# Why Do Assessment Days Test Pilot Maths?

When you want to become a commercial pilot, your math skills, especially the ability to do quick math in your head, are really important for your training and career as a pilot.

Pilots use mental math during every flight to manage the plane’s energy and make sure they descend to the runway at the right speed and height. Let’s make it simple. Imagine the plane is at 39,000 feet, flying at 280 knots, and there’s a 40-knot tailwind. To figure out how many miles you need to descend, pilots often use a simple trick: they multiply the altitude (without the thousands) by three. In this case, 39 x 3 equals 117 miles.

Also, they adjust this number by adding a mile for every 10 knots of tailwind and subtracting a mile for every 10 knots of headwind. If the plane needs to slow down from 280 knots to 130 knots, they add 15 miles. So, for this example, they’d need a total of 136 miles to descend. It’s not super precise, but it’s a helpful estimate for planning. Learn about which question can be asked in Pilot interview

Experienced pilots use these mental calculations a lot and also convert between different units, like nautical miles to regular miles or feet to meters.

That’s why when you’re trying to become a pilot, the people who run flight training programs test your mental math skills during assessment days. These tests can include math problems, aptitude tests, group activities, and interviews.

## Assessment Day – Pilot Maths Tests

On most pilot assessment days, you’ll have to do math tests. Even if you’re good at math or have taken advanced math classes, it’s a good idea to practice basic math like division and multiplication before the assessment day.

Practicing mental math is important because even though the tests might not be super hard, there’s pressure on the day of the assessment. To get ready, grab a piece of paper and practice regularly, like when you’re on the bus or during your lunch break. Having strong math skills is crucial for people who want to be commercial pilots and do well on these assessments.

## Pilot Maths Assessments – Example Of What To Expect

When you take a math assessment, it’s a test with math questions. The questions usually don’t take too long to answer, about one minute each. Most of the time, you’ll see questions with multiple choices. That means you pick the right answer from a list. Some questions are easy, and some are a bit harder. Here are some examples:

- What’s the cube root of.
- If there are 39 inches in a meter and 12 inches in a foot, how many meters are in a certain number of feet
- What is 2345 multiplied by 18?
- Divide 345 by 1.3

No need to worry. They’ll provide you with a pen and paper, so you can write down your answers. Your goal is to answer one question within one minute. You’ll have 15 questions to answer in 15 minutes.

## Ways To Prepare

Looking at the examples, you’ll see that most of the questions involve multiplication, division, and changing units. If you’re not so confident in math, you can prepare in these ways:

You can find helpful resources online, like videos on “how to do long division” or “how to do long multiplication.” Many of them are free.

Practice these skills until you feel comfortable with them.

When you’re ready, make your own practice test with 15 questions. You can also get help from a friend or family member. When you practice for the test, include various types of questions like changing units, multiplying, dividing, and adding or subtracting.

Use a timer and try to complete all 15 questions in 11 minutes or less. Keep in mind that during the actual test, you’ll have 15 minutes. Having these extra four minutes can help you stay calm and handle any nervousness.

If this still feels a bit scary, don’t worry too much. Most of the time, these math tests have multiple-choice questions. That means you don’t have to find the exact answer. If you can get close to the right answer, you have a good chance of getting it right.

For instance, if you see a question like “What is 3654 multiplied by 72” with multiple-choice answers:

- 292,111
- 263,088
- 263,812
- 311,112

You can rule out answer A because it’s an odd number, and multiplying even numbers always gives an even result. You can also get rid of answer D because it’s too big. So, if you get stuck, you have a 50/50 chance of picking between B and C.

## Get Great At Mental Maths

If you want to get better at math, one of the key things to focus on is long multiplication. It’s a method I highly recommend getting good at.

Long multiplication is a way to quickly and efficiently find answers to math problems. Once you’re good at it, you can use it to check and make sure your answers are right.

It is also very important to learn how to do long division and how to quickly add and subtract big numbers. The good news is, there are lots of free resources on the internet that can help you learn and practice these skills.

Instead of showing you examples of these calculations, there are many experienced teachers who have made videos online that explain things really well.

Just remember, learning is something you keep doing, so get ready to work and study, even if you already think you’re pretty good at math.”