I have my admissions flight lesson this Saturday for the ATP Career Pilot Program, and keep seeing how it’s recommended to knock out the written exams before even starting class. I can see the benefit in doing so, and have been reviewing the content in Sporty’s Study Buddy (I plan to get the Sheppard Air content soon for the other certifications).
The hardest part for me comes with learning/memorizing the FAR material (and other more “dry” content which doesn’t seem to have a good mnemonic). I can’t seem to find a way to memorize all these different numbers and the regulations tied to them. I’m more of a visual learner, and can’t be the first one to have trouble with internalizing all these regulations. For anyone who went through this program, what was the best way to approach this intimidating material? Is it simply spending more time with it until it sinks in?
Thanks in advance for any guidance you can give me!
Sheppard air has a study guide connected to each test prep software specifically for more “dry” memory items and questions with math calculations involved. Those help a lot of people.
Acronyms and mnemonic devices are huge in aviation and something that really works for me. Even if one doesn’t exist, I make up my own!
Same goes for lists of numbers. I figure out some catchy phrase or pattern to help remember the numbers. Like holding speeds, 200, 230, 265. I see all 2s first. From 200-230 we add 30 kts. For the next one, add 30 again plus a little more (since it’s the highest/fastest limit), so 35. So when I think of hold speeds my brain goes 00 (add 30) 30 (add 35) 65: 200,230,265.
Does this help?
One word, “REPETITION”.
I’ve worked with many students who have trouble memorizing and studying the “dry” stuff. I don’t care how bad you are at it, if you just keep reviewing over and over it will stick.
Also keep in mind that airline pilots are responsible for memorizing limitations and memory (immediate action) items. If you really want to be an airline pilot this is a dragon you must slay.
I had to take the PAR practice test 20 times to make high 80’s consistently. I made an 83 on the PAR. Some will look up the answers as they are taking the practice test to get a score in the 90s but this method does not help you prepare for the actual test. You have to hold yourself accountable by repetition.
This helps a lot. Thank you, Hannah!
Thank you, Adam. This definitely seems to be the case. I plan to lean into these to know them.
I memorized the rules that I needed to, but not the numbers attached to them. Thesis not a Supreme Court case, you generally do not need to know the regulation numbers.
This is a huge relief, thank you. Half of my concern was knowing each of the regulation numbers. As if they would ask “what is regulation xyz, subpart 7?”
Does this mean I can brain dump TIM ’s BCN …
Now I am not saying it could never happen, but I have never once been asked to quote a specific regulation by number.
I’ll go on record as saying never. That’s reserved for ground instructors who want to dazzle and intimidate you with their encyclopedic knowledge
Hey Chris, don’t think of the process as a “need to memorize” because you’re right, there are a lot of topics to go through. It may make you feel overwhelmed which is ok because it shows you care and want to do good. When you study, instead take it seriously. Not only to understand it but more importantly to be a safe pilot. Which is one of the reasons we are training, and reason why they have all the reference material (Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, FAR/AIM, etc.).
One step at a time, as Adam mentioned, REPETITION is KEY. The more you are exposed to the material, the easier it’ll be (along with your stick and rudder skills).
Being a pilot is a rewarding opportunity. We do all our training to become a pilot and and reach our goals, what ever they may be. But at the end of the day, safety is what we strive for our passengers and ourselves. Respect the weather. Understand the knowledge. And moreover have fun with you passion of Aviation.
Good luck and enjoy the admission flight!
Thank you so much for your response. The admissions flight was incredible. Taxiing, taking off, making ascents, descents and turns. The instructor did the landing while I gently held the controls, to feel what he was doing. Now I need to figure out a good start date.
And you’re right … I’m becoming less and less overwhelmed the more I sit with the material. It’s not as intimidating as I thought. It’s more the volume of information rather than the difficulty of it.
Again, thank you so much for your help with this!
With more experience flying, you’ll find the passion for what you’re doing helps in the studying. Initially you’re just trying to memorize facts with no context. Now that you’ve been up flying and have “caught the bug”, it can make it easier to be motivated to study the ground knowledge.
Of course there will always be dry topics that don’t seem to apply to the flying you do, but as a private pilot you’re required to know them. That’s when the pneumonic devices help, flash cards, obsessive repetition, etc. comes to play.
Glad to hear you enjoyed your intro flight so much! Let us know if you have any other questions as you get set up for a start date!
Thank you, Hannah, this is encouraging! I locked in my start date for March 6.
Congratulations on securing a start date for March 6! Please let us know if there is anything we can help, and if you get a chance during your program, please keep us posted.