My name is Noah, I’m 33 years old, and I’ve been a high school Critical Thinking teacher for the last 10 years. After years of dreaming about it, I’ve finally decided to quit my teaching job and pursue a professional flying career. My plan is to finish out this school year, then start the ATP career pilot program at Detroit-Willow Run in the Summer. I’ve already got my financing approved and the blessings of my wife and family, so pretty much the only things left to do are finish out my PPL and renew my first-class medical. I’m so excited for this next chapter I can’t even tell you. This forum has been really helpful and encouraging in getting me on my way. Thank you!
Although I’ve got most of the hours done already, I still have to take the written exam for my PPL, and I’ve been using the Sporty’s learn to fly course (I bought it/started it before I decided on ATP). I’m about half way through the course, and it’s been pretty easy to follow. I’ve had no problem acing the mini-quizzes at the end of each video. I have this sneaking suspicion, however, that the actual test is going to be much harder than the after video quizzes. I’m starting to doubt if the program is preparing me as well as I hoped. I know ATP uses the King program, and I’m wondering if I should cut bait on the Sporty’s course and start over with King.
Does anybody here have familiarity with the Sporty’s course and can tell me if it prepared them adequately for the PPL test? I’d rather not spend more money and have to start over on a new course, but I will if that’s the best way forward. Once I finish the PPL test, I plan to knock out as many of the other writtens as I can before I start ATP. I plan to use the Sheppard program for those.
Thanks in advance for any input or guidance on this. I look forward to reading what people have to say.
Short answer. While I prefer the Kings for the PPL courseware, if you’re only using it for the written Sporty’s is fine. Further the practice exams aren’t easier, they use actual questions from the actual exam. In reality the writtens are fairly simple and most people simply memorize the answers and bang it out.
If you’re going to purchase an additional study aid for the PAR, I recommend ASA study prep app. Sportys is fine too. They are similar, but I chose ASA. I’ll tell you why, you already get the ASA oral guidebooks in your ATP materials box so the oral guide is a great pairing for the test prep app. If you’re unsure of an answer and want an elaborated answer, that’s where the oral guidebook can come in with a longer answer and source material for the FAA textbook. It’s also rumored that King schools and ASA get the exact questions in the FAA database similar to how Sheppard Air does (you’ll use them for all the rest of your writtens after the PAR), where Sportys is similar style and the same subject material but not the exact questions. It hardly matters if you learn the material how the question is worded… but if you’re more of a rote memory learner, I’d go with the exact database sources.
Thank you for the replies!
I really like the Kings courses, but any of them will get the job done. Just make sure that you are taking actual practice exams and not just video quizzes.
Congrats on taking the leap of faith to switch careers. That is a huge change.
Thank you for the feedback on the forum, we always like hearing that people appreciate what we do here. Please keep us up to date as you progress through your training and reach out with any questions that you have.
Thank you for the response, Chris. I will certainly continue to utilize these forums as a place to ask questions and share my experiences. I’m amazed by how much time and consideration you and the other mentors put into responding to posts.
Thanks so much for your kind words about the forum. You’ll find the aviation industry is really rather small in the grand scheme of things. When you start out, you’re the one looking for guidance and support as a student. Then you accomplish ratings and complete the program and then you have the ability to return it, giving back instructing students. Then you need guidance and mentorship to find the next job at 1500TT, etc. You see, it will always be a cycle, and its a joy for us to be able to help you all like others helped us along the way.
I used Sporty’s PPL for my private outside of ATP, I found it to be very helpful, but at the same time was not exposed to King School until ATP for my instrument phase. Just like King, Sporty’s provides you the opportunity to download their app and load offline videos to use for studying on-the-go. I started my PPL training in 2018, I still have the Sporty’s app!
I received a 78 on my PAR, but using other test prep software for future tests scored high 90’s consistently. Unfortunately Shepperd Air is not available for the PAR test.
I have been going through the Sporty’s course. The “Test Prep” section have many more questions than the practice quizzes at the end of the videos. The practice quizzes just give you a small taste of what’s to come. My favorite part about the test tool is that it tracks your correct and incorrect answers and you can go back and review sections where you are weak. My least favorite part about the course is that the videos are not organized in the same categories as the test prep, so it’s hard to find the reference video if you want to review specific sections. If you are a reader though, the Sporty’s tool links all reference materials with each answer explanation so you can jump to the AIM or PHAK chapter directly from the test if you want.
I’ve also been taking the free practice tests from Kings and while the concepts covered are all the same I think the questions are slightly different. So if you are a memorization kind of guy then King’s might be a better bet.
Honestly if you have access to both I think you might as well watch all the videos, you never know if one school’s way of explaining something might just click with you better than the other.
Thanks, Alex. I suspect that once I finish all the videos in the Sporty’s course and take the actual practice tests, I’ll have a clearer understanding of where I’m at and whether I need additional resources.
My mind is a little boggled to learn that so many people just try to memorize the exact questions and answers as a means to passing the test. The teacher in me really cringes when I hear that. I’ve always subscribed to the idea that you build a strong conceptual foundation and then you should be able to answer any question that is thrown at you. I realize that in this world, most of the conceptual understanding comes from practical application in real world flight/planning, but it’s still hard for me to approach learning through rote memorization. I totally get it, though. The writtens seem to be somewhat of a formality, and the real learning seems to be easier once you jump through those hoops.
Thanks again for all the tips everyone. I’ve got a few months to figure this all out before I actually start ATP. The perfectionist in me is just eager to start checking boxes and building the strongest possible foundation for my flying career.
Yeah I’m not a rote memorization kind of guy either. It’s easier for me to figure it out than to remember it.
By the way if you haven’t read these, they are good reference for getting all your written done before going in.