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CLEAR - ICAO Assessment

Information for test takers

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If you are an airline, please contact us directly for further details on the CLEAR ICAO Assessment.

If you are an individual, then please note that the CLEAR assessment is only available to those who have sponsorship from your employer/airline. If you are uncertain whether this applies to you then please contact your employer/airline for confirmation.

For details on Checkpoint please click here.

 

ICAO English language proficiency levels:

Level 6: Expert You will not be required to demonstrate English Language proficiency in the future
Level 5: Extended You will need to be re-tested every six years
Level 4: Operational You will need to be re-tested every three years
Level 3: Pre-Operational You will need English Language training to reach the minimum ICAO operational level
Level 2: Elementary You will need English Language training to reach the minimum ICAO operational level
Level 1: Pre-Elementary You will need English Language training to reach the minimum ICAO operational level

 

Further English training may be needed to maintain or improve your level of proficiency.

To prepare you for your upcoming ICAO assessment please read the CLEAR - ICAO Assessment for Test Takers and watch the sample exam videos below.

 

Part One: Radiotelephony Role Play (Listening and speaking)

This part of the test takes 18-20 minutes. You will take the role of the pilot in 2 role-play scenarios. The scenarios are based on departure, en-route or arrival phases of flight. The scenarios are in the following order:


  •  Departure followed by en--route; or
  • En-route followed by arrival.

Part 1 tests voice-only communication. In part 1 there is no eye-contact between you and the examiner.
In each scenario:

  • Firstly, you will listen to an ATIS or a VOLMET broadcast.
  • Then you will do a radiotelephony roleplay.
  • Next you will give a cabin crew briefing (en---route scenarios only).
  • Finally, you will answer questions about the ATIS or VOLMET broadcast you heard.

At the beginning of each scenario, the examiner will give you instructions for this part of the test. On the instructions you will have basic information about your flight. You will not be tested on this information; it is there to help you communicate. This information includes but is not limited to:

  • Your flight number;
  • Your aircraft type;
  • Your origin airport; and
  • Your destination airport.

The instructions also include:

  • A basic aeronautical chart of the departure airfield (in departure scenarios)
  • A topographical chart showing navigational aids, airways, airfields, your position and your track (in en-route scenarios)
  • The arrival airfield showing the standard arrival pattern, navigation aids, the arrival airport and topographical features (in arrival scenarios).

The examiner will give you 45 seconds to look at this information before the test continues. You can look at it during the test so you don’t need to remember it.

Firstly, the examiner will play a pre-recorded ATIS broadcast (in departure and arrival scenarios) or a VOLMET broadcast (in en-route scenarios). You will hear the broadcast twice.

This task tests your ability to understand numbers, letters, weather vocabulary and plain English for warnings. As you listen, you need to take notes on the important information. At the end of the role play scenario, the examiner will ask you questions about what you heard so it is important that your notes are clear and help you to remember.

TEST PRACTICE: Practice this exercise using the sample test on the CLEAR website. Watch the video, take the role of pilot and then communicate with A TC.

 

When the ATIS/VOLMET broadcast has finished, the role play task will begin. In this part of the test, you communicate directly with the examiner who takes the role of ATC. You communicate by responding to the examiner’s messages, and by using visual prompts which you see on a computer screen in front of you. In some scenarios, the examiner will begin communications. In other scenarios, you need to begin communications. The ‘chime’ sound and the flashing symbol of a pilot on the screen (below) tell you that you need to begin communications.

You will hear the ‘chime’ sound and see this symbol every time you need to speak during the role-play scenarios.

This part of the test is testing your ability to use plain English on the radio in non-routine situations. This includes your ability to:

  • Understand A TC messages in plain English;
  • Give messages in plain English;
  • Switch between phraseology and plain English;
  • Manage the interaction between you and A TC; and
  • Check, confirm and clarify, where necessary.

During the role play scenarios, you need to read back the examiner’s ATC calls and use standard ICAO phraseology as if you were using the aircraft radio. However, you are not assessed on your read back or your phraseology. The examiner assesses your English in the non-routine situations only.

