The three weeks since the previous sitting has been spent watching more BGS webinars, doing practice exams and reading books. Not much time left for flying, or anything else for that matter. Just like before the previous sitting.
After the booking deadline I lost a close relative (which meant a lot to me), and I probably should have cancelled the sitting. That is however not possible after the deadline, and I would still have to pay the exam fee, and the sitting had been counted as used. So I figured the best option was to give it my best, and do it anyway.
I ended up having to “sacrifice” one of the exams to have time to study properly for the rest. So I decided that Performance had to be a “blind attempt”. I have done the course in the Evionica CBT, but the content there didn’t even cover half of what was in the exam.
During the studying for General Navigation, which I decided to try again this sitting, I was once again reminded of the most important thing during the exams - the famous definition 1:
In addition to more of the Bristol webinars, I’ve used the Meteorology book from the CB-IR series, which was very useful! Relevant also for CPL, and it’s thorough but still easy to read.
I also got the decision on my complaint on the Radio Navigation exam, and the Norwegian CAA basically told me “You are wrong” without any further explanation. When I asked about which LO the wrongfully asked question was related to (I have not been able to find any), or how they could deny my proof of ability to change Mode S address (I gave them a transponder manual), they simply said that they aren’t allowed to discuss this.
My takeaway from this, is that complaining is pretty much useless. It’s better to use the comment feature in the exam system, which I did the on my second attempt on Radio Navigation.
Let’s try again
I brought the entire family with me this time, since we had to go to the funeral the week after the exams. Since winter is here, we ended up driving the long way around. This also allowed me to “refresh” my multi-site airport entry card, by doing a quick detour to Sola.
After dropping them off, I was back at my usual hotel - and a new room this time.
Once again I was at the test center early, and this time we can’t have been more than three candidates in there. The exams I had planned this day was 050 Meteorology and 061 General Navigation again.
Just like last time, I started with Meteorology. And just like last time, it was brutal. The amount of questions are a bit intimidating, but luckily I wasn’t that stressed about the available time today. Used almost all of it though. Got almost none of the difficult questions I was spending extra time studying after the first attempt, but a bunch of other difficult questions instead.
An electrician was doing some work at the test center, so the lights went out in the middle of the exam. The computer kept working, so it didn’t matter much to me.
Seeing the red failure turn into a green pass was a huge relief.
Another big one
General Navigation was time consuming today as well, and even though it was hard to not be allowed to draw on the maps, it felt like I had control. Towards the end, I really had to go to the bathroom, and as much as it pains me to say it, that made me run through the last questions a lot faster than I should have.
I had several elements working against me this time as well, and I wasn’t too surprised to see the nasty red text again. A little better than the first attempt, but still not good enough. And now I’m really starting to feel the pressure. I’ve used 50% of my attempts.
Doing two large exams in one day, for the second time, was not a wise decision. Not at all.
I took a short drive to clear my head, ate some ice cream, and then attempted to do some final preparations for the last two exams of this sitting.
Last day of this sitting
The test center wasn’t too busy today, which was nice, that means less distractions. The exams planned for today was 032 Performance and 062 Radio Navigation.
Performance was hard, as expected. I haven’t had time to properly prepare for this one, and the Evionica CBT is far away from being enough. So my performance on Performance was horrible, and the result was my worst this far.
My performance on Radio Navigation however was much better. This was my second attempt, and this time I felt I had done proper training on the type of questions I knew I struggled with before. I got multiple questions I had seen before, including one of the questions I failed on the first attempt. I submitted multiple comments on questions I think are poorly worded, or have questions that are designed to trick you instead of test your knowledge.
And the preparations paid off. Not only did I do better than the last time, I couldn’t have done it better! 100%!
This gave me a huge confidence boost, and was a great way to end this sitting. Even though I failed two exams this time as well (which is costly as well), I have passed 9 of 13 exams!
Getting 100% after doing a formal complaint on the previous attempt was also a great feeling, even though I still feel like they gave me a canned reply without caring anything about what I actually wrote, it doesn’t matter anymore.
Give yourself enough time, maybe doing all the exams in as few days as possible, over as few weeks as possible, is not the best way to do this
I need a break. There’s just too much going on right now, and the amount of stress I experience is unhealthy. I also have to give myself enough time to properly prepare for the next exams. And I want to fly a bit as well, haven’t done much of that lately.
The intention is still to finish this. Hopefully before April 2024 (so I don’t go more than a year after getting the FI without being able to instruct). Or at the very least before the next summer. But it’s better to spend a couple months extra, than to destroy myself in the process. I’ve been too hard on myself, and gave myself unrealistic deadlines. In the long run, a couple months or even a year extra, doesn’t really mean that much.
The progress so far is 9 of 13 exams done (69%), and 3 of 6 sittings used (50%). So even though I failed two exams, I have completed two thirds in just half the sittings available.