2016-06-23 18:41:19 2016-07-01 00:39:42 Prepare for the L3 Airline Academy technical assessment day Cut-e pilot aptitude tests.
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Technical Assessment (Cut-e) - L3 Airline Academy Selection

Technical Ability Tests [powered by Cut-e]

l3 cute post image v2

* L3 Airline Academy's new technical testing partner, Cut-e (pronounced cute). *

Looking for Non-Technical Assessment Information?

I discuss that in more detail as part of my [Part Two] Dibden Manor Selection Day post

Looking for PILAPT Information?

To the best of my knowledge, PILAPT is no longer used within UK Pilot Assessments for L3 Airline Academy. I have heard other parts of the organisation such as L3's European Academy and New Zealand still employ it so I will soon create an Archived post of the content I had written for PILAPT just in case you need it.

An introduction to technical assessments

Employing one or several technical assessments as part of a selection process allows an organisation to benchmark a candidate against their desired set of criteria. What such criteria is will vary from organisation to organisation but you'll often find the benchmark is set by those already at the organisation or from a wider set of data. When you consider the role of pilot, a pilot has to have quite a strong awareness of their surroundings, an ability to process multiple inputs, have competence in mental arithmetic and much more. By profiling successful pilots, testing providers are able to build an accurate representation of the results they are looking for in each key metric and provide organisations such L3 Airline Academy with a offerings to increase the effectiveness of their selection process.

Goodbye PILAPT, Hello Cut-e.

Up until mid-2018 L3 Airline Academy employed a testing mechanism known as PILAPT. The PILAPT test lasted anywhere from 60-90 minutes and incorporated a maths test followed by several assessments spanning the attributes L3 Airline Academy looked for in future trainees. PILAPT was effective at what it did, but in my own experience was certainly showing its age. Having sat it back in 2016 it looked like as though it should belong in the 90s. There were rumours the academy were looking for a replacement and as of mid-2018 the new provider of technical assessments at L3 Airline Academy is Cut-e (pronounced cute).

Who are Cut-e?

Quite simply, cut-e is one of the major players in psychometric testing alongside other organisations university graduates may be all too aware of: CEB, SHL and Kenexa. I guess each of these organisations could be considered data science businesses as they analyse significant volumes of data to then spot trends. In Cut-e's case such results are then used to provide assessment services. Compared with the other testing providers mentioned, cut-e have quite a presence in the aviation industry and are employed by several organisations for pilot and/or cabin crew assessments. Here's a small selection:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Airbus
  • CityJet
  • easyJet
  • Etihad
  • Finnair
  • Lufthansa 

How do L3 Airline Academy use Cut-e?

The first thing i'll say is the application of cut-e testing within the wider selection process is quite new and with that in mind it may well change as time goes on. Additionally, I've not sat these tests personally but have spoken to a number of people who have. I would like to thank each of them for their comprehensive feedback which made this post possible. L3 say they assess the following areas within their tests:

  • Spatial Orientation
  • Complex Control
  • Reaction Speed
  • Monitoring ability
  • Multi-tasking Capability
  • Applied Numeracy (with calculator)

In addition, L3 Airline Academy will ask you to complete two assessments as part of the online application form, which will then be repeated during your selection day to ensure a comparable result. The rather obvious tip here is to not have someone else to do them for you as this will become glaringly obvious during any difference in result.


The tests themselves...

This section contains an outline of each test, some tips on completing them as well as a video example.

Click/tap on a heading to expand it.

tmt eng 2015 01

How long is this test?

16 minutes.

What's involved in this test:

You are given 16 minutes to complete 20 multiple choice questions. You are permitted a pen and paper for your workings out.

You will typically sit this test twice. The first time during the initial online application and the second during your Technical Assessment Day. This repeat testing is becoming the new norm in modern-day recruitment and testing processes as organisations can compare two results from the same test as part of their final decision making process.

The questions you see are randomly selected and split into four or five topics, including but not limited to:

  • Addition & Subtraction
  • Multiplication & Division
  • Percentages
  • Conversions
  • Area & Space

While the test is 16 minutes in length it is split into smaller chunks for each of the topic areas. This means that you may be allowed 5 minutes to complete all of the percentage questions but then only 3 minutes to complete some addition and subtraction questions and then 4 minutes for percentages etc. All of the questions are typical G.C.S.E. level but now include a wider selection of assessed metrics compared to the previous PILAPT maths test.

