Santos Dumont English Assessment: FAQ

Here’s an attempt at answering some frequently asked questions about the Santos Dumont English Assessment. If you have any other questions, please write a comment so I can write another post answering it, ok?

“I’ve taken the test and failed. How long do I have to wait before taking it again?”

The minimum interval between tests is 30 days. If you take a test in another accredited center less than 30 days after the first one, it will not be considered valid.

“I got level 4 three years ago and I’m about to take the test again. Is it possible that I will get a 3 this time?”

Getting a level 4 means only that on the day you took the test your English met the criteria for a level 4 on the ICAO rating scale, and you will be certified for 3 years. If you haven’t studied at all after your first test, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to reach the same level again.

“I got level 4 last time. If I get level 3 now will I have to stop doing international flights?”

Yes, you will. It doesn’t matter that you achieved level 4 last time. As soon as the result for your new test comes out, this will be your valid score. If you get a 3, that means you no longer comply with the minimum level established by ICAO and ANAC to do international flights and you will have to be taken off those routes immediately, at least until you’ve taken the test again and achieved a level 4.

“I got level 4, but I really think I could do better. Can I try again in less than 3 year’s time?”

Yes, you can. But remember, the result obtained in the last test will be the valid one for you. That means that, if instead of improving your grade to a 5 you end up getting a 3, your level will be 3. So it’s better to take your test results to a qualified English teacher and work on improving your weak points before trying the test again.

“I’ve heard there are some accredited centers where the test is easier, is that true?”

That’s not true. The Santos Dumont English Assessment was developed by ANAC, and it is applied at accredited testing centers by certified examiners, trained by ANAC. These examiners merely apply the test versions given to them by ANAC, they don’t make them up. And their assessment is based on the ICAO Language Proficiency Rating Scale. All the candidates are assessed using the same criteria.

“I would like to know more details about my level, not just my final result. Where can I get that information?”

You should call ANAC in Rio de Janeiro ((21) 3501-5605 e (21) 3501-5607). The Language Proficiency team there will read you the contents of your Assessment report, inclduing examples of mistakes for each of the six criteria on the rating scale. Actually, this is a very important tool to improve your English and to know exactly where the problems are so you can solve it and try the test again, or improve your grade next time.

The source of all information in this post is ANAC.



Filed under tips

4 responses to “Santos Dumont English Assessment: FAQ

  1. Richard Hayden

    Hi Carolina,

    It’s a very interesting blog you have created, congratulations!
    I am inetersted to find some material for my students (I am an EFL teacher with a background in aviation sport), and its proving difficult to get material revevant to the Santos Dumont English Assessment. I have loads of material from other countries, but alas, not from Brazil. Do you have any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hello, Richard, you’re absolutely right, it’s quite hard to find materials to prepare the students for this test. That’s why I develop my own… this way, I know it will fit my students’ needs. Why don’t you do the same?
      Good luck!

      • Richard Hayden

        Hi Carol,

        Thanks for the reply. I have already developed test material, actually based on the ANAC topics and time durations, but its always nice to check and verify with what others are doing in the teaching community.

        Another very useful illustration you might be in a position to produce would be a guide for level 4, given your experience as an ANAC examiner, something along the lines of your “Level 5 achievable goal” article.

        I don’t want to appear lazy:-) But information sharing is the best way to ensure consistancy in a national approach to a very important subject.

        The ICAO Level schedule found in Annex 1, Part II of Doc 9835 gives detail for Teachers, but there is still considerable scope for variation in interpretation of the requirements….. intentionally though that may be!

        Many thanks again and keep up the good work!


      • Sure, Richard! As soon as I have some free time I’ll post something about level 4, ok? Thanks for the support!


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