Ground school is challenging, rewarding and certainly stressful – however one thing it does provide is structure and routine. A typical day at ground school can last 16 hours, mostly always jam-packed with revision and general studying. I tried to structure exercise and eating around my revision to ensure I still maintained some form of normality; it also allowed me to stay focused and keep in a good mindset ahead of the next set of looming exams.
My day during ground school with L3 CTS looked something like this…
0645 – Morning: Wake up and get ready for the day, set for a prompt departure at 0745 to the Southampton training centre. Having a big breakfast was something I became a massive believer in, it fuels you for the morning of intense studying and makes you feel good and energised.
0830 – Lessons begin: The day is usually split into 2 subjects, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon, however subjects like Principles of Flight are over 1000 pages long and are therefore more time consuming than others, so don’t be surprised if you have a whole day of some subjects! We tend to break every hour or so, to catch some air and refresh the brain.
1200-1300 – Lunch: Time to refuel and get ready for what the afternoon has in store for us! I used to get back into the classroom 15 minutes before class was set to restart, just to read over notes from the morning’s classes – this certainly wasn’t hardcore revision, more just a brief recap. If we had time, a few of us would go for a 10 or 15 minute walk to enable us to stay focused for the afternoon’s lessons.
1600-1630 – The end of the day…at the centre! Life doesn’t stop when you’re back at the accommodation! Driving home into the city centre can sometimes take up to 45 minutes, I gave myself 30 minutes at home just relaxing, before grabbing a drink and beginning the evenings study.
1900 – Dinner: I enjoy cooking so saw this as having some time out from studying, not just ‘cooking dinner’. I’d typically break at the same time as my flat mates, we’d just chat or even go over some things from class that day. It can be so helpful as others may understand something in a different way which may help you.
2200-0000 – Bed: Depending on how the evenings revision had gone I’d typically go to bed some time between 10 and midnight. I never used to set a timeframe as if I felt I was working well and could continue doing so I would give myself another hour revising or even just going over questions on Bristol Ground School’s question bank. However, some nights my body felt like it couldn’t take anymore so I would go to bed earlier, tomorrow is a new day and I had to make sure it was a better one!
As we got closer to exams this timeframe became somewhat non-existent. The 16 hour days sometimes turned into 18 or even 20…However trying to maintain a balance of what keeps you going and workload is so important. On a Friday evening we used to play football together and sometimes go for a few drinks and I’d try and go for a walk in the New Forest on each day of the weekend, exercise and social events are what keeps you human on such an intense course.
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