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Academic Qualifications

Old 17th May 2007, 08:11
  #121 (permalink)  
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I can honestly say that the although the ATPLs have some hard bits, nothing I have come across comes close to anything I did at my A-levels, never mind my degree. There's just a lot more of it.
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Old 17th May 2007, 08:12
  #122 (permalink)  
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Some people here did O levels, so I can only assume GCSEs are equivalent; but then I didn't find a huge jump to A-level so maybe I am wrong.

And to follow your last post - the ATPLs aren't that hard (depending on your background) - and with your background I am sure that you will fly through them with ease.

YOur previous educational background is the kicker here (and why people keep saying it will help you get through). If you strugged/dropped out of GCSE physics you will probably struggle with things like PoF. If you didn't, you probably won't.

(And as I proved in my last post - you obviously don't need to 'know' much to pass an ATPL; just remember it for a few weeks )
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Old 17th May 2007, 08:18
  #123 (permalink)  

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in terms of difficulty I don't think anything is harder than a science O level
Define "harder"!!!

The volume of stuff for ATPL is vast - personally I found my degree in Theoretical Physics easier than ATPL exams since memorising useless shyte is not my forte whereas Maths and Science is!


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Old 17th May 2007, 10:31
  #124 (permalink)  
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Oh, believe me, GCSEs are easier than O-Levels!

Surely you don't believe that teachers are better and students more hard-working these days, hence the fact that an 'A' at GCSE is common-place whereas in my day it was the exception!

I had no problem with GCSE Maths or Physics but I wouldn't say I was good at either!
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Old 17th May 2007, 10:46
  #125 (permalink)  
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I have done my GCSE's, A-Levels, BTECS, HNC & D and now i am on my Degree and can say that:

ATPLS have to be in the middle of GCSE and A-Levels.

So in our new crazy education system, i think that would be BTEC "Intermediate, or G/NVQ Intermediate.

They are long winded, and require some technical elements, they are multiple choice and they are not easy, but they cant be too hard as most score above 80% which would be a "A" at A-Level or A* at GCSE.

Degrees and the likes are all about theory, you learn how things are came about, you learn the whys and hows. ATPLS you get given the answers in your revision, you just have to remember them for the exam.

If you look at other Multi choice exams, you wouldnt consider linking them to qualifications:

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Old 17th May 2007, 11:26
  #126 (permalink)  

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On that basis Airbus38, my ten O Levels (sat over 25 years ago) must be like having ten A Levels now!!!

It's certainly true about the standards. When I was doing A Levels, the standard "offer" from an Oxbridge College would be 3 'A's at A Level. Only the seriously bright (and swotty) children could manage 4 A Levels. Now, 5 or 6 A Levels is reasonably common and Oxbridge now require 5 'A's at A Level.

And I don't think Oxford or Cambridge have got harder to get into!!

I did read somewhere that if you wanted to use your ATPL exams passes as a qualification to go on to higher education (i.e. a degree), that the OU would consider the qualification to be on an academic par with first year degree thereby exempting you a year if you wanted to do a relevant degree to aviation.

If you do need to know equivalence for higher education reasons, then you would need to discuss that with the university or college concerned.


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Old 17th May 2007, 13:09
  #127 (permalink)  
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I was really asking to gauge how difficult the study (and exams) are. I really enjoyed doing my PPL study and exams, I had forgotten how rewarding it was to absorb new material. The only subject I found totally uninspiring was Air Law. Ironically I was recapping my Air Law over the weekend becasue I had gone rusty on rights of way (on the ground), minimum heights and whether to use the quadrant rule when VFR at 4000ft...

It's tempting for me to do the CPL or ATPL exams as a learning excercise which would also improve my knowledge in flying. Who knows, at the end of it I could even think about going into commercial flying.
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Old 17th May 2007, 13:38
  #128 (permalink)  
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Please don't let this thread become a general discussion about academia and qualifications in general; I will have to strip out anything I feel is irrelevant to the purpose of this forum - that is, getting an ATPL! I really don't give a damn what the equivalence of GCSEs to O-Levels is (or was), and neither the answer nor the discussion will help anyone. Do it in JetBlast if you want to have a rant about educational standards.

The ATPL exams are not difficult in the nature or level of the knowledge required. They are difficult simply because of the volume of study and the limited time in which they must be completed. They do not in any way approach the academic level of a conventional degree. For reasons mired in history, they don't even accurately reflect current science in aerodynamics and other topics, so the (rather shallow) knowledge gained is of little use once the exams are over. They are simply a filter, a hoop to jump through.

Because of the amount of study involved, some insititutions (such as the Open University) may give you credits towards degree studies for your ATPL and other aviation qualifications. That is worth following up if academic qualifications are of interest to you; to all other intents and purposes the ATPL has no academic value whatsoever.

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Old 17th May 2007, 14:00
  #129 (permalink)  

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If you found PPL Air Law uninspiring, wait 'til you do it at commercial level!! The PPL syllabus contains the stuff you need to know, the ATPL/CPL syllabus contains more useless shyte (please bear in mind folks, that I'm a helicopter and these exams are fixed wing biassed) about the structure and history of ICAO and annex numbers etc.!


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Old 17th May 2007, 15:45
  #130 (permalink)  
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the (rather shallow) knowledge gained is of little use once the exams are over.
I don't think its fair to play down the value of the ATPLS's in your flight training, while I struggled to find relevance of certain material I also learned a great deal that I feel really developed myself as a pilot without even touching an aircraft.
IMO the reason some people liken the ATPLS's to pre degree level education is the simple fact you can use the vast amount of feedback to pass the majority of the exams without actually having a good understanding of the subjects.
I have a business degree but still found the ATPL's hard going.

Last edited by cosworth211; 17th May 2007 at 15:57.
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Old 20th May 2007, 07:29
  #131 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SCOTLAND
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Zero hours man

Hey there i am a student at oxford, and one of my mates on the course has no A-levels and has averaged great scores on his flying and 97 on his ground school. It is possible just be determined to succeed and it will happen. However as regards the money side of things it is expensive and integrated is not a cheap option, but if it is practical for you to do i recommend you doing it.
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