Exam writing tips

Physical and Mental Preparation

  • Do not “cram” especially the morning of the exam.
  • Try to duplicate the exam environment when you study (e.g. do not study in bed).
  • Write a practice exam.
  • Do you need an appointment to write the exam?
  • Organize tools the day before the exam.
  • Get plenty of sleep and eat properly.
  • Limit caffeine intake.

Getting There

  • Allow extra time/plan to arrive early.
  • Plan route/drive slowly.
  • Dress comfortably.
  • Consider availability of parking.

What to Bring

  • I.D., current medical, letter of recommendation, proof of experience and training.
  • Appropriate payment.
  • Pencils, eraser, navigation ruler, protractor.
  • Approved calculator, flight computer.

At the Counter

  • Confirm you have brought all the required items (see above).
  • Smile/be polite.
  • Ask questions/confirm any ambiguities.
  • Confirm you are writing the right exam (English, French, Both).
  • Confirm you have the correct appendices, maps, abbreviation list and dictionary.
  • Be prepared for delays at the desk.
  • Have a good attitude.

Getting Organized in the Room

  • Expect one-way mirrors or surveillance cameras.
  • Organize your tools/take a few deep breaths.
  • Write down formulae that you think you might forget.
  • Take time to read the instructions carefully.
  • Scan the entire exam before answering any questions.

Time Management

  • Make note of your starting time and keep track of your time as you go along.
  • Don’t rush.
  • Save time consuming and difficult questions until the end.
  • Don’t dwell on questions you are unsure of/keep going.
  • Save time for review at the end.
  • It is not necessary to fill out a flight log.

Getting Help

  • If you need help, ask right away (e.g. question is smudged, pen ran dry, computer or calculator broken, you need more paper, etc.).

Reading the Question

  • Read every word.
  • Read the question at least twice before answering.
  • Understand what is being asked/check for key words.
  • Cover the answers until your answer is formulated.
  • Draw a picture if it will help you visualize the situation.
  • If computations are involved, estimate the answer, then compute it exactly.

The Four Responses/Answering the Question

  • Consider each answer as a true or false statement.
  • Use a process of elimination.
  • Choose the most correct response.
  • Double check the number on the answer sheet.

“How Goes It” List

  • Do the easy questions first.
  • Make a list of unsure and unanswered questions.
  • Keep your eyes on the time.

Final Check

  • Answer all questions/do not leave any questions blank.