Tips for Homestudy Success

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Richard created the topic: Tips for Homestudy Success

This post was made by Andrew1 in another forum but it contains some very good tips and encouragement for students so I have brought a copy of it over here. Thanks for some good information Andrew!

You can read the original thread in the "Help and Suggestions" forum

Over to you Andrew:

Hey Guys,

I thought after reading your posts, I would register and provide my view on the problems raised. I have bought all of Bob Taits BAK, PPL and CPL Books. I have solely used Bob's books for my CPL studies, nothing else. Everything has been self studied at home.

Let me begin by saying, I think Bob's books are absolutely brilliant. They are so simple and easy to understand, which is the beauty of them. Most concepts are accompanied by pictures, diagrams, drawings etc. which help create a mental picture of what's being said in text. Another positive is that none of the texts are based on assumed knowledge, which means anyone can open the book without any prior knowledge of the subject learn the syllabus.

I have done all of the 7 exams thus far, my results were as follows:

PPL: 92%

Aerodynamics: 88%
AGK: 83%
Performance: 96%
Meteorology: 88%
Navigation: 93%
Air Law: 100%
Human Factors: 90%

I was never academically brilliant at school, but tried to do my best to work hard. Anyone can achieve over 90% if they study hard enough. All my exams so far have taken an average of 2-3 weeks to study and probably closer to 4 for performance, due to some personal circumstances.

Below i will try to give some help and advice which i believe helped me along the way and answer some of the concerns shledon.haigh, zulu.gurl and captainellzy had.

*Buy yourselves a CASA Day VFR Syllabus. REMEMBER CASA can only ask you questions based on the syllabus. Bob's books are there to cover the Syllabus points. They do so spot on. After you have finished studying a topic, go back to the syllabus and check that you have an understanding of every point and cross reference it with where it located in the text (ESPECIALLY AIR LAW). UNDERSTAND every point in the syllabus and you will have no problem in the exam.

*It is very IMPORTANT that you UNDERSTAND every concept to the best of your ability thats covered in all the texts. It took me 2,3 or sometimes 4 times of reading over and over the same stuff before it finally got to me. Remember, the brain will not always pick thing up the first time you read something, it may do so on 2nd,3rd or 4th time. Try to draw yourself a mental picture of what is being said. Most oncepts have a drawing or diagram attached to it, as mentioned previously. If your still have trouble ask your instructor.

*It seems that some of you are trying to learn the questions being asked rather than understanding what they are asking, and the reasoning for the answer. Once again, Bob's texts explain the reasoning for the correct answer. Make sure you understand this. VERY IMPORTANT. The questions are there to NOT for you to expect them to be in the CASA exam, but to give you an idea of the types of questions asked.

*Learning the syllabus is only 60% of exam preperation. You HAVE TO DO as many questions as possible. I also bought all of Bobs practice exams, except Aerody. Yes CASA can ask some simple questions, which are worded in a complex form. However if you have a clear understanding, you will have no problem. For example, the performance book almost NAILS the questions that were asked in the exam. Practice as many questions as possible. This is especially true for subjects like Performance and Navigation, where there is a lot of maths involved. The questions in Bob's books were very similar to that of the actual CASA exam.

*Another important point when doing exams is, to ALWAYS DRAW what the question is saying. For example, Aerodynamics has a lot of Diagrams, Drag Curves, Power, Thrust etc. ALWAYS draw what the question is asking, because a lot of the questions refer to you being able to recite these diagrams. Don't try to visualise always DRAW DRAW DRAW. This helped me a lot.

*You must always use up as much of your exams time as possible!! I finished my nav exam in appx 50mins. However, It took me the whole exam to go back and check everything. Almost every time i checked back, i picked up one or two mistakes!!

Hope this helps.



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  • brook
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brook replied the topic: Re: Tips for Homestudy Success

Thanks Andrew,

I really appreciate your candid and very helpful email. I will print it out and stick it on the wall in front of my computer.

Good luck with your career!!

If I can contribute anything I will but you are way ahead of me with your exams, so probably offer the best advice!!


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  • Aviatordan
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Aviatordan replied the topic: Re: Tips for Homestudy Success

This topic is of great help to me, as a home study CPL candidate!

An addition to going over what the syllabus says is actually taking notes on all the syllabus 'dot-points'.

What I do, is get the syllabus and break it down to every point and take notes on each of them. You end up with what my old physics teacher likes to call a 'dot-point summary' which is great for revision. It's kind of like you're using the syllabus point as an exam question that you have to answer...

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  • grahamjrees
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grahamjrees replied the topic: Re: Tips for Homestudy Success

What a great thread! So helpful.

I downloaded the CASA syllabus here for free (I hope it's the right one!)

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  • Claw
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Claw replied the topic: Re: Tips for Homestudy Success

Thanks Andrew(and Richard for posting). As a relatively senior member of this learning to fly thing, I found your study tips to be most informative. Not having had to study at this level for quite some time, you have given me some very useful tips on trying to maximise the retaining power of the brain. And believe me, the older you get, the harder it is to retain the information. But once it is embedded, then its there for long term. It also makes a big difference when you are studying something that is of interest to you. All the very best to you in your endeavours.

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