As soon as
you can get yourself mentally prepared after ground school, go take
the written test and get it over with. It's good for two years,
so you'll have plenty of time to finish up before you have to take
I took a ground
school course at the local Community College, which ended with an
endorsement to take the test. I waited though, because I thought
I wasn't ready yet. I didn't get lazy, in fact I studied about 2-3
hours per night every single night while I continued to prepare
for the written as I began the flying part of my training. I think
that this approach helped me better understand what I was memorizing,
but I could have started the flying part while still in ground school
and saved a little time.
As it worked
out, I dilly-dallied around long enough that my first endorsement
expired and had to get my flight instructor to give me another one
to take the test.
I took it about
two weeks before I soloed. Here's how it went;
I called over
to Vandenburg Airport (KVDF), which is a local airport that has
official testing facilities, and made an appointment to take the
test. Here's a sample Q and A for ya: Q: What are the two forces
required for flight? A: Lift and money.
The test costs
about eighty bucks. Bring your checkbook because they don't take
plastic or cash. Next, an extremely attractive test administrator
came downstairs and led me to the test lab. There were half a dozen
test stations in the room, but I was the only one in there at the
time. There is a monitoring station on the other side of the glass
at one end, so mind your manners.
You are allowed
to take in your E6B, Plotter, Scratch Pad, Calculator and pencils.
I guess you can take your flight calculator in too, if you are a
pussy and your ground school teacher was some kind of criminal slacker,
but that's between you and your Ray-o-vacs, Brotha.
OK, the test
takes a little over an hour from end to end. I can't remember how
long you actually get, but plan on at least that long so that you
don't get impatient.
Take your time.
you are having problems with and go all the way to the end on the
ones you know or can easily do.
Go back and
do the others in order of easy-ness or whatever as time permits.
You don't have
to score 100% to pass. Keep that in mind. I think you can miss like
six or seven and still squeak by. I missed four or five on mine.
I would have thought that I'd remember forever, but I never even
think about that anymore. Now I concentrate on flying skills and
strengthening my weaker points.
Anyway, by the
time your instructor has given you his endorsement, you are ready
for this test. Take it as soon as you can be ready.
Study. A lot.
over this test. You can always take it again if you don't pass,
but you will.
have a tremendous sense of relief and pride in how well you've learned
your lessons. Don't throw that test prep guide away just yet! You'll
want to keep studying like a madman while you prepare for the biggie
- the Check Ride Knowledge Test.
DON'T STOP STUDYING!!!!!
Now get your
ass back to the study guide and get this minor hurdle out of the
way. Of course, you can still keep this site on your machine for
"Training Resources", etc…. ;-)