Theoretical Knowledge Exams (Ireland)

Introduction

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) holds theoretical knowledge exams for ATPL, CPL, IR and PPL.

The dates for all levels of theoretical knowledge examinations for the current year can be found below.

Examinations at PPL level (4 papers) are held at set times during the course of one day.  Anyone making their first attempt at the PPL exams must attempt the examinations in all four subjects. A timetable showing the daily timings of each examination subject is issued following application.

Examinations at ATPL level (14 papers) and IR level (7 papers) are held at set times over the course of 4 days.  Examinations at CPL level (9 papers) are held over the course of 3 days. A timetable showing the daily timings of each examination subject is isssued following application.

The venue for all levels of IAA theoretical knowledge examinations is The Gresham Hotel, Dublin

Multiple Choice

The IAA now uses an online testing system for the CPL exams. At the time of writing this, PPL exams may be available online or on paper. Make sure that your application for these exams is submitted (with payment) before the closing date. Applications made after the closing date may not be accepted.

Exam programmes and details are sent to applicants by email. Therefore it is vital that your email address is legible in your application.

The venue normally used for the PPL exams is the Gresham Hotel, Dublin but this is subject to change. Commercial exams are also available in Cork.

PPL Examinations

Examination MonthPPL DatesClosing Dates
January31st January10th January
March28th March7th March
May30th May9th May
July25th July4th July
September26th September5th September
November28th November7th November

ATPL/CPL/IR Examinations (Dublin)

Examination MonthCPL/ATPL/IR DatesClosing Dates
January29th-30th January8th January
March26th-27th March5th March
May28th-29th May7th May
July23rd-24th July2nd July
September24th-25th September3rd September
November26th-27th November5th November

ATPL/CPL/IR Examinations (Cork)

Examination MonthCPL/ATPL/IR DatesClosing Dates
February24th-25th February3rd February
April28th-29th April7th April
June/July30th June - 1st July9th June
August25th-26th August4th August
October20th-21st October29th September
December15th-16th December24th November

For all examination levels, an applicant will be deemed to have successfully completed the theoretical knowledge examinations for the appropriate licence or rating when awarded a pass in all of the required subjects within a period of 18 months, counted from the end of the calendar month when the applicant first attempted an examination.


Exam Validity

At PPL level, a pass in the theoretical knowledge examinations will be accepted for the grant of a PPL for a period of 24 months from the date of gaining a pass in all required examination papers. At IR level, a pass in the theoretical knowledge examinations will be accepted for the grant of an Instrument Rating for a period of 36 months, counted from the end of the calendar month when a pass in all required examination papers was achieved. At CPL level, a pass in the theoretical knowledge examinations will be accepted for the grant of a CPL for a period of 36 months, counted from the end of the calendar month when a pass in all required examination papers was achieved. At ATPL level, a pass in the theoretical knowledge examinations will be accepted for the grant of a CPL and/or an Instrument rating (IR) for a period of 36 months, counted from the end of the calendar month when a pass in all required examination papers was achieved. Provided that both a CPL and IR are granted within the aforementioned 36 month period, ATPL level examination results will be accepted for the grant of an ATPL for a period of seven years from the most recent validity date of the IR entered in the CPL.

Exam Fees

Type of ExamCost Per SubjectCost Per ResitCost Per Re-check
PPL (H) (A) or (M)€35€35€18
CPL (H) or (A)€56€56€23
IR (H) or (A)€56€56€23
ATPL (H) or (A)€115€115€41

Examination Systems

Computer based exam system

The IAA has moved to a web-based examination system for commercial pilot examinations. Private Pilot exams will soon be provided on the same platform.

Click the link below to view a demo of the system.

Demo System

The following instructions refer to the paper based exams.

The instruction details  are very important if you wish to complete the MCQ examinations successfully. You should always use a sharp pencil to complete the answer sheet. The reason a pencil is used is that if you should make a mistake or decide that your initial answer may be wrong, you simply rub out the pencil mark and re-select another choice.

If you use a biro and make a mistake, you cannot rub it out.

Do not delay over questions as this will prove detrimental as the finishing time of the examination approaches rapidly.

Common Errors that arise with the MCQ answering sheet:-

Answering questions out of sequence:

A common error which occurs with candidates is answering questions out of sequence e.g. answers Q1, Q2, Q3 then skips to Q5 but puts the answer into Q4 box. If this goes unnoticed the candidates answer sheet will put all other questions wrong and he will probably fail the paper.

Timing Errors:

If the examination is hosted over one hour and there are 30 questions to be answered, then you should spend only a maximum of 2 minutes per question. If you spend 3 minutes per question in this stated scenario, you will eventually run out of time and will probably not have enough answered questions to be certain of passing the 75% required pass mark.

Putting 2 answers to the Question:

If you put 2 choices to a particular question, the answer will not be valid and will be voided

Transferring answers from the question paper to the answer sheet at the end of the examination

Some candidates record their answers on the question paper and then transfer the answers at the end of the examination. The danger with this method is that the invigilator will call time up and you must put your pencil down immediately i.e. you may not continue to transfer answers. If this happens you could very likely not have enough answers transferred across to secure a pass result.

Exam Instructions

Sample Answer Sheet

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