NAV Canada ACT Stage 1 Test

NAV Canada ACT Stage 1 Test online practice

NAV Canada’s Air Traffic Controller (ATC) recruitment process includes several stages, with the first being an initial screening test. The screening, often referred to as the “Stage 1 Test,” is designed to evaluate a variety of skills and aptitudes that are necessary for a career in air traffic control.

As of my last update, here are some of the areas that may be assessed during the Stage 1 Test:

  1. Listening Skills: As an air traffic controller, you must be able to listen carefully to pilots, other controllers, and navigational aids. You might be tested on your ability to listen to information and recall it accurately.
  2. Spatial Awareness: This skill is crucial for controllers to visualize the positions of aircraft in three-dimensional space. You may be presented with diagrams or descriptions of aircraft positions and asked to interpret them.
  3. Numerical Ability: You’ll likely be tested on your ability to quickly and accurately perform mathematical calculations, as well as to understand and apply numerical data.
  4. Problem-Solving and Decision Making: These skills are critical for the dynamic and rapidly changing environment of air traffic control. You might be given scenarios where you need to prioritize tasks or make quick decisions based on available information.
  5. Visual Memory and Information Processing: The ability to take in, process, and remember visual information is essential. Tests may assess how well you can remember and use information you see.
  6. Multi-tasking Ability: Given the demanding nature of ATC work, you might be tested on your ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously while maintaining accuracy and composure.
  7. Reaction Time: Controllers need to react quickly to situations, so you may be tested on how swiftly you can respond to certain stimuli.
  8. Personality Assessment: There may be a component that evaluates whether your personality and behavioral traits align with the requirements of the job.

The test is often administered online and could include a variety of formats, such as multiple-choice questions, simulations, and timed exercises.

To prepare for the Stage 1 Test, candidates usually need to:

  • Practice mental math and numerical reasoning.
  • Engage in activities that improve listening and spatial skills.
  • Work on memory exercises, such as remembering patterns or sequences of information.
  • Familiarize themselves with the basics of air traffic control and aviation terminology.
  • Develop strategies for managing stress and multitasking effectively.


Below, I’ll outline some common questions and general answers based on standard testing procedures for roles like air traffic control.

Q: What is the ACT Stage 1 Test? A: The ACT Stage 1 Test is the first assessment in the selection process for becoming an Air Traffic Controller with NAV Canada. It evaluates a variety of skills deemed essential for the role, such as spatial awareness, listening abilities, numerical reasoning, and problem-solving.

Q: How can I apply to take the Stage 1 Test? A: Applications are typically submitted through the NAV Canada careers website. You would need to create an account, fill out an application form, and meet the initial requirements to be invited to take the test.

Q: What kind of questions are on the Stage 1 Test? A: The test may include questions or tasks related to listening comprehension, mathematical calculations, spatial reasoning, memory recall, pattern recognition, and multitasking. The format can vary, including multiple-choice questions, interactive simulations, and timed exercises.

Q: How should I prepare for the test? A: Preparation could involve practicing skills relevant to the test, such as mental math, memory exercises, listening to ATC live feeds for familiarization, and engaging in activities that challenge your multitasking and spatial abilities.

Q: Is there a fee to take the Stage 1 Test? A: This can vary, and it’s best to check directly with NAV Canada for any costs associated with the testing process.

Q: How long does the test take? A: The duration of the test can vary, but candidates should expect to dedicate a block of uninterrupted time to complete it, which could be a couple of hours.

Q: What happens if I pass/fail the Stage 1 Test? A: If you pass, you will typically move on to the next stage in the selection process, which may involve additional testing, interviews, or assessments. If you fail, NAV Canada might provide guidelines on whether you can retake the test and the waiting period before doing so.

Q: Can I retake the Stage 1 Test if I don’t pass? A: This depends on NAV Canada’s policies. There may be a waiting period before you can retake the test, and there might be limits on the number of attempts allowed.

Q: When will I get the results from the Stage 1 Test? A: The timeline for receiving results can vary. NAV Canada would provide details on when and how test results will be communicated.

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