I’ve been hitting the books for the last 6 weeks and somehow ended up finishing the ground school on January 4th.
In order to sit for the exam you have to pass 3 online practice tests that are just like the real thing to include a timer, questions from all the subject areas chosen to simulate the real thing. No matter how well you know the material, refining your testing protocol is vital to getting a higher score. Dealing with the stress of the clock ticking down, managing the marking and skipping of questions to get through the pure Q&A questions to allow for time management on the questions requiring long formulas and calculations.
The test is 100 questions in 3 hours although the FAA has a bad habit of adding questions to test them out. My exam had 103 questions. The additional questions don’t count against you but at the same time you don’t know which ones they are; therefore it adds stress to your time management. The key is answer all questions so that if you get the sample ones wrong you still get credit for them no matter your answer. I finished my exam in 2 hours 30 minutes. I had skipped two questions and marked 4 for further review. After answering the skipped ones I reviewed the others quickly and decided to take my score. Too often if you keep staring at a question and change the answer you end up getting it wrong. After 2 practice tests on Jan 4th (6 hours of testing) I called the testing center I normally use but their proctor was out until Monday meaning with my work schedule I couldn’t test until the following Friday. I couldn’t bear to wait around for another week stressing out about a pending test; I figured that might be counter productive. I called another testing center and they had a 10 a.m. opening for the following day.
I missed 7 questions: one was a table (Fig 33) and I was asked what maximum temperature could I maintain a required 745 FPM climb at 4000 lbs at 6000 Pressure altitude. For some reason I just couldn’t interpolate and make it work; I guessed wrong. One was the definition of a term I didn’t know. Four easy questions I missed simply due to what I call Testing Fog; my brain gets all fuzzy with the stress of testing and the answers just don’t surface. Later you think back and say “that was so simple, how could I miss that one?”. Anyway I’m fairly happy with my score and 70% is passing, beyond that I’m not sure anyone cares….
So its onto the flight training portion of the deal. There are different avenues to go about the Commercial certificate. If obtaining your multi-engine rating is in your future, while more expensive initially, it is cheaper in the long run to do your commercial certificate in a multi engine plane and get both at the same time. I had a meeting at the school yesterday and am thinking over my options….. for now the test prep books are back on the shelf until I have to study for my oral/practical exam.