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xero9
Topic Author
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:12 am

Canadian PPL Written Exam

Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:15 am

Hi all,

Forgive me if this topic doesn't exactly fit here, seeing as it's not technical nor operations, but I can't see any other forum it would fit in to. If only there was a GA forum  

Anyway, I realize I'm probably going after a small number of people here, seeing as this refers to not only just Canada, but private pilots. I will try anyway.

I've logged many many hours (for a student, anyway), have completed all of my flight training except my last solo cross country, but have yet to get around to write the written exam. I ended up downloading a piece of software for practice, and while going through it, it asks quite a few questions I never even learned about in flight or in ground school. Questions such as things as ADF (it's the only one coming to mind at the moment).

I'm not really sure what I'm asking for here, but I guess I'm curious to know how complicated the exam actually is. I'm all for understanding everything I possibly need to know, but it's just such a vast amount of information that I'm afraid I might completely forget about certain topics.

The funny thing is (kind of pointless really), and I'm not sure if it's specific to my flight school, but you need to take a "written exam" with them and get a higher passing grade then with Transport Canada in order to take the actual written test. I say it's pointless because it's entirely possible that you could get 100% on the practice test, and 0% on the actual.

Has anyone recently (or ever, really) taken the written test and had problems with it? When I took the radio exam several months ago I studied as best as I could prior to taking it, but I completely blanked once it was in front of me.

I expect at least one person to criticize me, and that's fine. I'm sure at least one of you will think I shouldn't have a PPL if I even need to ask this.

Thanks to anyone else who can contribute though!
 
swiftski
Posts: 1837
Joined: Tue Dec 19, 2006 6:19 am

RE: Canadian PPL Written Exam

Mon Nov 01, 2010 1:26 pm

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
The funny thing is (kind of pointless really), and I'm not sure if it's specific to my flight school, but you need to take a "written exam" with them and get a higher passing grade then with Transport Canada in order to take the actual written test. I say it's pointless because it's entirely possible that you could get 100% on the practice test, and 0% on the actual.
Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
Questions such as things as ADF

Practice papers help you with things like that. You can't know exactly what is going to be on your test but you can practice exam style questions and put yourself in exam 'settings' to reduce the risk that on the day you will "blank".

I got through PPL, CPL and IREX by studying my arse off, then sitting some practice papers, working out areas of thinner knowledge, focussing on those, sitting more practice papers, then the real thing. Do it!
 
MrChips
Posts: 933
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:56 pm

RE: Canadian PPL Written Exam

Mon Nov 01, 2010 8:44 pm

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
I've logged many many hours (for a student, anyway), have completed all of my flight training except my last solo cross country, but have yet to get around to write the written exam. I ended up downloading a piece of software for practice, and while going through it, it asks quite a few questions I never even learned about in flight or in ground school. Questions such as things as ADF (it's the only one coming to mind at the moment).

I'm not really sure what I'm asking for here, but I guess I'm curious to know how complicated the exam actually is. I'm all for understanding everything I possibly need to know, but it's just such a vast amount of information that I'm afraid I might completely forget about certain topics.

The funny thing is (kind of pointless really), and I'm not sure if it's specific to my flight school, but you need to take a "written exam" with them and get a higher passing grade then with Transport Canada in order to take the actual written test. I say it's pointless because it's entirely possible that you could get 100% on the practice test, and 0% on the actual.

Has anyone recently (or ever, really) taken the written test and had problems with it? When I took the radio exam several months ago I studied as best as I could prior to taking it, but I completely blanked once it was in front of me.

Sitting a practice exam is common at most flight schools - they want to make sure you're prepared, for several reasons, not the least of which being the cost of re-writing the exam. In terms of preparation, sit as many practice exams as you feel you need to. Though I am loathe to recommend anything that Michael Culhane publishes, I would recommend one of his practice exam books. In your case, you want the Private Pilot Written Test Book, or better yet, buy access to his sample exams online; the exam you write at TC will be administered on computer, so it adds to the "realism". If you work your way through his sample exams, you'll at least have an idea where you need improvement before you sit the real thing. Don't be fooled by the deal to buy his ground school books though; they're all crap. If you feel so badly prepared that you don't feel up to writing the exam, perhaps you should sit down with your instructor for some additional study help. Since you'll be paying for his/her time, make sure you go in with specific questions to ask on aspects of the exam you feel unprepared for.

