Browse Category

ATPL Theory

ATPL Module 2 Results

In what feels like a whirlwind week with my eyes and brain taking a pounding, I have finally got my ATPL Module 2 results back from the CAA.

en route to kemble

As you may know, I sat my module 1 exams back in January and passed the 3 I took. This time round I took another 3 at CATS in Luton which were Air Law, AGK and Rnav. It has been a long slog with these exams with many hours put in at evenings and weekends to try to get above the 75% pass mark that is required for these exams.
Before sitting the exams my scores were between 80 and 90% in the question banks. Anyways these are my results for mod 2!

Air Law – 88%
No real surprises in this exam. There were a few new and reworded questions but nothing that threw me or that I wasn’t expecting. No nasty surprises to be had here but remember you can get hit with new questions at any time…. as I found out in AGK.

Rnav – 80%
I would say that Rnav was on the whole what I was expecting. However there were quite a few reworded or new questions in it. One question that I do remember from the bank was something along the lines of “What is Kalman filtering used in?” and the answer given in the bank was “Navigation display”. I got this question however Navigation display was no longer and answer and seems to have been replaced with Electronic Flight Information System.
Now if you didn’t know that the navigation display was part of the EFIS you would have been in some difficulty. This is why you need to do your best to try to learn more than just the question bank.

AGK – 77%
Brutal, absolutely brutal. Lots of new questions and lots of reworded questions. I remember on my first pass through thinking a more colourful version of “Good heavens, this is quite a difficult exam”. However on second pass I did my best to really think about the question and do my best to solve them. I remember changing quite a few answers on this second pass through and it looks like it just did the trick.
Another guy who sat the exam said the same thing about it, it’s my opinion that a lot of questions have been released for this exam. Some did seem like they were translated from elsewhere as they didn’t read properly. I came out of this exam unsure as to which way it would go. Needless to say when I got that email this morning I was relieved! This sums up my reaction –

Anyways no re sits which I’m ecstatic about! Next up it’s Mass and Balance, Principles of Flight, Performance & VFR Communications.


Subscribe to Modular Pilot via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to Modular Pilot and get our content right in your inbox!



ATPL Theory Month 12

Wow, it’s been a year already as this was now ATPL theory month 12.
atpl month 9
I can’t believe a year has passed since I started the ATPL journey and with sitting 3 more exams next week if I pass them I will be around the half way ish point with 6 exams done and 8 to go.
I had my revision week a couple of a months back so that is done and dusted and I did pick up a few bits of information on the course that I found useful.
I will be sitting my exams at CATS Luton as this is the closest exam center to my house. This is very convenient as a lot of people have to travel quite long distances to sit their exams where as it is literally a 5 min drive for me.
In this sitting I will be doing Air Law, Aircraft General Knowledge and Radio Navigation. I have pushed flight planning to my “module 4” so that will be sat early next year.
I haven’t found the exams that bad so far but maths subjects have always been more difficult for me than the pure theory type subjects. Radio Navigation seems to bring in some maths and the subjects I am sitting in module 3 are heavy with the maths so that should be interesting.
It has mainly been a month of using the question bank, Google and YouTube to try to fill in the gaps in my knowledge before sitting the exams. I would say the exam that is giving me the most worries at the moment is radio navigation but we will see what happens next week, hopefully all will be fine.
I have already booked my revision week for module 3 in September and I will be aiming to sit the exams in November of this year if things are going well with sitting the final set around April of next year.
With the course at Bartolini being booked for August 2018 I have a hard goal of when I need to pass these exams which is the end of July 2018 (the official date from the CAA) but if things go to track I hope to pass them all a few months before that.

