What can I do to prepare for ground school?

My time between discovering my starting date and actually start was somewhat short – just over 2 weeks to be exact. This left me limited in options with what I could achieve in such a short space of time, especially as I was still in full time employment. However, for those who find out weeks and even months in advance, here are some things I would suggest you do before you discover the gruelling effects of ground school…

Get ahead of the game!

Read, write and start revising. I would suggest finding out how you work best, whether that be kinaesthetic, visual or reading and writing. Try and find a schedule that works for you and what you can achieve in a evening. As soon as ground school begins you’ll be immersed in a world of work and textbooks – I really wish I had the time to read through some of the books and get to grips with each of the subjects a little bit before starting ground school. Some cadets on my course even read through all 14 ATPL PadPilot books before beginning.

Know what to expect…

Reading blogs like this can give you a real insight into what to expect when starting ground school. It can be somewhat daunting not knowing what you’ve signed up for – but there are thousands who have been through the experience before and they can give you tips and advice on what worked for them during their ground school. I will reiterate that I believe nothing will prepare you for what ground school will bring as everybody deals with it in different ways – but it can certainly give you an idea on what to expect.

Think of ways to revise…

Working for 14 hours a day, 7 days a week can begin to get repetitive and quite boring. I tried to think of new ways to keep my mind interested in what I was learning. At times it feels like there’s no end to the new content so I found this very useful in helping me to remain focussed on the end goal. Here are a few ways I revised during ground school:

Revision Cards

    : Keep them short and sweet. I tend to use these for short facts and figures that I needed to commit to memory – the continuously reading and speaking aloud really helped to make them stick.

Post it notes

    : My walls were practically a different colour every Module – I used them for noting things I couldn’t remember, no matter how hard I tried. Post it notes may jig your mind if you have forgotten something as you may be able to locate where that post-it note was in the room and from there remember what the contents were.


    : I tried to condense large topics into posters – for example, the e-book for Principles of Flight was over 1000 pages, most of it information explaining that particular topic. I tried to make the posters colourful, brief and included pictures or diagrams to help my understanding and to vary the ways in which I was revising – rather than just continuously writing.


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