Nearly there: All the theory tests are done!

I passed my final PPL theory exam yesterday with a mark of 83% (minimum 70% pass mark). The exam wasn’t too hard, though there are a few areas I’ll need to work on (guided by the ominously-named “Knowledge Deficiency Report” which the computer spat out at the end). Our club CFI Bill said as much, telling me that he may grill me on these areas when we go for my final flight test.

The two final questions (out of 54) I flat-out guessed, as they both related to Threat and Error Management (TEM), a subject completely absent from the theory materials I’ve been working from. My CFI seemed a little dismissive of these questions, apparently regarding them as over-fanciful technical terms for basic good airmanship, but I’m not so sure and I will read up on this a little bit. Any handy references from readers of this blog post would be most welcome!

(I’ve started a TEM discussion thread on, check out the thread there if you’re interested, some good comments from the Downwind community).

I went into the exam feeling a bit undercooked in terms of preparation. I lightly revised the PPL theory material in the last fortnight, but it wasn’t a really heavy hitting-of-the-books. I’d meant to do the 3 Bob Tait PPL cyberexams I’ve still got access to, but (family) life got in the way and the nights I’d meant to devote to the sample exams slipped through my fingers. My wife Laura confidently told me that I’d nail the exam regardless, and I was in cautious agreement as I usually perform pretty well in theory exams. But for maximum comfort I’d always planned to do as many sample exams in the week prior as I could – well, it just didn’t turn out that way. But it’s done, I’ve passed, and as my CFI said, I wouldn’t have wanted to get 100% anyway else CASA would think I was cheating!

6 responses to “Nearly there: All the theory tests are done!

  1. Pingback: Nearly there: All the theory tests are done! (via MidLifePilot’s Flying Blog) « Calgary Recreational and Ultralight Flying Club (CRUFC)

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  5. Congratulations on passing your theory, I’m due to sit it within the next couple of weeks, have spent a fair bit of time in the boooks, and like you I’ve been trying to make time to undertake the Bob Tait CyberExams ( which I’ll be doing tonight come hell or high water). Interesting to hear about TEM as well – I’ve also not come across anything on TEM in my curriculum.
    Good luck with your check ride.


    • Hi Sean, many thanks for visiting! Good luck with your theory exams. I think the Bob Tait books are pretty good, certainly been my experience and the instructors at my schoo rate the Tait theory pretty highly.

      Talking to one of our Grade 1 instructors, TEM is for some reason I failed to fathom on the PPL test but not included in the standard PPL curriculum. Weird.

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