Let’s be honest. Studying for your ATPL exams is not quite as much fun as swimming at the beach or playing Angry Birds on your smart phone. It comes close, but just not quite as fun!
So, to get you back out at the beach, we have put together our top ten study tips, which will hopefully maximise your time, and make studying more efficient for you.
1. Give yourself enough time to study.
This seems obvious, but if you rush your study from the start, you may end up having to study it all over again! You really cannot cram for your ATPL exams. The material takes time to absorb and master correctly. Online learning gives you the most flexibility with your study timetable, but we do recommend blocking out a few hours every day to keep working through the material.
2. Organise your study space.
Make sure your desk does NOT resemble mine! Keep your study space uncluttered and organised. Even if you are studying at different locations (like many of our students do), stay organised!
3. Turn off your phone!
I can hear you all collectively mutter “NO way!” Ok, let’s compromise. Turn off notifications during your scheduled study time. Take it from me, the easiest way to get distracted during a study session on computerised flight plans (ATPL Flight Planning) is to check WhatsApp – and to reply to a few quick messages! I know it’s really important to do…but perhaps its better not to be distracted right now!
4. Use flashcards.
I’ve been telling this to students for years. Grab some index cards from your local stationary shop, and start using them. On one side of the card, you can write a question eg: “What is Minimum descent altitude (MDA)?” On the other side you put the answer eg: “A specified altitude, referenced to mean sea level, in a non-precision approach or circling approach below which descent may not be made without visual reference.”
Compiling a bunch of these for each ATPL subject allows you to target the key information very efficiently. You can also pass the cards to a non aviation family member, and get them to test you. This leads onto Tip #5.
5. Explain your answers to others.
If you can easily teach an answer to a non aviation person, it shows you understand it well. If you find it difficult to explain, you may need some more study. A good rule of thumb – if you can teach it simply, so a 10 year old can grasp the basics, you know the material well.