PPL written exam...

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MadProfessor8138

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By reading everyone's responses so far it would appear that :
1. The test questions and answers are poorly written and difficult to answer correctly.
2. The written test is nothing more than a hurdle that has to be overcome so you can move on to useful information that will be relevant to the oral & check ride.
3. Trying to apply what you read is really of little use when taking the written and may actually be detramental if you try to use common sense.
4. Its better to just memorize the answers instead of learning information for the test....once past the test,the real learning of "useful" information for the oral & check ride begins.

If I'm wrong on those assumptions please say so.

If I'm right about those assumptions please point me in the direction of where to obtain the questions so I can start memorizing the answers to get this written test over and done with.
Is the Gleim material what I should be looking at ?

Kevin
 

Rik-

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By reading everyone's responses so far it would appear that :
1. The test questions and answers are poorly written and difficult to answer correctly.
2. The written test is nothing more than a hurdle that has to be overcome so you can move on to useful information that will be relevant to the oral & check ride.
3. Trying to apply what you read is really of little use when taking the written and may actually be detramental if you try to use common sense.
4. Its better to just memorize the answers instead of learning information for the test....once past the test,the real learning of "useful" information for the oral & check ride begins.

If I'm wrong on those assumptions please say so.

If I'm right about those assumptions please point me in the direction of where to obtain the questions so I can start memorizing the answers to get this written test over and done with.
Is the Gleim material what I should be looking at ?

Kevin
Your 100% right. Sporty’s and Gleim. Sporty's has an online exam.

NOTE. No one has said the all important part. You need a “referral” in order to be able to take the ground written. So for someone like myself, I did the ground school before I had ever sat in a plane. I had to get an online course that provided the referral or I wasn’t going to be able to take the test (although your local FSBO is supposed to be able to handle this for you if you can prove to them that you’ve read and studied the material). So if your going to spend any $$ make certain it can get you to your goal which is taking and passing the ground course.
 

TFF

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You will get through it with the least amount of heartache if you memorize or at least recognize. They have the ability to move the position of the answers, so don’t memorize B as the answer. You want to recognize the wording. Gleam or ASA; there are others. I personally liked the ASA the way they grouped the questions. Gleam is printed on a newspaper paper. ASA white paper. They are organized different. I had both, but used ASA as it was what I had studied for my A&P years before.

The books will have all questions for all types of private. I went through and marked out the ones that did not apply to me like glider or balloon or LSA when taking the private. There are questions that are common but there are ones specific too. Some sections I was able to staple closed that I had no need in flipping through.

I read books better, but I had the matching computer program and tested my self on sections and then full practice tests. The plus of the computer is it lets you know your weaknesses and let you concentrate on them.

You will be amazed once you pass it that it really is a nonevent that you have been sweating over.
 

mcrae0104

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Don't overthink this. By and large, the questions and answers are straightforward and you will know the answers. I found the FAA materials adequate (Airplane Flying Handbook, Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, AC-006B Aviation Weather, with the FAR/AIM alongside as a reference). Also take the free Sporty's online test. Do the Sporty's test once or twice a day for a week and you'll find out which areas you need to study more. You'll do fine, Kevin.
 

BBerson

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Over a month, I would read the Private Manual, Airman's Information Manual and FAR 61 and 91 in detail and NTSB 820 (or whatever it is).
Then take one or two weeks just before the test to memorize the questions.
Try to get a 90%-100% score to make the oral easier, they will know what you got wrong.
 

12notes

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If you pass the online test that comes with the ASA book, they will send you the referral you need to take the FAA test.

I disagree with the assertion that you should memorize the answers and that the information is stuff you'd never use again. While there are some poorly written questions, the majority of questions are well written and on useful things you will use later. A lot of questions that have answers that seem confusing are actually straightforward questions an a nuanced subject - if you don't really understand the subject of the question, then the answers have trivial differences that look the same, if you do know it, the correct answer is obvious. This doesn't excuse the bad questions, and there are some bad ones (I remember a navigation question that calculated to 135 degrees, the answer options were North, South, or East), but the tests are far from the useless milepost they are made out to be.

Think of the dumbest pilot you know, the one who, if they offered you a ride to escape a wildfire, you'd take your chances with the fire. They passed the written, so it's not that hard.

I recall thinking at the time of the test that the hand prop questions were particularly useless, which lasted until I started hanging around cooler planes than a 172.

