How the exam system works

Taking an exam is part of getting a pilot licence or rating.

There are many things to consider when sitting an exam including who is responsible for what.

We manage:

  • the aeronautical knowledge requirements
  • developing exam questions
  • setting the exam
  • assessing the exam
  • recording of results.

Approved organisations manage:

  • processing exam applications including collecting fees
  • arranging exam sessions at agreed dates and times
  • organising exam venues and procedures
  • presenting the required exams
  • supervising the exams
  • issuing (and re-issuing) result advice including a knowledge deficiency report (KDR).

We don’t recognise theory credits or passes from other countries or aviation authorities.

We may recognise a valid pilot licence issued by International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) contracting states.

Using PEXO

The Pilot Examination Office (PEXO) is an automated system.

It helps you to sit flight crew exams.

When booking an exam, PEXO checks to make sure that you have satisfied any pre-requisite qualification requirements.

PEXO will not let you book an exam if you are not eligible.

The following exams are available on PEXO:

If you are a student flight engineer, you need to book with Aspeq and us 3 weeks before. This is because they are hardcopy exams.

Interrupted exam

PEXO is dependent on the quality of the internet connection.

Internet-based interruptions can affect PEXO during your exams.

This could happen during:

  • thunderstorms
  • local area electrical supply interruptions
  • unforeseen Telstra or ISP network or server unserviceability.

If a technical or connection problem interrupts your exam, you can resume the exam on the same or on another computer from the same question.

PEXO will remember any previous entered answers.

The ‘clock’ is also re-set when you restart your exam so that you don't lose any working time.

You must not leave the exam centre in the time between the interruption of your exam and the re-starting of that same exam.

Multi-subject part exams

An exam which has many subject-parts is an exam ‘bundle’.

To get a theory credit for a particular licence, you must pass all the subject-parts in a certain amount of time.

We call this amount of time a ‘window’.

The main bundles that need all subject-part exams to be passed in a ‘window’ are:

  • the 7 subject-parts for a CPL or an ATPL theory credit
  • the 2 subject-parts for a CPL theory credit
  • converting from an aeroplane to a helicopter category, or vice versa
  • pilots converting a foreign licence to an Australian licence.

If you plan to begin a bundle of subject-parts, you need to study and finish all exams in 2 years of your first pass.

Take care to check the dates of exams when applying for a licence or rating to make sure you’ve passed all subject-parts in the 2 year window.

If you have not passed all subjects in the bundle at the end of the 2 years, the status of subject passes will begin to change to expired.

This will happen on the second anniversary of the pass date until you pass it again.

Last updated:
4 Dec 2021
Online version available at:
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