Indian Air Force (IAF) Pilot Aptitude Battery Test
) is the single most important test that determines whether you are fit to be a Pilot and hence decides if you can have a career in the flying unit of IAF. Also, what is most important is that: you can appear for PABT only once in your life time
- if you fail once, your flying career is sealed - you can never appear for PABT for the second time! The only option if still you want to have a defense career is to choose the other two forces: Army & Navy.
Material available on the net for IAF PABT is very scarce and hence most of the PABT test takers attempts the PABT blindly, without any preparation. This is very true that you do not need any preparation for the skills tested in PABT- since most of the time your reflex is tested. However some exposure on what tests are conducted in PABT would help the IAF flying career aspirants to attempt the same with ease. That is why this blog article is being made.
SSB Interview Selection Process:
What is PABT?
Subsequent to scrutiny of your application, if you are found eligible, you would be called for the selection test in any of the three Air Force Selection Boards (AFSB), located at Dehradun, Mysore & Varanasi. You would be paid the Traveling allowance (To & Fro cost) for it.
Upon arriving at the AFSB, you have to undergo the SSB selection test, which consists of a two stage selection process: Stage-1 & Stage-2, followed by Medical Examination. Day-wise selection process can be found from following graphics:
It is a series of aptitude test, which tests your aptitude to become a pilot. PABT is a part of the SSB Interview tests and is the first obstacle you have to clear among other SSB tests (continuing till 6 days). PABT is conducted only for selections into IAF flying branch and not for technical or ground wings.
PABT comprises of three tests:
Instrument Battery Test (INSB)
: It is a paper pencil test, in which you would need to read and interpret the dials (like altitude meters, speedometer, tilt meter etc.) of an instrument panel of an aircraft and answer about 30 objective questions within 20 minutes.
Sensory Motor Apparatus Test (SMA) & Control Velocity Test (CVT): Both of these are machine tests, which measures the psychomotor co-ordination skill of the individual.
Sensory Motor Apparatus Test (SMA):
These are like video games, in which you are made to sit in a cockpit like instrument, with a monitor in front, paddles on your feet and a joystick on your hand. As soon as the test starts, a small square would appear on the centre of the monitor and a small ball would keep moving/oscillating.
You can move the ball right by pressing your right paddle, left by left paddle, up by moving joystick towards you and down by moving joystick away from you. Your goal is to keep the ball within the square for maximum amount of time. But as soon as you bring the ball within the square, it comes out and you have to bring it back again.
In the midst of all this, a beep sound would come randomly for 2 second and you have to press the button on top of the joystick within this 2 second, for which you get bonus scores.
In Control Velocity Test (CVT), a small ball (aprox. 5mm dia) would appear on the monitor and similar balls would flow across screen from random directions. Your goal is to overlap your ball with maximum number of the flowing balls.
You are adequately briefed by the SSB examiners on every aspect of PABT test and you are also encouraged to ask questions whenever you have a doubt. As you can find from above, PABT test is very enjoyable and you would find it a fun to appear in the PABT test.
However, there is a catch! As said before, You can appear in PABT only once in your lifetime and hence if you are serious of becoming a pilot, use this only chance..
Do you need any practice for PABT? Not a must, as your pure reflexes are tested. But some familiarization would make you confident. For this, just visit any good video parlor with good video games..
If you had applied for only IAF flying branches career, and you fail at PABT, all you have to do is pack your baggage and go back. But if you had applied for a joint defence career (like NDA/CDS etc.), you would be asked to stay back and complete the rest of the selection test, as you may be found suitable for Army, Navy or for non-flying branches of IAF (i.e. Technical & Ground).
Since PABT is a part of the other tests in SSB Interview, you should know about the other tests as well. So please visit my blog article titled: SSB Interview and how to prepare
for the same.