As is common of most tests produced by organisations like cut-e, a time limit is only used to see how accurate you are under pressure. With this in mind it's important to realise this test will not only be assessing your correct / incorrect answers, but the overall number of correct answers compared with the total time it took you to complete them. That said, don't rush your workings out as you need to be accurate!

Click the "Video" tab under the title of this test above to view a sample of this test.

My tips for this test:

You may not need to workout the entire answer

When I spent more time practicing multiple choice examples it became clear that you could simply workout only the first and/or second digit of the answer in order to eliminate all incorrect answers. Doing this will shave valuable seconds from your test time and see you improve.

If on a mobile device and you are unable to view this video in full screen, click here.

squares eng 2015 01

How long is this test?

10 minutes.

What's involved in this test:

This test is quite similar to the first to be honest. The only real difference was it used a slider instead of awarding points to each option. You needed to move the slider, or click somewhere on the bar, to highlight whether the displayed statement is more or less of these options:

  • Holds less true for me than for others.
  • Holds equally true for me and for others.
  • Holds more true for me than for others.

There were between 30 to 40 questions in this one.

Click the "Video" tab under the title of this test above to view a sample of this test.

My tips for this test:

As per the work-related behaviour test, just be yourself and answer honestly. Don't answer with what you think L3 want to hear. If L3 were to ask you to do this test both before and during the assessment day then any anomalies could be spotted rather easily if you had lied.

If on a mobile device and you are unable to view this video in full screen, click here.

mt avi Eng 2015

How long is this test?

5 minutes.

What's involved in this test:

This test incorporates three mini tasks which occur simultaneously.

  • Task One
    A plane moves along the screen from left to right in birds eye view. You must drag the runway with the mouse so that the aircraft can land successfully.

  • Task Two
    There is a maths equation shown. You must click either correct or incorrect based on the given answer to this equation.

  • Task Three
    There is a series of letters shown. You must click either correct or incorrect depending on whether a letter appears more than once.

The aim of the test is for you to score as many correct answers for all three mini tasks as you can.

Click the "Video" tab under the title of this test above to view a sample of this test.

My tips for this test:

The speed of the aircraft provides just enough time for you to check the two other tasks before you must move the runway once more. With letters in the English language looking quite similar to each other when viewed at a glance, be sure to give the letters a little bit more attention as they're perhaps the easiest bit to get wrong. I'd also suggest brushing on small calculations within mental arithmetic. i.e. Knowing quite confidently which numbers sum to total 10 will help a bit.

If on a mobile device and you are unable to view this video in full screen, click here.

ndb eng 2015 01

How long is this test?

3 minutes.

What's involved in this test:

Perhaps the most applied of all of the tests, this test introduces navigation instrumentation. You are provided with a Gyroscopic compass and a Relative Bearing Indicator (RBI). Additionally you are shown a number of grids numbered 1 to 8 surrounding an NDB beacon. Based on what the instruments are displaying you are to move one of four orientated aircraft icons into one of the 8 grids around the beacon.

Click the "Video" tab under the title of this test above to view a sample of this test.

My tips for this test:

It's important to have a bit of background on these instruments so here goes:

The reading at the top of the Gyro compass is the direction the aircraft is flying. A Gyro compass will always turn with the orientation of the aircraft. Where an RBI is concerned it does not turn with the aircraft orientation and thus North will always refer to the nose of the aircraft - slightly confusing I realise which is why most aircraft these day combine the best of both, but I digress. The head of the yellow arrow points directly the beacon and reports the angular difference from the nose of the aircraft to the beacon.

If we use the example from the screenshot, the Gyro indicates South - we are therefore flying South. The RBI indicates the beacon is 130° ish to right of the aircraft's nose meaning the beacon location is behind us and to our right. Using this information we we would need to drag the southwardly facing aircraft icon into the grid numbered 4.

I hope that makes sense and armed with that knowledge you should be able to answer the questions.

If on a mobile device and you are unable to view this video in full screen, click here.

xw eng 2015 01

How long is this test?

3 minutes.

