AvPrep Aviation Industry Blog - Tips to help pass a CASA theory exam

Tips to help pass a CASA theory exam

Need some tips to help pass your CASA theory exam?

Attempting a CASA theory exam can be a daunting experience. All the hard work on the ground has to come together at a defined moment where you’re asked to demonstrate your understanding of a set of examinable information. It’s not easy, but certainly not impossible. With good preparation, a strong mindset and a solid foundation of knowledge and skills, you will pass your exam. Here’s a few tips to help you pass your CASA theory exam.

Take “your” time

Whether in the plane or on the ground, everyone’s journey through aviation training is different. With regards to ground theory, we all learn differently and take a differing amount of time to absorb information and commit it to memory for easy recall. For some people, these things come quickly. You might say they have a “natural gift”. Good on “them”. You are on “your” own journey and you cannot compare yourself to others. The only thing that separates where you are and where you want to be (in terms of higher levels of understanding) is time spent learning. “Comparison is the death of joy” – Mark Twain. It’s also important to allow the information to settle, or marinate. So make a plan, but be flexible as you fine tune your learning regimes and take time to let it all sink in.

Eat well, Sleep well

Whilst studying, you need to be looking after yourself. Eating good food and getting plenty of rest in order to recharge your batteries and give your brain a chance to relax and let the information settle in is paramount. This is even more important in the days leading up to an exam attempt. Make sure you don’t do any studying the night before. It won’t help. If the information isn’t cemented by then, no amount of cramming will help. At most, a light read over some notes could be done, but don’t stay up all night doing practice exams.

9am exam time

Ever hear of the postprandial dip? Well, you will when you study Human Factors. In any case, try and get a 9am exam time. Get up, have a good breakfast and then go into the exam centre early and get settled in. Afternoon sessions may suit some, but attempting an exam after lunch as you head into the later half of the day when you’ve been tossing and turning the night before means you will most likely end up mentally fading during your exam.

Familiarize yourself with the Manual of Standards

The Part 61 Manual of Standards contains all of the examinable content in the CASA exams. There is a link to these sections for many of the CASA exams on our useful links” page. They are a fairly broad stroke, but at least you have a zoomed out view of the examinable content.

Up to date documents and textbooks

The amount of people who lose valuable marks in an exam because they don’t have up to date documents, or have learnt from out of date textbooks is staggering. You have a list of permitted materials that are there to guide you during your exams. If you can’t fly with them, that’s because things have changed and have been updated. The CASA exam’s question banks are exactly the same. They are constantly changing and are updated regularly using the latest information from the permitted material. Don’t throw away marks unnecessarily.

Attempt practice exams

Noone ever failed because they did too many practice exams. Familiarize yourself with typical exam wording and scenarios by doing a variety of practice exams from the many online providers. As you become more familiar, your confidence will grow, and that is key.

Keep filling your knowledge bucket

As you study, it’s important to have a consistent flow of information gathering. Taking long breaks between study is not advisable. It’s a little like flying the aircraft. Doing a big slab of flying over a weekend, then not flying for a month means by the time you go flying again, you’ll spend most of your time getting back to where you were. Think of your brain like a water bucket with hole in the bottom. As you stop filling the bucket, information (water) slowly drains out. As you get older, this hole gets bigger. Keep revising and keep a good consistent study schedule so that when you attempt your exam, your bucket is as full as it can be.

Simulate exam conditions

At all times, try to simulate the environment to which you will be attempting the exam. That is a comfortable chair, at a desk, in a well lit, quiet environment. Block out the world, and immerse yourself in the learning environment. It shouldn’t be that hard to achieve a stilled mind and commit to the learning process. At the end of the day, you are studying something you love and have a passion for.

Confidence is key

This is probably the most important part. Everything just mentioned if coupled with a solid study regime will give you the knowledge and information you need to pass the CASA theory exams, but should also leave you feeling confident. If you go into an exam thinking you aren’t prepared and are going to fail (i.e. not confident), you won’t have a successful attempt. It’s all about mindset. Being relaxed and confident in your ability is paramount. This whole process can also be aided by studying with friends, finding a mentor, asking instructors for clarification, attending a theory course, or engaging the services of an aviation tutor. Again, this is “your” journey, so be kind to yourself, take “your” time and enjoy “your” learning experiences. For a pilot, these experiences never stop.

For more information on the permitted materials in the CASA exams, Click here.

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