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Flying: The Written Exam

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 it again.

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.

Skip questions 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. Every day.

Don't stress over this test. You can always take it again if you don't pass, but you will.

Afterward, you'll 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.


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…. ;-)


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