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FATs - Useful Links

Not sure as I have yet to go... but I would practise everything e.g basic algebra, fractions, SDT, + & -, X & /... the ususal. I just find it useful for practise. I also recommend a DS Lite and Braintraining.


Lantern Swinger
Ok i wrote a little breakdown of what happens at FATs as sometimes the unknown can make people more nervous.

Day 1 - Upon arrival you will be given a room number and information on where your block or rooms is, you have time to go to your room dump your stuff off then go back to the Candidates mess thing and chill out, watch TV and chat with the other candidates, try and get some banter going have a good chat with them as you may well sit your AIB with them if succesful.
You will then have a quick debrief as a group and then you go for dinner, word of advice... DO NOT TAKE YOUR JACKET OFF once inside the dining area, either take it off and hang it up outside or leave it on during the whole meal. Then after dinner they open the bar, have a drink (small one nothing excessive) and chat with the others. Try to relax and get a good night sleep.
Try and get an early night and get some good sleep, as you will have an early start the next day.

Day 2 - Testing Day
I can't remember exact times but you will be woken by siren alarm thing very early. Try and set a personal alarm 10 mins earlier and go for a shower to wake youself up. Then you go for breakfast, try your very best to at least have some cereal and some caffeine. The tests are mentally strenuous and will use a lot of energy, so eat something at the very least.

You then get taken to the Testing area, and get a brief on whats going to happen, breaks, the equipment you will have to use (includes modern joystick, 2 foot paddles - the same as ones in small aircraft and a keyboard which has only numbers 1-9, letters A-E and 4 Couloured buttons and various codes of conduct whilst in the testing room.

Once thats done with you go into a room, which is quite big and you will have a candidate number which corresponds to one of the booths, each booth is sepearated as in an office but higher walls.

Then the tests begin!!:

You will be able to read the instructions twice, but try not to rush reading the instructions make sure you know exactly what is expected of you and then when ready proceed. I can't remember every single test and it would take me too long to tell you every single test anyway, but i can tell you some basic principles you will need to work on:

If you can get your hands on one of the modern joysticks, do.
Also foot pedals, as on small aircraft as far as i know, ie the ones with forward and back movement creating a left/right effect.

Speed/Distance/Time calculations!! Everyone will tell you to practise these...and thats because there are absolutely tons of them, and loads at AIB too. If you don't know how to do them, get your hands on a GCSE or A Level maths revision guide, or phone up your old school or something. Be proactive.
Also basic maths, get someone to ask you 40 simple maths questions ie 23 add 48, sounds easy not after 4 hours of testing!! So get someone to tests you in quick succesion with you verbally saying the answer, or typing into a word document using the numbers on the right hand side of an average keyboard.

You get a 5 minute break roughly every hour, but you dont have to take the break or maybe just take 1 or 2 minutes to get a drink. Then after the tests you go to Lunch. Becuase you get chance to read instruction more than once and breaks of varying lengths you wont all finish at the same time. Some people go back and finish after lunch, i had my result before some people even finished!Finishing early isnt always a good thing!

Then you get taken into a room one by one and told the good or bad news, if its bad news the guy discusses further options with you. Its not the end of the world. You can always retake.

Good luck, feel free to PM me to ask any questions.


I'v been to the FAT at Cranwell and feel that i should give some information on the experience, having passed as pilot! Have managed to get a picture of what your sat in front of in the exam room, just in case your wondering. The picture isnt actually in the exam room, its in the waiting/break room, but the only difference is the size of the screen. The screen in the break room notifies you of how long your break has been.

The joystick that is currently in the tests can be bought in shops so its well worth buying this type of stick for simulator games to get the feel of the movement, should help a bit in the tests!

My other piece of advice for Cranwell is to take your own pillow if you want a good nights sleep before the test. Also, if you find it hard to sleep when you have lights on in the room should take something to cover your eyes! The blinking fire alarm lights are very annoying!

Heres the picture of the setup:

Hope this helps, a bit anyway!



War Hero
andyrik said:
My other piece of advice for Cranwell is to take your own pillow if you want a good nights sleep before the test. Also, if you find it hard to sleep when you have lights on in the room should take something to cover your eyes! The blinking fire alarm lights are very annoying!

Well done Andy & again thanks on behalf both those that follow for the tips.

Your above advice regarding sleep tells me instinctively that you have what it takes to be a pilot in the Royal Navy.


hey im new to all this, i have my FAT's on the 7th and 8th of july, just wondering if anyone else has and what revision they are doing to prepare for it? cheers


My god what a difficult test. Got a competitive pass. Here's my advice.

1. Take your breaks. Get out of the room, get a glass of water and chill.
2. Make sure you get a good breakfast, you'll need it for the task ahead.
3. If you feel like you got a question wrong or did badly in a test, just move on. Forget about it and focus on the next one.
4. Don't assume you have done badly at the end. It's almost like you are meant to feel like that. All 9 of us thought we'd failed, but 6 got competitve pass', 1 passed, 1 passed for observer (not for pilot) and only 1 failed.


I applied to join the FAA as a pilot last September and sat my FATs in February. Just after lunch on test day the Lieutenant told me I had recieved very competative scores for pilot and observer and I attribute my success to several points:

Buy a Nintendo DS and get braintraining!
Take up a sport which improves hand-eye coordination (I played squash).
Practice your speed/distance/time calculations.
Practice working out what a question wants and how to get it.
Eat a mound of food for breakfast (I had a full fry, a bowl of cereal, toast with butter and jam and two cups of tea.)
Take a snack into the tests (I had a snickers bar and a packet of marshmallows - chewing gum is your friend).
Keep well hydrated before and during the tests.

Most importantly, go in and be ready to concentrate from the off. I did tests for an RAF 6th Form Scholarship the year before and did so poorly due to no breakfast and lack of concentration that they turned me down. I guess it just goes to show that you CAN influence your scores with the FATs.


Lantern Swinger
Thanks for all the advice, will be very useful! For those of us on a slightly tighter budget what could you recommend if we can't get our hands on a DS? Currently I'm obssessively doing killer sudokus...


Lantern Swinger
Ok, just tried one of the SDT tests, and on first go got 9/10 with an average answering time of 46.56 seconds. How good or bad is this?


You want it comfortably below 30 seconds and 100% correct. Most crabs I know (pilots) would do them in an average of 12-15 seconds.


Lantern Swinger
Thanks for the advice! Better get practicing then....I'd take shares out in Columbian coffee if I were you!



Does anybody know if the Navigation section of the FATs (the section with the map, distances, fuel tables etc) falls under Pilot section, Obs Section, or both when it comes to the final mark.
Thread has been invaluable to date, thanks to all.


War Hero
i think the Pilot needs to be able to do the observers job and vise versa if the need really calls for it, so i imagine it would be for both.
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