Basic Pilot Aptitude Assessment

Pilot Aptitude Assessment assists individuals in deciding if becoming a pilot is the right career choice. Deciding to become a pilot is a major decision for individuals and their families, with many students undertaking significant loans to pay for training so it’s important to know if it’s the right choice.

Students receive positive feedback on areas that can be improved. Sound results build confidence and enhance motivation for choosing a career as a pilot. These tests are available to flight schools to assist in selection processes required prior to commencing a VET accredited course.

Using the COMPASS © computer-based pilot aptitude testing system and the Checklist Professional Profile © personality inventory system, results are printed in an easy to understand format, allowing immediate assessment of aptitude.

This course is delivered through Asia Pacific Aviation on behalf of Aviation Australia.

Open To:

Domestic & International Students


AUD $495





Suitable for candidates without previous flying experience or for candidates who have some flying experience (less than approximately 100 hours) but do not hold a commercial licence.

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

The Ab-initio battery of tests comprises of seven test types and a personality inventory questionnaire, designed to screen inexperienced candidates for key pilot aptitudes and abilities. Full instructions and a practice are given before each test. The assessment process takes about 2.5 hours in total and comprises:

  • 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 compensation co-ordination task. Azimuth and elevation control using a joystick and rudder responding to separate, simple instrument presentations. This test assesses a candidate’s hand / feet / eye co-ordination and scan rate, by measuring how accurately the candidate keeps a needle and ball on a target, over three identical runs of 2 minutes each.
  • 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 review 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.
  • A short technical quiz. This tests a basic knowledge of physics, including the theory of simple DC electricity, magnetism, gyroscopes etc.
  • 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 Road,
Brisbane Airport,
QLD 4008

View Directions

Frequently Asked Questions

Pilot aptitude is the capacity of an individual, through innate or acquired ability, to be a pilot.

Aptitude testing gives information on strengths and weaknesses in terms of potential for being a pilot. Flight training is an expensive investment and is generally a lifetime career choice. So it is sensible to find out whether an individual is well suited to the profession before spending money on training.

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.