I don't memorize well, I took the practice exam to get used to the style of questions, and if I didn't perform well on the practice test, I would study the FAA material until I understood what I got wrong. Using what I studied and common sense, I only missed 3 on the actual, one of which was the navigation question above. So I disagree with all 4 of the conclusions above.
 
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Pops

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I agree, but what do I know? I took my PPL test almost 50 years ago. That was before there was lead in pencils :) My flight instructor gave me some books, studied for a couple weeks and went to his home one evening and he gave me about a 3 hr oral test and signed my log book to take the test. Also gave me pointers on taking the test. Missed some weather questions on the private test so on the instrument written test I wanted to ace the weather questions for sure and was disappointed on the lack of weather questions. For me the instrument written test was the hardest of aviation test I have taken. The Commercial and Flight Instruction written were not as hard as the instrument test. Also took the Rotocraft Commercial written. Decided I didn't want to do any flight instruction and never took the check ride. I'm not a good teacher and not a people person.
 

Aerowerx

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I used the Sporty's material, back when it was on VHS tape.

For every government sponsored test I have ever taken, the question bank and answers are public domain (although they are changed periodically), so it is theoreticdally possible to pass the test by memorizing the answers.

However, it is always better to learn the material and what it means.
 

Cy V

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I used Gleim. It did the job. I memorized every single question and answer in the book and missed one on the exam. It was a new question that wasn't in the book. The real learning takes place in the airplane with your instructor.
 

TFF

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I don’t think they are poorly written. They were written with laser focus to be disorienting. It’s not that information is wrong, it is presented in the most unnatural red tape way. I would cross reference every question I had a question with, and the question books have explanations. The answers are answerable. Not useful. The navigation questions are set like Scotty beamed you into a cockpit.
The question that always bugged me the most was the one about Land and Hold Short operations and student pilots. A friend and mentor who is a CFI in planes and helicopters and an air traffic controller could not answer it. It is written and an answer placed in the AIM just to to make a rule.

I don’t memorize either, that’s why I say recognize. I can’t spit it out verbatim. I made it so it was recognizing the answer like knowing the difference between two bolt types visually.
 

pwood66889

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Had my first "Written Test" from the FAA in Air Traffic Control school. Teachers taught me how to take the tests, as well as the material there in.
Rules: Skip over the ones you don't know, and come back. Eliminate the answers that you Know are wrong. Your first shot is probably the best.
Oh, and have some idea what they are talking about. And watch the Time!!
Disclaimer: This worked for me through ATC school, the PPASEL and the A&P. YYMV...

One might get a copy of a program that hits you with test tests (no, that is not an echo). Keep taking those tests until scoring over 90% consistently.

Thanks to those who took their time to answer.

Percy in NW FL, USA
 

ScaleBirdsPaul

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The Sporty's app was great, I would drill questions on my way to work or waiting in line. You could sort by topic and it had a huge database. It was kind of a pain for the navigation or figure questions, but those weren't too tricky to me. At first I had a lot of trouble with the wording of the questions and picking the 'best' answer, but the app was a huge help to become familiar with what answer they were actually looking for.
 

MadProfessor8138

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I got on the Gleim website last night and took their free introductory test session for the PPL......51 questions......scored a 86 or 88 doing the questions quickly.

Today I called Gleim and spoke with Dale pertaining to a few questions that I had about the way the courses were setup and available for use.
Dale assured me that the PPL exam prep was all that is needed to pass the written and it is money back guaranteed.
Once their online course is passed then a certificate is issued to take the official FAA written.
Well,let's see if I spent $59.95 wisely....

Kevin
 

Wayne

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I'd like to reframe this just a little with about 6 months of the flight school under my belt. The way I handle this when asked is that the written and oral exams for PPL address the same pool of available information, but are checking different implementations of that learned material.

The multiple choice test uncovers holes, if any, in the students grasp of the course material and establishes that the candidate has the motivation and skill to pass the test. The oral exam tests the implementation of the same knowledge in real world scenarios. First the knowledge is learned, then it is used in real life
 

Tommy222

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Here’s my two cents: I’m a CFI, sel,Mel. ATP, comm. /instr. helicopter on and on. Here is what most guys did over the years. Study the material for the knowledge you will need. Next when you feel you know or at least have a good handle on the material you go to phase two: the test. They are two entirely different thing! print out the questions with the answers. Take a marker and black out the wrong answers. DO NOT READ THE WRONG ANSWERS, read it like a book several times thru and you will find you remember the questions & answers as a sentence. Good luck.
Ps. Same deal with the check ride and oral. Separate things.
 
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