How to Prepare for the AAI ATC Exam

A better version of this post – How to Pass ATC Exam in First Attempt

Air traffic control (ATC) is one of the most amazing professions in the world which provides you challenging role every day, a handsome salary package, and an excellent working environment. The aim of the Air Traffic Control Service is to ensure a safe, orderly, and expeditious flow of air traffic.

Prepare for AAI ATC exam

When we think of an Air Traffic Controller, the image of men and women working behind the glasses of the Airport Control Tower controlling the movements of aircraft comes to our mind; however, ATC(Air Traffic Control) is a much more complex job than that. Air Traffic control includes coordination of aircraft movements, providing separation between the aircraft, directing aircraft during landing and take-off, guide the pilot during an emergency or bad weather.

Recruitment Process

With the unprecedented growth in air traffic density, there will be a large requirement for Air traffic control officers (ATCOs) in India. On behalf of Govt. of India Airports Authority of India (AAI) recruits Air Traffic Controllers for civil aviation air traffic control/management. AAI is a Mini-Ratna Public Sector Undertaking(PSU) under the Ministry of Civil Aviation. The selection procedure includes a written test, a voice test followed by an Interview. In this post, I will discuss how to prepare for the written test of the ATC Recruitment examination. First of all, let us see who can apply for this prestigious profession.

  • Eligibility Criteria

  1. Regular full-time Bachelor’s Degree (3 years) in Science (B.Sc.) with Physics and Mathematics from a recognized university with a minimum of 60% marks OR Full-time regular Bachelor’s degree in Engineering/Technology (B.E./B.Tech) in any discipline of Electronics/Telecommunications/ Information Technology with minimum 60% marks.(Updated:02/01/2016)
  2. The candidate shall have minimum proficiency in both spoken and written English of the level of 10+2 standard. He/she shall also attain the ICAO language minimum proficiency level 4 (operational) for the purpose of issuing of license or rating. Any candidate who is not able to attain ICAO proficiency level 4 or above during the training, his /her services are liable to be terminated.

Well, don’t worry about the ICAO Language minimum proficiency level 4 condition because once selected you will be provided English improvement classes during initial training at AAI Training Institutes. So candidates with poor English backgrounds don’t need to panic about this condition.

  • Written Test

AAI(Airport Authority of India) has decided to conduct the written test online. There will be a total of 120 questions which are divided into two sections i.e. Technical and Non-technical. Technical Section comprises questions from Physics and Mathematics whereas the Non-Technical section tests the general knowledge, English, reasoning, and numerical ability of the applicant.

  • Technical Section

It will have a total of 60 questions which will be divided into two parts: 30 questions of Physics and Mathematics each. The level of questions will be of 12th standard with a few questions testing the graduation level knowledge of the applicant. As AAI(Airport Authority of India) started putting only Physics and Mathematics questions in 2015. I have listed some of the topics for you which were asked in the JE (ATC) exam conducted on 26th April 2015.

Physics: Dimensions of Force/Work/Torque/Energy etc., Numerical on Newton’s Laws of Motion, Angular momentum numerical, Numerical on static Friction, Torque variation, type of forces: centripetal and centrifugal, Potential and Kinetic Energy formula based numerical, Theoretical question on the definition of diffraction/refraction/Total Internal Reflection/Reflection, Vector and Scalar Product, Wave motion, Theoretical questions on Transverse and Longitudinal waves, Numerical on wavelength of Lyman, Balmer, Paschen series, various Atomic models, Numerical on Hook’s Law,Elasticity, Diode Numerical, doping in Semiconductors, p-type and n-type semiconductors, Barkhausen stability criterion, Ideal Gas equation, Specific heat theoretical question, Numerical on resolving power of prism, volume based numerical, numerical on level rise of a field of defined area due to rain,Satellite communication numerical like orbital velocity, Escape velocity etc.

Mathematics: The topics include Convergence and Divergence, Matrix (Eigen Value, types of matrices e.g. Idempotent matrix, to find out determinant of matrix, to check the consistency of given equation, rank of matrix), Coordinate Geometry (No. of tangents of a sphere, condition of co-linearity and to check collinear points, line equation, parabola, ellipse etc.), simple Probability problem, Mathematical induction, Equation of planes and relationship between planes, Vector planes, Limits, Trigonometry, Differential equations, Complex variables, Simple questions on integration and differentiation, questions on Graphs theory.

