Need some help choosing an online ground school

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by vkumar, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. vkumar

    vkumar Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi Pilots Of America, I took my first flying lesson this morning, and really enjoyed it. I'm now looking into ground school programs, and need some advice. My FBO does offer a ground school program at the airport every week, but I don't have the time to do that, and would rather do something online, so I can do it on my own pace.

    I've found Gleim's, Sporty's, and ASA's. I found King's course for $500 something as well, but unless there is some reason to justify spending so much more than for the others, I don't see myself buying that one. It looks like I was looking at the most expensive King course, they have a cheaper one for around $279.

    Does anyone have any experience using any of these programs? Which would you recommend?
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017
  2. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I realize you said you don't have time for the school's ground school, but I feel it would be a great benefit if you could find a way to attend.

    Sounds like you've found most of the courses. Others to take a look at include AOPA and Gold Seal, which is operated by a POA member. Take a look at Gold Seal, I think you'd like it.
     
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  4. Sinistar

    Sinistar Line Up and Wait

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    That's too much for the King ground school. That $500 must be for a larger package. I thought the basic King Ground school was a little over $200.
     
  5. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

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    I can only speak for Gleim, which is used in parallel for Private with in person ground school, my Instrument (online only) and commercial (online only), and have no complaints. I got over 90% or better on all three, and the price is very reasonable. You can even get the books to read through as well in the Deluxe Kit (which I did and recommend) and it is very reasonable. I think it's like $200.

    My 2 cents. I'm sure there are some other good opinions out there as well.
     
  6. vkumar

    vkumar Filing Flight Plan

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    Yeah, looking again at the packages, I see that the King basic package is around $200. Thanks.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
     
  7. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There is also MzeroA.com. You pay per month there with a few different subscription options. I haven't used his paid services but find all his free info he puts out there to be very beneficial.

    I honestly think there is enough free information on various sites and youtube to get by without having to pay for anything. I use the FAA's flying handbook (free) as well as the ASA study materials (cheap) and have felt prepared for most of my lessons. Just takes a little more time to find what you need.
     
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  8. Pnwannabe2

    Pnwannabe2 Pre-Flight

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  9. Ben

    Ben Pre-Flight

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    I really enjoyed the king courses. Just make sure you print off all the materials at the beginning. I spent a couple lessons frustrated that I was supposed to mark figures on a digital chart, then realized that the expectation was that I print and use a pencil. Whoops.. I'm not very smart.
     
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  10. ACG

    ACG Pre-Flight

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    The King course that I used is called "Cessna Sport/Private Pilot Course". It's an online course that now lists for $384. Retail was $379 when I purchased but I got it for $310 as it was on sale. It worked well for me.
     
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  11. vkumar

    vkumar Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for your input.My instructor said he would be more than happy to review the curriculum from the book and course I will buy. Would there still be a benefit to attending the ground class?
     
  12. vkumar

    vkumar Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for your reply. Would you say the course is more geared towards learning the material or passing the exam. I know some courses are market as pass the exam quickly, but since I have no real knowledge, I would like a comprehensive course which will give me a good ground school education and teach me the material to pass the exam.
     
  13. Sinistar

    Sinistar Line Up and Wait

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    Yeah, being able to ask questions and meet babes!
     
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  14. CJ Rader

    CJ Rader Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm using the same course and paid the same list price. Seems to be a good course, but I haven't compared it to others. Some of the videos are a little 'magoo', but they're still educational.
     
  15. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    If your flight instructor contacts King Schools he may be able to get a discount on a package for you.

    I wish you all the best on your aviation adventure.
     
  16. Sinistar

    Sinistar Line Up and Wait

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    I thought the King course explained things pretty good. But not in detail or theory - if that is what you're after. You will find with the King series, that each set of questions and the sample exams are identical to the actual written test. By the time you are done you will have answered well over 800 questions. The actual test will something like 70 from that bigger set. I have no doubt that many a pilot has just answered these questions until they are almost automatic, then go take the test and get a passing score. To many, that test is just a item to check off the list to become a pilot.

    One thing to keep in mind, after you take the written, whatever question areas you missed will need to be reviewed by a CFI and signed off prior to you being able to take the check ride. I'm not sure if the King schools can handle that post written review since my instructor did it.
     
  17. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Beat me to it. :)
     
  18. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    I took the Kings course for instrument and liked it.. passed my written the first time no problems. I assume their format is very similar for private, commercial, etc. I would take their course for future ratings

    Pros
    -it was very immersive
    -helped to understand the concepts vs just memorize them
    -broken into small 5-15 minute modules so very easy to digest and work through at your own pace
    -quizzes at the end of each section and TONS of questions in the question bank.. my IR course I think had 964 test questions?
    -each question has a detailed explanation of why the correct answer is correct, and you can also live chat if you are really stumped on something

    Cons
    -it was very very cheesy.. hard to describe, but if you watch it you'll know what I mean. If you've ever watched the introduction to "Tom Goes to the Mayor" then that's basically what it was like
    -some it seemed very old, as in, filmed in 1976 old.. which is fine, but it did make me worried about the material being up to date
    -they spent a TON of time on IFR charts (good) but I think they spent too much time on VFR PPL flight planning and not nearly enough time on approach plates and the wonderful world of FAR/AIM.. I would cut the flight planning section down by 80% and instead add more approach plate and scenario based stuff to it and more time on the FAR/AIM.. at least in my actual IR training that's where I felt most weak. I am not sure what rating you are working on, assume PPL, but just a heads up that the amount of time and effort Kings spends on a particular topic may not correlate to the number of questions you'll see on the written or what your actual instructor will focus on


