How to pass your PPL Exams – Plenty of prep and a calming exam environment are key to success

How to pass your PPL Exams – Plenty of prep and a calming exam environment are key to success

As part of the requirements for an EASA PPL, you must successfully pass 9 multiple choice theory exams to ensure you have sufficient knowledge of all aspects associated with your flying. The pass mark for the exams is 75% and we conduct them in house here at Flying Pig & Elstree Helicopters. The 9 subjects are:

  • Air Law
  • Human Performance
  • Communications
  • Operational Procedures
  • Meteorology
  • Aircraft General Knowledge
  • Flight Performance & Planning
  • Principles of Flight
  • Navigation

In order to take your exams, you must first be recommended by an approved training organisation (ATO), such as Flying Pig & Elstree Helicopters, who will ensure that you have completed the appropriate training and that your theoretical knowledge is to a satisfactory standard. A recommendation by an ATO to take your exams will be valid for 12 months.

All 9 exams must be successfully completed within 18 months, counted from the end of the calendar month in which you first attempted one of the required exams. EASA regulations state that all theoretical knowledge exams must be completed in six exam sessions, meaning you will need to attempt and pass more than 1 exam per sitting.

Prior to undertaking your first solo flight, you will need to have successfully passed both your Air Law and Human Performance exams and ideally, prior to completing any solo navigation flights, you will have completed the Navigation and Flight Performance & Planning exams. There is no set order that dictates which subjects you should study first. Generally, your instructor will guide you and let you know what you should be studying depending on where you’re at with your flying.

After having only had the opportunity to sit 4 out of the 9 exams here so far, I can tell you that in my experience, as long as you read the study material and do the practice questions, you shouldn’t have a problem passing the exams. The exams are taken in an informal setting here at the Flying school, so for those of you that may not have studied for quite some time, there really is nothing to be concerned about. This was a welcome change for me, having taken the Commercial exams in Australia in a very strict setting.

If you find you need some additional help with your studying, we have highly knowledgeable instructors here at the Flying school at the ready for private ground school tuition to get you ready to sit your exams. We also hold an informal ground school night at the Aerodrome every other Tuesday where past and present students can chat about their flying experiences over a slice of pizza.

If you’d like any further information regarding ground school or sitting your PPL exams, don’t hesitate to contact our Student Liaison, Harriet, on 0207 118 8998, or email

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