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CAE Pilot Assessment. My Top Tips

CAE Pilot Assessment. My Top Tips

Firstly, each skills assessment is varies at each training centre but here are my top tips for preparing for the CAE one.

It’s best to focus on what you’re not good at. I’ve kept it simple, don’t waste loads of time playing flight simulator if you know your hand eye coordination is good. If you have any further queries or questions send me a message via the contact page or via twitter.

Over one or two days you will complete:

  • Computer tests

  • Individual interview

  • Group interview

Computer Tests - ADAPT

For the computer based testing you'll have the following ADAPT tests, you can find good practice ones on and you can pay for the Oxford specific ones. I would highly recommend doing this.

Mental Maths (20 questions in 15mins) 

I would recommend downloading an app to improve your mental maths either on your phone or ipad. There are loads for free. They test you on all your basic stuff and I just prepared by making sure I did 1 hour a day. It’s all GCSE level, nothing to stress over.

  • Percentages 

  • Fractions

  • Long division/multiplication

  • Addition

  • Subtraction 

  • Area formulas (circles etc)


Again latestpilotjobs is a good place to practice. Just make sure that you are familiar with:

• Units (meter, kilogram, second, amps)
• Distance travelled, speed, acceleration
• Weight, mass, density and volume
• Newton’s law, inertia, forces
• Determination of centre of gravity
• Work, energy, power (kinetic energy, pressure energy)
• Thermometric scales: °C, °F, °K
• Pressure, density, t° of a liquid or a gas
• Perfect gases law, Boyle-Mariotte law, Gay-Lussac law, Dalton’s law
• Change of state of a liquid/gas/solid
• Basics of electricity: DC and AC current, tension, equivalent resistance, Ohm
• Basics of magnetism: magnetic field, permanent magnet, lines of flux
how to caculate moments, momentum

Example questions :

  1. A quantity of gas (p = 3 x 105 Pa, T=300K) is compressed until the half of its initial volume and is heated to 70°C. What is the final gas pressure?

    (P2= 6.86 105Pa)

  2. Determine the weight (in Newton) of a sphere that has a volume of 1,1 x 10-7 m3 and a density of 2,7 kg/dm3 (gravitation acceleration: 9.81m/s2)


  3. 3 resistances of 5Ω are placed in parallel. Find the value of a unique equivalent resistance.


Various Hand Eye Coordination Tests

I would recommend, if you don’t already own one or are not a gamer, buying a cheap joystick to practice these (again latest pilot jobs has practice ones) just so that you’re used to using a joystick, the more you practice the better you will do.

One video worth watching is for the capacity based test click here.

Verbal Reasoning

Not too much to say on this, just make sure you take your time and RTFQ (read the f*****g question) download an app and practice.

Individual Interview

You'll have one HR interviewer and one pilot.

The pilot will ask you EVERYTHING about the course as well as why you want to fly and some random ones. Try to be direct and think about your answers. Make sure you thoroughly prepare for the interview . 

Questions I can remeber:

How does a wing generate lift? 

How does a jet engine work (basics)

Explain fly-by-wire

How do you stay up to date with the aviation industry?

Be specific; titles of aviation magazines, websites but beware, if you’re blagging it make sure you have enough knowledge behind you as they will probe about things you’ve read recently. Start now and have some stashedaway!

What do you know about the course?

You need to know it inside out, what aircraft you train in how many hours you do in each, what subjects you study in ground school, how many weeks are in each phase. Have a read here and you can download the course outline too.

Why do you want to be a pilot? 

What challenges might you face in your training/career? 

How do you see the airline industry changing in the future? 

What effect do you think terrorism will have on the industry in the future? 

HR Questions

Prepare 5 examples for this section of the interview of when you have : 

Motivated a team to achieve a specific goal

Made critical decision under pressure in a short period of time

When you have had to planned to achieve a target in a specific timescale 

When you have lead a team

When you have helped others 

Use the STAR method for each example, plan them and practice interviews, with your friend, parent or whoever. When you are in the interview before you answer briefly think of STAR, it stops you from waffling. Beware they might stop you and tell you if you are not saying what they want to hear, don’t be put off just ask them to repeat the question and fire another example at them. 

S- Situation 

T- Task 

A- Action 

R - Result 

Prepare one or two questions to ask them - they love that

Group Interview

At the beginning of the day, make an effort to get to know everyone, this will make it much easier when you get to the group interview. You will all be sitting in silence in the morning (nerves and lack of sleep most likely!) so just introduce yourself and the conversation will start flowing.

For the group interview, the task they set isnt really relevant its just a test to see if you approach it logically, and to see if you can interact within a team of people you don’t know to reach a successful outcome in a timely manor. 

Top Tips:

Listen - it might sound silly but I was so nervous when they’d stopped explaining I realised I had no idea what the aim of task was.

Timing - either be the timer or suggest and get someone to volunteer to time. You'll get 5 minutes to read the instructions but they won’t tell you when that time is up, make sure a minute or two before the five minutes is up say 'Oh guys, can I suggest we nominate a time keeper for the task? We are nearly at the 5 minute mark now' Some one then will hopefully nominate themselves meaning you wont have to do it but you get the points for suggesting it. HOWEVER they might be a bad time keeper so keep an eye on the clock at all times, its very easy to run out of time and this is one of the things that they look out for. 

Focus - don’t forget the aim of the task. You can use DODAR , if you find that you’re not getting anywhere and there are lots of ideas flying around suggest ‘Hey guys there is loads of information here, have any of you heard of the DODAR method? Again brownie points for you. 

Interact - get everyone involved. If you suggest something, ask someone what they think? If someone isn’t speaking ask them what they think. The most important thing is to not ignore anyone and if you see someone not getting involved attempt to involve them. 

Encourage - even if you think someone has suggested a bad idea, be positive and try to suggest your view and reasoning behind it.

Original Ideas - try to think for yourself if you have an idea express it, no-one else might have considered it yet.

Simply, you don’t want to be the person talking over everyone but you also don’t want to say nothing, be polite, assertive and listen to others! 

I did the assessment just after they had switched to ADAPT in 2016. I know a few people that have done it in 2018 and used these notes and said its still this format and passed, so good luck!

Useful Links

The above is really all you should need, but if you do want to do some more reading try these.


FAST test simulator video

BOLDMETHOD for all your student pilot questions

CAE course outline


What is  Turbulence?

What is Turbulence?

Student Pilot FAQs

Student Pilot FAQs