The flight school selection process and how to ace it! Most flight schools require you to pass their selection process before starting the training. This is actually a good thing because the schools try to determine early on if the candidate is actually capable of completing the training. They also look for desired competences since they want to train a potential Captain rather than just a First Officer. The selection process can be really tough, especially when you apply for a prestigious school. In some cases 75% of all applicants fail these selections.
However, theres no need to worry just yet. Schools expect you to train for the selection process, this way they can determine your motivation and perseverance. And I am going to prepare you to the best of my abilities! So, these are the stages you can expect during the flight school selection process, not necessarily in this order though:
The interview is often the first part of a flight school selection process. The aim is to get to know you and to check whether you have the right competences and character traits to complete the pilot training successfully. You will definitely face questions like: Tell me something about yourself, why this school and why should we take you? They also asked me about the theoretical subjects and if I was aware of the training program (flight training in America etc.).
It is like applying for a job, but instead you are applying for a school. Make sure that you are highly motivated, decisive, stress resistent, a team player and last but not least, show that you are able to take responsibility and that you can handle leadership. Remember, on that day you are the perfect candidate! If you are struggling with any of the competences above, make sure you train those competences well in advance.
IQ – test
Math-, physics- and IQ tests while the timer runs. This part of the flight school selection process is usually the hardest. So how to pass? Practice makes perfect! Browse the internet for IQ practice tests and go at it day by day. Multitasking, orientation, situational awareness and English tests are also invited to the party. But don’t despair, start practicing weeks in advance, an hour a day and you should be fine. Your score will depend on your preparation. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, without practicing you will never beat someone that is prepared and not that talented. Preparation is key!
In case your desired flight school uses the Adapt test, make sure to read this article. It contains detailed information about the test itself. Good websites to practice: 123test.com & latestpilotjobs.com
Expect a simulator phase as well. It is used to check whether you have a talent for flying and if you are able to learn quickly. While operating the controls you need to answer math questions and simple IQ tests. Your progression will be monitored. Sometimes you have to fly in an actual simulator while other schools literally have you sit behind a computer with a joystick and rudder pedals which look like they just bought them at the local supermarket. Whatever happens, stay calm and fly the airplane! Ways to practice: go for a flight lesson in a single engine piston aircraft or simulator.
What kind of person are you? Are you able to take control? Do you fit in a cockpit environment where decisions have to be made within seconds? Can you handle stress and do you prefer to work on your own or in a team? Are you someone who takes initiative and are you having troubles with public speaking? There will probably be some kind of personality test included in the selection process. The aim is to find out whether you fit in a cockpit. These tests are tricky, they say there are ”no wrong answers” since it is your personality. Please, don’t fall for this. Your answers can be a reason to decline you.
The last phase is the medical. Once you complete the previous stages successfully you will have to undergo a medical exam. This is a complete body check, they test your eyes, illness history, blood, urine, ECG, hearing and more. Most candidates have no problem in obtaining a Class 1 Medical. More info about the medical? Google “Class 1 medical”
When an applicant successfully passed all the stages it is time to get a loan in order to pay the tuition. In case you want to know more about the actual costs, check out this article. No money to pay the pilot training? Read this article!
As you probably realized by now, the outcome will, in most cases, depend on your preparation. In aviation they use the quote ‘Failure to Prepare, means prepare to fail’ and as you can see it starts with the flight school selection process! The competition is fierce. Make sure you are prepared.