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Tips for Success on Transport Canada Writtens
Page 2

On Arrival

Be sure you have had a good night's rest and have arrived early with plenty of time. If you will be writing at a Transport Canada downtown examination centre, allow for traffic delays, time to find a parking space etc. If for example, your exam entitles you to 3 hours and you allow yourself only 2 1/2 hours, your are setting yourself up for a failure (some may brag to you about having done a test in "only 1 hour" or that "you never need the full exam time" - ignore such talk, these braggers have probably already failed their own test previously, or will fail in future if they follow their own advice). Assume that you will need every minute available. If you mis-calculate your time and Transport Canada gives you the option of sitting the test with less than the full time allotment, decline and return another day when you will have all the available time. If you are writing your aviation written examination at your flying school or club, under Transport Canada delegation of authority to the school (for Private Pilot examination or PSTAR), be clear on what time you will be there and ensure that the school will be able to administer your written by making any advance arrangements as your flying school/club may require.

Bring all the proper equipment and documents:

  • Flight Computer. Electronic or E6B according to your preference, just be sure you know how to use it (e.g. if your experience is with an E6B, don't use an electronic computer for the purposes of the test)! If using a scientific calculator having a memory function, the memory must first be cleared in the presence of the invigilator.
  • Written Recommendation. Recommendation from school is required for PPL, CPL, and Class IV Instructor. Not required for RPP, INRAT, IATRA and ATPL but in these cases you should bring proof of experience i.e. certified pilot logbook.
  • Protractor.
  • Navigation Plotter/Chart Rule. NOTE: Beware of cheap plastic aviation chart rules/plotters - the scales on many of these can be completely inaccurate. To verify whether your chart rule is accurate to scale, line it up against the scale printed on the chart and compare the scale measurements over a given distance - the chart scale itself will always be the most accurate. If your chart rule is inaccurate, use the chart scale itself to measure distances.
  • Pens, Pencils, Eraser.
  • Pocket Calculator. Square root function is useful for CPL, IATRA and ATPL.
  • Pilot Licence/Permit.
  • Aviation Medical. This must be in the appropriate category.
  • Photo Identification.
  • Watch/Timepiece.
  • Means of Payment. Written exam fees: flight crew licence exams have a fee of $105.00; for flight crew permit, rating/endorsement, exam for recency purposes or re-write following failure or partial pass, the fee is $35.00.

When you have signed in, ensure you have been given the proper exam. Double check that you have received all pages and parts of any supplemental appendices and charts or abbreviation lists.

Upon Sitting Down With Your Test

Note the start time and write down when you will have to stop based on your time allowance.

Lay out your equipment on the edge of the table and get organized.

Ignore the other candidates as they tackle their exams - this can be really distracting especially if others are "making a show" of how easily they can zip through the test, or making a show of how "brutally difficult" their test is.

Before logging in to start the exam, carefully look over the test materials to ensure all handouts and illustrations are present. Review carefully and ensure you follow all instructions that come with the test. Then read the instructions again, word for word. In the heat of the exam, it is easy to overlook some key data or instruction that is critical to scoring the point on a particular question. Then log in to commence the exam.

When writing an electronic exam, you have the ability to return to a question giving difficulty and make your answer selection later. Take advantage of this feature. You will also have a record of your available time remaining.

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