Finally, if you do screw up the exam, it isn't the end of the world - if you're well prepared, it would take something monumental to screw up bad enough to merit a partial pass or an outright fail. I remember when I went to sit my INRAT (instrument rating) exam, I was coming down with the flu in a big way. I was more or less OK going into the exam, but by the end, I was in a pretty bad way - so much so that the clerks at the desk commented on how I looked really sick. I (just barely) passed the exam, but I was nowhere near my peak performance.
Time...to un-pimp...ze auto!
 
YWG
Posts: 1054
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2001 11:29 am

RE: Canadian PPL Written Exam

Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:01 pm

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
The funny thing is (kind of pointless really), and I'm not sure if it's specific to my flight school, but you need to take a "written exam" with them and get a higher passing grade then with Transport Canada in order to take the actual written test. I say it's pointless because it's entirely possible that you could get 100% on the practice test, and 0% on the actual.

Most if not all flight schools do this. They recommend you and if you fail it reflects badly on the flight training organization. A certain amount of failures and their ground school program gets reviewed. Just like if an instructor has 4 or more flight test failures (PPL,CPL, IFR, Multi) they get reviewed. It looks bad for both parties. Transport keeps tract of EVERYTHING!

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
When I took the radio exam several months ago I studied as best as I could prior to taking it, but I completely blanked once it was in front of me.

Industry Canada's radio test should be the least of your worries. Sounds like you need to study more.

Quoting xero9 (Thread starter):
I expect at least one person to criticize me, and that's fine.

Don't take this as criticizing you, as some one who has been through it all I'm trying to open your eyes to the big picture.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 2):
Though I am loathe to recommend anything that Michael Culhane publishes, I would recommend one of his practice exam books. In your case, you want the Private Pilot Written Test Book, or better yet, buy access to his sample exams online;

Absolutely pointless. From the ground up and its PPL study guide are your best bet. Culhane asks ridiculously stupid questions that are irrelevant. His ATPL book is only good for reference. The rest is over-priced crap.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 2):
Don't be fooled by the deal to buy his ground school books though; they're all crap.

Thank you. 100% agree. From the ground up and aerocourse. That's the way to go!

Quoting MrChips (Reply 2):
Finally, if you do screw up the exam, it isn't the end of the world - if you're well prepared, it would take something monumental to screw up bad enough to merit a partial pass or an outright fail.

It's not the end of the world. But remember, airlines will ask if you've failed any exams or rides in the past. It's just an awkward interview moment you could avoid.
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.
 
xero9
Topic Author
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:12 am

RE: Canadian PPL Written Exam

Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:56 pm

Quoting swiftski (Reply 1):
Practice papers help you with things like that. You can't know exactly what is going to be on your test but you can practice exam style questions and put yourself in exam 'settings' to reduce the risk that on the day you will "blank".

And this is part of the problem. Obviously I can't know specifics of what's going to be on the exam, but things like ADF and VOR.. These are two things I was never taught in the air or on the ground. Neither were ever mentioned, period. I'm sure there are many other things like this. I'm all for being prepared and knowing as much as possible, but I can't know EVERYTHING.

Quoting swiftski (Reply 1):
I got through PPL, CPL and IREX by studying my arse off, then sitting some practice papers, working out areas of thinner knowledge, focussing on those, sitting more practice papers, then the real thing.

This is how I work best as well and is my game plan. I'm just afraid there's going to a whole section of information I'm going to miss out on.

Quoting MrChips (Reply 2):
the exam you write at TC will be administered on computer, so it adds to the "realism".

Interesting. I did not know this. I figured it was a pencil and paper type. Does this mean you know right away if you passed or not (Yes, I have doubts in myself, sadly).

Quoting MrChips (Reply 2):
Finally, if you do screw up the exam, it isn't the end of the world - if you're well prepared, it would take something monumental to screw up bad enough to merit a partial pass or an outright fail. I remember when I went to sit my INRAT (instrument rating) exam, I was coming down with the flu in a big way. I was more or less OK going into the exam, but by the end, I was in a pretty bad way - so much so that the clerks at the desk commented on how I looked really sick. I (just barely) passed the exam, but I was nowhere near my peak performance.

