Some tips to help you remain calm under pressure

Welcome to a brief guide on passing psychometric and aptitude tests. This section is included to give you a flavour of the Flight Deck Wingman paid subscription service


Most airlines use psychometric tests during selection. This will usually include verbal and a numerical reasoning tests, and possibly some form of computer based aptitude testing. These tests normally form the first stage of the assessment process, after your application has been screened and put forward for selection.

Verbal reasoning tests are used because being a pilot requires you to have the ability to understand, analyse and interpret written information, often of a complex and specialised nature such as aircraft systems and procedures.

A verbal reasoning test will include a number of short passages of text followed by statements based on the information that is contained in the passage. You will have to decide whether the statements are true or false, or whether you cannot say based solely on the information contained in the passage. Sometimes you may have personal knowledge of some of the detail contained within the passage. This can make it very difficult to answer the questions, as it can be very compelling to use previous knowledge when coming to your answer! You must only use the information contained within the passage.  

This test, as with the numerical reasoning test will be set under time pressure. It is highly unlikely that you will be able to complete each answer in the allocated time. Most airlines will not indicate whether there is negative marking in place, but the best advice is to complete the answers as quickly and accurately as you can, and leave the ones that you think you cannot answer. If you are really struggling with one particular passage, then it may be time to move on to the next one. As with all of these types of psychometric testing, practice really does make perfect. You will significantly improve your chances of passing these tests with more practice. Flight Deck Wingman has often found it more beneficial to read the statement before going to the text in the passage. This means you have a better idea of what you are looking for in the passage before you answer the statement.

This website that provides access to such tests. I have used this company to practice for my tests in the past, and they have always prepared me very well when it came to the verbal reasoning test.


A numerical reasoning test will require you to answer numerically based questions in a quick and accurate manner.

As with the verbal reasoning tests, it is unlikely that you will complete all of the questions in the allocated time. Make sure that your basic arithmetic is up to scratch. You will be given a piece of scrap paper and a pencil in order to carry workings out. These workings out will not be assessed, only the answers that you give. Provided below is a link to some numerical reasoning practice questions. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page where Flight Deck Wing man will ask some numerical and verbal reasoning questions just to keep you up to speed!Here is a link to a website that provides access to such tests. I have used this company to practice for my tests in the past, and they have always prepared me very well when it came to the numerical reasoning tests.
This website that provides access to such tests. I have used this company to practice for my tests in the past, and they have always prepared me very well when it came to the verbal reasoning test.


By their very namesake, aptitude tests will test your inherent aptitude for the role in which you are applying. In our case, you’re applying for the role of pilot and you can expect a series of tests that are designed to test both your hand/eye coordination, and ability to analyse and prioritise situations whilst completing another task-running a checklist for example.

Flight Deck Wingman’s best advice is to remember the mantra- “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate”. Whilst your hand/eye coordination will be measured, it is important to remember that first and foremost your role as a pilot is to ensure the safety of the flight. If there are situations during the aptitude test that require your attention in order to keep the aircraft safe, then that must be your priority. An example of this might be making sure that you reach an altitude constraint imposed by air-traffic control, even if an alarm sounds to indicate a minor aircraft system failure. In this instance, flying the aircraft and ensuring you meet the altitude constraint must come first.

You will often be given the opportunity to practice each element of the aptitude test before the test begins. There are sometimes no limits on how many times you can practice each element prior to the start of the test, so it pays to practice until you are fully ready and understand what the test involves. Don’t worry if other candidates have already started the test, take your time and ensure you understand the instructions before you start the test for real.

Also worth noting, is the fact that computer systems sometimes don’t work as advertised! Flight Deck Wingman once attended an aptitude test, and felt that part of the test was not functioning correctly. On bringing this to the assessor’s attention, I was moved to another test station and completed the test without any further problems. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand if you think that there might be an issue with the test that you’re about to start.

At Flight Deck Wingman, we are more than happy to discuss in general terms the selection procedures for various airlines, and give personal hints and tips on how you might improve your chances of success. Just get in contact and we’ll take it from there.Check out for an opportunity to practice aptitude tests.
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