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Tips for Performance Exam!

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Kaos created the topic: Tips for Performance Exam!

Hey there!

I sat my performance exam yesterday (28/11) and wanted to share some things for you :)

It was probably one of the harder exams out of all 7 (but I passed! yay!). The math itself was quite simple but CASA ask questions in a way to really get you thinking. For me there were 32 questions, but many were 2, 3 and even 4 points for a question!

I spent the first 2 or 3 minutes writing down all of my formulas – I ripped this page off the notes sheet and left it next to the computer (they will give you extra note paper), I constantly referred to it, even though I knew the formulas, it’s super handy having them in front of you so you don’t make any silly mistakes.

CASA have been re-writing all their questions for every exam over the last few months, some of our exams were completely different to those who sat the same one 4 weeks prior. YAY!

  • Make sure you know all your basics - definitions of TODA/TORA/ASDA etc and exactly what they mean (how displaced thresholds/stop ways/clearways affect them). There was a question on pavement strength numbers – I use Jepps (unsure where to find this info in ERSA) and in the Airport Directory you will be given a specific airport, when you look it up it will say something like PCN F/A/80, on AU-7 you will find how to decipher these codes.

  • There were about 2 questions for each chart - take-off, landing and loading systems A, B, C. There were probably 6 Echo questions all up. Theory questions were scattered throughout.

  • Take your time with the take-off landing charts – do them right the first time. You will be given various runway lengths, slopes and winds. Draw them out and make sure you have the correct direction of slope. The winds will sometimes be given in degrees true (i.e. GPWT winds) so be sure to convert them. I had a slope given of 0.6%, although we technically don’t need to input it under 1%, if it’s provided, use it. Don’t just assume the runway with the headwind is correct, if the crosswind is under 20kts, check that runway too.

  • There were a few PNR/ETP(CP) questions. Some ETP questions gave all the fuel information (obviously you don’t use this for ETP) but CASA want to know that you can tell the difference.

  • ETAS! Omg I completely forgot to use ETAS, I had no practice questions requiring it, so it completely skipped my mind. I believe I lost out on a 4-mark question (that took me about 20 minutes to do) because I forgot ETAS. It was a PNR question with a 35knt crosswind – this would have altered my speed by about 5 knots and changed my answer.

  • Fuel – you will be given 1 or 2 destination aerodromes. You will be given information about INTER/TEMPO at both the departure and destination. Know the holding fuel requirements for these and know which one you’re supposed to apply. You may be given a fuel flow rate, a holding rate and third flow rate – read them carefully and apply them to the correct area.

  • If a question seems easy, check the points – there was a 3-point echo question that took a couple of minutes. I selected an answer and flagged it – it seemed off that I found it easy, so I went back to it later. I was given a gross weight and asked to add passengers, I was then asked if I needed to shift any cargo to stay in balance – all calculations suggested I was within limits. When I went back to it, I decided to remove all fuel, I had to calculate how much fuel was on board (we were just told full mains), when I removed it, I was out of balance in ZFW. This got a few of my mates – it cost them a fail in the exam (by 1 point).

  • There was a forward edge problem for echo. Use the graph – but then when you have an estimated idea of how much weight to add – do the math and just make sure it’s in balance.

  • Know the effects of wind on you PNR/ETP (CP)

  • I had a question on submitting a flight notification – I was asked how to input certain information into one of the numbered boxes. Around AU616 (ATC) of the Jepps has a flight notification form, it then has a detailed list of everything required for each box.

  • I had about 5 (1-2 point) questions where I had to manually type in my answers – they were simple calculations (like how many L of fuel required) but they wanted the answer in kilograms – be sure to check what units they’re asking for.

  • It was stressful going in to this one with zero practice using the new CAAP – it seems no one was able to get any practice questions out despite the CAAP being available for months, ah well! The questions clearly state Day VFR Private/Charter etc, so make sure you read them properly!

    I tend to walk out of the exam and forget the actual questions, I had 5 KDR’s and walked out with 80% (I lost a large chunk of % for forgetting ETAS on my PNR), the others I can only assume were theory based, there was at least one where I misread destination/departure, read all of the questions twice!

    We had about a 50/50 success rate of around 30 that sat it yesterday. So, my final words of advice:
  • Don’t get complacent
  • Read everything twice
  • Be aware of time – 32 questions = 4.5 mins each (do them right the first time!)
  • If you’re stuck on a question, select an answer you think is right, flag it, come back later (some of the guys didn’t even get to answer all the questions)
  • Do as many practice exams as possible – not just these ones, but from any school you can. Every school has a different style of questioning, it’s good to get your brain moving

  • I hope some of you find this ridiculously long post at least a little useful and good luck!

    :) :) :)
    The following user(s) said Thank You: abargri, charlesswanepoel, MemeLord

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    Stuart Tait replied the topic: Tips for Performance Exam!

    Congratulations Kaos

    Thanks for the feedback and advice


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    lucasgozzard replied the topic: Tips for Performance Exam!

    Thanks mate for that.

    Not sure what you mean about ETAS? I have no idea about that.

    Can you elaborate on this one?



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    • zw121001
    • zw121001's Avatar

    zw121001 replied the topic: Tips for Performance Exam!

    Hi mate ,
    let's talk about ETAS!
    If you encounter 38kts right XW when your true airspeed is 145kts, your TAS will be affected by crosswind, you have to correct the heading to the right 15degrees, after that your TAS will be effected to reduced to 140kts. You can get this by using your flight computer(that wheel),This ETAS stuffs are very critical when you doing ETP or PNR questions.

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