview, and the CPSS.
  • Appearing for the Medical Exam
  • Preparation of an All-India Merit List

AFSB Interview in AFCAT exam selection process:

Candidates for enlistment into the IAF are interviewed for 4 to 5 days by the Air Force Selection Board (AFSB). Only those who pass the AFCAT 2021 are invited to the interview centers, which are located around the country. A Call Letter, which may be downloaded from the official website, informs candidates of the date and venue of their AFSB interview. The following locations are accessible for the AFCAT AFSB interview:

  • Dehradun (AFSB 1)
  • Mysore (AFSB 2)
  • Gandhinagar (AFSB 3)
  • Varanasi (AFSB 4)

Candidates who choose the Meteorology Branch and NCC Special Entry will be invited to any of the examination centres that are available. Other candidates who applied for the flying branch can schedule their interviews in Dehradun, Mysore, or Varanasi.

Eligibility criteria for AFCAT exam:

  • Flying Branch: Age should be between 20 and 24 years old when the training begins. The candidate must be a Graduate (minimum three-year degree course) in any course from a recognized university with a minimum 60% aggregate in all papers combined and Maths and Physics at the 10+2 level or the candidate should have a BE / B Tech degree (four-year course) with minimum 60% aggregate.
  • Ground Duty Branch (Technical/Non-Technical): Graduates must be between the ages of 20 and 26 and M.Ed/Ph.D./CA/ICWA students must be between the ages of 20 and 27.

About Indian Air Force Airmen Group X & Y Exam

The Indian Air Force recruits candidates for a variety of works, including technical, which is required to maintain various technical objects or machines in the Indian Air Force, and non-technical, which is required to provide support services to keep this equipment running smoothly. Technical traders are referred to as the ‘X' group, whereas non-technical trades are referred to as the ‘Y' group. These X and Y group candidates are referred to as Airmen or PBORs, which stands for "persons below officer rank."

Male candidates from the Science stream in Class 12th, such as Physics and Mathematics, can apply for the X group test, while male candidates from any stream in Class 12th can apply for the Y group examination.

Aside from the distinction between Technical and Non-Technical Trades, the X and Y groups differ in a number of other ways. In this post, we will discuss the characteristics of these two trades that differ from one another.

The Selection Procedure of the Airmen Group X & Y

  • Stage 1: Online examination
  • Stage 2: Physical fitness test
    • It consists of a 1.6-kilometer run that must be finished in under six minutes and thirty seconds. To qualify for this, candidates must additionally do 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 20 squats in the time allotted
  • Stage 3: Adaptability Test 1
    • An objective type written test is used to determine a candidate's suitability for employment in the IAF, which requires deployment in a variety of geographic topography, weather, and operational conditions.
  • Stage 4: Adaptability Test 2
    • This is done to find applicants who can adapt to the Indian Air Force's environment and to the military way of life.
    • Candidates who pass more than one group/selection trade's tests in scheduled tests and rallies performed during the cycle, and whose names appear in more than one PSL released on the same date. The candidates will be summoned for enrolment in just one group/trade, as to IAF requirements.
  • Stage 5: Medical examination

Eligibility criteria for Airmen Group X & Y

  1. Group X (Except Education Instructor Trades)
  • The candidate should have passed the 10+2 Exam in Maths, English, and Physics with an aggregate of minimum 50% and 50 % in English.

OR

  • Passed a 3-year diploma in engineering, in any stream.
  1. Group Y

Group ‘Y’ (Other than Automobile Technician), Indian Air Force (Police), Medical Assistant and Musician), Indian Air Force (Security) Trades:

  • The candidate should have passed the 10+2 Exam with an aggregate of a minimum of 50% and 50 % in English.

OR

  • The candidate should have finished a 2-year vocational program with an aggregate of a minimum of 50% and 50 % in English.

Group ‘Y’ Medical Assistant Trade Only:

  • Passed a 10+2/Intermediate/equivalent exam in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and English with a minimum of 50% in aggregate and 50% in English from a COBSE member Educational Board.

Age limit:

  • The candidate applying should not be older than 21 Years of age.

Physical fitness test:

  • There will be a 1.6-kilometer run that must be finished in under six minutes and thirty seconds. To pass the Physical Fitness Test, candidates must additionally execute 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups, and 20 squats in the time allotted.
  • Adaptability Test 1 (for both Group ‘X' & Group ‘Y' Trades): All applicants who pass the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) must undergo the Adaptability Test-I (objective type written test), which is used to determine a candidate's readiness for employment in the IAF, which requires deployment in a variety of geographic topography, weather, and operational situations.
  • Adaptability Test 2 (for both Group ‘X' and Group ‘Y' Trades): As per current policy, all candidates who pass the Adaptability Test – I will be required to take the Adaptability Test – II. The purpose of the Adaptability Test-II is to find applicants who can adapt to the Indian Air Force's environment and to the military way of life.

Medical Fitness Test:

1. Height

  • 5 cms are the minimum allowable height.
  • 165 cms is the minimum height for IAF(P) trade (For NE and Hill States) Cms 175 (For other States)
  • -162.5 cms are the minimum height for the Auto Tech trade (For NE and Hill States) Cms 165 (For other States)

Note: Candidates from the Northeast and Hill States include Gorkhas, Kumaonis, Garhwalis, Assamese, and those from Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Sikkim, and Uttaranchal's hilly districts.

2. Chest

  • The expansion range is 5 cm (Minimum)

3. Weight 

  • Proportionate to age and height. However, only the Operations Assistant (ATS) Trade requires a minimum weight of 55 kg.

4. Corneal Surgery

  • (PRK or LASIK) is not acceptable.

5. Hearing

  • The candidate must have normal hearing, which means that each ear must be able to hear a forced whisper from a distance of 6 meters.

6. Dental

  • Healthy gums, a good set of teeth, and a minimum of 14 dental points are required.

7. General Health

  • The candidate's anatomy should be normal, with no appendages missing. He should be free of any active or latent medical or surgical impairment, infection, or skin illness, whether acute or chronic. The candidate must be physically and psychologically capable of performing duties in any location throughout the world, in any climate or terrain.
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  • No, You must be a Graduate to sit for the AFCAT Exam.

  • It consists of a run of about 1.6 km.

  • Yes the AFSB & SSB interviews are the same. SSB Stands for Service Selection Board and AFAB Stands for Air Force Selection Board. The procedure of the two is the same.

  • No, You must be a graduate at least.

  • The AFCAT Exam is conducted twice a year.

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