Wednesday, 18 March 2015

School Finals: 3 weeks ago!

School finals; what a disaster! I felt fairly confident, well I never feel confident before an exam but at least somewhat prepared as we’d done a fair amount of practice. I was not. For a start having 2 days for 7 exams is exhausting, we had about 20 minutes in between each which barely gives you time to think which one you’re sitting next and some of the exams are two hours long. I’m pretty sure I’d lost all focus half way through Flight Planning which was the last one on the first day. I think this is where getting a good night’s sleep is definitely more important than staying up late to study, you need to be on your toes for these exams as they are tough.

My results were as follows and I felt pretty disheartened, I had hoped to have a slightly better foothold on the subjects at this point and the reason I’m sharing is that maybe some of you have been in the same boat before and know how that feels.

Operational Procedures: 88%

Flight Planning: 80%

Gen Nav: 72%

Performance: 72%

Air Law: 72%

Radio Nav: 72%

And the icing on the cake, Mass and Balance: 64%

The pass mark for school finals is 65%; anything below this has to be re-taken. I found Mass and Balance okay during classes as there’s not too much new content to learn and it reminds me of Physics with a couple of formulas, I definitely underestimated it as this exam was tough. Quite a few people had to re-sit so I’m hoping they’d given us the tough questions to make EASAs feel easier, or to make us pull our fingers out. Disappointed as I was to have to do a re-sit it definitely made me focus that weekend and do a lot of mass & balance practice questions which I’m hoping will pay off in the long run.

Having the re-sit is one this but I wasn’t too happy with my other results either which makes me seriously question my abilities for EASAs, I only have a week to really crack on and bring these marks up. I also felt really guilty speaking to my instructors about them afterwards, like I’d let them down. They have been so helpful and encouraging all the way through and I’m so happy we can have that personal one on one help here.

On the Friday we were in school for de-brief day and it’s become a tradition here that classes dress up for the last official day of ground school. My class was going to be 8 Snow Whites as we couldn’t decide who should be the princess. We were there to go over the exams; it’s so frustrating seeing what you got wrong as some of the marks were such stupid ones to lose. We did get a fair amount of wolf-whistles and pictures taken that day, including one by the marketing team to go on Oxford’s page, here it is as promised:

The Super-girl is because his costume hadn't arrived yet and had to borrow a costume of mine last minute!

Sorry it's very late and written by past Emily

(I’m so sorry about my lack of posting, it’s literally been so far from my mind this past month and I’ve just been hoping to pass my finals! I tend to jot things down on word before I ‘publish’ the blog post on here so I’m going to upload what I’ve got, sorry it’s a little past the time I meant for it to be. I think this one was about a month ago; time flies!)

At only 8 teaching weeks long phase 2 definitely seems too short, I’m genuinely getting a little worried about the amount of information I’m going to have to cram in before School Finals, which are on Wednesday! We’ve had our last full teaching day at school and it’s actually kind of sad, I’m really going to miss seeing our instructors every day; they’ve all been brilliant! It’s scary that we’re now the top of the timetable list and therefore the next course to sit exams, you never feel like it’s going to come around but 6 months really does go fast.

We have a couple of revision sessions on Monday, Tuesday off, Wednesday & Thursday school finals then debriefs on Friday. It’s sort of an Oxford tradition for people to dress up on their last day of ground school so we’ll be going with the Snow White and the Seven dwarfs theme (as there’s still only 8 of us) though it’ll look a little different from the classic. Pictures next time ;)

After that we’ve got a week off for study leave before EASAs, I’m debating whether I’ll get more work done if I go home or not. It’s a little annoying that our Visa interviews fall on the Monday which means a trip down to London (for 8am?!) when we could be studying. Needs to be done I suppose…. There was a lot of paperwork for the VISAs, part of it meant putting down everywhere you’ve lived in the past 5 years for more than one month. I realised I have had 8 different addresses; with uni and summer camps in America I’ve really not been too settled. We also had to register for the different types of aircraft we’ll be flying whilst over there which is kind of exciting. We have the PA28s and PA44s whilst we’re out in Phoenix. I still can’t believe I’m actually here in Oxford but it’s getting more and more real by the day now!

My EASAs start on Monday 2nd March and I’ll be doing two of the same subjects as my little brother who started at CTC in January but they do ground school in a slightly different order. Just in case I wasn’t feeling the pressure before let’s add a little sibling rivalry into the mix!

There was an open day last weekend so of course I volunteered. It was less busy than normal as it was only a short day but BA made an announcement about their new FPP program. I even got to see some familiar faces who I’d met at previous open days and a couple of people who actually read this blog, I was so thrilled J

My plan for the rest of the day is to hammer out questions on Aviation exam. I think the most difficult subject is Performance and the one I like least is Air Law (way too many numbers and figures to remember). I was wrong about my prediction with Flight Planning, it’s actually one of the more fun subjects. Wish me luck for exams, I definitely don’t feel prepared!