How to prepare for the test

What do we test with ELPAC?

ELPAC test structure

ELPAC Listening Comprehension - Paper 1

Paper 1 (Listening Comprehension) tests understanding communications between pilots and controllers and between controllers and controllers in both routine and non-routine situations. The recordings are based on authentic material and range from short standard pilot transmissions to longer communications in which the controller and pilot deal with non-routine or unusual situations.

ELPAC Paper 1 is administered via the internet and takes around 40 minutes.

Sample tests

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Student Air Traffic Controller ACS/APS
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Student Air Traffic Controller TWR

ELPAC Oral Interaction - Paper 2

Paper 2 (Oral Interaction) assesses the controller’s or pilot’s proficiency through non-visual and visual communication in three tasks. It includes:

  • the correct use of standard ICAO phraseology
  • switching between structured phrases [RTF] and plain English
  • making an appropriate response to a message
  • resolving misunderstandings
  • dealing effectively with the relationship between pilot and controller
  • negotiating a developing unusual situation
  • making a verbal report in English (of the unusual situation)
  • producing extended speech in an aviation context

ELPAC Paper 2 is administered by two ELPAC examiners, a language expert and an operational expert, and takes around 20 minutes.

Watch the video for an example:

ELPAC Level 6

After the first series of language proficiency tests have been completed organisations wishing to test their staff at ICAO level 6 may implement the ELPAC level 6 test also referred to as ELPAC Paper 3.

Paper 3 (level 6 test) assesses the ATC controller’s or pilot’s proficiency at ICAO level 6, verifying in four tasks that, according to the ICAO rating scale description of a level 6 speaker, the candidate is able to:

  • understand and avoid idiomatic English
  • recognise and avoid ambiguity
  • use clear and concise English
  • negotiate meaning
  • clarify potential misunderstandings

The ELPAC level 6 test can be taken only after the candidate has demonstrated ICAO level 5 first in the regular ELPAC test.