  • Non-Technical Section

It will have 60 questions which include questions from General Knowledge, Reasoning, Numerical ability/Quantitative problems, and English. The standard of questions is the same as that of SSC CGLE . English covers almost one-third of this section i.e. 20 questions. 15 questions from Numerical ability and Reasoning each and 10 questions from GK.
English will cover antonym/synonym, direct/indirect speech, idioms, conjunction, active and passive voices, one-word substitution, one passage, error correction, and prepositions.

Some important points to be considered for the written test:

  • Keep this in mind that unlike most of the PSU exams, there will be no negative marking, so my personal advice will be to attempt all the questions.
  • The non-Technical section has quite easy questions so first attempt this section (if online test settings allow it), it will ensure that you don’t miss easy questions due to paucity of time or last-minute hurry.
  • The technical section has Physics and Math questions so preparation can be started with NCERT books of 11th and 12th
  • The syllabus of Physics and Maths can be covered by referring IIT-JEE prelims questions. Go through the notes from reputed institutes for this. This will cover almost 50-70% of the technical section.
  • In Physics, focus more on Mechanics and Thermodynamics in particular.
  • Similarly in Math. focus on Matrix, Coordinate Geometry, and Differential Equations.
  • Some of the questions in the technical section will be of graduation level so please refer to 1st-year Physics and Math. of B.Tech./B.Sc. but my advice will be to focus more on IIT-JEE notes of the 12th standard as it will cover a major portion of the section.
  • As reasoning covers almost 33% of marks of the non-technical portion so practicing this will be a good choice instead of memorizing GK facts from a small part of the exam.
  • Practice SSC CGLE test papers for Numerical Ability and Reasoning preparation.
  • Also, overall practice can be done from NDA’s previous years’ papers as it will cover Physics, Math, English and GK.
  • For English preparation, NDA and SSC CGLE test papers will achieve the goal.
  • There will be no sectional cut-off i.e. selection for the interview will be on the basis of overall marks in the two sections

P.S. : This article was written with reference to AAI ATC Exam held in April 2015, but as the level of questions or important topics/subjects keeps changing with each exam, I would like to add here that prepare the Graduation level Maths. and Physics as well. I am saying this because in Dec. 2015 Exam there were a good number of questions from the Graduation level. You can check the level of questions in my other article (link given below). So covering the Grad. the level syllabus will magnify the chances of clearing the online test. 

I wish you all the very best for your exam.


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119 thoughts on “How to Prepare for the AAI ATC Exam”

  1. sai venu gopal reddy

    hello sir. Firstly my heartly appreciation for ur work regarding atc. from last few months, it has became a one stop solution for atc preparation information for many students.

    1. sudhir sheoran

      First of all thank you very much dear, it is all because of you guys’ support that has inspired me to write more and more about AAI related exam, especially ATC.

      Syllabus is yet to declared by AAI so nothing can be said about it at the moment. As I have never appeared in this exam so my experience is nil to speculate anything about syllabus. But start learning motor driving, you will get benefitted.

  2. sir,
    can you please tell the exam details and syllabus pattern of AAI jr.executive(civil) as per adv 02/2016

      1. sir, pls upload all the necessary notes for technical section Junior executive(Information technology) as soon as possible, and congratz for ur wonderful work, keep going ! ! ! !

  3. chaitali gajankush

    Sir, my exam is on 24th April. I am confused that should I study physics and maths or Electronics for technical section, since I am an Electronics engineer and has filled its details in form.
    Thank you.

  4. Good work ..really helpful for job aspirants in AAI. Thank you for all the posts.. Technical questions from Physics and Chemistry looks very tough to remember.

    Please post some more questions from past exams (ATC) if you have..

    1. Thank you. And no questions from chemistry…please note it. And I don’t have anymore questions to upload.

  5. Chitralekha Lamba

    Sir, From where will I get the ICAO language minimum proficiency level 4 (operational) certificate (as mentioned above)?
    Is it necessary to produce the certificate at the time of interview?
    If yes, then will I get it from my 12th standard school?

    1. Hehe…its ICAO mam…not CBSE or some state board. Anyway you do not require this during recruitment phase. If you are selected then You will get it while undergoing training.

