As every wannabe (professional) pilot trying to enter into an integrated course with entrance exams will know, pilot aptitude tests (PILAPT) are a necessary evil and are akin to the psychometric tests in the office based world. If you search online you will come across several companies offering to sell you their scientifically and proven software, a sweeping statement where certainly no wannabe pilot can ever prove or disapprove, but one thing is clear, you have to buy the program if you want to practise PILAPT. I guess with this point it is the same as psychometric tests, the good ones anyway, you need to purchase it.
So the next question is which one should you choose. Unfortunately like the funding of your flight training, I cannot tell you which one(s) to use as there are many different ones, though they all offer very similar products, and which one is most suited depends on the flight school you are applying for, as different ones test you slightly differently, though again, they all offer a similar course! The best way I find is to go onto forum sites and see what other pilot candidates have used in the past; ask fellow candidates from the course you are applying for if you have met any, and or ask other recent pilots what they recommend. (As I do not want to endorse any software programs, because ultimately it will be down to you to decide which one is best, I will not disclose what I have used here. If you want to know then drop me an email in the contact page and I will get back to you.)
For me personally I had used one PILAPT test for my first entrance exam (assessment) and then had to switch to another to prepare for my second try at the entrance exam (my reassessment) because while the first software was good, one part of the tests was not good enough and I failed this in my first assessment. This is the problem with not knowing exactly how you will be tested and so for me it was literally a trial and error, and I paid for it. Luckily though I passed my reassessment with the adjustment and experience of now knowing how CTC Aviation tested their candidates for the Wings ATPL course.
Don’t be complacent:
Like anything when you first start at something you find that you get, surprisingly, better results than expected. Do not let this false sense of security fool you. Our brains apparently release a larger than normal level of a chemical that makes us more sensitive to new tasks, as such on the first attempt at something an individual can quite often render good results, often better than expected. This is why the next time that same individual goes to try that same task again, they achieve worse results. At this point your brain has already adjusted i.e. know what to expect and so the chemical release into your brain is not as large as the original burst on the first try. It is at this stage that your brain is starting to train to handle this new task.
As you become good at the each individual PILAPT tests, watch out for complacency! The best PILAPT programs have a levels setting, as such you would most likely start at setting easy. As you practise and become better you need to remember to change the settings to continue improving. This part is often forgotten because when you see your score getting better and better, it is hard to then change the setting and ‘starting’ again. That is, seeing visually that your score has ‘gotten worse’. But in reality, despite the score, you have not gotten worse, this is you pushing your brain to improving even more.
OK, hope these pointers help, next article in the flying series – PILAPT, which hardware?