ATPL Theory Month 11

Another month down, so this is my recap of ATPL Theory month 11.
Navigation planning

So this month two things happened really. First I went to the module two revision week down in Bristol and secondly I pushed my exams from the start of May to the start of June. I got quite lucky as my local test centre (Luton) doesn’t have much availability but someone must have cancelled as randomly one day I was able to transfer my exams.
I have Air Law on the Monday, Radio Navigation on the Wednesday and AGK on the Thursday. I have moved Flight Planning to my “Mod 4”. I did try to book a communications exams for this mod but apparently I am not allowed until I have sat the module 3 brush up which is a bit frustrating but it is what it is.
I have spent the majority of this month just going through the question banks and trying to get my head around the areas that I am still struggling with. My scores are going up slowly which is a good and I hope by the time the exams come round that I will be ready for them.
We were told that from August some subjects are going to be going to an input field rather than multiple choice so I will be affected by that (asif there isn’t enough changes at the moment).
So far I think I am doing well, I still need some more work in Radio Navigation hence why I pushed the exams back a bit but I think I will get there.
There is not really a lot more to say apart from that as from now till the exams it will be similar in terms of what I am doing.
Oh yeah, I have booked my CPL ME IR for next year but I will talk about that in an upcoming post.
I also turned 32 yesterday, getting old!

Module 2 revision week at Bristol Ground School

So I have just got back from Module 2 revision week at Bristol Ground School.

Bristol Ground School

This course started on a Sunday due to Easter which is great as I only had to take 4 days of work.
There were actually a few people on the course I talk online so it was nice to meet them in person.
I was actually sitting next to a guy I met at my exams in Jan and it seems our schedules are lining up in regards to exams at mod 3, which is nice.
It seems crazy to me that he lives in Newcastle and has to come all the way down south to sit his exams. I think the CAA really need to open more centres in the UK. I am quite lucky that there is a centre right here in Luton.
Pro tip – Book your exams as soon as you start your module even if its 4-6 months away. You will be surprised how quickly some of these exams can fill up.
Oh, I put my exams back to June, I was looking and saw some availability so I decided that I would take the extra month as it can’t hurt can it?
The days at the school are long and I would describe it as a fast paced recap of the ATPL material you have previously read. The real benefit of the course for me is that if you are stuck on something you have a teacher you can ask who will try to answer for you.
Also another benefit of the revision weeks is the interaction with other students. You can get a lot of tips and advice and also just gauge how you are getting on.
We had John for Air law / Radio Nav, Chris and Mac for AGK and JJ for Flight Planning.
My real frustration is the lack of flexibility with the ATPL exams. Even if you read the material for a subject you cannot sit it “early” until you have sat the brush up week.
As you know I have decided to move Flight Planning to Mod 4, so I figured hey ill do the material and sit VFR comms now and get it out the way. Well no, for some reason I am not allowed to do that. I can’t sit the exam until I have sat mod 3 brush up where they basically do no covering of comms.
I don’t blame Bristol for this as no doubt this rule comes from the CAA or EASA and their mandated classroom time.
I have now moved both comms exams to “mod 4” as I really want to get Mass and Balance, Performance, Ops and Principles of Flight done in mod 3. Leaving me 2 “hard” and 2 “easier” exams for mod 4 in General Navigation and Flight planning.
Oh, we was told that from August some exams will be going from multiple choice to an input field. I remember it would include Performance, Flight planning, Mass and Balance and I can’t recall the forth one. It was supposed to be next year however the CAA decided that 1500 new questions a year wasn’t enough, so lets hit this group of students with even more changes. The fact we are going through more changes than anyone in ATPL history clearly isn’t enough.
While I was down there I also paid for and picked up my mod 3 material so I am ready to go straight on to it (and saved £13.50 in shipping costs). Every little helps and all that.
I have booked onto mod 3 which will be at the end of September and I am looking to sit the mod 3 exams in either November or December depending on my progress.
I had planned to do some flying weather permitting over the long weekend however the plane has gone tech so looks like it’s revision for me.