  6. Hello Sir,
    This website is really awesome.The way you handle the Questions is quite intresting.

    My question:
    I downloaded the syllabus blue print from the official website. But i could not the syllabus for junior executive(Airport Operations) Syllabus there. Can you please tell us the syllabus.
    I found the syllabus for Manager(Airport Operations). Should we follow that?

  7. Sir
    Does the syllabus of JE(ATC) and JE(TECHNICAL) is same? AAI has alreday published syllabus of most of junior executive posts. It does not contain syllabus of JE(ATC) in particular but syllabus of JE(TECHNICAL) seems to be the same…

  8. Sir I was selected in 3/2015 for interview in 2nd list but now get a message of cancellation of interview and scheduled. When will be conduct interview or other action will be taken? Thank you.

      1. Haha alright sir. Please post an article on the exam held on 24th April with expected cutoffs if possible. Exam seemed very difficult as i had prepared based on the last exams difficulty level. Even the Non tech part seemed difficult as there wasnt enough time. I dont know if that is the general perception or just me.

  9. Can you give us an idea about what is the general response of candidates after ATC exam on 24th april ? I myself felt the exam was really tough compared to the last ATC exam, especially physics, maths and numerical ability. Sir, can you give us a general idea about the range of cutoff marks??

  10. Almohsin Sheikh

    Sir, could you please let me know that can a BE (EC) person apply for this recruitment, I mean for “Advt.No. 02/2016”??

    Please let me know as soon as possible as I really wish to apply for it and am not sure that I am eligible or not as there no specific qualifications has been mentioned. Also, I have appeared for JE ATC on 24th and so I am also planning to appear in this exam also as I have a dream since my childhood to work in AAI.

    It is an humble request to you to share the details and also share that if I am eligible to apply then kindly share the post for which I can apply – (Junior Executive (Electrical Eng.) or Junior Executive (Airport Operations ). Please do help sir…

    Also, I would like to thank from my deep of my heart for all the help you have given and shared in this blog for the JE ATC exam… I have studied from the syllabus you have shared and the guidance you have given.. Thanks you so so very much for all your guidance and support. It would be a great help to a person like me if you could help me with this….

    Thanks in advance !!

    1. Hello Dear, You cannot apply for JE-Electrical as you dont have required qualification for the post. But good news is that you are eligible for JE-AO. All the best !!

      1. Almohsin Sheikh

        Thank you so much for your reply, Sir.

        I will right away fill the form for JE-AO. Thanks a lot…. It is an humble request to you to upload, syllabus and helpful tips, guidance, materials or reference books or name of specific book(s) which would be helpful for JE-AO.

        I know that I (and on the whole we all aspirants are giving much work load and it might seem to you that we are putting much pressure on you) but Sir, speaking very frankly; we do not have any other medium to get our answers. There is no satisfactory and clear information available on the website.

        Also, in the advertisement one email address is mentioned which is “” where I have emailed a long time ago, when the recruitment was rolled out, but yet I have not received any reply from AAI. I know that there might be lots of inquiries coming to them in terms of email, but what about our questions, as they have shared the email address so they should reply on the queries, Right?

        And in top of that I have received your reply that yes, I am eligible to apply for JE-AO, so now you only tell me why do I not be so thankful and grateful to you.. You are just amazing and you’re doing much more than a particular committed NGO might be doing…. Really, thank you so much right from the deep of my heart…

        And thank you so much for wishing me luck !!

        Awaiting for your precious response…

        Take care, Sir 🙂

        1. Hello Mr. Sheikh, the issue is that I just cannot upload anything without getting any authentic information about it. Some other sites just upload whatever they get on internet but Incomopedia never do so bcz we understand the pain and efforts of candidates trying hard to get their dreams come true. I am trying to get the information about syllabus and will upload as and when I get confirmed and authentic syllabus. Till then practice and prepare for non-tech portion.

  11. sreya Chatterjee

    Hello sir, can you please tell me whether the exam JE ATC takes place every year or not? So that I can prepare for the next ATC exam…

    1. There is no fixed pattern. AAI conducted exam in 2010,11,12 and the after a gap of 3 years it conducted exam twice in 2015. In 2016 exam has already been conducted. So you can understand however I am expecting that AAI will held the exam in 2017 as it is struggling with ATC officers’ Shortage

  12. Hello sir, thank you forbyour valuable time. Ive scored 74 in the 7/2016 exam in general category morning shift. I also feel that 2 questions need corrections,
    *how good is my chances for clearing the cutoff???? *And can you tell me what normalised score means???

