ICAO Language Proficiency Test: Process & Explanation

Step by step to your next level of aviation proficiency.

ICAO Language Proficiency Test: Process & Explanation

Step by step to your next level of aviation proficiency.

The ICAO language proficiency is crucial for pilots and air traffic controllers as it ensures safe and efficient communication in the aviation industry. Misunderstandings or communication errors can lead to accidents and incidents.

For this reason, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has developed ICAO language proficiency requirements for pilots and air traffic controllers to ensure that their English language skills meet a minimum standard. This enables clear and effective communication between all parties involved, regardless of their native language. Effective communication in English is particularly important for international flights, where pilots and air traffic controllers from different countries need to interact with each other.

The ICAO Language Proficiency level is assessed through multiple tests, including listening comprehension and speaking. The tests evaluate not only the individual's ability to understand and use English but also their ability to use language in the context of aviation and its standards. The language proficiency is classified into an ICAO level ranging from ICAO Level 1 to 6. 

Our procedure

Select test date and time

Choose a suitable date from our online calendar for yourself.

Buy a ticket

Buy your test ticket and pay with PayPal, credit card or bank transfer.

Submit documents

Through our secure server, you submit the signed Privacy Declaration and a scan of your ID card.


Prepare yourself using the provided examples.

Download your free copy of our Preparation-Booklet. 

Exam (30 - 45 minutes)

Our ICAO language proficiency tests take place online.

ICAO Test PRO: 18 questions and 15 minutes of free interview = about 45 minutes.

ICAO Test BASIC: 12 questions and 10 minutes of free interview = about 30 minutes.

Grading by second level examiner

A second level examiner will listen to the recorded audio file of your exam and assigns the respective language proficiency level. The recording of the exam is required by the authorities. Your grading normally takes not more than 48 hours.

Your new ICAO language certificate

You will receive your level along with an ICAO Language Proficiency Certificate from us via email within a short period (max. 48 hours after the test).
You submit this to your licensing authority, and your new level will be officially recorded.

Frequently asked questions

  • At say-again.aero, we make it easy for you to take your ICAO language proficiency test from the comfort of your own home with short-notice appointments, online exams and fast certificate delivery via E-Mail.
  • Our team consisting of professional commercial pilots creates a relaxed and collegial atmosphere and strives to help you achieve the highest possible ICAO language level.
  • We operate according to EASA regulations and maintain constant communication with authorities to ensure compliance with regulations.
  • Our dual examiner system ensures smooth acceptance of your language level.
  • With comprehensive materials, we aim to prepare you for the verbal questions, picture descriptions, listening, and free conversation sections of the exam.

Our team consists of commercial pilots who fly as Captains or First Officers for major European airlines and business aviation providers. The company is located near Munich, while our examiners are based throughout Europe.

Our goal is to simplify the process of the ICAO Language Proficiency Test while creating a relaxed atmosphere during the exam, so that everyone can reach their full potential.

We would be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn or Instagram.

Upon successfully completing the ICAO Language Proficiency Test BASIC you will be certified with ICAO level 4 which is granted through a slightly abbreviated exam format. Private pilots who wish to communicate in English require at least Level 4. Our ICAO language proficiency test BASIC is also suitable for Glider Pilots who are planning a trip abroad.

With the ICAO Language Proficiency Test PRO, you do not have to determine a specific ICAO level before the test. Instead, you will receive the highest possible ICAO level that corresponds to your language skills. It is not uncommon for candidates to underestimate themselves and end up being pleasantly surprised with a higher ICAO level than expected.

ICAO level 5 is often the minimum requirement for working in commercial aviation. Those who achieve ICAO level 6 obtain a lifelong language proficiency qualification and do not have to undergo any further renewal tests.

Thus, the highest possible level is always advantageous. We particularly recommend (future) commerical pilots to strive for the highest ICAO level for the best career opportunities.

There are six ICAO language proficiency levels ranging from Level 1 to 6.

  • ICAO level 1 is considered the lowest level and indicates that the person has little or no ability to communicate in English.
  • ICAO level 2 signifies a limited ability to communicate.
  • ICAO level 3 confirms an operational proficiency in English, but with some limitations.
  • ICAO level 4 is the minimum level required for pilots and air traffic controllers. It certifies an operational proficiency in English with occasional errors or misunderstandings. (Renewal after 4 years)
  • ICAO level 5 indicates a higher level of proficiency where the person is able to communicate effectively and accurately in a variety of contexts. (Renewal after 6 years)
  • ICAO level 6 is considered the highest level and certifies full and accurate communication in English, even in complex or unfamiliar situations. (Lifetime validity)

Learn more about the requirements for the respective ICAO levels.

