The Computerised Pilot Aptitude Screening System (COMPASS) test is used by the RSAF or commercial airlines for their pilot selection. Areas tested include psychomotor skills, multi-tasking, spatial awareness, and decision making. Other attributes tested are verbal reasoning, mathematics, and physics. The test can take more than 2 hours to complete because  covers a wide area.

Why the COMPASS test?

Pilot training is extremely expensive. As such, employers such as the RSAF and commercial airlines do not want to waste valuable resources training candidates with poor aptitude. The COMPASS test is a tool they use to identify candidates that have a good chance of passing the pilot training programme.

Many airlines use the COMPASS test because it can measure a lot of the skills required to become a pilot accurately. It instantly gives a very clear picture of a candidate’s aptitude. Because all candidates are subjected to the exact same standardised test, test scores for the different skills can be compared objectively to eliminate errors in human interpretation.

Can I prepare for the COMPASS test so as to do better?

As with all types of tests, some form of preparation can definitely help one do better. Some people believe that not preparing for the test will reflect one’s real aptitude. However, I am a firm believer that we should always be well prepared so as to achieve the best possible outcomes. There are many companies offering their services to help candidates prepare for the COMPASS test, such as and 43airschool. These companies offer a large bank of sample questions for candidates to practice on. However, they usually charge a price for the test preparations. Some examples of test questions are shown in the diagram below.

I actually bought a test program to try out the test. I must say it is more difficult than I thought. The math and physics questions were more straight forward. The spatial orientation ones were a lot more challenging. It was humbling to do the sample test. I would have failed the test. So much for me wanting to be a pilot. I guess I do not have the aptitude to start off with.

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