New test assesses the listening and multitasking abilities of flight crews


A new multitasking test which assesses the listening, concentration and reaction abilities of captains, first officers and cadets has been launched by cut-e, the international assessment specialist.

Called scales mt (sonic), the new five-minute test combines a checking task, involving hand-eye coordination; a calculating task, in which the candidate has to decide whether the sums displayed are correct or incorrect, and an audio test in which they hear sequences of five randomly-chosen letters from the phonetic alphabet and they have to confirm whether or not any of the letters have been duplicated.

Specifically designed for use in a supervised assessment environment, where candidates will sit at a desktop computer with headphones, the new test has been developed to help airline recruiters identify the most suitable candidates when selecting captains, first officers and cadets.

“The ability to listen effectively whilst completing other tasks is a core competency for pilots,” said Nora Nienhaus, Research Consultant at cut-e. “When you’re flying an aircraft and monitoring information, you also have to listen closely to air traffic controllers and your colleagues. Our new test measures a candidate’s ability to listen effectively whilst performing several other tasks. This is our first multitasking assessment that incorporates a listening test. Our assessments are normally designed for online, unsupervised testing but this one is different, as recruiters will need to ensure that each candidate is able to hear the audio sequences. As a result, we’ve designed scales mt (sonic) for on-site assessment.”

In the test, an ‘item generator’ presents different tasks for each candidate to complete. The actual assessment is therefore different for each candidate, which helps to prevent cheating.

A range of report options are available for scales mt (sonic). For example, recruiters can see a candidate’s overall score on the assessment and their scores on each of the three sub-tests.

cut-e’s assessment portfolio already includes a range of specific ability tests for the aviation sector, including a multitasking test for air traffic controllers, called scales mt (avi). This assesses a candidate’s ability to gather information and complete different tasks quickly and accurately.

Candidates will complete the listening task in scales mt (sonic) in English, as this is the international language that pilots should be able to understand and speak. However, the test instructions are also available in other languages including Chinese, French, German and Italian.

For further information about the new test, please visit

Background notes: Founded in 2002, cut-e (pronounced ‘cute’) provides online tests, questionnaires and gamified assessments for attraction, selection, talent management and development. In May 2017, cut-e was acquired by Aon plc (NYSE:AON), a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions. cut-e now operates as part of Aon’s global offering in talent solutions, helping clients achieve sustainable growth by driving business performance through people performance. cut-e and Aon undertake 30 million assessments each year in 90 countries and 40 languages.
For further information about cut-e, please call Amanda Dawson (PR contact) on +44(0)20-8953 8863 or e-mail her at amanda(at)


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