Pilot Aptitude Battery Test – Explained in Detail

by Sachin Kumar on July 13, 2014

Pilot Aptitude Battery Test is an aptitude test designed and conducted for all those candidates who aspire and apply for a flying career in the Air Force. The main aim is to assess a candidate’s aptitude to be trained as a pilot and test the mental alertness, judgment power, presence of mind and self-confidence of the candidate. It checks whether a prospective candidate has proper control over his nerves while he is flying an aircraft.

Candidates can appear for the PABT only once in their life time because it is said that a person who doesn’t have natural attitude and ability to become a pilot, cannot be trained well as a successful pilot.

PABT comprises three tests: Instrument Battery Test (INSB), Sensory Motor Apparatus Test  or Flight Control Test and Control Velocity Test or Drum Test.  Instrument Battery Test (INSB) is a written test and other two are machine tests.

> Instrument Battery Test (INSB)

Test 1: Meter Reading Test

In this test the candidates have to answers 15 questions in 12 minutes. This test is designed to see whether a candidate has the ability to read meters quickly.

  1. Magnetic Compass: This instrument is used to determine the direction in which the aircraft is traveling towards. The real compass needle usually point north and south direction, but the images on the question paper may be north, south, east, west, north east, north west, south east or south west.
  2. Artificial Horizon: This instrument is used to measure the altitude of the planes at both its wings – the right and left. This is critical to determine if the plane is flying parallel to the ground or sliding towards one end.
  3. Altimeter: Altimeter is used to calculate the altitude at which the plane is flying. Usually it is measured from the mean sea level. It has 3 needles which move in a clock wise direction.
  4. Turn and Back Indicator: This instrument is used to figure out where the aircraft is turning. It has a white ended needle and the movement of the white needle indicates whether the plane is turning left or right.
  5. Climb and Descent Indicator: This instrument is used to find whether the aircrafts is ascending or descending.
  6. Air Speed Indicator: This instrument helps to determine the speed of the aircraft which is referred as the IAS (Indicator Air Speed).

Test 2: Aircraft heading and position identification test.

After this there is a second set of 60 questions on two Meters (Horizon and compass) for which 20 minutes are given to answer them. In this you have to identify the direction and ascending/descending of the aircraft.

Compass: North(0 degree), NE(45), E(90), SE(135), S(180), SW(225), W(270), NW(315) etc

How to find directions:

  1. If you see the nose of the plane, the plane is coming towards you then it is moving towards south.
  2. If you see the black dot of the plane, the plane is going away from you and it is moving towards north.
  3. If you see the plane moving in such a way that the nose is to your right and tail to your left, then it is moving towards east.
  4. If you see the plane moving in such a way that the nose is to your left and tail to your right, then it is moving towards west.

Ascent/Descent identification for East-West movement:

  1. If the nose is at a lower horizontal level than the tail, than the plane is surely losing height or descending.
  2. If the nose is at a higher horizontal level than the tail, than the plane is surely gaining height or ascending.

Ascent/Descent identification for North movement: (When you see the black dot or the tail)

  1. If you see the belly of the plane, then the plane is losing height.
  2. If you see the top portion of the plane then the plane is gaining height.

Ascent/Descent identification for south movement: (when you see the nose):

  1. If you see the belly of the plane, than the plane is gaining height.
  2. If you see the top of the plane, than its losing height.

> Machine Tests

The machine tests include Sensory Motor Apparatus Test/ Flight Control Test and Control Velocity Test/Drum Test.

Test 1: Sensory Motor Apparatus Test/ Flight Control Test

This test is conducted to assess the candidate’s abilities of reflex responses, alertness of mind and to calculate the extent of co-ordination between the arms, legs and mind. There is a small box in a large box and there is a dot which moves freely. Candidates are required to bring & keep that ball in the boxes and retain there to earn points. you have to do is to keep the ball in the boxes and earn maximum points.

To control the movement of the ball some devices are given. Joystick controls the movement of the ball in up and down direction. Moving the stick back moves the ball up and moving the stick in forward direction moves the ball down in the screen. Foot Pedals are used to move the ball from right to left or vice versa.

In addition to this, there are two light spots in red and yellow colours which are flashed on the screen randomly. The candidates are required to switch off these lights using a hand lever. The hand lever when moved forward switches off red light and when pulled backward switches off yellow light. Candidates also wear a headphone in which a beep sound comes after sometime which the candidate has to turn off within 3 seconds by pressing a button on the joystick. Three chances are given for this and the best performance of them is taken for consideration of their aptitude level.

