Written Multiple Choice Exams
All written exams are multiple choice tests. There is always only one correct answer. Sometimes, it’s a set of correct answers but then they are listed as sets and only one of the sets is correct.
It is of major importance to read the questions very carefully, even though many answers are obviously wrong. Frequently, two answers can sound exactly the same and may only differ in one word or in their syntax. It’s a pity, but those little and tricky details make the huge difference between a lean fail and a brilliant pass. Assuming you understood the topic beforehand …
As English is not my first language and I tend to do things quickly, it happened to me more than once. I did not realise the difference at first glance. But, there is always lots of time, usually you are finished in half the time.
After my second exam I started to do all the exams twice. I just answered every question again on separate paper and compared my results. Usually, I found 2-3 differing answers, reread the question carefully and eliminated stupid mistakes. From here, I passed most exams with 100% rates.
Order, Grouping & Timing
You can pass the exams in whatever order you like, except Air Law and Operations & Procedures. Those two exams are mandatory before the first solo flight. This is really annoying but don’t get discouraged. They are more or less common-sense and, compared to the others, quite easy. Just try to see it as huge advantage, once passed you are allowed to start flying solo and focus on more interesting topics.
Afterwards, it is also completely up to you in what groups and timing you pass the exams during training.
However, it is really easy to move forward with flying up to skill test level, pass the Exam Flight and still miss many exams. The same as for studying & flying during training. You don’t want to pass the skill test flight and still have half the exams to pass and be unable to fly at all for a while … It’s best to just group and spread them along the training.
Practical Radio Test
During the pratical radio test you sit in one room and talk over a radio-like piece of equipment to the examiner next door. Obviously, you are the pilot and he does all the different towers etc. It’s a full flight, from take-off to landing, that passes through different air spaces, different instructions to replay and includes mayday and PanPan calls.
After my first experience on the radio and all the following navigation flights up to the x-country flight this was not a huge challenge any more. My skills were up to a level that this test was quite easy. But, to be honest, I was also really lucky. The examiner talked extremely slowly and more clearly than anyone I have ever heard in the UK so far.
Anyway, it was again interesting how my own brain reacted in this situation. As I was used to having an enormous respect for the radio and, during training in the busy air space of London you get trained to answer quickly so as not to block the frequency, I was absolutely unable to treat the situation like a fake flight and take my time.
I generated myself a totally unnecessary stress-like situation and always answered as quickly as possible – just because my brain got constituted that way in relation to radio talks.
Finally, I can really recommend rehearsing the last section of the book about Radiotelephony before this exam. It contains five flights as practical examples in the form of conversations that cover all situations in a very similar way to what happens in the exam.
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