ATPL Exam Prep Made Easy. Navigating Complex Topics With ATPL Question Bank

Before one can take the captain’s seat, there is a significant hurdle to overcome: the Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) examination. The EASA syllabus entails 13 ATPL theory exams to assess a pilot’s knowledge and understanding of what it takes to operate an aircraft safely and efficiently. This includes a wide range of topics, from air law and human performance to fundamental principles of flight and aircraft general knowledge.

While all 13 ATPL subjects in the aviation exam require dedication, some pose a greater challenge than others. Your ATO flight school will usually guide you through the exam order, grouping subjects into manageable modules. Your instructors will likely stress a thorough understanding of the material. Anyone who’s recently taken the EASA exams will tell you, that relying solely on textbooks can be risky due to the unique nature of the theoretical exam. To achieve good scores and boost your confidence, instructors recommend supplementing your studies with a good question bank, or even several.

In this blog post, we’ll explore how regular practice with a question database can simplify your study process and help you tackle the complex topics you’ll encounter on the ATPL exams.

Exam Content, Format, and Passing Mark

But first let’s once again overview the content, format, and passing requirements of the EASA ATPLs, equipping you with the knowledge to navigate the official exam procedure.

ATPL exams consist primarily of multiple-choice questions with four options. Additionally, some exams may involve calculations relevant to the subject.

It’s important to note that there may be slight variations in format based on the specific aviation authorities. For instance, the UK CAA exams incorporate a quadrant system that includes multiple-choice questions alongside type-in questions and selecting answers from provided options.

The number of questions per exam varies based on the syllabus, ranging from 34 questions for Communications to 84 questions for Meteorology. Similarly, exam duration can differ depending on the subject’s complexity. Both EASA and UK CAA exams allot anywhere from 30 minutes for shorter subjects like Communications to 2 hours and 15 minutes for subjects like General Navigation.

The benchmark for success in each ATPL exam is a passing mark of 75%of the right answers. This means you need to answer correctly at least 75% of the exam questions to progress.

How Question Banks Help To Tackle With Complex Topics

Many aspiring pilots see question banks as a last resort for cramming before the ATPL exams. While they do provide a realistic exam simulation, their true value lies in ongoing learning throughout your studies.

Especially when grappling with complex ATPL subjects like Aircraft Performance and Flight Planning and Monitoring, question banks become invaluable tools for your daily study routine. Thanks to regular practice with a relevant question database, you may:

  • Solidify your understanding of key concepts.
  • Identify weak areas and specific questions that require further study.
  • Gain familiarity with the EASA exam questions format
  • Master time management and question-solving techniques.
  • Learn from incorrect answers and detailed explanations.

What Student Pilots Say

Here are a few examples of how other students and pilots found question bank practice helpful in their ATPL exam prep.


Michael from Italy, student pilot: In 9 months of use, Question Bank helps you improve daily. If you do not yet believe: I passed performance with 96%, human with 80% and AGK with 93%. 


Cameron Gow, student pilot: ATPL question bank Airhead is everything I needed during my ATPL exams! I used it for my final module of exams and achieved my highest average of 97%.


Marius, student pilot: “This is such a good study tool and is designed to help you reach your goals. I can clearly see what’s completed and what’s not. It boosts my study to a better level.

Powerful Question Bank Strategies

Leveraging question banks designed for the ATPL examinations is an excellent strategy for exam readiness. Moreover, these invaluable resources can enhance your overall learning experience, so it’s advisable not to wait until you’re cramming for the final test to use it. Here’s our advice for maximising the benefits of a question bank such as Airhead:

  1. Strike While the Iron’s Hot: Immediate Engagement

After studying a topic, immediately test your knowledge. Filter the question bank by subject, topic, and sub-topic for focused practice. Aim for quantity. The more specific questions you answer, the stronger your foundation. Learn from mistakes. Don’t just skim explanations – delve deep and revisit course material to solidify your understanding.

Tip: Some relevant topics require memorisation, while others focus on conceptual comprehension.

