The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have announced that they will be changing the way it runs ATPL Theoretical Knowledge Examinations from 14 August 2017. The changes are being made across EASA states, and have already been put in place in Australia and New Zealand.
The new platform (called ‘Quadrant’) will offer four styles of questions:
- Multiple-choice – this is the current question style where the candidate selects a single answer from four options.
- Multi-select – candidates must select options from a list to correctly answer the question. This question style will replace some of the current questions where a list of numbered options is provided in the question stem – and the candidate must select the correct group of options in the answer.
- Inline – this involves the correct completion of sentences using a dropdown menu containing words, numbers, or a combination of both.
- Text – ‘type-in-the-answer’ questions requiring the input of keystrokes. This style may be used to answer calculation-type questions, or questions requiring the extraction of data from a chart or table.
The CAA says that all questions will be reviewed to ensure their suitability to be delivered in this manner and to make sure that the new system does not disadvantage the candidate. The CAA has also confirmed it will be monitoring candidates’ comments made during and at the end of each exam to identify questions that may require amending or withdrawing.
The first exam to be run on the new system will be 010 Air Law on 14 August 2017, with more being rolled out in following weeks as follows:
010 AIR LAW 14-Aug-17
062 RADIO NAVIGATION 14-Aug-17
091 VFR COMMUNICATIONS 21-Aug-17
092 IFR COMMUNICATIONS 21-Aug-17
040 HUMAN PERFORMANCE AND LIMITATIONS 28-Aug-17
The following dates for new format roll-out are provisional:
033 FLIGHT PLANNING AND FLIGHT MONITORING 04-Sep-17
061 GENERAL NAVIGATION 04-Sep-17
050 METEOROLOGY 11-Sep-17
071 OPERATIONAL PROCEDURES 11-Sep-17
021 AIRFRAME AND SYSTEMS, ELECTRICS, POWERPLANT, EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT 18-Sep-17
022 AIRCRAFT GENERAL KNOWLEDGE – INSTRUMENTATION 18-Sep-17
031 MASS AND BALANCE – Aeroplane & Helicopters 02-Oct-17
081 PRINCIPLES OF FLIGHT – AEROPLANE 02-Oct-17
082 PRINCIPLES OF FLIGHT – HELICOPTER 02-Oct-17
032 PERFORMANCE – AEROPLANES 09-Oct-17
034 PERFORMANCE – HELICOPTERS 23-Oct-17
EASA currently maintains and provides the European Central Question Bank (ECQB), exceeding 14,000 questions. The CAA say that questions are currently being provided which may be presented to the candidate in different ways and not solely in the multiple choice format, because EASA recognises the need to introduce a variety of answer styles into the professional FCL examinations.