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No more multiple choice questions in the ATPL Exams?

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No more multiple choice questions in the ATPL Exams?

Old 21st Mar 2017, 10:00
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No more multiple choice questions in the ATPL Exams?

Hey guys, have you guys heard about this? One of the instructors in my school mentioned that we might not have MCQ based exams anymore and 20% of the exam will be open question.

What do you guys think about this?
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 11:19
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Watching the CAAs across Europe mark all the ATPL theory exams with 20% 'open questions' or essay questions would be hilarious.

There is a proposal on the table to introduce some questions that are not multi-choice, Paco tells me these are only those with numerical value answers. I understand that the German LBA have similar questions at the moment. If accepted by EASA I would not expect to see them before late 2018/2019.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 20:19
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Quite right - don't hold your breath for the UK at least. I may have more information tomorrow as am in Koln at the moment.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 23:09
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This would be a vast improvement IMO in the way the exams are run, it would go a long way to ensuring candidates have actually understood the material. The current system is a joke in that as long as you play the game and bash the question bank you're practically guaranteed high marks, regardless of how well you actually understand the material.

I worked hard when I did my ATPL exams (no complaints there, I found the course stimulating and interesting and knew the more effort I put in the more prepared I would be for a career as a pilot) and achieved a final average I was pleased with. But there were others I knew that easily got higher marks simply by cramming in as much practise as possible on question banks and memorising questions/answers.

On one occasion at an exam centre, I overheard a group of candidates discussing how they were able to recognise questions in their exams from their QB practise and able to automatically pick the correct answer without really knowing where it came from (and these guys were cadets on a major UK airline sponsored/part-sponsored course).

The only issue with a free/open written question system would be the point Alex touched on. Judging by the standard of some of the questions I sat through in my exams, I'd have misgivings over the ability of some of those writing the questions in the first place, let alone the ability of CAAs' to accurately assess candidates' responses.
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Old 21st Mar 2017, 23:35
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If they were to ask questions more relevant to the pilot's job, with clarity as to what the examiner really wants as an answer, then yes, bring it on. I studied through my material and make use of this site and others to understand some topics better. But if the standard of the questions will still be the same as the ones we have now, I will consider myself very fortunate to be one of the last to pass in the current format.

They don't have these issues in FAA-land with the ATP certificate as far as I know.
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 08:34
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The LBA in Germany will probably never give up the "fill-in-the-blank" questions. When I wrote PoF, W&B, and FP, ALL questions with a number for an answer where open, and most of the Nav questions were as well. Nevertheless, if you can memorize the question, you can memorize the answer.
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Old 22nd Mar 2017, 14:33
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Agreed, the EASA ATPL exams are utter lunacy.
It's not real studying, just rote learning and cramming as much information, data inside your memory as fast as you can. Quite often that data is completely irrelevant or utterly useless.
EASA needs to seriously re-think its learning objectives.
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