Test 2: Drum Test

This is also a machine test used to determine the aspirant’s ability to control the velocity. On computer screen a sequence of yellow dots are coming from up to down The candidate have to catch as many yellow dots as possible with a red dot at the bottom. The red dot can be moved using the joystick. Whenever there is a successful catching of the yellow dot, a beep sound comes in the headphone. The more times you catch the yellow dots on the red ball, the more points you get. Three chances are given for this and the best performance of them is taken for consideration of their aptitude level.

Note: If you have cleared PABT earlier and applying again for flying branch then you don’t need to go for this test again.

SSB is regarded as the toughest interview in India. Large no. of applicants apply for the various entries but at the end only few make it. The reason behind their selection is that they were different from the others. How you can be different than others and how can you crack the SSB? Find out in the following article:

  1. Speak truth: Truth Alone Triumphs. Whatever you speak it must be true. In case you don’t know anything about a particular question then don’t lie to the IO. Remember that he interviews many candidates like us and he can catch you easily when you are lying.
  2. Show your knowledge: Keep yourself updated with the latest happenings in the world and India. When it comes to GD and Lecturette then your knowledge will surely help you to earn more points. Your knowledge will grab others attention and you will become the center of attraction. In case of you interview, show your full knowledge of games you played, NCC etc.
  3. Motivate others: In GTO tasks, you may find that some people get nervous or they are not able to express themselves clearly. In that case you must give them a helping hand and motivate them to express themselves. A leader never lets his soldier feel low or nervous.
  4. Work for a team: When it comes to PGT,HGT,FGT and snake race, always think for the team first. Make a balance in giving ideas and helping others. In snake race, always help the weak members to cross the obstacles before you.
  5. Don’t panic: While Psychological testing, Interview and Individual tasks, don’t panic. Nobody is going to kill you. Just keep yourself calm, hold your breath, leave all the tensions behind and give your best performance.
  6. Don’t beat around the bush: In case of Interview and GD, if you don’t know anything about a particular topic then don’t beat around the bush or give illogical ideas and answers. Just give it a small try and leave the topic if it is not going in your favour.
  7. Don’t apply others ideas: This happens mostly in psychological testing. Some people discuss with others (who already had appeared for SSB) and ask them that what they wrote in the pictures, situations and words. If they find it good, then they apply the same ideas in their own SSB. This is a wrong technique as it may not match your personality.
  8. Be cooperative: Don’t argue with other, don’t shout and don’t be loud. Cooperate with others and keep the discussion healthy.
  9. Express yourself/ Good expressions Power of expression is most important. Express your points with full confidence and positivity in such a way that it leaves a positive impact on the audience. When you are answering a question in your interview then make sure that you are expressing your thoughts clearly and precisely. Don’t hurry and speak slowly with an ease.
  10. Be cheerful and lively: Whatever you do, so it with full energy and keep smiling. A cheerful and lively person is admired by all. Always keep a smile on your face. Smile costs nothing. It shows that you are enjoying your tasks/conversation with the IO and nervousness is far away from you. A gloomy face shows lack of confidence and interest.
  11. Be confident and have faith on you: Always be self-confident, be positive and have faith on you that whatever you are doing is right. It removes nervousness. Whatever you speak, speak with confidence. If you are confident, then every question will be easy for you to answer.
  12. Be positive: In Psychological testing some negative pictures, situations and words are displayed to check candidate’s reponse. In that case one must display positivity and remove the negative aspect of the above by his logical and positive thinking. But if you reflected negative thoughts, then you are gone.
  13. Take initiative:  A leader always lead his team to victory. Take initiative in performing tasks. Also, have ideas from team members.
  14.  Adapt the environment: Sometimes you may feel that people are not that friendly with you. For e.g the GD becomes the fish market and people may not listen to you. All you need to do is to adapt the environment and act accordingly.
  15. Show your OLQ’s: You are aware of 15 OLQ’s? Keep all the qualities in your mind and show it your assessors be it you Psychological testing officer, GTO or IO. If you show these OLQ’s then believe me, victory is yours.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

vishnuprasad September 21, 2014 at 7:53 am

for ues entry what are the qualification required and what is the cuttoff


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