What's involved in this test:

Akin to a game on your smartphone, you are placed within a cylindrical tube and have to fly through rotating walls that have holes in them. You use your mouse to indicate where you want the aircraft to fly but the further in to the test you go the faster you travel. If you crash into any of the walls then that attempt is considered a fail and the test restarts. You are able to accelerate and decelerate with keys on your keyboard but only to a certain extent as towards the end of the test you're moving pretty fast!

Click the "Video" tab under the title of this test above to view a sample of this test.

My tips for this test:

There's not a lot that can be said about this one really. It's quite an enjoyable one once it gets going.

If on a mobile device and you are unable to view this video in full screen, click here.

rt eng 2015 01

How long is this test?

2 minutes.

What's involved in this test:

This test consists of two boxes containing shapes which will change quite quickly. There are also two sliders which move randomly, although these have no bearing on the overall test and are a distractor. With this being a reaction speed test, the aim is to click the 'equal' button as soon as you see two matching shapes. Your reaction time is being measured here. You can only make two mistakes, and if you made more than that you had to start again.

Click the "Video" tab under the title of this test above to view a sample of this test.

My tips for this test:

This test was made for your peripheral vision which is WAY more effective at spotting changes than your focussed vision (in my opinion). To tackle this to you're going to need to focus your vision slap bang in the centre of those sliders. While the sliders are incredibly distracting try to ignore those bouncing from left to right and instead tune into your peripheral vision. When those shapes match, or look like they match, click Equal or press the spacebar. Don't get too trigger happy as this test will occasionally allow four equal sets of shapes through therefore lulling you into a false sense of "Well these have all matched... so the next one simply has to match as well". 

If on a mobile device and you are unable to view this video in full screen, click here.

rt eng 2015 01

How long is this test?

2 minutes.

What's involved in this test:

You are shown a circle with a number of balls bouncing around inside. Your task is to select from option possible answers how many balls you believe there to be shown. Whenever you get the previous answer right the test became progressively more difficult and the opposite is true if you were to make a mistake. Any number of balls can be displayed just to make this that bit more complex. Unlike other tests this one will tell you whether the answer you've selected is right or wrong.

Click the "Video" tab under the title of this test above to view a sample of this test.

My tips for this test:

You need to be incredibly quick at grouping the balls together into smaller chunks. When they first appear on your screen they'll float into their initial position and then wait for a second or so. From that point onwards they'll be bouncing all over the place and it becomes increasingly difficult to find your answer. Even more so when the choices given for answers are 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, for example. How I approach this test is to group the balls into 3s as soon as they first appear. That was I can say "Right, I see 3 sets of three and 1 ball extra that means I've got 10 balls". Doing this means you take out any hassle of having to count with a constantly moving set of balls. I'm not going to say this test is easy - it's actually quite a tough one. The the balls change position quicker and quicker as the test progresses.

If on a mobile device and you are unable to view this video in full screen, click here.


How to prepare...

Since hearing about the changes to the L3 Airline Academy selection process I have researched several tools to help readers with their preparation efforts. This section aims to introduce you to some of these. Admittedly most preparation tools do come at cost, but having used similar products during my own selection preparation back in 2015/16 I can't speak more highly of them.

I've split the preparation tips into two separate sections. Click/tap on a heading to get started.

SkyTest Pan Asian

* Screenshot of SkyTest Interface *

Prepare for Cut-e Assessments using SkyTest Preparation Software

When preparing for my own attempt at selection in 2015/16 I made use of a variety of applications claiming to be perfect for L3 Airline Academy selection prep and while each of these tools cost money, I considered the amount spent a small investment towards my dream. It's safe to say this investment paid off as I went on to pass selection, complete the training course and qualify as a commercial pilot and looking back none of it would have been possible without a preparation product called SkyTest.

SkyTest Cut-e Gyro and RBI Test

* cut-e Spatial Orientation Test within SkyTest *

Within the field of aspiring pilots SkyTest has gained quite the reputation for its accuracy in replicating technical assessments. They achieved a strong likeness for the former tests known as PILAPT and I'm pleased to say they've gone on to do it once again for the cut-e assessment.