Yes! Our exam is valid for initial issue, renewal, and extension. The new validity period starts from the date of the test for 4 or 6 years, or in the case of Level 6, lifelong. The testing process for initial issue, renewal, or extension is the same.

Our tests follow ICAO guidelines, are EASA certified and conducted under the legitimation of Language Training Body 112. The governing CAA is Austro Control. The test fulfils requirements of FCL.055 Annex I to ED Decision 2020/005R. Our language certificate is valid up to level 6 in all EASA member states according (EU) 2019/1747, including Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The language examiners (LPE/LPLE) are continuously qualified according to ICAO DOC 9835 and work with the ICAO Rating Scale FCL Appendix 2 plus the requirements of FCL.055.

For your preparation, we have compiled some typical exam examples for you.
At the end of the examination, you can expect an open conversation with the examiner on any topics that you would like to choose. Naturally, you should focus on areas where you are well-versed in the vocabulary and/or where you feel confident communicating in English professionally or personally.

Please remember to submit the signed Privacy Declaration and a legible photo of both sides of your ID card or passport, onto our server well before the start of the examination. You will receive the access details via email.

The exam time window is chosen so that it can start immediately after the connection is established. You should make sure that you have a stable internet connection and that the camera and microphone are functioning properly. You can use Zoom in a browser via the invitation link in our confirmation of appointment, but we recommend downloading and installing the app for a stable exam process. If you haven't used Zoom before, you can find a brief tutorial here.

Yes! :) No matter if you are a student pilot, a glider pilot, a private pilot or a commercial pilot: we will conduct the ICAO language proficiency test with you via Zoom online. You will see your friendly examiner and some of your tasks on your screen. All you need is a stable internet connection and the camera of your notebook or tablet.

The questions will be played to you as an audio file. Additionally, an image with aviation context will be shown to you, which you should describe as best as possible. Another component is spelling and reading frequencies and altitudes in accordance with ICAO guidelines.

For "Level 4 only," you will only face 12 questions and a 10-minute interview. 

For "Level 4-6," 18 questions and a 15-minute free conversation with the examiner await you. In the ICAO language proficiency tests Level 5 and 6, listening to an ATIS or a radio message completes the exam.

Important: Although we mainly operate in the context of aviation, it is never about technical knowledge, but only about the correct use of the English language. Please take a look at our exam examples page!

First, it's important to understand: although we talk a lot about aviation in the test, we NEVER test your theoretical knowledge, but only your English language skills and understanding. Making mistakes is human and understandable, and your examiner will evaluate them with discretion. Nobody is perfect ;-)

Usually our tests take about 40 - 45 minutes up to level 6. If you aim for level 4 only, 30 - 35 minutes should be enough.

Please check your camera and audio signal prior to the test and we will save some time to get started.

You will find a detailed explanation of the evaluation criteria for the respective ICAO level here.

The audio channel of our exams is recorded and uploaded to a certified Second Level Examiner (SLE).

With our "ICAO Language Proficiency Test PRO" you will automatically receive the highest possible level according to your language skills.

With the shorter and cheaper „ICAO Sprachprüfung BASIC“ your language level will not exceed Level 4.

But if you want to improve and enhance your aircrew qualification, we strongly recommend to go for our "ICAO Language Proficiency Test PRO".

You will receive your new ICAO Language Certificate promptly via email after your performance has been evaluated. You will then submit the certificate to your licensing authority and have your new language qualification with the corresponding level entered into your license. We will provide you with information and guidance on the detailed process via email, along with your certificate, after the test.

No, we only communicate with you. You will receive your certificate from us via email and then send it to an authority of your choice (LBA in Germany, but if you work abroad or hold your license there, you will send it to the relevant authority abroad). 

Our examiners all work as pilots for airlines, which is why we always wait for their duty schedules before publishing new appointments. This is done no later than the end of the month for the following month.

If you don't see any availabilities or would like to schedule an appointment in the future, feel free to send us an email at support@say-again.aero.

-> An upgrade to Level 6 with unlimited validity is possible any time! The renewal of Level 4 or 5 is possible at any time, analogous to the regulation for flight licenses. However, the original expiration date will only be maintained if the test is carried out within 3 months before the expiration date. For early renewals, the new validity period begins on the last day of the calendar month in which the test was conducted. The validity of Level 4 is four years, Level 5 is six years, and Level 6 is lifelong.

Offer: if you prefer to wait, register here and we will contact you with a special offer at the beginning of your renewal period. And no worries: until then, we will leave you alone. 😉

Please feel free to send us an email with your request to support@say-again.aero and we will respond to you promptly, even on weekends or holidays.