For some students the prospect of studying the PPL Ground School subjects is just as daunting as learning to fly itself. Perhaps you were not top of the class in Maths or English. Maybe you doubt your own abilities, or is it the thought of speaking on the radio that worries you?
The sheer amount of knowledge on unfamiliar subjects that you will be expected to absorb may fill you with dread. If you’re learning to fly later in life then it could be a while since you did any formal study, let a alone pass any exams.
However, the PPL ground school subjects fall into several categories. Each of those categories is further sub divided into related sections. By taking it slowly and building as you go you will be surprised just how much you have learned in a few weeks.
There’s a wealth of information out there
Not so long ago the only way to study the PPL ground school subjects was using books and going to classes. The books and the classes remain an essential component, but now there are so many other supplements you can use:
- Interactive DVDs for the home or office
- CDs or digital files while you travel
- Simulator software
- Apps that both teach and quiz you
- Social media groups in which you learn from each other
Go at your pace. It’s not a race
You’re not competing with other students so if you attend classes and others seem more knowledgeable then don’t be dismayed. This is not about being first past the post. This is about learning and understanding in such a way that it makes you a more confident and competent pilot. If you need more time, take it, and remind yourself that often the people who learn more slowly learn more deeply.
Enjoy the PPL Ground School subjects
Presumably you’re learning to fly because you have more than a slight interest in aviation. So approach all the ground school subjects with a sense of curiosity. Be open minded to the ideas and concepts. By making this conscious effort you will remove some the resistance that makes learning difficult at times.
Don’t be shy to ask for extra help
If your flying school provides only group classes and you feel yourself falling behind or if you simply don’t understand certain aspects, then ask for additional help. Many of us went to schools with large class sizes so we didn’t always receive the tuition that we needed. The advantage of flying schools is that you can easily obtain that extra one to one tuition from an instructor.
Get into the habit of regular study
A little an often is usually the best way to proceed. Read a chapter, mull it over, contemplate it until you’re satisfied you’ve got the general idea, then move on. It can be helpful to set aside the same times each week to that it becomes a habit. Set a schedule that’s realistic for you and stick to it.
Remember why you are studying
Studying the PPL ground school subjects is not a tick-box exercise designed just to get you through a multiple choice exam. A good understanding of all the subjects will enhance your enjoyment of flying by making you a more confident pilot.
The learning never stops
Once you’ve passed the exams, don’t stop there. Continue to maintain a healthy standard of knowledge by reading aviation books and magazines. Learn from other pilots who have made mistakes and written about them.
The I Learned About Flying from That volumes are packed with stories written by pilots who made a mistake or an error of judgement. They learned from the experience and have now passed on that knowledge to us.
Ready to start? Thinking of Revising?
Here’s a reminder of what you’ll be studying in your PPL ground school.
- Air Law & Operational Procedures
- Navigation & Radio Aids
- Aircraft General & Principles of Flight
- Human Performance & Limitations
- Flight Performance & Planning
- VHF Radio written and oral exam