  13. Prashant Kumar

    This is a very useful article.
    I have a doubt that for JE (Electrical/ Electronics) do I need to have Valid GATE Score?
    I am not able to see such notification anywhere but I came to know about the same from some online resources.

    If you can confirm from your side, it would be of great help.

    Thank You!

  14. sir what is the expected date for exam of juniour executive 2016 ,the forms of which are being filled nowadays?

  15. Hello,
    Thank you for providing one stop solutions and queries.
    I have -8D eye power which is corrected using spectacles. (I know its a very bad eye power!!)
    Will this eye power/ wearing spectacles pose problem for appointment as ATC?
    Thank you
    P.S: I am getting 76 marks in april 2016 exam(7/2015) general cat, shift 2

  16. Hello Sudhir ,
    Is the answer key out for 07/2015?
    I can see people posting their scores. Is it their own calculation or is it wth reference to any Answer key?
    Thank you.

  17. hello Se syllabus ofir,
    i wanted to know the junior executive(IT) syllabus which is going to be held in july……please reply as soon as possible

  18. Hi Sir..
    I’ve applied for Junior Executive (Information Technology). Does it have separate syllabus and question paper? or is it the same like electronics? Please clarify. Also please let me know which book I should refer to for IT? Also when will the exam be conducted for 02/2016 advt?

    1. sudhir sheoran

      Please read related post on homepage of incomopedia…first post with title AAI JE EXAM SYLLABUS AND EXAM PATTERN

  19. Almohsin Sheikh

    Sir, first of all thank you for sharing this details with us about the syllabus of JE exam. I have applied for JE A(O) as per our discussion earlier. Now, as you have advised us (speaking about JE AO applied aspirants) to study general questions of science and management. Could you please share some more insights over this, as the syllabus is mentioned nowhere about JE AO. I can certainly understand and really appreciate at the first place that you might be also trying to find this information for us; but it is just that as I am not able to find the information anywhere, so I am urging and requesting you much.

    Thank you so much once again for creating this wonderful blog. You know what, Sir, I never needed to visit the official site as everything has been mentioned here in a very clear and understandable manner.

    Three cheers to you, Sir….

    Heep heep .. Hurray….
    Heep heep… Hurray…..
    Heeeeeeep heeep …. Hurray……..

  20. Hello Sir,
    please help me by telling me the technical section syllabus for junior executive (IT) advt no 2/2016……..and please tell me is syllabus of air traffic controller and junior executive are same or different???
    please reply

    1. sudhir sheoran

      In my opinion it should b from IT subjects that are asked in GATE. atc n it have different syllabus.

  21. hello sir,
    it means i should prepare only IT subjects for technical not physics and maths……..please reply sir

  22. sir i have no degree pass certificate .i went to my university but they said that it will take long will i be allowed for interview with marksheets and other documents

  23. sir i am naveen,i have seen your post,it will be very useful to me but yet now i am not having clear idea to prepare for air trafic control,particularly on maths and physics.i dont know which book i want to prefer for maths and physics.please help me whatsapp number is 9894892045,friends you can contact me through this number,help me friends,thank you

    1. sudhir sheoran

      Please go through previous year question papers available on incomopedia. You will get a fair idea of level and type of questions. Accordingly you can start your preparations.

  24. Hello Sir,
    I am Ganesh. I need to thank you very much for writing such a useful information for the atc aspirants. I have a doubt that whether i need to take any resume along with my certificates to the atc interview. will they view my resume in the interview board room..?

    1. All required documents are mentioned in interview call letter so take those documents with you. CV as such is not required at all still no harm in keeping it with you.

  25. Chitralekha Lamba

    Sir, last year for the post of JE( ATC) there were two exams held in 2015… one in april and another one in december..
    So for 2016, when will the recruitment for december exam be published?
    And also sir, when will the result be out for the exam held on 24th april 2016? I have checked my marks from the link given on incomopedia.. but when will the result be out officially by AAI??
    Thank you sir!

