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Studying for PPL exams

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Studying for PPL exams

Old 21st Oct 2013, 17:17
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Studying for PPL exams

Would using the oxford DVDs and a ppl confuser/question bank be enough to study for the written exams. Any recommendations on ppl confuser/question banks?

Thanks '57
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Old 21st Oct 2013, 19:31
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Studying for PPL exams

No i dont think that would give you enough knowledge.

Try trevor thom books or jeremy pratt.

Read them along with the others and i think you will be ok
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Old 22nd Oct 2013, 17:28
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Thanks, how much and what techniques would you recommend for studying?
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Old 22nd Oct 2013, 19:53
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I will tell you my own experience draw your own conclusions - before I get slated am not recommending any particular method.

I got a set of the Pooleys PPL books and also the PPL Confuser. The only book I read taking me 2-3 days was the Human Factors one - arguably the easiest one. It was the only exam I failed.

After that I discarded the books and only used the Confuser - knocked them out at about 3 exams every 2 days averaging above 90%.

My opinion us that the Confuser is all you need to pass the exams the explanations in the answers are very good. You will get the real knowledge that you need from the actual experience in the air.

Don't even get me started on the whizz wheel, brilliant in its time, totally redundant in today's world.
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Old 22nd Oct 2013, 19:54
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Having said that the Oxford RT for Imc and VFR are excellent - would recommend getting them
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 08:01
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My experience has been this:

1) read the books a couple of times. Make notes on the items that look difficult to remember (anything that is an acronym you'll probably need!)
2) use the question bank to gauge how much I actually know. Usually I do 3-4 runs and note *all* the wrong answers.
3) Spend a couple of hours looking up, understanding and realizing why my answers were incorrect.
4) repeat from number 2

I've found items that are in the books that you don't think are relevant, that then come up in the question bank. I think if you attended a sit-down ground school they have more of an idea of the syllabus that needs to get taught, as opposed to just trying to learn the whole book.

I break up my sessions into 20 minute blocks - 5 mins break (cup of tea, browse internet or something) then back for another 20 mins.

Managed to pass all my PPL exams this way, and I'm about to pass my IMC in the next week or so. This approach worked well for me..
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 11:23
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Note that the exams have recently changed (in the last month) - old versions of question banks wont be representative.

You need to read the material - not just do questions. There is a reason that the exams / theoretical knowledge syllabus exists, and that is to learn about flying. Its true that there are things in there which aren't going to be much use to you, but most of it is. Only look at question banks once you already feel like you know the topic, then use the question banks to confirm your knowledge - not give you it.

The exams shouldn't be seen as barriers to get past before you are allowed to continue, but confirmation of what you know. In the next few years, all students are going to be forced to do X hours of theoretical knowledge tuition (in a variety of media, which could be all face to face or a combination of online / DVD / books / face to face) before they are allowed to take the exams. This is partly to stop those who just hit question banks.

peregrineh - I have drawn my own conclusions. They aren't pretty. I suspect that if someone asked / asks you flying based questions 6 months after you took the exams you wont have a clue. I hope this isn't the case!
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 15:07
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@riverrock please forgive me for wanting to spend more time in the air and less in the class room having met the committments that permit me to do so.

I seem to do ok on the monthly Airbrained quiz in Pilot magazine - so please dont you worry yourself on my behalf.

Now back to your whizzwheel!
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 15:26
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Gulfstream asks a simple question if the oxford DVDs & a PPL confuser would be enough to study for the written exams? I would say it is too much. All that you need to pass the written (multiple choice) exam is the PPL confuser

Spend an hour going over each one – highlighting the right answer to minimize the time reading rubbish – and you are done

As Peregrine says it is pretty straight forward & I found it highly amusing that the only exam that he spent 3 days studying for he actually failed

Of course there is a very real difference to gaming an exam & actually understanding the subject. But that wasn’t the question. It seems Gulfstream just wants to know what is the path of least resistance to passing these exams to which the simple answer is the PPL confuser

For me there is nothing like experience. Ideally flying with someone post PPL who is much more capable & experienced & who has asimilar profile to what you are looking to gain from your flying ambitions, be it touring, aerobatic, instrument or whatever, so to help you reach the next step in your flying career

For what it is worth I never used my whizz wheel & god help me if I was ever called upon to do so

Last edited by nick ritter; 23rd Oct 2013 at 15:34.
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 16:22
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Studying for PPL exams

Ive forgotten how to use mine too.... Calculations... Theres an app for that!

If you want the exams done and dusted then go to someone like derek davidson
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 16:33
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Airquiz.com

That go me through my exams.
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 17:55
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Gulf,
I am currently studying for my last two exams (Nav and Flt Planning). Having passed all the tohers under the old regime, these last two are to be taken under EASA. The old Confuser, IMHO is not going to be any use to you now, as the questions have radically changed. Lots of them are based on CPL/Atpl questions.

THere is no PLOG or chart in the Nav exam now, purely questions on how to use your Whizz wheel in all its guisies, radio Nav, Q Codes, GPS, chart projections, lat and long calculations, time calculations and magnetic compass. Believe me, you NEED to study in the books i'm afraid. Now there is no shortcut (believe me, if there were I would use it). BUt look at it this way, in the end you will be a better pilot for it. Use Airquiz, but ONLY for practice. Do not learn jsut those questions as they are not the real ones.

