Thursday, 23 February 2012

Operation Consolidation III: Complete

It's been a while since I've update the blog and there is a good reason for it!

This past week we have been taking our final set of Consolidation exams consisting of Air Law, Meteorology, Operational Procedures, Human Performance and Limitations as well as Mass and Balance.

The past six weeks of ground school had been leading up to this point. Four solid days and evenings of revision paid off and I'm glad to say I passed the 80% threshold required to be allowed to sit the real exams conducted by the IAA next week.

The Consolidation timetable has been designed to mirror that of the authorities.

Monday morning at 9am we sat the Air Law test. This was followed in the afternoon by Meteorology. The latter is the longest consisting of 84 questions.

Both went well and with two complete and three to go Tuesday brought about Human Performance and Limitations followed by Operational Procedures. Again, another two passes and I headed into Wednesday looking to make it five.

All the exams we have taken have been very factual based with certain subjects incorporating the use of maths and other previously taught ATPL theory.

The final exam we will sit here is however more maths based than theory. With such a small number of questions in the Mass and Balance test (25) it means that to make a slight inaccuracy in any calculation can seriously damage the percentage, and for anyone who is struggling through the exam anyway, the difference between a pass and a fail.

So, having passed four, the fifth was arguably the biggest challenge. Going into the exam I was confident. I am very confident in my own mathematical ability and with the material that we need to know in the subject. However, as I said above, any slight error, a wrong button pushed on the calculator or simply ticking the wrong box on the answer sheet can really make life difficult.

Going through the paper I was pleased to see there was nothing too tasking and nothing stood out as wanting to try and trick the student. Scores in; high nineties meaning a final pass to go with the other four.

We've now arrived at that stage. In previous modules we have had a week between the Consolidation exams and the real IAA tests. This time we have four days. Four days to evaluate the previous week's results, recap on the subjects and get back into learning for the final push.

As I have said in previous weeks, the effort and commitment this module for me has seen a small decline. Not too noticeable in terms of results but if I'm being honest with myself the dedication has lacked in certain parts. I don't know whether this is due to the new ground school policy in removing the weekly test average to be allowed to sit the Consolidation exams (although my averages far surpassed these) or the fact that we're now on the final stretch and just like doing the London marathon - the final straight is always going to be the most difficult.

Whatever it is I think over the next three days it will be exactly the same as it was the two previous weekends before taking the last two modules of the IAA exams - ATPL revision becomes your life, an obsession that doesn't go away until walking out of that conference hall after the final exam.

So, when I'd finished with all five tests by yesterday lunchtime I'd planned a twenty four hour gap between hitting the books once again.

After a lengthy lie in this morning I went to the pool to enjoy the great weather we're currently experiencing out here in the south east of the US. This was followed by watching Manchester United edge their way into the next round of the Europa League. 

Being in Europe is not just a privilege for a club but a necessity however being in the second rated European competition just doesn't seem to have that edge, that sense of elitism...a bit like Channel 5 really...However, it is good to see them taking the tournament seriously - winning it is very much a realistic challenge!

It's late afternoon here in Melbourne and the sun is starting to set. A bit like our time with the ATPL exams really...

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