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Importance Of English | English Language Proficiency Test For Pilots (ELPTP)

by Visnu

Hi, since many of you have been asking me how far is english important to become a pilot or aviation related jobs.

Lets seek deep into the importance of aviation english. English is the de facto language of the civil aviation world. With the drastic expansion of air related works in the early 20th century there were safety concerns between the pilot and air traffic controllers to establish a flawless communication. Miscommunication has been a factor in many aviation accidents.

Therefore ICAO has made a new requirement of language proficiency in English. This means every pilot or air traffic controllers have to sit for this in order to work in the mainline.

For Malaysians, if you have sat for Malaysia University English Test (MUET) it is somehow similar. Just that it is more towards the aviation world.

What is the test about?





  1. To gauge listening and speaking proficiency in English among pilots.
  2. To meet ICAO language proficiency requirements (Doc 9835 AN/453 – Second Edition 2010) for pilot licensing.


The ELPTP is a 4-part listening and speaking test. It covers routine and non-routine aviation-related communication. Each part tests different constructs in the area of aviation-related experience, and together, provide the language output of test candidates for empirical holistic assessment based on prescribed ICAO benchmarks.

  • Part 1: General Description of Self
  • Part 2: Talking about the Job
  • Part 3: Radio Telephony Communication
  • Part 4: Listening and Responding for Main Idea and Meaning


40 minutes


Two per test session

Each category is graded on a scale between 1-6 (1 is the lowest, high is the proficient).  The lowest score determines the final ICAO english rating.  For example, an applicant may be scored 4 for every category except comprehension where the score was 3.  As a result, the applicant will receive a final rating of 3.The international standard to be english proficient is level 4 or higher.

Level & Validity


ICAO rating scale

During the test the examiner evaluates the applicant based on the following areas:

  • Pronunciation – to speak english with a dialect or accent that is easy for the listener to understand.
  • Structure – grammatical structures and sentence patterns.
  • Vocabulary – the speak accurately and efficiently using the correct words.
  • Fluency – the continuous flow and rhythm of speech.
  • Comprehension – to understand and make sense of what is heard.
  • Interactions – how well one responds in a conversation.  This may include checking, clarifying or confirming information if necessary.


As stated before, the standards for aviation english proficiency are nearly identical around the world yet the tests may vary.  The purpose of this guide is to help present a basic idea of the ICAO english standards.  Have you taken the ICAO english test?  What was your experience?

Approved Test & Training Organizations hy CAAM: https://www.caam.gov.my/wp-content/uploads/10.10.18-English-Language-Proficiency.pdf



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Ali September 14, 2020 - 3:15 pm

What are the list of places we can give elp test in Malaysia?

Visnu September 14, 2020 - 3:17 pm

Hi Ali
The list is attached in the link
And the fees is about RM 600
Sometimes included in the school fees. Reconfirm with your school

Ali September 14, 2020 - 3:16 pm

And what are the rates or is set by the CAAM?

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