  26. Chitralekha Lamba

    Sir, AAI has increased the number of seats from 200 to 400 for advt no. 07/2015 ( Exam held on 24th April 2016)
    So sir according to this what will be the change in the cut off marks??
    And sir when will the result be declared officially??

  27. Hello Sir,
    Do you have any idea when the result will be declared for advt no. 7/2015……and can you please tell me what can be the expected cut off for junior executive(IT) advt no. 2/2016

    1. sudhir sheoran

      Let the interview process get over first then it usually takes about 1-1.5 months for final result declaration. No idea about IT cut off

    1. Yes, B.SC. (with Maths. and Physics as two of the main subjects) fulfills required educational qualification criterion.

  28. Sir i had done Bsc. Mathematics from Delhi University but i had taken commerce in 12th standard. Am i eligible for ATC post?

  29. Sir, I am eagerly waiting for next recruitment of ATC. Can u pl tell me abt an idea of next recruitment of ATC 2017??

  30. Sir, are electrical and electronics engineering ( EEE) students selected on the basis of gate score like they select ECE students.,?? As it has been mentioned that the candidates should have studied electronics as their major subject ( and I think it has not been mentioned that the candidates should write gate exam under electronics and communication) please clarify….

  31. Sir, I’m doing B.Sc currently. I’ll complete my graduation in 2018-19. My subject combination for first year was physics-mathematics-statistics . So, is it okay if I take math-statistics combination for second year and mathematics as my major. Will I be eligible as I’ll have physics only for 1 year?

    1. sudhir sheoran

      For JE (ATC) you need to have maths and physics as one of the subjects during all three years.

    1. sudhir sheoran

      You can file an RTI through website of Ministry of Civil Aviation. Mention your details, exam details and ask your marks.

  32. Hello Sir,

    Where can i see the change of requirement ( from year 2016 that you mentioned in one of your article) of Be in E&tc to Be in any discipline for ATC Jr.Executive post? i am asking this because i could not find any such notification or advertisement on AAI site.

    i have done BE in Mechanical Engineering and i am interested in ATC JE(AO) post.

    Am i eligible?

    Thank You


  34. sir i have clear my graduation in mechanical engineering . if i want to go throgh ATC exam then in technical portion of exam which subjects i should study??

  35. Hi Sudhir,

    Could you please answer the following

    1. Can we appear for both JE(ATC) and JE(AO), if eligible, for the same recruitment cycle?
    2. Will the exam dates be different for these exams?
    3. Do JE(ATC) and JE(AO) share the same syllabus?

    1. I am not sure. “Regular full-time bachelor’s degree of 3 years in Science(B.Sc.) with Physics and Mathematics from a recognised university with minimum 60% Marks”. This is all they have said about eligibility. Now you have to decide yourself. Some says you are eligible while other thinks you must have maths and physics in every year of graduation. ONly AAI can clear this confusion.

  36. sir i am shoheb , i have completed BE in computers with 61% aggregated so m i eligible for the post of JR. executive ATC in AAI, i have seen your post, it will be very useful to me but yet now i am not having clear idea to prepare for air traffic control, particularly on maths and physics. Sir my number is 9768917861 , and also friends you can contact me through this number, help me friends, thank you

  37. sir, kindly provide some relevant information for JE HR and Finance exam and topics frequently asked in reasoning section. thank you for the above information.

  38. sir i am manish i have completed my in 2017
    with PCM but due to optional in last year I left the mathematics and completed my graduation with physics and chemistry initially two year I had mathematics.
    can I apply for the ATC


    sir wen will be exam and wen admit cards are released ?wat will be cut off score for short listing ? how many posts are exactly there ?

    1. Find tentative dates of exam here – AAI ATC NEWS and Notification . Admit cards will be out around 15 days before exam date. You can download notification at the same link and find out how many posts exactly there are. Cut off depends upon a lot of factors like no. of student appeared, no. of post and difficulty level of question paper. It’s really hard to guess before exam but if you still want a number then we are expecting cut off to be around 80-85. We will definitely write a post after exam regarding expected cut off. Best of luck for your exam.

  40. Sir, english kitni k aani chahiye. Kya fluent English speaking hona chahiye?? Mujhe kisi ne bola ke fluent English speaking aana jaruri h atc ke liye

    1. basic English aani chahiye bas. Voice test me b bas ye check krte hain ki bolne me koi dikkat to nhi h like haklana etc.

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