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In need of some advice

Old 4th Apr 2019, 09:28
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Sydney
Posts: 1
In need of some advice

Hey all.
This is my first post here and I'm currently studying for my CASA CPL, with a significant problem, I've always hated exams, scoring maximum marks of 70's and low 80's for advance maths and physics in high school, I've always had bad concentration during them and this has lead to being forgetful, clumsy and making simple mistakes.
Today I failed my CASA CPL performance (aeroplane) exam for the third time with a mark of 69% (I know right!)
This leaves me with a 3 month mandatory re-training period in which I need to do some serious thinking about my future.
I am enrolled in a integrated course and already completed my PPL and most of my command hours, which have been paid for with student loans so I am in a significant amount of debt.
I am seeking advice about what I should do, my main ambition is to get into an airline and fly charter for the first few years, but I'm not sure if it's worth going ahead and re sitting an exam with the fails on your record, will potential employers look at your past exams and failures? This exam seems to cause nearly everyone grief, with around 60% of people failing on the first attempt (and the people who pass barely pass, 75% ect).
Flying for a living is the only thing I've wanted to do, and I'm quite lost at the moment.
Thanks in advance.
Boeing727277 is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2019, 00:18
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Event Horizon
Posts: 69
Don't beat yourself up too badly. I too was always particularaly bad at exams. Until I started flying, I could count how many exams I'd passed on one hand (all very low pass marks). Once I started flight training however, I'd finally found my sweet spot, and although I slightly screwed up a couple of exams along the way, most of it was straight forward with a little hard work.
The worrying statement you made was "I've always had bad concentration during them and this has lead to being forgetful, clumsy and making simple mistakes". That's not what an airline wants to hear. Hopefully it's an exam only issue, and possibly only a numbers issue too?
Although it may sound obvious, you need to sit down and figure out what areas you usually screw up, and concentrate on being conscious of those areas where mistakes are regularly made. With mathematical based questions I used to teach my students the following, simply because it worked for me. It's a great technique for minimising (in your words) "forgetful, clumsy & simple mistakes". When you see a question that you know you struggle with, and even those you don't, read the question 3 times.

1) Read the question (to understand the general topic being discussed, this helps zone your concentration into the right area)...Sounds obvious? This is where most people stop thinking and jump straight to the answer.
2) Read the question again (highlighting, underlining or circling key words, phrases and/or numbers that are important to directly answering the question. This helps minimise errors by filtering out un-important information and highlighting information that is useful.
3) Read 'THE QUESTION' (i.e What EXACTLY have I been asked to calculate? Don't get distracted by the entire paragraph of information at this stage, but search for the precise phrase where the examiner has asked you to "Find X", "Calculate Y" or "What is the.???..."
Then concentrate on doing just that. It always surprised me how many students would give me the answer to a totally different question than the one being asked. Answer the question being asked, not your interpretation of the question. This is where silly mistakes are made.
Once you've used this method for a while, you'll begin to see patterns in your technique, and note certain areas where the same errors are made. Being aware of your own mistakes and recognising them is 75% of the problem.
It's a great technique that works for any type of exam. And despite looking lengthy and time consuming, actually speeds up your ability to answer questions with higher accuracy.

In terms of issues with getting a job. That depends on how boyant the market is. 10 yrs ago airlines were fully staffed and picky about who they hired and what grades they demanded. At the moment the market is going through a rough patch, lots of airlines going bust and lots of experienced unemployed pilots on the hunt for jobs. In general it's a lot better than it was, and generally most people are not struggling to walk fairly quickly into the RHS (in Europe anyway). I would never consider quitting until you have absolutely no choice. Don't get into debt over your head, but push as hard as you can and try to come out the other side with a smile on your face. At this stage a pass is a pass, don't worry about grades.
Good luck

Last edited by TryingToAvoidCBs; 5th Apr 2019 at 00:46.
TryingToAvoidCBs is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2019, 08:00
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: everywhere
Posts: 79
Well.....I failed my Gen Nav and Met twice, managed to nail them on the third time.
A good friend of mine had to resit ALL 14 again after failing Gen Nav 4 times.
He has been on the 757 for 13 years and myself on a 737 for 12.

Grades dont mean a thing, we all have moments of doubt, its how you deal with it that matters.
Good luck
Antonio Montana is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2019, 11:28
  #4 (permalink)  

PPRuNe Handmaiden
Join Date: Feb 1997
Location: Duit On Mon Dei
Posts: 4,332
Boeing 727277, been there done that. You're very close to a pass so use this time to really get up to speed about how to pass that exam. Firstly, just take a week off. Clear the cobwebs, go to the beach, watch a funny movie (Deadpool is spot on for that) etc.
Time to change your mindset. If you say you'll do poorly in an exam, you will. If you say you hate exams, well... you'll be battling that all your career. Perf is a bastard of an exam. You might find more info over in the Dununda Forum about specialist coaches for this exam.

Your exam record may have an impact if you're going for a highly sought after position, but no one will look at your exam results if you're going to fly a C206 in the bush. No one will give a stuff. Once you get some experience, no one will care about your exams. The main questions a recruiter thinks about for an airline is "does this person fit, are they a muppet in the sim, can I sit next to them for 8 hours without wanting to jam the crash axe in their head".

Good luck
redsnail is offline  

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