How to create a learning plan for ATPL exams?

Learning Plan for ATPL Exams - Assumptions:

  1. You start learning from the very beginning of the ATPL theoretical training. Owing to this, classes during the training will serve you as a revision that will allow you to systematise what you’ve already learned or what you’re learning at that very point, and you’ll be able to make more of it.
  2. You learn from one of the question banks available.
  3. If you don’t know the answer to a given question, you read an explanation available for the question to understand the problem.
  4. You take notes – If you consider something important enough to jot it down, do it.
  5. Don’t learn by heart! Try to understand a given problem – it will pay off during revisions.
  6. You learn in the Study mode (and not the Exam mode), since it allows you to refer to Explanations at any moment and read some details you haven’t covered earlier (Explanations are not available in the Exam mode).
  7. Working through the question bank for the first time is most time-consuming because you read explanations quite often. Revisions take less time.

Minimum Target

The starting point of the learning plan is setting a minimum number of questions you want to go through on daily basis. The number should be ambitious and achievable at the very same time. Don’t go for 50 questions a day, as it’s not ambitious, yet don’t set the number at 300 either, since if you’re working full time, covering it might prove unrealistic (unless on weekends).

You may assume that you’re capable of covering 25-35 questions per hour (on average) in the Study mode when working through the question bank for the first time.

If you assume about 5 hours of studying a day, it gives about 150 questions a day in total. Is such a target ambitious? It is, as it requires you to learn efficiently or dedicate at least 5 hours a day. Is such a target realistic? It is, since trying to learn in a more efficient way or studying for more than 5 hours gives you a good prospect of exceeding that target.

Don’t let yourself not achieve the set target. Do everything it takes to exceed it – every single day.

Learning Plan

A good plan is absolutely essential. Don’t start learning if you haven’t specified your learning plan. The plan serves you the following roles:

  1. It provides you with a self-discipline tool.
  2. It shows you whether you’re covering targets on schedule or with time delays.
  3. It gives you information when and what you’ll be learning
  4. It allows you to plan revisions not to foregut what you’ve been learning while studying another subject.
  5. It provides you with a pre-planned date of completion of all ATPL exams (without knowing the planned study completion date, you’ll get a feeling it takes forever, which is demotivating).
  6. It takes away the pressure related to being aware of the massive amount of study material to still work through, as you know that by sticking to the plan you’ll achieve the set target by the set deadline.

Remember to actualise the plan systematically every several days. If you manage to exceed the minimum daily plan, you’ll experience a pleasant feeling when actualising the plan and seeing the set study completion date and the exam deadlines changing into earlier dates. It’ll motivate you to make further efforts.

When estimating the number of questions, you’re able to cover in an hour, you’ve got to be aware that certain subjects require more time, thus the number of questions covered per hour may be 10 when working through the Study mode for the first time. On the other hand, there are also subjects that you’ll cover in a significantly shorter period of time, going through as many as 50 questions in the Study mode. I’ve included estimates in my plan, which takes account of different rates set at different learning stages for a given subject.

Progress Monitoring

Don’t be misled by an assumption that with 5 simple subjects passed you’re over one-third way through the ATPL exams. You couldn’t be further from the truth. Estimating progress basing on the number of subjects passed gives a false sense of peace when the hardest part is about to begin. It’s a common mistake among those studying for ATPL exams.

If you want to somehow learn how much study material you’ve covered, estimate it primarily in reference to the actualised learning plan. For instance, if according to the learning plan you started 2 months ago, you’ll be done in 4 months provided the set rate is maintained, which means you’re one-third way through.

Alternatively, you could count the number of questions you’ve covered of the total question pool. By passing 5 easiest subjects, the number of questions co you could have ab. 3,000 questions out of the pool of 14,000 covered. This means, that despite having 5 out of 14 exams passed, which seemingly accounts for 35% of all the exams, in fact, you haven’t covered even 25% questions!