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Realistic time to complete Distance learning ATPLs

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Realistic time to complete Distance learning ATPLs

Old 18th Dec 2011, 02:37
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 32
Posts: 56
Realistic time to complete Distance learning ATPLs

I know this will vary from person to person, but what is a realistic or the average time it should take to study and complete the 14 ATPLs. I currently work a full-time shift roster, and would be able to do about 50/60 hours study every month.

I am just finishing up my PPL at the moment and the Flight school im training in offers the Oxford Distance Learning package. I have heard that oxford goes very deep into subjects so with the amount of time I can study a month, do you think i should go with an ATPL course that gets to the point but doesn't waffle too much?

I'd appreciate if some of the guys (particularly those who used Oxford) could give me a rough time line on how long it took you to get through the study and what your circumstances were with work and study time etc.

much appreciated
mark_c is offline  
Old 18th Dec 2011, 02:49
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Doha
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I know someone who did all his 14 in about 10 months. I took 3 years as I was working full time. It does not matter how long. Just a tick in the box. What matters is timing of when you have your MCC and if there is any jobs for you.
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 07:28
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zondaracer is offline  
Old 18th Dec 2011, 09:22
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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Took me 12 months, but I work full time, plus two additional part time jobs, and a mortgage to pay. Living at the mum and dad hotel, with just a full time job, I think it could be done in 6-7 months if you are really dedicated and have no life.
Ymmv some guys I know did it in 6 months, others took more like 2 years.
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 10:19
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Join Date: May 2001
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took me 4 months of studying and 1 month of sitting in class rooms and 1 week of exams but it took a wee bit under 6 months.

That was while working full time and having an engineering background.
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Old 18th Dec 2011, 10:52
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Prof. Airport Engineer
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Australia (mostly)
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Hi mark_c,

Good luck with your studies.

I teach airport engineering on a distance education basis to master's level students which is pretty relevant to the ATPL level of learning. Here is a piece of advice that I send my students each semester:

I did my masters part-time, and I know how hard it is to balance study and work and life. If you are struggling to fit it all together, a tip I can give you for assignments and study is to tackle them in big chunks of time. If you nibble away for 30 minutes here and 30 minutes there, progress is slow and discouraging. Since I'm a morning person, I look for big chunks on the weekend. I get up at 4am on Saturday and work through for 4 hours until 8am. By then everyone else is up and the normal day can progress. If I have to, I repeat it on Sunday. That gives me 8 good hours over the weekend and a lot of progress. Other people are evening people and do a 8pm-midnight stint on say Tuesday and Thursday nights.

As I went through doing my masters part-time, I used to say goodbye to all my friends at the start of the semester and then at the end of the semester, I'd have a big "welcome back party. My social life consisted of a cold beer at 10 pm on a Thursday night driving back from uni. Would I do again? - yes of course. It was the only way that I could get the qualification, and I'd rather have it than not
OverRun is offline  
Old 18th Dec 2011, 13:44
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: West Sussex
Posts: 50
I would say around 9 months would be about right if you work full time. I took 8 months from start to finish (with probably 6 months study), and this was fairly typical of the others that attended the same ground school as me.

Best thing is to make a loose plan and just see how it goes without putting too much pressure on yourself. I planned for 10 months in 3 sittings but ended up completing in 8 months with 2 sittings.

Good luck.
oldspool is offline  
Old 18th Dec 2011, 22:55
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 32
Posts: 56
Thanks very much for your replies guys. Im genuinely surprised hot little time it took some of you. I thought it was going to take a lot longer considering integrated students spend 6 months full time at it. But its a nice surprise to find out that it can be done in a reasonable time.

The Irish aviation authority website says that all 14 exams must be completed within 18 months of attempting your first exam, so im thinking of splitting the 14 exams into 3/4 blocks, and each block be a mix of a few difficult and a few less difficult subjects. Did anyone else go about it this way? and if so, any tips on how i should split the subjects?

Thanks again.
mark_c is offline  
Old 18th Dec 2011, 23:03
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: UK
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If you do it with distance learning schools under the UK CAA, they'll group together exams in an appropriate fashion depending on the way they structure the ground school. More than three groups is a bad idea IMO, because you only have limited availability for resits if you muck up. Plus it's entirely possible in two or three groups. Plus it saves you money in accommodation fees for the exam weeks.
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Old 19th Dec 2011, 01:33
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Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Age: 32
Posts: 56
I live 20 minutes away from the exam centre the IAA use so travel and accomodation costs wont come in to it. But thats a good point you made about keeping in to 3 sittings or below in case things go tits up.
mark_c is offline  
Old 19th Dec 2011, 09:01
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: France
Posts: 290
I did it with Bristol.
English is not my first language, I have a job, a family with children.
Without jeopardizing my family life nor my job, keeping studying a pleasure,not a burden, and keeping flying for pleasure, it took me 16 month.
172510 is offline  
Old 19th Dec 2011, 09:21
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Europe
Posts: 136
Hi Mark, I've just started the Bristol course and from what I've seen, one of the best things about the software is it's course mode. You set up your start and finish dates and then it tells you what lessons you need to complete every day till you reach your finish date. You then have a graph to show you how far you've fallen behind or overtook the course.
I'm trying to complete module 1 in a 4 month period, so I've set the course mode up for 3 months, then I've 2 weeks revision at home followed by the revision course and exams in Bristol. With a bit of commitment I don't see it as impossible even with my full time job.

The course certainly seems to just get to the point but I'm definitely pick up a lot of stuff I didn't know.

Having said all that I've no idea how the Oxford CBT works, if the flight school use it, ask them if you can have a look at it and see if it would work for you.
grafity is offline  
Old 19th Dec 2011, 17:17
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Saraksh
Posts: 526
it took me 8 Month to complete BGS with first time passes (91%), but I hade lots of troubles to understand met, gen nav and MB)))
acuba 290 is offline  
Old 19th Dec 2011, 20:36
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Home
Posts: 35
2 years for me but studying engineering and working at the same time.found pof the most difficult of all
AirbusLover is offline  
Old 19th Dec 2011, 20:48
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Europe
Posts: 396
If one studies on a full-time basis using only the UK QDB (Question Data Base) like Bristol, CATS etc. (around 9000 questions, compare this to Aviationexam.com ~ 18.000) you can probably do it in about 10 month or so. BUT, if you have to wok a full-time job besides studying, especially a job including three shifts, I'd say expect at least 18 month plus.
Transsonic2000 is offline  
Old 20th Dec 2011, 19:30
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 521
I think it depends on how thorough you want to be with it and how long you can study before you lose interest or get distracted by less boring things. As an example I spent about 3 weeks reading through the electrics book after work and completing all the questions only to discover there were only 3 questions on electrics in the AGK exam, and I could've answered all of them without reading the book! No joke.

If you just skim over the books and then spend most of your time on the question bank it would no doubt be do-able in 6 months studying part-time.
The500man is offline  

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