Strive for Excellence. Not for perfection.

Some important basics first. None of us will be able to pass an exam in a foreign language without a single mistake. Even at Level 6, this is not a prerequisite. It's more a matter of being confident and fluent in the use of the language in order to be able to communicate efficiently with ATC even in difficult situations. And to make your exam turn out as successful as possible, we put together some helpful information for you: 

The first part of the ICAO language proficiency test contains of several questions. Some will be played to you from a pre-recorded audio file (see below).

The second part of the test comprises the "interview". We can literally talk about anything you would like to talk about. 

Structure of the ICAO language proficiency test

At this point you will be shown numbers and letters which will need to be read back in ICAO phraseology. Here you should be able to speak according to the ICAO phraseology and recall all letters from Alpha to Zulu. Just as you have learned in flight school.

Depending on your current career status, you will be listening to an ATIS, an IFR or VFR clearance. You will need to either give a readback of the clearance, describe the weather/ scenario in your own words or pick out specific details. A simple answer with 2 or 3 sentences is more than sufficient. Make sure to have a pen and paper ready.

You will be shown two different pictures. Describe the pictures in as much detail as possible. Make sure to look at details like the weather and the scenario. Don’t be afraid to paraphrase if you don’t know the proper word.

The test ends with an open conversation, where you can choose the topic by yourself. It's not about content, it's about consistently controlling both basic and complex grammatical structures and sentence patterns. What did you have for breakfast today? Where have you been on vacation? What is your favourite sport?

Please consider carefully, if you want to leave the sphere of aviation related topics or if you find it easier to stick to planes and flying: Tell us about your aviation career! Which airplane is your favourite type? What has been the most challenging situation for you as pilot of an aircraft? Have you ever experienced a real emergency? 

Tip: Prepare this part of the exam particularly well and consider beforehand which topics will best help you to succeed in the exam.


We finally recommend to play around a bit with google by searching for mistakes that are typically done when translating from your mother tongue to English. There is plenty of useful information out there, especially about correctly using future, present and past tense, prepositions and adjectives. Especially if your skills are exactly between two levels, these little things could tip the scales and bring you the decisive step forward.