I suppose the good news is you really only need a 60% to pass. Don't get me wrong, I'm not shooting for "just a pass". My goal going in to this whole thing was to do as good as I possibly could. I'm just a bit of an idiot when it comes to test situations. I had a similar situation with my radio exam. I thought I was prepared, and my CFI was really wanting me to get it done (I had already gone for a pre-solo flight review and was given the 'okay'), and it was a Monday, I had a rough night and was super tired. It showed when I took the test.

Quoting YWG (Reply 3):
Most if not all flight schools do this. They recommend you and if you fail it reflects badly on the flight training organization. A certain amount of failures and their ground school program gets reviewed.

I had heard about this, or at least the reflecting badly. Part of the reason I'm aiming to do as best as possible. It's bad enough if I made myself look bad, but I don't want it to be a reflection of anyone else.

Quoting YWG (Reply 3):
Industry Canada's radio test should be the least of your worries. Sounds like you need to study more.

To be fair, I crack under test situations. A perfect example was one of the questions in the radio exam. I can say it freely because each flight school uses different questions, so this is not helping anyone out.

The question was: What is the spoken words of an urgency call? I sat there literally smacking my hand in my head trying to wrap my brain around this. I KNEW the answer, because I had answered previous "urgency" questions before this. It was such a stupid mistake and more studying wouldn't have helped me.

Quoting YWG (Reply 3):
Thank you. 100% agree. From the ground up and aerocourse. That's the way to go!

FGU I have. I will have to look in to Aerocourse.

Thanks for the help guys!
 
User avatar
c172akula
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2001 1:53 pm

RE: Canadian PPL Written Exam

Tue Nov 02, 2010 8:45 pm

Quoting xero9 (Reply 4):
Obviously I can't know specifics of what's going to be on the exam, but things like ADF and VOR.. These are two things I was never taught in the air or on the ground.

If your flight school hasn't even touched on VOR's and ADF's I think there is a much bigger problem here. Have you asked your school why this is the first time you've heard anything about them?
 
xero9
Topic Author
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 3:12 am

RE: Canadian PPL Written Exam

Tue Nov 02, 2010 10:34 pm

Quoting C172Akula (Reply 5):
If your flight school hasn't even touched on VOR's and ADF's I think there is a much bigger problem here. Have you asked your school why this is the first time you've heard anything about them?

I haven't been there since I realized. Actually it's been over 3 weeks since I last flew. I am going tomorrow though. Will try to get some answers. I feel short changed now.
 
YWG
Posts: 1054
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2001 11:29 am

RE: Canadian PPL Written Exam

Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:23 pm

Quoting xero9 (Reply 4):
Obviously I can't know specifics of what's going to be on the exam, but things like ADF and VOR.. These are two things I was never taught in the air or on the ground.

I can't really remember, but I don't think they are covered in depth for the PPL. Reading the sections on them in FGU would probably be a good idea. They are more CPL and IFR questions.

Quoting xero9 (Reply 4):
I'm just afraid there's going to a whole section of information I'm going to miss out on.

Go through all of the FGU. It may seem long, but it will help ease fears. Also, review your ground school notes!

http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log...s/canadian-publications/I163a.html

Go through that book. Once you feel comfortable with it, you will be ready for the PPL exam at TC.

Quoting xero9 (Reply 4):
Interesting. I did not know this. I figured it was a pencil and paper type. Does this mean you know right away if you passed or not (Yes, I have doubts in myself, sadly).

Yes. You will walk out, and they will be printing your results page(s) off.

Quoting xero9 (Reply 4):
To be fair, I crack under test situations. A perfect example was one of the questions in the radio exam. I can say it freely because each flight school uses different questions, so this is not helping anyone out.

Get lots of rest, eat well and plan your exam times around your peak times of performance.

Quoting xero9 (Reply 4):
I will have to look in to Aerocourse

This is what you should study over your career progression....


PPL
http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log...s/canadian-publications/I160a.html
http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log...s/canadian-publications/I161a.html
http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log...s/canadian-publications/I163a.html

CPL
http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log...s/canadian-publications/I162a.html
http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log...s/canadian-publications/I160a.html

Multi-IFR
http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log...s/canadian-publications/I167a.html
http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log...s/canadian-publications/G203a.html


ATPL/IATRA
http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log.../canadian-publications/I104Ca.html
(Good ref only)
http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log...s/canadian-publications/I168a.html
http://www.vippilot.com/en/books-log...s/canadian-publications/G166a.html
Contact Winnipeg center now on 134.4, good day.

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