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What Is The Difference Between PABT And CPSS Test?

Computerized Pilot Selection System Test also is known as the CPSS test has replaced the well-known PABT test to select the best candidates for Indian air force flying branch. Computerized...

Computerized Pilot Selection System Test also is known as the CPSS test has replaced the well-known PABT test to select the best candidates for Indian air force flying branch. Computerized Pilot Selection System (CPSS) has replaced the old PABT test and instruments that were in use for decades. Let’s talk more about the CPSS test for Indian air force flying branch and what Computerized Pilot Selection System (CPSS) consists of.

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What is the CPSS Test Computerized Pilot Selection System?

  • To select the rock-solid pilots to fly the advanced aircraft of Indian air force like Rafael, Su-30, Tejas, Mirage 2000 etc., the Indian Air Force (IAF) inaugurated the Computerized Pilot Selection System (CPSS) at the No. 2 Air Force Selection Board Mysore.
  • CPSS test is the brainchild of APJ Abdul Kalam as he advised for CPSS when he was the scientific adviser of the prime minister in 1997. Mr Kalam suggested developing an intelligent tool for pilot aptitude test in consonance with the advanced IAF aircraft.
  • It also aims at addressing the alarming rate of flying accidents attributed to pilot error in IAF.
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Who developed the CPSS Test?

  • It has been jointly developed by the Defence Institute of Psychological Research and the Air Defence Establishment – premier organisations of the Defence Research and Development Organization.
  • Like PABT test, the candidate will get only one chance to clear the CPSS test, if failed, would never be eligible for flying in the armed forces, and be it Air force, army, navy or coast guard. Aspirants will get only one chance to take the test under the Computerized Pilot Selection System. CPSS places special emphasis on psychomotor skills and cognitive abilities of aspirants. It ensures objectivity in results. The system will be used to screen pilots for IAF, Army, Navy and the Coast Guard.

The CPSS Exam has two parts:

  • 1st there will be an MCQ test. They will first give you instructions how to read 6 kinds of dials present in an aircraft, based on that there will be a number of MCQ tests which include dial reading questions along with IQ, pattern matching, basic maths, tests (around 15 small quizzes in total). It is fairly simple and anyone with basic school level physics knowledge will clear it.
  • After the 1st test you will be made to sit in a CPSS machine which is like a cockpit with a joystick, pedals and a lever (like in an aircraft) with a screen in front of you. You will be made to play a number of games similar to a video game with a joystick and you have to get a certain score in all games combined to clear this test. Anyone who drives or has played videogames can clear this one easily. You just need hand leg coordination. You get 3 chances in each game and your best score is taken out of the 3, so if you mess up in the 1st attempt you can make up for it in the other 2 attempts
  • The CPSS test is simple. Elaborate instructions are given before commencement of both these test so there will be no confusion. So the candidates shouldn’t be worrying, you should focus more on the SSB part as that is the main challenge.

ALSO READ: What Is CPSS Test For AFCAT Flying Branch Candidates

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Now, let’s talk about the previous PABT test.


Pilot Aptitude Battery Test (PABT) is a unique test. It is aimed at assessing a candidate’s aptitude to be trained as a pilot. PABT comprises three tests such as Instrument Battery Test (INSB), Sensory Motor Apparatus Test (SMA) and Control Velocity Test (CVT). Instrument Battery Test (INSB) is a paper-pencil test and the other two are machine tests.

Instrument Battery Test (INSB):

The Instruments Battery Test (INSB) comprises two parts. This test mainly checks the ability of an individual to read and interpret the dials of an instrument panel of an aircraft.

Officer instructor will be showing you the large dummy meters so that you can easily understand. Some of the aircraft meters included in these tests are:

  • Compass meter
  • Climbing or diving meter
  • Horizon detector
  • Altimeter

After getting the knowledge of these meters the candidate has to give test related to these meters. Those only who qualify this test are eligible to give machine test.

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Syllabus of Instrument Battery Test INSB

  • INSB written test has 75 questions in two parts, 15 and 60 questions. Total time allotted for INSB is 35 minutes.
  • INSB consist of few question in which you have to find out the direction of a fighter plane, like its descending, ascending, left bank or right bank. Officer In-charge will explain all this before the test properly.

