CPSS Test Explained

Hello Aspirants! Flying high into the sky with astonishing speed is the dream of many defense aspirants who are aspiring to become a pilot in the Indian Airforce. And to fulfill those dreams candidates have to first clear the SSB Interview there after a crucial test for the flying branch which is the CPSS test.

Today in this article we will discover what is CPSS test, what is the importance of the Computerized Pilot Selection System Test, what is the eligibility for it and how to prepare for the CPSS test. So without any further delay let’s dive into the comprehensive explanation of the CPSS test.

What is CPSS Test?

CPSS stands for Computerized Pilot Selection System. It is a test mandatory for candidates who are willing to join the flying branch in the Indian Airforce, Navy, or the Indian Army.

The computerized Pilot Selection System is designed and developed by the Defence Institute of Psychological Research (DIPR) and the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) both are institutions under Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam played a significant role in the development of this system, He advised CPSS to the prime minister in 1997 when he was his scientific adviser.

CPSS Test is only for candidates who had already been recommended in their SSB Interview and those who are willing to join the flying branch in any of the three services. Or the candidates cleared the AFCAT exam conducted by the Indian Airforce.

The candidates are only given one chance to clear the test in the lifetime and the candidate who fails to clear the exam in the first attempt is not allowed to reappear for the exam and is neither allowed to join the flying branch as a pilot but can opt for ground duty in flying branch if he wants.

The new CPSS is the replacement of the old British-era Pilot Amplitude Battery Test (PABT) which was the test for pilots before CPSS was introduced.

Why is CPSS Test taken?

CPSS test is taken to examine the psychomotor abilities of a candidate. The test focuses on the Information processing speed of the candidate, Hand-eye coordination of the candidate, visualization skills, and ability to perform multiple tasks at once.

The test is designed to lower the rate of flying accidents in the Indian Airforce due to pilot errors. As per the official site of DRDO, “The computerized pilot selection system ensures objectivity in results and uniformity in the degree of difficulty faced by the candidates.” Click to read the official paper of DRDO.

Eligibility for CPSS Test

Moving on to the eligibility in the Computerized Pilot Selection System, To be eligible for the Computerized Pilot Selection System test you should meet the following requirements:

  • You must be recommended candidate in SSB (If you are willing to join from NDA or CDS, Other than that you must have to apply for the AFCAT exam conducted by IAF twice a year)
  • You must not wear the specs or have any vision problems. Candidates who wear contact lenses or specs are not eligible for the¬†Computerized Pilot Selection System test.

Stages of CPSS Test

The Computerized Pilot Selection System test proceeds in two stages, Stage 1 and Stage 2. Both stages are generally easy to qualify for.

Stage 1

Stage 1 of the Computerized Pilot Selection System is the test of the multitasking ability of a candidate. It asses whether a candidate can perform multiple tasks simultaneously that too under pressure. The pressure situation is created by setting a time limit for the test.

In this stage, Candidates have first briefed about six flight instruments (Altimeter, Airspeed Indicator, Heading Indicator, Artificial Horizon, Vertical Speed Indicator and Turn Coordinator) and then an MCQ quiz is conducted which contains questions about those instruments.

A total of 15 questions are given with a time limit of 30 minutes for the whole test. The questions are generally logical and mathematical and related to those six instruments and their readings. The questions are generally simple and easily doable.

The objective of this test is to select the best possible candidates for fighter jets who can easily multitask with the instruments in the cockpit to control the jet in intense combat situations.

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Stage 2


The last stage of the Computerized Pilot Selection System test is to access the hand-eye coordination of the candidate. This is a very crucial test that judges whether a candidate has good hand-eye coordination or not as it is very crucial to fly a fighter jet.

In this test, the candidates are made to sit on CPSS machines that look like a jet aircraft cockpit with a screen in front of them. Joysticks, Pedals, and livers are given to control the CPSS machine.

Now a number of video games are played on the screen and the candidates have to score a certain score in all games combined to pass the test. If you fail in any game then no need to worry as three attempts are provided for each game to clear and the best of three scores is taken for the assessment.

The test is only to see the coordination among your body parts which is necessary for being a pilot. Also, the test is very easily clearable, anyone who rides a bike, drives a car, or plays video games can easily pass this test. So no need to worry regarding this test.


The computerized Pilot Selection System (CPSS) test is a crucial component of the pilot selection process, offering significant advantages in identifying and evaluating potential candidates for pilot training programs. This blog post has provided an overview of the CPSS test, highlighting its key features and benefits.

If you got recommended in SSB or cleared the AFCAT exam and are willing to join in flying branch of IAF as a pilot then you should start practicing for the test. To practice just have some knowledge about the flight instruments and you might play some flight simulator games on PC.

So this is the end of our post. I hope you got the necessary information about The computerized Pilot Selection System (CPSS) test. Subscribe to notifications for further updates!

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