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EASA PPL theory exams.Which are the most difficult ones and required for flying solo?

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EASA PPL theory exams.Which are the most difficult ones and required for flying solo?

Old 4th Aug 2019, 15:35
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EASA PPL theory exams.Which are the most difficult ones and required for flying solo?

Hi,

I am going to start my PPL soon. And I want to start studying already as I will do all the theory by self-study.
These are the 9 exams, right? :
  • Air law
  • Human performance
  • Meteorology
  • Communications
  • Principles of flight
  • Operational procedures
  • Flight performance and planning
  • Aircraft general knowledge
  • Navigation

Which ones are the most difficult ones?
and which ones are a requirement before you start flying solo?

AlexAB is offline  
Old 4th Aug 2019, 16:01
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None of them are particularly difficult, especially if you do the study. Remember the PPL is a recreational licence rather than a professional one (it is supposed to be fun!). If you don't have a mathematical brain then some of the Nav/Ops stuff could be tricky, but multiple choice with a 75% pass mark mean it shouldn't be too much of an ordeal.

Some schools require Air Law before first solo, but AFAIK that is not a legal requirement.
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Old 4th Aug 2019, 17:21
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[
Some schools require Air Law before first solo, but AFAIK that is not a legal requirement.
Quite right. We encourage it as a statement of intent to be serious about the study but if someone was ready for First Solo and hadn't passed it then we would carry on with the flight. Medical is more important - it's a showstopper. We recommend people get the medical after it's apparent they're likely to carry on with the training after the 2nd or 3rd lesson and nag them every lesson 'til they get it.We have some young students with an eye on a flying career. If so, then get the Class 1 before spending serious money.
Human performance is generally reckoned to be 'easier' than the rest. Some students find Air Law harder to memorise. Nav is more involved and is best taken once some practical nav has been done.
Don't forget exams have to be taken in 6 'sittings'. A 'sitting' lasts 10 days. We get our students to study for and take the exams in pairs. This gives a bit of slack in case an exam is failed.

TOO
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Old 4th Aug 2019, 21:48
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ok thanks. I just thought that some subjects were easier than other ones. So I wanted to start with the hard ones because I still have time.

apart from the pooleys book. which question bank do you recommend?
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Old 5th Aug 2019, 05:34
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There are 2 Pooley's books per subject - the in-depth text book and the exam preparation book. Actually the text books are generally more than one subject per book - for instance, Air Law and Meteorology. I find that candidates who have worked through the exam prep books do very well indeed in the actual exams. They are also excellent value for money.

2 caveats.
1. DON'T buy old books. They might have out-of-date information.
2. Other publishers are available - AFE, for instance. I can't speak for their current books but we used them at my previous employer and they were very good back then.

Good luck with your flying and studying.

TOO
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Old 5th Aug 2019, 08:22
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Don't forget exams have to be taken in 6 'sittings'.
Not for much longer. The upcoming amendment to the Aircrew Regulation removes the requirement for PPL exams to be passed in a specific number of sittings.
BillieBob is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2019, 11:22
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I found it essential to do a bunch of questions from old papers to get into the rather strange mindset of the examiner and to learn to RTFQ. We are (OK, I am) so used to scanning words quickly to extract the meaning and can easily be lured by an answer that fits your incorrect interpretation of the question.
double_barrel is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2019, 19:46
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Originally Posted by AlexAB View Post
Hi,

I am going to start my PPL soon. And I want to start studying already as I will do all the theory by self-study.
These are the 9 exams, right? :
  • Air law
  • Human performance
  • Meteorology
  • Communications
  • Principles of flight
  • Operational procedures
  • Flight performance and planning
  • Aircraft general knowledge
  • Navigation

Which ones are the most difficult ones?
If you find study of Air Law difficult to understand, Air Law will be difficult.
If you find study of Human Performance difficult to understand, Human Performance will be difficult.
If you find study of Meteorology difficult to understand, Meteorology will be difficult.
If you find study of Communications difficult to understand, Communications will be difficult.

,,, and so on...

It rather reminds me of the delightfully naÔve contribution to the Class 1 medical thread some years back, assuring everyone that the hearing test was really easy - because he heard all the tones easily!
*
pilotmike is offline  
Old 5th Aug 2019, 21:06
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Its worth mentioning that a single sitting is a period of ten days for LAPL/PPL exams. Note: A failed paper cannot be resat within the same sitting.
Fl1ingfrog is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2019, 05:54
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Originally Posted by double_barrel View Post
I found it essential to do a bunch of questions from old papers to get into the rather strange mindset of the examiner and to learn to RTFQ. We are (OK, I am) so used to scanning words quickly to extract the meaning and can easily be lured by an answer that fits your incorrect interpretation of the question.
+1 from me
Even prewarned about this, I managed to misread a couple of questions, which became blindingly obvious when I got the answers at the end of the test (fortunately not enough wrong to fail). Study exam technique, read all the questions before you start answering, then answer them, then re-read all again before finishing. You will be surprised on how easy it is to misunderstand.

BobD is offline  
Old 6th Aug 2019, 06:01
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Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
It rather reminds me of the delightfully naÔve contribution to the Class 1 medical thread some years back, assuring everyone that the hearing test was really easy - because he heard all the tones easily!
*

Excellent! The eye test was also easy, you only have to read the clear letters - the fuzzy ones can be ignored!
*
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Old 6th Aug 2019, 21:27
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Originally Posted by AlexAB View Post
ok thanks. I just thought that some subjects were easier than other ones. So I wanted to start with the hard ones because I still have time.
That's up to you, isn't it?

Which did you find easier with school exams - ones where you "just" had to remember stuff, or ones where you had to understand principles and work stuff out?

If you were useless at maths you might find nav hard, if you were useless at history you might find Air Law hard.
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Old 7th Aug 2019, 01:42
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Before flying solo, some schools in my home country require you to pass exams in air law, principles of flight, aircraft general knowledge and a quiz about the exact aircraft you will be flying. The quiz is usually about speeds, landing/take-off distances, general knowledge of the aircraft and some emergency procedures. I think it really depends on the flight school, some flight school want to be 100% sure that their students know everything they need to know before flying solo. Itís also difficult to say which exam/topic is the most difficult. I think air law is difficult due to the sheer amount of information you need to remember.

I have a question to the more experienced pilots. Youíve probably passed your exams a long time ago. If you had to take all those 9 exams right now, which exam do you think would be the most difficult for you?

V
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Old 7th Aug 2019, 18:49
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I got my PPL in 1964, and found the exams easy, 2 years after the last university ones.
I couldn't afford to stay current, and had to resit them 22+ years later to regain my PPL. There was no human factors then. I did virtually no preparation for Nav and Met. I didn't bother revising how to use the nav. circular slide rule, but used an unprogramable electronic scientific calculator, and trig, which were familiar to me. Only Air Law had to be studied. It wasn't too much hassle.
If I had to resit today, I think Air Law would still need study. And a glance at Human Factors. Met and the engine and airframes I fly are of interest to me, and I keep updating.
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