almostthere created the topic: 7/7 Passed First Go
I wanted to pass on my thanks to Bob et al for putting together such helpful and practical texts. After just under two years, I've finally completed my last exam - CFPA (Performance).
My journey has been entirely self-study and (clearly) at a slower pace. I'm in my 30s, have a young family, a very hectic career and volunteer commitments - so if I can do it with Bob's texts, you definitely can too!
All told, I average 88% across my exams with my worst result being CADA (Aerodynamics) at 78% and strongest result being CSYA (Aircraft Gen. Knowledge) at 95%. I'm proud (and lucky!) that I didn't fail a single exam.
In the interests of paying it forward, here's some tips that worked for me:
Book your exam three weeks out to keep the study period intense and avoid procrastination.
Try and book your exam for your peak performance time. If you work best in the morning, don't book an afternoon exam!
Work out your best learning time. In my case I got up at 4.30am every day for 1.5-2hrs of uninterrupted study before work.
Use the Pomodoro method. There's plenty of free timers about or apps for you phone.
Do a chapter at a time and then make sure you're getting nearly all the exercises correct before proceeding.
Use physical or digital flash cards for key concepts. Ask a family member to test you on them by.
Consider using some paid practice exams. I've used Rob Avery and PilotPracticeExams.
Try and chair fly the subject matter to make it more memorable and 'real'. For instance, do some P-charts for a random airport you've always wanted to visit. Plan out the fuel requirements for a Part 135 charter flight that your mates have hired you to take to Hamilton Island. Randomly check TAFs and METARs in NAIPS and decode them aloud.
On The Day - Before The Exam
Arrive at the exam centre early and read over your notes and flash cards. Don't waste time chatting or getting anxious with others.
Down a coffee about 10 minutes before you enter the exam centre, but don't over-caffeinate.
When you're checked in to the exam centre, stand and stretch until they start reading the rules - you're going to be sitting for a while!
When they're reading the rules, do some quiet breathing exercises, clear your mind, and get focussed.
On The Day - During The Exam
Before you answer a question, write down any key formulas or concepts on the scribble paper.
Generally, I did all 1 mark questions first, skipping bigger questions.
If you aren't sure of an answer, mark the question and return later.
I used every minute available for every exam. Where I finished early, I took time to go back and review all my answers to check for CASA trick wording or errors in my working.
Good luck to anyone sitting these exams, and thanks again to Bob & Co for all that you do.