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Home > Aptitude Tests > How would the Reasoning & Aptitude Test and Interview with Cathay Pacific be like?
How would the Reasoning & Aptitude Test and Interview with Cathay Pacific be like?
Pilot Career - Aptitude Tests
Written by Capt Lim   
Sunday, 16 December 2007 19:14

Dear Captain Lim,

Your Web page is very informative. Good work. I guess it must be hard to keep it up-to-date all the time worldwide.

I have a few urgent queries to you regarding my Cadet Pilot interview with Cathay Pacific to be held on 2nd June. I have started preparing for it 2 weeks ago and have been reading a lot about aircraft and how airplane it works. I have also been taking virtual lessons with the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 with a force-feedback joystick. Have you tried this simulator? How realistic is it?

I have successfully gained a student pilot license and PPL. However, I feel I shall not proceed further to the next set of ground school stuff after the PPL check-ride as yet (such as Instrument Rating and so on, so forth). As I think those might be too advanced at this stage.

I have been informed that the selection process spans over 3 to 4 months and comprises of 4 stages. Information about Stage 1 has been sent to me and tests involved are as follows:

English Test (Listening & Grammar)
Reasoning Test
Aptitude Test (Eye-hand co-ordination)
Interview.

At present I reside and am employed as a professional in the UK (HK resident) and I am pursuing on a more challenging career (commercial airline pilot). So, I guess English test isn’t such a big deal. However, they would not offer any traveling subsides and said it was company policy. So I have to fly to HK at my cost.. Ouch.

I am not so sure about the Reasoning Test. Is it an IQ test? Never heard of it.

Would Aptitude Test be some sort of joy stick, pedals with a computer screen test? Doing similar things as flying with a Flight Simulator?

And the interview, I guess would be like any other company interviews. What kind of questions would I expect from the senior pilot? I have some background in aircraft now. Any way to impress them? I would appreciated if you can give me some hints.

I will be studying Cathay Pacific Airways' fleet size and their recent company’s news. Is there anything I should look out for?

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Thanks once again.

Yours sincerely,

Nelson

Hi Nelson,

I have not tested the MFS 2004 yet and I cannot give you an assessment of its performance. Below are some of the main answers to your queries:-

Verbal Reasoning Test

Basically, the selection process in most cadet programs would include a section known as 'Verbal Reasoning' or what you referred to as the 'Reasoning Test.' My Links on Wannabes have many examples from some aspiring pilots. Here is what one applicant related about the Test:-

There are five sections to this test, Inference, Assumption, Deduction, Argument and Conclusion. In each section, there are 3 or 4 scenarios followed by one or two statements. You have to say (in the Assumption section, for example) whether the statement is or isn't an assumption that the writer of the scenario must have made. Or, in the Conclusion section, whether the statement is or isn't a correct conclusion that can be made from the scenario.

Another candidate has some more examples:- Under 'Inferences' ( where it test your ability to infer information which is not directly stated), there are five answer options:-

A. True,
B. Probably True,
C. Insufficient Information,
D. Probably False
E. False.

The first paragraph of the paper told of a female English teacher who taught a class about "A Tale of Two Cities" only by use of film. At the same time her colleague taught her class in the traditional way. The class who only saw the film were more interested, got better grades and voluntarily read the book after the course.

You are then asked five questions on this paragraph and you must respond with A to E above.

1. This test showed only an improvement in retention of information and had no effect on interest of the students in the subject.
2. The teacher involved will be using film for all her classes from now on.
3. The use of film as a teaching medium could be used as effectively in any subject.
Under 'Assumptions', you are given a passage to read and are then asked if following a statement makes a safe or unsafe assumption.

Example: In some American state the government foreclosed on local farmers land who where defaulting on mortgage payments. The government planted trees on the land and quickly turned a profit which was forecast to grow considerably to a predicted maximum in the next few years.

1. If the farmers had planted trees in the first place they would not have lost their land.
2. The trees were selected for their cash crop value.

There are five sections of fifteen questions each - 80 questions total with 40 minutes to complete. Each section is preceded by an explanation and example, if you were to take the time to read the explanation and example carefully you will not have time to answer all the questions. The example is shorter than the explanation and you can get a good idea of what to do from that.

It seems you can get this type of practices in a text book called GMAT (for MBA-aspirants), available in all good bookshops!

Aptitude Test

Yes, the aptitude test is basically an eye-hand coordination exercise and it requires you to use a joystick, pedals with a computer screen . Since you are on your way to getting your PPL, you may encounter less problems here. Please read the write-up in past FAQs by some of the candidates who have gone through this test.

The Interview

Besides those found in the past FAQ, here are some additional questions collected from the Wannabes link:-

Why do you want to be an airline pilot?
Why do you want to work for our airline?
Which aircraft do you want to fly?
Do you want to fly long or short haul and why?
What is your long term ambition?
What are your worst/best points?
Give a summary of your character.
What would your feelings/thoughts/strategies be if your plane has been hijacked?
What would you do if a Captain is about to make a professional mistake?
What does your family think about the pilots lifestyle?
Will you get bored on the flight deck?
What are your best/worst times in life so far?
About the Company - Who is the Boss? Aircraft types? History? What are the routes, etc?
What will you do if your application is unsuccessful?
Have you applied to any other airlines?
What are you best at?
What are you most proud of?
What would you change in yourself to improve?
What would your colleagues think of your performance in the group test?
What would you look for in a friend?
Describe your best friend.
How do your see yourself as a First Officer?
What have you done for humanity?
What annoys you?
What do your friends think of you?
What do you think of your friends?
What do you do if you meet someone you don't like?
What is your assessment of your character?
How many people works in our Company?
How much profit was made last year?
What major events have happened to this Airline in last 18 months?
Are you happy with life?
Do you have many friends?
Do you ever argue?
Talk about the school you went to.
How did you prepare for the interview?
How are you going to cope after 10 years in right hand seat?
What hobbies and interest do you have? 

If you want to see a sample profile of the assessment, have a look at the
QANTAS Pilot Psychometric Test Practice Leaflet which I have already mentioned in a previous FAQ.

In order to score well in the aptitude test I would like to recommend that you visit the PATS site above to get more professional guidance.

Best of luck to you! 

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