The non-routine situations in each role play are presented with visuals on the computer screen and by the examiner in spoken radio messages. When you are in these situations, use standard ICAO phraseology and plain English where appropriate, and communicate as clearly as you can with the examiner.

TEST PRACTICE: Practice this exercise. What would you say in plain English to the air traffic controller in the non - routine situation?

At the end of the en-route scenario, you have to brief your cabin crew about the situation. This task tests your ability to give information in plain English about a non-routine situation. You need to try to give as much information as you can about what is happening and what you are going to do when you see this prompt on the screen:

 

Many airlines use an emergency acronym to brief flight-deck and cabin crews which helps simplify the communication exchange. One example is the use of a NITS brief which includes:


  • Nature of the problem
  • Intention
  • Time needed – to sort out the problem - Special instructions if required

This is one format which can be used when communicating to the Cabin Crew

TEST PRACTICE: Practice this exercise. What would you say to your cabin crew in the non-routine situation?

At the end of the role play scenario, the examiner will ask you questions about the ATIS/VOLMET broadcast. In this task, the examiner assesses how much of the broadcast you understood. You can ask the examiner to repeat the questions if necessary. Try to give short and clear answers to the examiner’s questions.

When the examiner has finished the questions, you will move on to the second role play scenario and you will repeat all of the tasks above. At the end of the second scenario, you will move on to part 2 of the test.

 

Part Two: Monitor and Report (Listening and speaking)

The second part of the test takes 7-9 minutes and simulates the pilot task of monitoring the frequency during flight. First you will listen to a recording of radiotelephony communications. Then you need to give a spoken report of the non-routine events from the recording.

At the beginning, the examiner will play one extended recording of radiotelephony communications in routine and non-routine situations from the following phases of flight:

  • Departure
  • En-route
  • Arrival

Each recording is between 5 and 6 minutes long. You can listen to the recording once only.

This task tests your ability to understand plain English in non-routine situations on the radio. In this task you only need to listen for information about the non-routine situations. We strongly recommend you take notes as you listen. It is important that your notes are clear and help you to remember.

After the recording has finished, and you have finished making your notes, the examiner will ask you to give a report of the non-routine events from the recording. You will give this report face to face with the examiner. The examiner will not ask you any questions about the recording, so you should try to give as many details as you can in your report. You should try to include:

  • The call sign(s) of the relevant aircraft;
  •  
  • Detailed information about the problem(s) or the event(s);
  •  
  • Any actions and/or intentions of the flight crew or the air traffic controller; and
  •  
  • Any other information you think is important.

In Part 2, the examiner assesses how much of the broadcast you understood and your ability to give a report in plain English. At the end of part 2, the examiner will take your notes, but your notes will not be assessed.

TEST PRACTICE: Practice this exercise using the sample test on CLEAR website. Listen to the sample recording. Make notes as you listen. Then check your answers.

 

Part three: Describe and Discuss(Speaking)

There are two speaking tasks in the final part of the test. Together they take 6-8 minutes. In the first task you have to describe a picture, and in the second task you discuss aviation topics related to the picture with the examiner.

At the beginning, the examiner shows you an image on the computer screen and asks you to describe it. This task tests your ability to describe a work-related situation in plain English. When you are describing the image, try to speak for as long as possible, and give as much information as you can.

When you have finished your description, the examiner asks you a series of questions. Some of the questions are related to the picture, and some are questions about more general aviation related topics. This discussion task tests your ability to:

  • Speak at length about a range of work related topics;
  • Use a range of grammatical structures and vocabulary; and
  •  
  • Manage the interaction between you and the examiner.

When answering the questions, try to give full answers and give as much information as possible. You may ask for clarification if you do not understand a question. In this part of the test, the examiner does not assess your listening comprehension.

TEST PRACTICE: Practice this exercise using the sample test on the CLEAR website. Look at the picture. What would you say?

 

Preparation for your upcoming ICAO assessment

Please read the CLEAR - ICAO Assessment for Test Takers and watch the sample exam videos below.