Hope this helps
GQ
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 18:54
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purely questions on how to use your Whizz wheel in all its guisies,
So the whizzwheel is now mandatory?
I used one in 1964, but when returning to flying in 1987 I used a scientific calculator and trig, rather than relearn.
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 16:27
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First of all a big thanks to everyone who has replied so far, some food for thought definitely.

Buttino- Do the airquiz questions pertain to the IAA exams?

Grob Queen-Can you recommend any questions banks that are up to date

nick ritter- Good advice thanks, I'd like to have a good understanding of the topic as well as being able to answer ea questions, for this what would you recommend?

riverrock83- How many hours did you have to put in to get a good understanding of the material? And using what methods.

krankyd- Great advice thanks very much Out of interest how long does it take to get the results back?

peregrineh- Thanks for your advice, did you find the pooleys confuser good?

Pilot.Lyons- Thanks good advice.

Any more tips will be greatly appreciated.
'57
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 20:01
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1. There is now a mandatory requirement for 100 hrs of ground theoretical knowledge training for the PPL. How the hours are allocated is up to the ATO providing the PPL course.

2. Before taking any exam, a student has to be signed off by the ATO as being ready to take the exam.

No longer is it a question of simply finding out the answers, doing the exams then b*ggering off to some US PPL puppy farm to do the flying.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 07:50
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airquiz results are e-mailed back <2 mins of submitting the exam. I only tend to do a couple of exams a day, the rest of the time it's checking the questions I've got wrong, and trying to understand why I had failed them. It can take some time to research and I usually 'read around' the subject to get a big picture, just in case it's more of a complicated issue that I have not grasped.

Lots of what you will learn you will either forget or never use, but don't let this put you off. Your PPL is a license to learn, the exams just make sure you know the required knowledge at that particular time to get your license.

IMHO learning to fly is not done by passing exams - it's by flying.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 10:50
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Gulfstream - I took my test a way back so my info will be dated, and if the exams have changed in content as suggested below, it seems the Confuser question bank is therefore redundant. A couple of points to make here - it seems that you are only 15, and hence have time on your side. So by all means read the books and watch the DVDs (Oxford DVDs are first class - get the RT ones as well). Secondly I would warn you that while PPRuNe is a fantastic source of information, if there is anything I have learnt in flying - ask a question and there are normally about 10 different opinions - learn to see the wood from the trees.

There will also be some purely wrong information posted as well (factually wrong) I would ask your FI for example whether this is true, but I could be wrong:

There is now a mandatory requirement for 100 hrs of ground theoretical knowledge training for the PPL. How the hours are allocated is up to the ATO providing the PPL course'

I would agrre very much with krankyd assessment: ' Your PPL is a license to learn, the exams just make sure you know the required knowledge at that particular time to get your license.

IMHO learning to fly is not done by passing exams - it's by flying.'

Good luck and enjoy it!
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 15:10
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Originally Posted by Gulfstream757 View Post
riverrock83- How many hours did you have to put in to get a good understanding of the material? And using what methods.
I'm afraid I wasn't counting! I completed the exams and got my licence before the EASA changes came in. I got my PPL after taking my time through the course over 2 1/2 years, enjoying the learning (practical and theory).
I even enjoyed Air Law

I believe AirQuiz has been updated since the new exams have come out, but AirQuiz doesn't take any of its questions directly from the exam papers (intentionally) so is a slightly different kind of "Question bank".

Technique wise, I read through the text books once quickly initially, then again in slow detail, taking notes as I went (I find it easier to remember things when I take notes).
Once I thought I had a grasp on the topic, I used AirQuiz to confirm my knowledge. Each time I got a question wrong, I worked out why I had got it wrong.

Just before I took each exam, I then went through the appropriate "Exam Secrets Guide" which I'd borrowed off a friend (he didn't have the full set). See EASA PPL Exam Secrets Guides
Some questions are worded in odd ways and can confuse, so these helped. The ones I had said they were EASA but I know the exam content has since changed so these are probably out of date now.

Note - I got > 93% in 5 of 7 papers (including 100% in two of them).

Other thing I'd say is if you are 15 then exams may not still be valid by the time you take your skills test. Would need to check, but I believe you have to pass all the exams within 18 months of sitting the first one, and within 6 sittings (each of which is 10 days long) including resits (max 3 resits and you can't resit in the same sitting).
Once you have passed all of them, you must get your licence within 2 years. Min age for a licence is 17.

Best of luck!
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 16:23
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The objective isn't to pass the exams it is to thoroughly understand the theory behind flying. I started the PPL aged 52 and spent a good 100 hours studying the Trevor Thom books alongside flying. I now have over 1000 hours and a full IR and I'm in my 60s. I still study to keep up to date and fly regularly mostly IFR.

I'm not keen to share the sky with folk who see the exams as a hurdle to be jumped before charging around the sky in blissful ignorance of half the basics.

That said, I haven't used a whizz wheel since I got my PPL and no longer even possess one
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 16:43
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I just took the new Meteorology exam and it was very hard.

My usual method is to read Pratt's book once, then again, then the oxford CBT, then do the confusers once, then again with the wrong answers and then finally the Oxford CBT answers. So probably about 20 hours in total.. I want to learn the subject rather than the questions.

This has stood me well so far, the 4 old papers I did it was high 90's. The new paper today was very hard and there were 3 questions which were 50/ 50 and I got lucky on. I got 85% in total, but it could have easily been 70%

Having a break now...
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