Lectures by

Dr Steven Holding

College of Aeronautical Science

Major Australian (Qantas, QantasLink, Jetstar, Virgin, REX) and International airlines use mathematics and numerical skills tests as part of the pilot selection procedure. Most students find this is their weakest area in the test. The course material also focuses on the English Comprehension and Personality/ Motivation Tests, and Pattern sequences. In each section you will be shown simple, easy to follow methods to find solutions. Starting from the basics we will gradually proceed to more complex questions. This course is designed to help you to improve your speed, accuracy and confidence.

The initial lecture course duration is two full days. The remainder of the course is done by correspondence. The course notes may be pre-purchased prior to the lectures. This option may be preferable if you have limited study time or are unable to attend the lectures.  Also looking at the mathematics component beforehand will let you know what areas you are weaker on. Therefore you can get a bit more out of the 2 days in class.


You will be provided with after course study material and individual assistance if necessary. The average student will need 4 to 8 weeks home study to prepare properly. Note that the mathematics preparation may take longer depending on your previous experience and high school results.

Please indicate which airline entry test you will be doing. Extra course material may be necessary for specific airlines.


  • Short Cutting Calculations using Fractions, Percentages and Ratios.
  • Compound Interest
  • Using Basic Formula in Mathematics
  • How to ‘Translate’ from English to Maths
  • English Comprehension
  • Personality/ Motivation Test
  • Instrument Reading
  • Pattern Sequences
  • Mental Mathematics for Pilots (see Unit 1 below)
  • How can I best prepare for my interview?

You will require: Basic Calculator


UNIT 1: Short cuts for Mental Numeracy tests, Percentages Ratios and Fractions, NO CALCULATOR, pencil and paper only. Mental Mathematics for Pilots: Basic Trigonometry, 1 in 60 rule, Navigation, Drift Angle, Rate of Climb, Angle of Climb. (Note: if you are interested in Cathay or ADF, I am conducting a specialised course for those entry tests)


Optional course content can include some of the following depending on the airline. Please let me know if you are interested.

UNIT 2: Off Track PNR (including depressurisation restrictions) and Critical Point Formula, Fuel flow, TAS, GS, and Specific ground range calculations, Climb and Glide Performance, Takeoff and Landing Performance, Wing Loading, Dynamic Pressure, Coefficient of Lift, Coefficient of Drag, Induced Drag, Parasite Drag

UNIT 3: Speed of Sound, TAS and Mach Number calculations, Effect of Altitude upon Power and Thrust, Absolute Ceiling, Service Ceiling, Momentum and Ram effect, Critical Mach Number, Compression Drag.

UNIT 4: Stall speed, Minimum Drag Speed, Best Angle of Climb Speed, Best Rate of Climb Speed, Best Endurance Speed, Best Range Speed, Maximum Cruise Speed, Bank Angle, Radius of turn and Load Factor.


The Enrolment form can be downloaded here

Course Venue

Brisbane: Saint John’s College, College Rd, Saint Lucia (on University Campus)
Sydney: Courses conducted at Bankstown Airport depending on demand.

Cost/ Schedule

Please contact Dr Steven Holding for course fees and current course schedules.
mobile 042 303 7474

Course Materials

Calculator, Note Book