Ground school was the most challenging period of my life without question. If you’re an aspiring pilot as I was, you would have heard that a thousand times. But until you’re 3 months in, with 3 months left to go, you’ll be telling everyone exactly the same.
The ATPL course has 14 theory exams, which L3 CTS split into 3 modules:
- Human Performance and Limitations (HPL)
- Mass and Balance
- Principles of Flight (POF)
- Meteorology (Met)
- Instruments (Basic and Advanced)
- Radio Navigation (RNAV)
- General Navigation (GNAV)
- Aeroplane Performance
- Aircraft General Knowledge (AGK)
- Flight Planning
- Air Law
- Operational Procedures
- VFR Communications
- IFR Communications
Each of the modules are equally challenging in their own right. I personally struggled in the first Module, but found they became less challenging as ground school went on. I believe a large part of this was becoming familiar with the type and style of revision – it was so different from studying for A Levels or even GCSE’s – the workload was unlike anything I had experienced before. Content was not necessarily hard to comprehend, the difficulty came with the shear volume that needed to be committed to memory in an extremely short and intense period.
These are my top 5 tips to anyone starting ground school…
Work together, others may be struggling too…
I was never afraid to ask others for help. If I didn’t understand an instructor explanation, another cadet may have a better knowledge or understanding of the subject and therefore can describe it in their own words.
Be focused and stay organised…
A night completely free of studying may seem like a good idea, but I would recommend ‘always doing an hour’. Go home and get an hour of solid revision in before stopping for the evening, too much time off leads to you becoming behind – trust me!
Set goals, but be realistic…
I have always worked better with a plan of what I need to achieve that day – especially when it comes to weekends otherwise time will run away.
Be fair to yourself…
Your brain cant concentrate for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – I found going on walks a huge stress relief! It gets you out of your post-it note covered room and exploits you to some very much needed fresh air.
Celebrate your successes!
Be proud of what you have achieved – whatever the outcome. If you’ve worked hard enough, results will come. Grab a few beers, because that next module is already breathing down your neck!
Keep an eye out for my next blog – ‘A day in the life…’.