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Seeking advice on choice of ground school for ATPL theory

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Seeking advice on choice of ground school for ATPL theory

Old 12th Jul 2016, 10:39
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Seeking advice on choice of ground school for ATPL theory


I'm at the stage of deciding which Ground School to choose for my ATPL theory studies. I'm going down the Modular route and have done a fair bit of research into the vast number of schools available, but just throwing it out there for anyone to offer their advice, experiences, and knowledge of the best school one to choose.

I live in West Sussex, very close to Gatwick, and have come across CATS Aviation Training based at Gatwick offering distance learning. This would be the obvious choice as it's the closest to me, but is it worth the investment into this school? I have also researched Bristol Ground School which seems to be the #1 choice for many in the south.

I assume the schools' materials offer the same 'syllabus', covering the same subjects? They just present them in the own literary way?

If anyone out there is able to offer me advice, experiences of these or any other schools that would be greatly appreciated......
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Old 12th Jul 2016, 11:56
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I doubt many people here would be in a position to compare these schools as you typically stick with one. I'm with bristol and I made my decision simply because their calendar for revision courses suited me better. Would I recommend it? Yes. Would I recommend it over CATS to someone who lives close to Gatwick? No. I don't think GS, as long as it's reputable, matters too much - you will have to do all of the work yourself anyway
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Old 12th Jul 2016, 12:08
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It honestly does not matter. They all use the same syllabus, a lot use the same books, everyone uses the same question databank, everyone sits the same exams.

The end result depends on yourself. Are you a quick study? are you good with self discipline? are you willing to go the extra mile and study a bit beyond the syllabus requirements? It really is not challenging, just a lot!

Just go with the cheap/convenient option!
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Old 12th Jul 2016, 20:02
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Bristol Groundschool is with Wingsalliance while CATS it isn't. I think if you can have the chance to be with Wingsalliance you will be in a better position in the long run.

Good luck.
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Old 14th Jul 2016, 11:00
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I am using CATS and i dont see the point. It doesnt explein anything. I just use it cause the school offered it as cheap option (you have to use one) and I study with Jeppesen books.

For me, CATS is only the way the school has to check if I spend time studiying, but I dont learn much there, so its a study guide to search for content somewhere else.
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Old 14th Jul 2016, 22:26
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maybe bristol are better at drilling it down to their students that this is pretty much self study. Their material is good but it's not perfect, every progress test I do I see questions that are just too tough to answer, I have to google them, really research them.. but this is what distance learning is all about. I'm sorry CATS guys didn't get the memo.. the 3 week revision is not about learning the stuff from scratch.. it's about filling the last cavities in your teeth before you can go to space
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Old 15th Jul 2016, 16:49
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I have several friends that I am training with that have used CATS both the online and class. I am only doing FAA training but they are doing a dual program FAA + EASA. The guy that created the course, Dr. Stuart, is at our school pretty often so at least they keep up with their schools using their program. Maybe ask them for a trial of the course?
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Old 15th Jul 2016, 18:41
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Bristol GS are excellent, having just completed the ATPL syllabus with them. Really top notch with excellent support infrastructure too (very important). The travelling distance between Gatwick and the South West I would say is well worth it. Just my 10c worth...
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Old 16th Jul 2016, 14:12
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CAPT on the south coast is worth a look.
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Old 16th Jul 2016, 18:29
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I went with CATS because they were cheapest. Then I got a BGSonline subscription as well.
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Old 19th Oct 2016, 12:23
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Finished my ATPL exams with Bristol Groundschool last week, I'm very happy with my decision on going there.

Half of my classes were made up of military pilots who use them based on reputation, and due to the most (if not all) Bristol instructors are ex-military.

They have many instructors, and each one is a master of their subject. The questions we asked in class should have been testing for most, but they were still able to give the answers in a way we could understand.

The cost between CATS + BGS Online subscription vs BGS is minimal when you consider the overall cost of flight training.

And as mentioned before, with the Wings Alliance up and running it might be best keeping your training together to better your chances of getting that elusive first job.

Let's not forget it was the school of choice for Prince William a few years ago.

Good luck with your decision.
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