Some tips to help you remain calm under pressure
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.
A numerical reasoning test will require you to answer numerically based questions in a quick and accurate manner.
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.