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The Relevance of the Pilot Aptitude Test


People often ask about the requirement of a pilot aptitude test. This aptitude test measures an individual’s ability to complete a task at a given time. Many aeroplanes see that their pilots meet a minimum level of aptitude to ensure quality.

The most common questions asked about this test are:-

  • Why do an individual need to appear for this test?
  • Will pass this test guarantee a candidate a job?
  • What will come in the test?

Let’s come to the first question, i.e. why do an individual need to appear for the test? The only answer to this question is ‘you need it for your own benefit’. It might seem like this test is an extra hurdle that a flight school has started between the prospective students and the ones who dream of becoming a pilot.

The Second question – will pass this test guarantee a job? Once a student graduated from a flight school, he can start applying for jobs. It is true that your future recruiter will put you through the same tests. All recruiters will test you in the same areas, to determine that whether you have the skill to become a success in your field as a professional pilot. The job interview will have many elements like a technical interview, a simulator assessment, an HR interview and some group discussions or group exercise. Passing the aptitude test will not guarantee a job to anyone, but it will be a clear indication that an individual has the capabilities to become a commercial pilot. There are aptitude tests during the job interview at the airlines.

Third question - what is the test all about? The specific details of various pilot aptitude tests are something which many airlines do not disclose. But they definitely say what will come in the analysis and some areas will help you to improve by lots of practice.

A pilot aptitude test has typical elements what will evaluate the following areas. They are:-
  • Logical thinking
  • Spatial orientation
  • Perceptual capacity
  • Memory
  • Eye and hand coordination
  • Stress tolerance level
  • Multitasking ability
  • Resilience
  • Mental Maths

There is no real academic qualification to become a pilot. Flight Training Organisation (FTO) has set some academic requirements, but they try to focus on their own selection process. However, there are multiple stages involved in the test. Here are a few tips that will help a candidate to do better. They are:-
  1. First, ask yourself ‘why do you want to be a pilot?’ This is the only question which every recruiter will ask. Be prepared to give a good answer to this question. They even ask ‘why do you want to work with their airlines’ because there are many airlines available these days. Every time you go for an interview make it your best.
  2. Try to know the job- many people dream of becoming a pilot but for very few can turn this dream into reality. Think about how to answer a few common questions like ‘what is a typical day as a pilot’ or ‘what have you heard about this job that you want to be an airline pilot’. You might take the help of the internet to find the answers, but the recruiters want an original solution.
  3. Get close to aeroplanes- there are different types of jobs available at the airport. It can be either part time, full time or as a volunteer for job experience. An airline requires hundreds of staff to support their aircraft. 
  4. Research work- right preparation is the only key to success at the selection. Try to know about every stage of choice. Use the internet; try to speak to people who have been through this process before. Find out every minute detail and know what the recruiters are looking for at each stage. Know about the airline company, their history, their aircraft, the syllabus, their location, their history, their engines, their routes, their bases and many more. 
  5. Practice- as it says practice makes a man perfect. Numerical testing and aptitude can sound daunting, but they are the simple hurdles to overcome. Use your own research work to replicate each stage and then keep practising. Though it is said that one cannot exercise for an aptitude test, but that does not mean the candidate to leave it on luck. He can always prepare by familiarising himself with the testing process and sharpening his skills.
  6. Proofread- catch hold of someone who can read applications correctly or someone who is very strong with the English language. Ask them to fill out your application or understand the rules and regulations of the form. You will be surprised to see that the way may have some spelling mistakes or missing words or even some sentences which do not make any sense. 
  7. Film yourself- practice for the interview but not using the age-old method like using a paper and a pen. One must practice answering the questions loudly and clearly. Solving the problems in your mind or on an article will not help, so practise every spare minute you are free. Give a friend or your parents the list of questions, so that he can take a mock interview, then you can ask him about your performance. Also in this modern age where everyone has a smartphone, you can record the mock interview. Once you see the video, you can see the video and improve on it.
  8. Proper formal dressing- people working in the airlines are very particular about their dress. It has to be a cleaned one with adequate ironing. Never wear casual for an airline interview. See what suits your body type and then do the necessary shopping. 
  9. Current affairs- recruiters will not ask you about the world politics or economics, but they will expect you to know the current fundamental issues and its influence on the aviation industry. So read the newspaper and pay attention to the world around it.
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