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baddles created the topic: Passed CPL Performance - comments
Passed CPL performance today with 90% on the first attempt. Exhausted..
The main challenge in this exam is time pressure, because many questions are long and fiddly and take time to get right.
I strongly recommend buying extra timed exams from Bob and drilling, drilling, drilling until you finish the timed exam with at least 10 minutes to spare (to allow for exam stress).
Despite the speed required, you need to take time to read each question carefully, as there are some tricky flourishes in the questions.
The more complex questions with higher value (4 points or more) are placed at the end of the sequence of questions. Depending on your stamina it may be wise to start the exam by attacking these questions first (as recommended by several other people on this forum). This may prevent you from getting tripped up by those tricky little details when you're tired at the end.
The first few questions have low value (1 point each) but were quite "curly" in my exam. Don't panic - this is a well known examiner's strategy to unsettle you - and don't spend too long worrying about the answer to a 1-point question. The questions will return to 'normal' quickly.
This subject definitely should be taken after Aerodynamics and General Knowledge. Some of the questions in the exam surprised me because they seemed more appropriate to Aerodynamics, but looking at the syllabus now, there is an overlap between Aero and Performance which should not be ignored in preparing for the exam.
The practical conditions for using the P-charts and weight-and-balance charts were unexpectedly worse in the exam room than when I practiced at home. The examination rules stipulate that you can't bring your own ruler and pencil so you are stuck with the ruler and pencil which they provide; the ruler given to me was very battered and hard to read; the pencil was thicker and softer than the one at home. The VFR day workbook is stapled together whereas I practiced at home with loose photocopies. Either practice under simulated exam conditions (using dog's favourite chewing pencil and ruler), or take time to un-staple the VFR workbook in the exam.
Attitude/motivation is really important in studying and preparing for this particular exam. Halfway through the study, the practice exercises start to feel like you're filling out your tax return, over and over and over. Then I realised why this material is so important in aviation. Many aeroplanes have crashed because someone got a calculation wrong. Commercial operators want you to fly with minimum fuel. Impatient passengers want to depart immediately. So this is realistic and it is vital to do and to get right. That spurred me on.
Halfway into the study I was freaking because there are so many, many ways to get the wrong answer. I decided to treat these as 'threats' in the sense of Threat and Error Management. I reviewed my practice exercises and listed all the mistakes I'd made, analysed the 'threats', and developed 'countermeasures'. Examples:
threat: Loading system Bravo uses pounds (lb) but problems are often stated in kg. Countermeasure: Memory item: Bravo=B=lb=check that weights are entered in pounds (lb).
threat: easy to follow the wrong guide line in a P-chart. countermeasure: circle the points on the axes where you enter the charts (e.g. pressure height, temperature, TODA, TOW) and circle the intersection points with the guide lines as you go through the chart.
Be well rested before taking this exam, as it requires sustained attention for 2.5 hours.