ATPL Theory Month 10

The never ending slog of the ATPL exams continues with ATPL theory month 10.
grafam water
I am going to be perfectly honest I was approaching the point where I had enough. Pretty much every night I get in from a long day of work and have to study these exams to the point that it was taking over my life. I made a decision that I am going to make some “me” time every night. If this is watching a movie for 2 hours, or a few games of Fifa, I am no longer going to let the ATPL theory study take over my life.
I have split my study over four modules leaving 2 for any retakes that are needed.
With that being said of course I still have to make sure I put in the work, so I have been studying towards my next set of exams which are in May. I decided that studying 4 exams at the same time around work is way too much, so in my next sitting I will be taking 3. Air Law, Radio Nav and Aircraft General Knowledge. In my opinion this is more than enough to be studying simultanionusly. I have said before I don’t understand the benefit of forcing people to sit multiple exams at the same time rather than one by one so they can get a good understanding of the subject.
I am going through the question bank and looking back at the material to try to fill in gaps in my knowledge.
I am scheduled to do my revision week in Bristol in the middle of April and I will make a decision 1 week before the exams if I am ready to sit them or if I need to push them back a month. I hope I will be ready to sit them as the 18 month clock is already ticking down and quite frankly I want these exams out of my life.
I think I am doing better in AGK and Air Law where as I need to put some more work in Radio Nav.
Hopefully the week down in Bristol next month will be helpful for me and help to fill in what gaps I have in my knowledge.
I also think that the lack of flying this year is not helping me. I have only managed 1.5 hours all in the circuit due to the poor weather. I tried to go to Kemble the weekend just gone but due to 30kts gusting wind en route and 20+ at the airport I decided to scrap that. Hopefully the weather will change soon and I can plan some nice land aways.
For this reason I think it’s a good idea to set my sim back up. I have FSX but as it is so old and with Xplane 11 coming out I think it might be time to make the change.
Anyways, back to my study 🙂

How I will sit my ATPL exams

As I am sure anyone who reads this blog knows, I am currently doing my ATPL theory with Bristol Ground School. This post is just a quick update on how I will sit my ATPL exams.
atpl month 9
The default course from Bristol is 14 exams in 3 sittings. I tried to stick with this but I am finding this too much around a full-time job in IT and life in general. Even though Bristol suggest 3 sittings, you actually have 6 sittings and 18 months to pass all 14 exams. For this reason I have decided to try to complete the exams in 4 sittings which leaves 2 spare for resists if needed. I wouldn’t suggest trying to do your exams in any more than 4 sittings, as should you fail any exams I personally would want at least 2 more attempts at them.
I have spoken to someone who actually split it into 6 sittings and failed an exam in his final sitting, this is not a position you want to be in as he was left with no choice but to sit them all again!
I have spoken to many different trainees in the last month or two and it would seem that quite a few of us are struggling with some of these exams, with some people unfortunately just missing the 75% min score and others just about scraping over the line. Hopefully this will take of some added pressure and allow me to spend more time per exam.
My new ATPL theory course looks like this.

Mod 1 – January 2017

  • Instrumentation
  • Meteorology
  • Human Performance and Limitations

Mod 2 – June 2017

  • Radio Navigation
  • Aircraft General Knowledge and Electrics
  • Air Law

Mod 3 – December 2017

  • IFR Communications
  • Principle of flight
  • Mass and Balance
  • Performance

Mod 4 – April 2018

  • General Navigation
  • Flight Planning
  • VFR Comms
  • Operational Procedures

As you can see it is a bit more spaced out and also I can spend more time on the mod 4 subjects as hopefully I will have at least 6 months to pass them.
I sat my first exams in January 2017, so I have until July 2018 to pass the rest. It is still a long way to go but hopefully this will make it just a bit easier.

ATPL Month 9: Flight Planning, Radio Nav and Aircraft General Knowledge

Oh man what an awful month flying wise this has been. The weather has left me grounded every time I tried to fly so I put in a lot of time on my ATPL theory. This is a quick recap of ATPL Month 9: Flight Planning, Radio Nav and Aircraft General Knowledge.

atpl month 9

As you can see from the last month I have made some great progress and I am currently around 90% through the syllabus in the ATP digital software. I have had just 2 days with no study and I have been putting in on average 4-5 hours a day, it’s been intense.
This only tells half the story, I will now move to the question banks (well once I finish) and refer back to the books often to try to fill in any gaps in my knowledge, so in reality I think finishing the module is only 50% done and the question bank practice is the other 50%.
I have spoken to a few people recently and every is in agreement that the exams seem to be going through huge changes and a lot of people are just about passing some exams and failing others.
On to the subjects, to be fair I didn’t really enjoy that many. AGK, Radio Nav and Air Law are quite a lot of facts to remember and sometimes it feels like my brain is working overtime because these facts are just relentlessly being served up and drilled into your head.
Flight planning I found more “fun”. You use maps and charts to work out your answers. There are two things that I guarantee you will hate MRJT and LRJT. At the moment the feedback seems to be that these questions are not showing up, but they can be put back in at any time!
I have changed my revision week to April due to the speed I was getting through the material and have changed my exams to May. I will see how the progress is over the next few months and if needed push the exams back a month to June, time will tell.
Ah well, lets hope that I can get some flying in this upcoming month to break up this endless study.

