PPL Exams

Private Pilot License – Exams

As part of the ppl course there is an amount of ‘ground school’ needed. There are 9 exams in total and they are as follows:

  • Air Law
  • Human Performance
  • Operational Procedures
  • Meteorology
  • Aircraft General Knowledge
  • Flight Performance and Planning
  • Navigation and Radio Aids
  • Principles of Flight
  • Communications

There are also some rules and regulations around how these exams have to be sat. You have 18 months to complete the PPL course (including flying part) following the first exam but you also have to complete and pass all 9 exams in 6 ‘sittings’. This includes any retakes if you fail.
A sitting is a period of 10 days.

As im sure you can work out this means you need to do more than one exam per ‘sitting’.

I chose to do mine as a combination of self learning and official ground school as offered by my instructor.
The first subject I studied was ‘Air Law’. This is a very long and dry subject but it is obviously super important. I decided to self study this one and really take my time. Im sure it would have been quicker to take the ground school but this way I have ensured I throughly know the information and I also know where to reference it should I need to refresh my self. Once I was confident I arranged for a full day of ground school to learn Meteorology, and Comms along with a brief check of human performance which I had also revised on my own. Both Meteorology and Comms are subjects which had also been slowly feed in during normal lessons too so doing 4 exams in 1 day was quite achievable.

So sitting number 1 saw me with 4 exams passed. A good start!

Next I planned to do some self study. My aim was to get two more of the ‘easier’ subjects done over 2 weekends thus only taking up one ‘sitting’. So I learned Operational Procedures one week (which is strongly related to Air Law), took and passed the exam on the weekend, then the next week did Aircraft General Knowledge the following.

Sitting number 2 consumed and a total of 6 out of 9 exams passed.

A short break in study, then again some more self study of Principles of Flight and a pass.

This is the reading I used for my exams: Pooleys Air Pilots Manual. Personally I would recommend getting the new books where ever possible. You wont save much buying used and the licensing has undergone a lot of changes so you dont want to learn the wrong material!

That leaves me with 2 exams left: Flight Performance and Planning, and Navigation and Radio Aids, and 3 sittings left. Check back for how they go…