ELPAC Tests

ELPAC tests English language proficiency at ICAO level 4 (operational) and level 5 (extended). Both phraseology and plain language is included in the test.

Plain language proficiency is an essential component of radiotelephony communications as it is not possible to develop phraseologies to cover every conceivable situation.

ELPAC is partly a web-based test. This will not only ensure that test administration is as economical as possible but it also fosters a high level of test security and ensures confidentiality of all content.

There are two test papers:

  • Paper 1 : Listening Comprehension
  • Paper 2 : Oral Interaction.

ELPAC for ATCOs

Paper 1 (Listening Comprehension) tests understanding communications between pilots and controllers and between controllers and controllers in both routine and non-routine situations. The recordings are based on authentic material and range from short standard pilot transmissions to longer communications in which the controller deals with non-routine or unusual situations.

ELPAC Paper 1 is administered via internet and takes around 40 minutes.

Paper 2 (Oral Interaction) assesses the controller's proficiency through non-visual and visual communication in three tasks. This includes:

  • the correct use of standard ICAO phraseology
  • switching between structured phrases [RTF] and plain English
  • making an appropriate response to a pilot message
  • resolving misunderstandings
  • dealing effectively with the relationship between pilot and controller
  • negotiating a developing unusual situation
  • making a verbal report in English (of the unusual situation)producing extended speech in an aviation context

ELPAC Paper 2 is administered by two ELPAC examiners, a language expert and an operational expert, and takes around 20 minutes.

Get prepared:

It is strongly recommended that in order to become familiar with the layout and questions (items) of paper 1 you do the test version at least once, if not a couple of times before taking the ELPAC test.

ELPAC for Pilots

Paper 1 (Listening Comprehension) tests understanding communications between pilots and controllers and between pilots and controllers in both routine and non-routine situations. The recordings are based on authentic material and range from short standard pilot transmissions to longer communications in which the pilot deals with non-routine or unusual situations.

ELPAC Paper 1for pilots is administered via internet and takes around 35 minutes.

Paper 2 (Oral Interaction) assesses the pilot’s proficiency through a series of different tasks. This includes:

  • switching between structured phrases (phraseology) and plain English;
  • making an appropriate report of an unusual ATC event;
  • resolving misunderstandings;
  • dealing effectively with the relationship between pilot and controller;
  • negotiating meaning;
  • producing extended speech in an aviation context.

ELPAC Paper 2 is administered by two ELPAC examiners, a language expert and an operational expert, and takes around 20 minutes.

ELPAC level 6 (for ATCOs & pilots)

After the first series of language proficiency tests have been completed organisations wishing to test their staff at ICAO level 6 may implement the ELPAC level 6 test, called Paper 3.

Paper 3 (level 6 test) assesses the ATC controller's or pilot's proficiency at ICAO level 6, verifying in four tasks that, according to the ICAO rating scale description of a level 6 speaker, the candidate is able to:

  • understand and avoid idiomatic English;
  • recognise and avoid ambiguity;
  • use clear and concise English;
  • negotiate meaning and;
  • clarify potential misunderstandings.

Only candidates who have successfully completed ELPAC at ICAO level 5 will be able to take the ELPAC level 6 test.