By DebbieH 24 Oct 2019 6 min read

Cabin Crew practical exam: How to pass with flying colours


Your cabin crew interview was a huge success, and you conquered the classroom training and exams. The only thing left to take on is the practical, or mock-up exam.

Your practical exam is the part where instructors will watch you on a model aircraft perform emergency duties. Passing this part of the recruitment process is very important if you want the job.


What does the exam include?

During the exam, you’ll be marked on the following: 

  • Emergency evacuation
  • Know your commands
  • Working with you ABPs
  • Different potential scenarios

Below, we’ll take a deeper look at the above and what you need to do to pass.


Emergency evacuation

When does an emergency happen? Usually when you least expect it. During your practical exam, you will be tested on different procedures for different emergencies which could occur on a flight.

And you have to go through your procedures to get the rest of your classmates off the aircraft within 90 seconds (this is the allotted time everyone is given to get off an aircraft with half of the emergency doors in use. This is the legal requirement for an aircraft to be allowed to fly). 

How can you be prepared? Know all emergency procedures like the back of your hand, as well as each command word for word. Rehearsing these will ensure you are prepared for every eventuality. 


Know your commands

As important as the emergency procedures are to remember, it’s equally essential to know the correct commands you must give to passengers during this time.

Points will be docked for incorrect commands during the practical exam, for example saying ‘BEND DOWN’ instead of ‘HEADS DOWN!’, so practice each one in the necessary order until they become second nature. 


Working with your ABPs

It’s your job to ensure passengers are safe, so it’s essential to know all of the key points for briefing Able Bodied Passengers (ABPs). These are the people you will ask to help you in a planned emergency situation.

Depending on your position, this will be different for all aircrafts, which come in different sizes so therefore have more/less doors/exit areas.

The briefing is different for the position as well as the situation. Cabin Crew Wings provides a really good example here: 

“If we were ditching and I was in the back galley, I would find a passenger towards the back who seemed fit to help block the exits and tell people to turn around and move forward.

However, if we were landing on the ground, I would instead inform them on how to operate the door, how to blow the slide, and how to get me out of my seatbelt if necessary.

Each situation and position has different key points and I make sure I know all of them in a sort of checklist, so I know once I have hit every point, my ABP has been properly briefed.”


Practice different scenarios

Prior to your practical exam, you should prepare for all possible scenarios, whether it’s with a friend or family member, to keep your knowledge and understanding sharp.

Combine a few, or try a bathroom fire that leads to full evacuation. You could even practice a pilot incapacitation due to unknown decompression, where you are required to prepare for a cabin diversion.

Whatever eventuality, ensure you know them all – any scenario you can think up will definitely be an option for your instructor, so don’t let them catch you out. 


Practice, practice, practice

Preparation for your practical exam is essential if you’re expecting to get a job with the airline in question. Those who are unprepared will be deemed inadequate for the role.

If this is the dream job for you, put in the effort so you can demonstrate your passion for the role.