Machine Test

The machine test includes the Sensory Motor Apparatus Test (SMA) and Control Velocity Test (CVT). These tests measure the psychomotor co-ordination skill of the individual. This test is just like playing computer games. It has two parts:

  • SMA: There is a two rectangle (the small one is in big one). There is a dot comes from the upper screen which has to be adjusted in a small rectangle. Another beep killing has to be executed by pressing the jockey button. Another process is to put off yellow and red light simultaneously by a left-hand lever. When you adjusted the circle in a small rectangle then only the score will count. I am showing the computer screen for this test.
  • CVT: Another machine test is controlled velocity test in which by jockey, small dots should be superimposed on free-falling yellow dots coming from the upper screen. You should touch this blue line to randomly coming yellow balls for the high score.

Tips for the Instruments Battery Test (INSB)

  • Before this test, you will be getting detailed instructions from an officer. He will be teaching you about different meters in an aircraft and also telling you how to read them correctly. Make sure you do not sleep during his lecture.
  • INSB is an objective type test; you will be getting questions related to aircraft meters.
  • These questions take more time, so make sure you have learned the tips and tricks given by officer during instructions.
  • Do not waste more time on single questions, make sure you attempt as many as questions because there is no negative marking.
  • Read the questions carefully, you can use your hand as an aircraft to simulate the position of an aircraft as per the question.
  • It would be better if you read about these meters beforehand.

Tips for Machine Tests

You will be facing this test only after clearing Instruments Battery Test, INSB:

  • Listen to the instruction given by the officer about Machine and controllers.
  • Ask for the doubts as soon as he finishes his instructions (if any).
  • Do not get afraid, it’s not a real jet. Predict that you are playing a game at home.
  • You will get three trials for each test i.e. sensory-motor apparatus test and control velocity test. Use your first chance to free your hands and understanding the functionality and working of the machine you are playing with.
  • As soon as you analyse the sensitivity of the controller, it will be a cakewalk for you to get a high score in the other two attempts.
  • Do not get nervous if you are not able to perform well in any single attempt because marks will be considered as best of three attempts and not the sum of three attempts

Now, after the description of both of these tests, we will be discussing the basic differences between both of them.

ALSO READ: 50 Latest Questions On Indian Air Force Asked In SSB Interview

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Basic differences between CPSS and PABT:

The first difference is that the written test of PABT is pen and paper-based while the written test of CPSS is computer i.e. computer-based. PABT consists of a written test (2 parts) and two machine tests while CPSS consists of a written test (6 parts) and 10 machine tests. But you should notice that the first two-part of written test of CPSS is exactly same as both parts of the written test of PABT. Rest four tests are of basic maths and reasoning. Also, briefing for PABT written test is done by an officer at AFSB while for CPSS written test you will be shown a video.

In 10 machine tests of CPSS first two tests are just like two PABT machine tests (SMA and CVT). So, basically in CPSS, all PABT tests are included. Also, there is a slight difference in the SMA test of PABT and SMA test of CPSS. In PABT two fixed concentric rectangular boxes are there on the screen and you will have to control (with control pedals and joystick) a randomly moving ball and bring it inside the boxes. Whereas in CPSS you have to control a set of three concentric squares moving randomly and try to bring a randomly moving inside the box.

For each machine test of PABT three chances are given and best chance is considered whereas in CPSS for each machine test four chances are given and here also the best chance is considered.

You shouldn’t be venturing out during these times when not only traveling activities but academic institutes are also closed. This is a great time to try new things that technology has brought at your steps such as Online Courses at SSBCrack Exams. Taking AFCAT Written Online courses will not only give you access to full-length quality lectures but will also provide the facility to take standardized mock tests for comparative study and growth.

You can take multiple quizzes after each lesson to ensure the full understanding of the subject along with creating your customized lesson plans. Practice with online quiz and test series at SSBCrack Exams is the best way to check your performance. Online test series and quiz will also help you increase your speed and this is very helpful in the real exam. To get good marks in the AFCAT 2022 and AFCAT 2023 examination, candidates will have to practice online more and more. You are advised to attempt more quizzes and mock tests regularly.

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