Q&A About FAA's Pre-Employment Test
When entering a new career in air traffic control, there are bound to be a number of questions. The following are a few common ones regarding the FAA's pre-employment test.
Who is required to take the FAA pre-employment test?
General public applicants and students enrolled in the FAA Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) will be required to take the FAA air traffic control pre-employment test. Applicants with previous air traffic control experience are not required to take the pre-employment test, however. This includes individuals that were previously trained in the military.
When is the pre-employment test administered?
The FAA has a goal of testing their eligible job applicants as soon as possible. This means that students who are enrolled in the AT-CTI will be tested about six month before they are expected to graduate. General public applicants take the test approximately 4 to 8 weeks after a vacancy announcement closes.
How do I know when to take the test?
The FAA's Aviation Careers Division will tell all students and general public applicants when their name has been referred for testing. After that happens, you will be contacted by an FAA contractor about your specific testing information. This information will include the date, time, and location where you will be taking your test. You will confirm this information with them and will be expected on the agreed upon date.
Are there any test materials provided by the FAA to prepare me for the test?
The short answer to this is no. The FAA does not give students or general public any specific test-related information, however, your previous training should prepare you for passing the test. It's also important to note that there are pre-approved test locations that you will be taking the test at. If this location is not close to you, you will be required to get there on your own. The FAA is not responsible for any expenses incurred for taking their test.
What is a passing score on the test? And how will I receive my results?
To pass the pre-employment test, you must get a score of 70 or higher. There are two categories for a passing score: qualified (70.0 - 84.9) or well-qualified (85.0 and above). Within two weeks of taking the test, your results will be posted in your online job application account with the FAA.
If I don't pass, can I retake the test?
If you do not pass the test the first time, you are allowed to retake the test but not until one year from your initial test date. Your second score will replace the first one. You can also retake the test if you want a higher score; in this case, your second score will also replace the first.