SkyTest Cut-e Tube Flight

* cut-e Complex Control Test within SkyTest *

What I liked about the SkyTest software compared to that of other preparation tools was their in-built training assistant. It introduced you to each of the tests in the easiest difficulty and reported on your weakness at the end of each test. You were then able repeat the weaker areas and after demonstrating improvement the subsequent test would have an increased difficulty. In the case of the PILAPT Preparation software they had, the multi-tasking tests would be drip-fed to you. This would mean the assistant would only provide you wish one of the tasks before it then introduces the remaining aspects one by one as you improve. Trust me, this really did help.

SkyTest Cut-e Reaction Rate

* cut-e Reaction Speed Test within SkyTest *

It's important to bear in mind that these preparation tools can never be 100% accurate, although they are very close. SkyTest provides a score after you take a test and while helpful, it is unlikely to match cut-e's own logic so try not to get too caught up on the meaning behind them too much. I'd recommend using the scores as a way to track your own improvement in each test but nothing more than that.

SkyTest Cut-e Monitoring Ability Test

* cut-e Monitoring Ability Test within SkyTest *

At the time of writing SkyTest's Cut-e preparation can be found within their Pan-Asian Pilot Screenings product. You will NOT find it within the UK Pilot Aptitude Screenings version. This might well change in future but historically the metrics Cut-e assess have been tested more widely in the asian pilot market and it therefore makes more sense to incorporate them into the former offering. Typically a SkyTest application will come with many other testing styles incorporated and as a result only a few of the tests will be applicable to a Cut-e assessment. In the case of L3 Airline Academy, the mapping of Cut-e tests to those in SkyTest is as follows:

  • Cut-e Multi-tasking Ability Test ==> SkyTest Psycho-motorics: Runway Multitasking
  • Cut-e Spatial Orientation Test ==> SkyTest Orientation: Gyro and RBI Test
  • Cut-e Complex Control Test ==> SkyTest Psycho-motorics: Tube Flight
  • Cut-e Reaction Speed Test ==> SkyTest Attention: Reaction Rate
  • Cut-e Monitoring Ability Test ==> SkyTest Attention: Monitoring Ability Test

Cut-e Reaction Rate

How much does SkyTest cost and where can you buy it?

As a Pilot George reader you qualify for 12.5% off the cost of SkyTest Pan-Asian Pilot Screenings software. To find out how to redeem this discount click the button below.

There are multiple ways to prepare for numerical reasoning tests. Generally speaking the type of test L3 employs is mental arithmetic although a basic calculator is now permitted. It will certainly come in handy to brush up on things such as the calculations required for areas and conversions as it'll now come down to your ability to remember the methodology behind calculations. This would be especially useful if its a while since you left school.

Feel confident in your mental maths speed

Secrets of Mental Math L3 Airline Academy / CTC Aviation Selection Process

Having passed the Maths test on my second attempt I wouldn't say the questions are overly difficult. What I would say though is they often require multiple calculations in order to work out the answer, i.e. currency conversion over 3 currencies, conversion of areas etc. You may therefore require knowledge of quick methodology in order to answer within the timescale provided. The book 'Secrets of Mental Math' by Arthur Benjamin is a great read and truly makes you question why you ever calculated things in the way you did prior to reading. You won't need to read all of this book as some of it is beyond G.C.S.E. mental maths. You can buy find this book on Amazon UK by clicking the button below. 

View Secrets of Mental Math on Amazon

SkyTest Maths Modules

If you happen to purchase SkyTest for your preparation there are a few maths preparation modules within it which may help you with the types of maths you can expect throughout the Numerical Reasoning and technical assessments. Those modules are:

  • SkyTest Maths: Mental Arithmetic
  • SkyTest Maths: Math Word Problems
  • SkyTest: Maths: Numerical Estimation

Other Practice Resources

There are several other test preparation providers which offer maths tests. One of these used to be a very strong likeness to those in the PILAPT tests, but with the new Numerical Reasoning format the same can't be said. Even so it's simply the constant repetition of practice maths questions that will get your brain back in the zone. These do come at their own cost, but i'm putting them out there for you to explore. These sites also include several other aptitude preparation tools although to be truthful a lot of them aren't fairly representative of the real deal and instead just test the metrics you might experience.


Good luck!!!

Hopefully this post has provided you with an insight into the newer assessment style employed at L3 Airline Academy and I wish you the best of luck for any up-and-coming assessments.

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