David L said:
I was told in my interview as well that most applicants that do apply for pilot have prior flying experience as well,
PFE is just one more thing that improves your application. It's not a requirement at all. You can score points in many different ways. Work experience, sports, and other things where initiative and leadership are required matter too. A lot of people without any PFE pass the CAPSS and are selected for pilot. Many pilots have 0h in their logbooks when they begin PFT and pass.
When I went to ASC, the 7 of us all passed the CAPSS and the medical in Toronto. 2 of theses guys had 0h of flying time, 1 had time in a powered hang glider he owned (like a Trike), 1 had some glider time, 2 had about 20h in a Cessna and I had about 150h in a couple of different types. 5 out of the 7 were selected for pilot through ROTP. The Trike owner (who also currently was serving in the CF) and one of the non-flyer were not selected. As for me, I did not feel that my flying experience helped me for CAPSS. The thing is a testing device, not a flight simulator. You would not want to be in the air in something that flies like de CAPSS does!
Knowing your instruments well before going sure is a good thing, but even if you don't, the introductory lessons in the CAPSS before the big final "mission" are very simple and explain everything that needs to be explained.
David L said:
and are pretty much A students.
On average, it might be true, I don't know. However, I know my high school average was below 90.
My CEGEP (Québec's two year school that you go to after high school and before university) was not something to be proud of. I had some awesome marks in subjects that interested me (and they were few!), close to average in those that did not, and a final mark that was less than 20% in two courses that I stopped attending.
I had one year of university completed when I applied, and my average was a bit above B+.