Official Exams for PPL/LAPL and NPPL(SSEA, SLMG)


This page provides useful information for those courses that prepare you for the OFFICIAL Theoretical Knowledge Exams for the PPL/LAPL (Aeroplanes and TMG) and NPPL (SSEA and SLMG) Pilot Licences.

It's useful to know what to expect of the official exams before you go anywhere near them, so we've put together the following guidelines for you to alleviate any concerns you may have, and to give you some guidance on best tips and exam practice.

Before you are allowed to sit an official exam, you will need to be in possession of an Exam Readiness Certificate. To find out more about this first, click here.

You will be required to sit our on-line exam for the course in order to obtain your Exam Readiness Certificate. By doing this exam, you will stand absolutely every chance of passing the official exams for that subject.

Rule number one: Don't Panic.

Click on each of the content headings below to be taken to that section. At the end of each section, there is a link back to the contents here.


Official Exams for the PPL, LAPL and NPPL(SSEA, SLMG)


The official exam is now a CAA on-line exam, but this HAS to be sat at your Training Organisation. Before you can do this, you will need to follow the steps below (you only have to do this once) to register on the CAA Portal as a Student, and also register for the PPL E-Examinations before your training organisation can arrange for you to take an exam.

The new format exams include over 1000 new questions compared to the old written exam papers - so those training aids that you may have used in the past may well be out of date and may well not cover the material in sufficient detail to be as useful as they used to be!

However - rest assured WE are keeping our course material and progress and exam questions right up to date with feedback we are receiving from those student pilots who are taking the new exams! You won't do any better than using us to study for your theoretical knowledge exams!

During registration on the CAA Portal the process will also ask for you to submit official photo ID which will take up to 5 days for the CAA to verify. The following links may be useful:

Once registered on the CAA portal, you must request access to the "Private Pilot Theoretical Knowledge e-Exams Service". Within the PPL E-Exams Service, you will need to provide extra information, which will include selecting your Training Organisation. For more information on the E-Exams service:

If it all sounds a bit daunting then don't worry, it's actually a lot easier than you think!

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Number of Questions & Duration

The number of questions and the time you have available to answer them depends on the subject of the exam. Generally speaking, if you know your subject, you will not be time constrained. We've listed the information below for reference. The pass mark for each exam is 75%.

Subject No. of Questions Duration
Air Law & ATC Procedures 16 35 minutes
Operational Procedures 12 30 minutes
Aircraft General Knowledge 16 35 minutes
Principles of Flight 12 35 minutes
Meteorology 16 50 minutes
Human Performance & Limitations 12 25 minutes
Navigation 12 45 minutes
Communications (Radio Telephony) 12 20 minutes
Flight Performance & Planning 12 45 minutes
IMC-IR(R) Rating
(still a written paper at the moment)
25 120 minutes

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R/T Practical Exam

In addition, you will also need to pass the following practical (oral) exam:

Subject Duration
Communications (Radio Telephony) Approx. 30 minutes

This is an oral test with a Radiotelephony Examiner. You will need to have a separate revision/preparation session with us for this exam. We have put together our own (and highly successful) RT Practical Exam Preparation package for you! We regularly get feedback from RT examiners and students alike on how well this prepares pilots for this particular examination. You can find out more about our one-to-one tuition package on our RT Practical Examination Preparation page.

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Top Tips

You will do well to read these tips before undertaking any of the official exams.

  • Read the question carefully. Note in particular what actually requires answering.
  • Make sure you read all the answers before selecting. Remember you need to select the most correct answer.
  • If you have difficulty with a question, leave it, and come back to it at the end.
  • If unsure of the correct answer, try to definitely decide which of the choices are wrong. This then gives you better odds at guessing from what's left!
  • Remember that an exam with less questions means each question is worth more percentage mark, so you must answer more questions correctly to pass. In other words, you must know all of the subject material to be able to answer questions in any area.

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