ATPL Month 8: Exams and Air Law

A lot happened this month so I will do a quick recap of ATPL month 8: Exams and Air Law.
mod 2 month 8

The month started of with me finally sitting my first ATPL exams.
It felt good to get them out the way, but after having just two days to rest and chill, I ordered module 2 and got cracking.
As you know I am studying with Bristol Ground School and module 2 consists of Air Law, AGK Electrics, Flight Planning and Radio Navigation.
I had previously booked my revision week for May 2017, I am staying with the same lady I did as last time and I have already booked the exams for June. So I am all sorted in regards to the final exam preparation I just need to get through the material and get up to speed before then.
For this reason I had configured my software to make sure I will finish the study material by the end of March at the latest. This should give me around 2 months to go through the QB and to revise in preparation for the exams.
I am currently running a bit ahead of schedule and as things stand I will finish module 2 some point around mid march if I keep the pace up.
I decided to start with air law which is a very important subject with a lot of information, however it is quite possibly the most dry subject you will ever come across and for that reason it is not the most fun to study.
As you can tell it is a lot of rules and regulations that you need to get your head around, however I am making good progress and I am already on lesson 31, there are 37 in total.
It feels like it was so long since I finished reading the material for module 1 but so far I am actually quite enjoying module 2 so far.

ATPL Module 1 results 

After months of hard studying I finally got ATPL Module 1 results.

cats luton

First of all let me just say phew! What a stressful few weeks / months this has been.

There are two things I will say.
1. The ATPL’s are harder than you think and will take more time than you think. I compare the ATPL’s to having a full time job, so I have two full time jobs! If you can do these full time then do it. (This includes full time distance learning).
2. The exams are changing. Years ago it may have been possible to learn question banks inside out and pass with a 95% average. These days have gone however.
They are introducing 1500 new questions every year and reviewing another 2000.
For instance there is over 1600 questions in the met question bank, if you can remember all them then you are better than me. It’s easier to learn how to work it out!

I sat my exams are CATS Luton, which from their website you would think is a dedicated building but it is actually just 3 rooms in a managed building called Basepoint. So set your sat nav to find that.

My module 1 exams consisted of the following subjects.

  1. General Navigation
  2. Meteorology
  3. Human performance and limitation
  4. Instrumentation

First things, I decided about two months ago to move General Navigation to “mod 4” as it was taking far too much of my time. I am not a natural mathematician so I have to work hard on subjects like this. I feel I will be able to give it the time it deserves here.

So here comes the results.

1. Meteorology – 80% – This was the exam I was the most worried about as Meteorology is known as one of the hardest exams. Ironically I got a score of 80% in it which I am ok with as I put a lot of time into trying to understand the concepts.
If i had to have a resit on this i would have been gutted.
However as something you have to use all the time it’s worth trying to get your head around it.

2. Human Performace and Limitations-77% –
This subject has gone through so many changes in the last year.
You may hear people who did it a while ago talking about how easy it is. Forget that, this is not the same exam.
There are a lot of new questions that come up and new areas of study.

3. Instrumentation – 76% –Wow 1% over the minimum of 75%.
Another hard exam, there are a lot of concepts to get your head around and know. Quite a few new questions in the exam also.

While I would have liked to score higher, in the words of my instructor “A pass is a pass is a pass”.

3 down, 11 to go!

I have purchased module 2 and will get cracking on that next week, no rest for the wicked and all that!

ATPL Month 7: Revision

Just a quick update about ATPL Month 7: Revision.
Bristol Ground School
I have been revising over the last month as I am going to be sitting my first exams in the second week of January. I will be sitting Meteorology, Human Performance and Instrumentation.
It feels like I have been getting ready for the exams for a while but I am still a bit apprehensive about taking them. I feel that it is time to sit them regardless, and in a way I am looking forward to getting the first ones out the way.
The exam I am most worried about is probably Meteorology as I feel it is the hardest out of the three. I will be sitting Human Performance and Instrumentation one after the other on the Monday and Meterology on the Thursday afternoon.
Wish me luck!