  1. Blanket Coverage: Thorough Review
    By the end of studying a subject, strive to answer most, if not all, related questions in the bank. Target a high success rate. This gauges your proficiency and identifies areas needing additional focus.
  2. Pressure Makes Perfect: Revision Practice
    Dedicate time for practice exams during your revision phase. Start with untimed tests to simulate real-world understanding. Resist the urge to peek at explanations and correct answers while working through the tricky questions, as it’s crucial to simulate the time pressure of real exams. Review your answers and explanations afterwards.
  3. Final Assessment: Mock Exams and Beyond
    Once you consistently score above 75% on untimed exams, graduate to timed mock exams. Create a realistic exam environment. Find a quiet space free from distractions and avoid reference materials.
    Tip. Filter the bank for real questions most likely to appear on actual exams, based on “recently seen” data.

It is important to bear in mind that scores may decrease by 10-15% in actual examinations as a result of unanswered questions and stress. Aim for consistent average scores of 90%+ in mocks to build confidence and ensure readiness.

Your objective is to build a theoretical foundation for your career, not just to pass the exams and forget everything you have learnt. Learn from your course materials and use the question bank for consolidation and exam preparation, rather than just trying to learn the answers to the questions. 

How to Choose the Right Question Bank

Some applications like Airhead offer vast datasets with over 50,000 verified real exam questions, while others focus on specific licensing requirements or provide in-depth explanations written by experienced ATPL instructors.

With a multitude of ATPL question banks available, selecting the right one can be overwhelming. The best point of view here is the following: The perfect question bank should adapt to your learning style and exam needs.

Before deciding what features to look for it is worth taking a couple of moments to consider what a question bank is for. Most students have one of two aims, depending on the stage of their studies. Ask yourself are you actively learning new topics or honing exam-specific skills?

During Studies

While studying for your ATPL exams, exposure to a wide range of questions with detailed explanations is crucial. This solidifies your understanding of the topics you’re covering. Here are essential features to look for in a question bank to maximize your learning:

  • Relevant Content. Look for a bank that covers ATPL subjects under the new syllabus, with a vast variety of real exam questions, regularly updated. This ensures you’re exposed to all the question types you might encounter.
  • Granular Filtering: Refine your practice by filtering questions by subject and even specific topics within each subject. This allows for targeted practice and identification of knowledge gaps. 
  • In-Depth Explanations: A good question bank doesn’t just tell you the correct answer; it helps you understand the underlying concepts, ensuring that you’re not just memorising facts but learning.  Choose a bank with clear, detailed explanations for each answer.
  • Progress Tracking: Ideally, the bank should track your progress by subject and topic, allowing you to see where you excel and where you may need more practice.

During Exam Preparation

When choosing a question bank for ATPL prep, prioritise those offering features that closely replicate the real exam experience. This ensures you’re practising the most relevant questions and feeling comfortable with the format. Here are key features to look for:

“Seen in Exam” Filter. This powerful filter for focused prep. For example, Airhead’s Supersonic mode lets you highlight questions reported by recent exam takers, filtered by date and authority, so you can prioritise the most relevant questions and increase your chances of encountering them on the actual exam.


“New Question” Filter. Stay ahead of the curve by practising new questions recently added to the database.

Realistic Mock Exams. Practice under pressure with mock exams formatted identically to the EASA (or other) exams you’ll be taking.

Additional Features to Take into Account

  • User-Friendly Interface. A clean and intuitive interface simplifies the process of finding your way around the bank.
  • Fits Your Lifestyle.  Busy schedule? Choose a platform with flexible access on any device, offering online and offline access, so you can learn anytime, anywhere.
  • Pilot-Approved. Choose a question bank that’s helped others soar through their ATPL exams. Read user reviews to find a question bank known for its comprehensive and correct explanations and active customer support.
  • Aviation Authority Alignment. Ensure the bank aligns with your country’s aviation authority (EASA, UK CAA, etc.). 


To truly excel in your ATPL exam preparation, it’s essential to integrate regular practice with a question bank into your study routine. By consistently challenging yourself with a variety of questions, you’ll not only deepen your understanding of complex aviation topics but also become more adept at applying this knowledge under exam conditions.