Advanced Pilot Aptitude Assessment

These tests are suitable for candidates who possess significant previous flying experience as a qualified pilot. Enquiries are welcomed from airlines and other operators requiring assistance in their pilot selection processes.

The Advanced Compass© battery of tests comprises of mathematics, memory, instrument interpretation, task management, and personality inventory modules. There is also an ATPL level operational knowledge test. This comprises of 30 questions that have been set by airline training captains and are focused on practical operational knowledge. The questions are typical of those asked in airline interviews and although there is no time limit, most candidates complete the questions in about 20 minutes. The full test battery takes about 2.5 hours.

Advanced Pilot Aptitude Assessment is administered by Asia Pacific Aviation on behalf of Aviation Australia.

Open To:

Domestic & International Students


AUD $495





Suitable for candidates who possess significant previous flying experience as a qualified pilot.

Candidates holding a Professional Pilot Licence or candidates with more than approximately 100 hours of flying experience should take the advanced tests.

  • Complete the enquiry form
  • Aviation Australia will contact you to discuss course suitability and to arrange a time to complete the assessment

Full instructions and a practice are given before each test. The assessment includes:

  • A tracking task using the joystick to steer a target between a moving stream of markers. The objective of the test is fully explained before candidates are given a practice run and then three 2 minute identical scored runs.
  • A complex co-ordination task.
  • A 15 minute timed cockpit mathematics test is aimed at practical calculations of the type often made in flight. These cover speed, time, distance, ratios, quantity and interpretation of tables and graphs. Mental mathematics of this type has been shown to be a reasonable indicator for capacity and mental agility. The problems are not difficult and are typical of calculations needed to be made by pilots.
  • A 6 minute test of accuracy of short-term memory recall and ability to ‘chunk’ information.
  • A 10 minute timed test of instrument interpretation, speed of comprehension and spatial orientation. This is a complex task and candidates are given an opportunity to repeat the instructional material before attempting the test. This test places candidates under some pressure.
  • A test of a candidate’s ability to manage and prioritise demands from an input task (updating a CDU) and a monitoring task (cancelling a warning light) concurrently. This test will place candidates under considerable mental pressure during the three 2 minute test runs.
  • ATPL level operational knowledge test.
  • A personality inventory questionnaire. This profiling tool has been developed specifically for ab-initio as well as experienced pilots. The questionnaire, which is in multiple choice format and takes about 30 minutes to complete, identifies the crucial competencies and traits for pilots. Social desirability bias (“faking good”), which is an issue for many personality inventory tools, has been compensated for within the design of this questionnaire. The traits considered are: Resilience, Assertiveness, Stress tolerance, Teamwork, Impulse control, Helpfulness, Ambition, Empathy, Accuracy, Autonomy, Perseverance, Openness, Dominance, Need for variation and Persuasiveness.
  • Written comprehension and reasoning tests.
  • Non-native English language speakers may also undertake an aural comprehension test.

Aviation Australia – Simulator Centre

25 Boronia Rd,
Brisbane Airport,
QLD 4008

View Directions

Frequently Asked Questions

Pilot aptitude testing involves a series or “battery” of tests that measure an individual’s knowledge, skills and attitudes in regard to their competence to fly (or learn to fly) an aircraft. They generally fall into three broad areas:

  • General and specialist knowledge and verbal and mathematical reasoning tests
  • Manipulative tests to measure hand / foot / eye coordination and
  • Psychometric profiling tests.

Usually the tests are taken on a computer and typically last about 2 hours.

Yes. Pilot aptitude tests are used in the selection systems of most airlines and by the military to assess potential pilot candidates.

Some companies offer some on-line tests, although these are usually just a sample of the types of tests to expect. For accurate and credible results in the full range of tests, it is important that tests are conducted in a controlled environment, free of noise and distractions and using standardised and calibrated equipment. Professional testing should also require proof of candidates’ ID to ensure the integrity of the tests.

On arrival at the Aviation Australia Campus, you will be directed to the test room and given a short briefing. You will then be seated at a computer, which has a “joystick” style control column and rudder pedals, as well as a normal keyboard. You will take the tests by following the instructions on the screen. You can take a brief rest in between tests and there is a short practice run before each new test so you can “settle in”.  Tests include visual and audible elements as well as physical inputs through the joystick and rudder pedals. At the end of the test your results will be analysed by the computer and given to your sponsoring airline or flight school in the form of a comprehensive, multiple page report.

In order to get a true measure of a candidate’s potential, it is much better to undertake pilot aptitude tests without specific practice. Certain skills are innate, but knowledge and certain acquired skills can be improved with practice. However, rather than practising for specific tests, it is much better to address underpinning areas.

You may like to bring a bottle of water but you do not need anything else other than a photo ID. Just arrive in plently of time, so you are not flustered or rushed.

The basic Compass test battery is designed for pilots with limited or no previous flying experience. The advanced tests are designed for more experienced or qualified professional pilots. It is recommended that pilots holding a Pilot’s Licence or pilots with more than approx 100 hours flying experience should take the advanced tests.