Prepare for the NATS Air Traffic Control Aptitude Tests
Want to join the NATS ATC training college to become an ATCO? Read below for a review of the entire selection process and learn how we can help you prepare.
The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) are the biggest UK employer for ATCOs, providing ATC services and consultancy solutions in and out of the UK. NATS train their own ATCOs at Fareham College and the various ATC units they operate. Trainees are paid for training and guaranteed employment after successfully completing the course, although they do not get to choose their specialty or the ATC unit they will work at.
|NATS Aptitude Tests Practice|
Practise for the NATS online aptitude tests as provided by Saville. Including explanations, tips & more.
The selection process to become a NATS trainee consists of the following stages:
You must pass each stage in order to continue to the next one. Failure in any of the stages means you will have to wait two years before you can reapply, and you cannot have more than three attempts in total. Note that there might be a waiting period of several months between each stage.
Online application: Who can apply?The minimum entry criteria include having five GCSEs at Grade C or above, including English and Mathematics. You must be over 18 years old at the time of submission. Unlike in previous years, at the moment there is no maximum age restriction. Having a mathematical or technical degree may be of some advantage, although it is not a necessary requirement. You will also have to meet all other CAA criteria for a Student and full ATCO licence.
Stages 0 and 1: Online Aptitude TestsAfter your NATS application form has been submitted you will receive an email invitation to sit online tests. You have three months to complete these tests. If you don't take the tests during this period, it will be as if you have failed them, and you will have to wait two years before you can try again.
The NATS tests are provided by Saville Consulting and are divided into two parts:
Stage 0: numerical and verbal reasoning and error checkingThe numerical test measures your ability to analyse numerical data. It provides tables and charts followed by questions requiring basic arithmetic operations. The verbal test consists of short text passages and different types of questions assessing your language and understanding of the main points in the text. In the error checking test you need to decide whether two columns or rows of numbers and letters contain errors or not.
All tests are done under time pressure, so you are required to work both quickly and accurately. If you answer enough questions correctly, you will be sent a link to the next two aptitude tests.
Stage 1: diagrammatic and spatial reasoningThe diagrammatic reasoning test presents input-output diagrams. One component in the diagram, either input, operator or output, will be missing, and your task will be to figure out what it is. In the spatial reasoning test you will need to find the odd shape out of several rotated shapes in each question. These tests have time constraints as well.
According to NATS, almost half of the candidates are cut at the first stage of online aptitude tests. Preparing for these tests in advance may ensure moving on to stage 2 and save you another two years of waiting to reapply. Just like with any other test, becoming familiar with the question types and being used to working under time limits will increase your confidence and ability to answer more questions correctly.
For this reason, we highly recommend you to check out our tailored NATS ATCO style practice pack. It includes our numerical, verbal, error checking and diagrammatic reasoning practice tests for Saville's assessment, accompanied by study guides, score reports and more. Three months is plenty of time to practise. Start now and make sure you pass to Stage 2!
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