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Best Advice in tackling ATPL' exams...

Old 25th Jan 2015, 14:42
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Best Advice in tackling ATPL' exams...

This is a bit of a thread on gauging best advice's/tips on the ATPL...

After much deliberation I have decided to crack out the ATPL exams as Distance Learning due to various commitments. Recently a newly qualified PPL.

I am still deciding if I will go the whole way CPL/IR/ME/JOC etc but have always given myself the 'pep talk' that I would at least get the ATPL's and CPL out the way.. even if i decide to pursue flying as a Instructor/Fun/Corporate etc.

The minimum was always going to be the ATPL/CPL..

I have to say though that I am 80% sure that I will end up going all the way. A risk I know, lack of job security I know, state of industry I know etc etc

As a 'DL' what is the best advice of cracking out the ATPL's?

Practically possible in 6 months?

Here is what i know...

* Should aim to get 90% above.
* Volume of work is high - not a problem as I am used to this.
* Sit within the 6 sittings rule.
* Maths and Physics might be challenging - Will prep for this.
* Take your time? 12 months if needed?

Thanks.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 14:48
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Two bits of advice really - don't underestimate them, and constant refreshing is the key - don't treat the subjects as individual items in their own right. The 6 months plan would work if you planned on doing at least 6 hours' study per day. Maybe you can have Christmas day off
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 15:03
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Practically possible in 6 months?
That's really tough!!! Possible yes, but don't take it as a general guide line! As already mentioned, don't underestimate the work and time you have to put in. I underestimated that as well, it took me much longer than expected due to a few hardships in my private life, but finally I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

Last edited by Transsonic2000; 25th Jan 2015 at 15:19.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 21:39
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Do you have any other commitments currently? What school level of maths/physics do you have?

My advice for them would be to take it seriously, ask lots of questions to whoever can answer them, if you can do anything extra at all to help learn stuff then do it (I only had the opportunity once or twice, but going and seeing some mid-maintenance aircraft with cowlings off etc and speaking to engineers helped me with a bit or two.) Use question banks to brush up but ONLY TO BRUSH UP. I don't know the current state of the exams but when I did them, the guys and girls who tried their best to learn the material and then turned to the banks in the run up to the exams did far better than those who rushed through the material and did the same questions over and over.

With regard to the first two questions I asked I will give my personal experience.

I had decent GCSE grades in Maths and Physics and 'OK' A level grades but nothing great. I didn't find any part of the maths or physics challenging. The physics is mostly about understanding some basic principles and if you can get your head around some basic trigonometry and formula manipulation I think that covers most of the maths.

I was working a mix of part-full time when I was distance learning (0 hour contract, sometimes 35+ hours a week others <16) and I managed the exams from the day the books arrived to the day I gave in my last exam in 7 months with a 1 month break in between the 2 modules. If you have no commitments then 6 months or less should certainly be possible, if you are working full time I would say it would be very tough.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 23:06
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Scoobster, good luck within all and I hope it goes well. Just a quick question, who did you decide to do the course with?
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 11:54
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PPL Theory

If you've passed the 7 PPL theory exams, how much of a help will that be towards understanding the ATPL theory?
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Old 27th Jan 2015, 07:50
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Very little. ATPL is much more in-depth. Sure some of the VERY basic navigation skills help, but everything else is very intense. VFR Communications is essentially the same.
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 17:52
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Do you have any other commitments currently? What school level of maths/physics do you have?
Sorry for the late response...

I have to do a day job also, pay the rent and right now even paying the ATPL fees are a bit "tight".. money I could use towards something else.. which always nags at me but I guess spreading it out over the 3 module system with the distance learning provider helps..

Just shy of 1k to kick start the process.. at least I am left with the shirt on my back

Failed Maths.. when I mean fail.. totally flunked Maths.. science was one grade better than the result of Maths but since then I have come a long way!!
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 17:53
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who did you decide to do the course with?
I am hoping to run with Pro Pilot shortly..
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Old 29th Jan 2015, 21:29
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My personal opinion, during my PPL training I have read all the books supplied to me. I gained a lot of knowledge and even after 7 months after I finished the PPL, when I began the ATPL theory I can honestly say that there are a lot of common things with PPL, which made life much easier since I was able to understand what was happening around me.

People tend to say that comms and some MET and POF is similar if not the same with PPL, if you go through all the material of each subject you will discover that around 60% of the ATPL syllabus is based on PPL, the rest are new subjects hence the difference between 9 subjects for PPL and 14 for ATPL, plus an in depth understanding which you will not find in the PPL.

Bottom line is that if you are good in maths, physics, ATPL is just another course. It depends on what you want to achieve, if you want to learn something start reading the books and solve problems online, if you you want to just pass the exams then start online question bank. The CAA is changing the exams slowly therefore you might find it safer to go through the whole syllabus with the guidance of your instructors. After all you want to be a pilot in a commercial jet, you need to be aware of everything!
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Old 30th Jan 2015, 09:08
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In the UK, the PPL questions have been largely pinched from the professional exams anyway.
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Old 30th Jan 2015, 12:54
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I think gpiper sums it up absolutely correctly. The only thing I would add is that the maths and physics assumed does not go beyond GCSE, so free revision sites such as the BBC can be useful.
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Old 30th Jan 2015, 17:42
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around 60% of the ATPL syllabus is based on PPL, the rest are new subjects hence the difference between 9 subjects for PPL and 14 for ATPL, plus an in depth understanding which you will not find in the PPL.
Am I glad that I actually sat down and read/studied and re-read every PPL book and made an effort to understand the PPL material rather than just going through question papers!

I got stung slightly when the syllabus changed to EASA and no one in my school was sure about what to 'expect' from the new PPL papers so I was the guinea pig for Nav and POF!

Looking forward to these ATPL's in terms of covering the material more indepth.

For anyone else with the Maths/Physics issue there is a CD that I picked up off ebay.. Maths for teachers or something or another!

Will see how I get on with that.
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Old 6th Feb 2015, 10:18
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I've been out of the game for a long time, and did my CPL and ATPL exams pre JAR. A lot has no-doubt changed in the interim. Be advised though, iirc that back in my day that it was necessary to get all your flight-test and exam passes achieved within a year of each other. Assuming a similar regime is in force, you will need to have a budget in place that allows you to conduct both the flying training, testing and passing, and the exam tuition and passes, within the time-frame now required. (Whatever that is now)
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Old 9th Feb 2015, 18:19
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Split your exams up and instead of doing them all in 2 sittings, sit them in 4-5. That way you can concentrate more on individual subjects. This is how I tackled them and got around 96% avg. good luck
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Old 9th Feb 2015, 19:44
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Don't do that! You are only allowed in the exam room 6 times. You don't want to be leaving any exams to the last shot! 3-4 exams at a time is best.
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Old 10th Feb 2015, 02:31
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So do it in 4! Calm down paco.

5 was a worse case scenario.
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Old 10th Feb 2015, 05:35
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Don't worry, deep breathing....

I've seen even 5 get too late - the last sitting for Nav in the last session is not a good scenario!
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Old 10th Feb 2015, 18:22
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Oh I agree, leaving gen nav, met, pof or perf to sitting 5 would be change of underpants territory.

I did mine in 4 , got all the "easy" ones sat in 1-2 then split the others so I could concentrate on 2 subjects a month.
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Old 10th Feb 2015, 22:46
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wow, finished 7 in my first sitting last month, my plan is to finish 4 this month and remaining 3 in march...hopefully i enjoy most of the subjects but some of them are just useless and boring.
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