    General feedback on any course:
    -Take enough practice tests until you are scoring solidly in the high 80s and low 90s. You want to give yourself a solid 10 pt buffer to account for the oddball questions and the added stress/anxiety you may get on test day
    -Don't just memorize the answers for the purpose of passing the written. You want to understand the concepts so you can move through your actual flight training quicker and be more prepared for your oral


    P.S. - I've heard Sheppard is the cheapest and best at just getting you to pass the written.. but people have said that it doesn't really help you to understand the course.. so while you may pass the written fine it won't really help you during actual flight lessons, oral, in real life flying, etc. I haven't taken it though so this is just based on what I've heard and read
     
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  19. CJ Rader

    CJ Rader Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Those vids in the King course are something else, aren't they.. :D
     
  20. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Personally I think so, but as you see, a lot of ways to get it done. Do what you think you can, one is probably as good as the other. A ground school offers feedback between instructor and students, as well amongst the students themselves. Sometimes someone asks a question you thought you understood, and then when the instructor explains it you were wrong.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  21. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Also.. for PPL I did not take any groundschool, just read the books. If you are really into aviation and flying and have a passion for it then your nose is probably already deep into various aviation books anyway, so I found the PPL stuff fun and easy to read and learn on my own

    IR is another story, once you get into "well FAR 91.175 part J clearly limits procedure turns to..." then I think you get into the realm of requiring a proper ground school course
     
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  22. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

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    So did your instructor just sign you off to take the written then?
     
  23. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, I remember doing a bunch of mock oral testing with him and then he signed me off. Thinking back on it, maybe he just wanted to charge me ground time? Either that or I was more stubborn in those days "I can this on my own!"

    Realistically, I would highly recommend proper ground schools to anyone, regardless of the rating they're seeking
     
  24. eman1200

    eman1200 Final Approach

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    Me too for ppl, just studied. Not sure that’ll work for IR for me but then again I may just stay VFR.
     
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  25. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    :yeahthat:
    I did the self study with free FAA materials as well. I think I had $12 into an ASA written test prep book as the extent of my ground school.(that book includes the instructor sign-off). Well, and the paper E6-B and plotter and a hour or so on the ground with my CFI on bad weather days.

    I probably got lucky that my CFI was a ground school instructor also so he explained stuff pretty well on the ground before each flight.
     
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  26. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Mine had me show him all my study materials and what I worked on. Asked me a few questions, asked if I was ready, then signed me off. We are part 61.
     
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  27. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I bought a textbook and read it.
     
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  28. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    Gold Seal is a complete course, not just a written test prep program. Take a look at the curriculum and you'll see that it covers everything, not just the knowledge test topics. It will generate a signed endorsement to take the written test, but is good all the way through to your checkride. 100% money-back guarantee of satisfaction, too. Sign up and take a free test drive to see how you like it.

    One more point: Your instructor can join for free and monitor your progress. Great way for him/her to give you homework assignments if he is so inclined.
     
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  29. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    I used Gleim for my Private Pilot. My instructor had me bring my computer (Gleim software) and take a practice test in his presence. Since I scored in the mid-90's he signed me off.

    For my instrument, I took a 3 day intensive and the instructor who lead that signed me off after I passed two practice exams using Dauntless software on my iPad.

    John
     
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  30. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’ve been using the ASA online ground school. It’s been really good for me.

    Although I have done some one on one time with my CFI to cover stuff I don’t quite get. It’s very helpful and worth it to be to talk through things instead of just relying solely on the online stuff.
     
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  31. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    There’s a glut of online and offline ground school material.

    Since nobody has mentioned it, all of the commercially produced materials are based off of the free FAA publications.

    If you’re a solid self-studier free is hard to beat. Can always buy something later to augment the free publications. Might as well read the FAA stuff for zero cost, other than downloading it, anyway.
     
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  32. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    I took a written boot camp for the written at MzeroA. Served me well I believe.
    I made sure I understood everything and knew the material not just memorized it. And it is an informative course, not just a bunch of questions with answers.
    Never took any formal online Ground School. Just did a lot of research and learning on my own. I feel like I learned several different things along the way too.
    But if you just want to get through it , a dedicated program is probably good for you.
    And if you just want to cut through all of the possibilities and want solid recommendations I could not agree more that Kings or gold seal either one would be a sure bet.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  33. Daniel L

    Daniel L Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Wow i want to thank the op for this post. I am at the cusp of wanting to dive into ground school work.

    Im a solid self study sort of guy and... if its free its me.

    Aviation isn't cheap so i will use what's out there to learn. And I've seen flight school style vids on youtube.

    My cfi wants to so some ground instruction too. I believe i will be covered.

    Sent from my cheap plastic brick using Tapatalk
     
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  34. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    Yea, get those main 2 FAA pdf's on your phone and you'll have plenty to read at your fingertips at any time.
     
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  35. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Between myself and all the students I've had over the years, King school as NEVER let me down

    Lots of samples of their stuff on YouTube, and not saying nothing but some of their stuff can be found on...discount websites too
     
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  36. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Not only wants to, but has to... which you’ll learn as you study the regs... ;)

    Just remember the more stuff you know, the less time the CFI has to spend, and they have to cover it all, but being prepared helps a whole lot.

    I’m sure all the CFIs here can tell stories of “that one student” who had to be spoon fed every piece of aeronautical knowledge, and how many hours it took.

    Don’t be that guy/gal. ;)
     
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  37. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    If you like self study also check out Cyndy Hollman videos on YouTube.
    Dry as a bone but she does a decent job explaining things and pretty much covers all the ground School basics.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
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  38. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    Whatever you do....DO NOT go to controller.com or trade-a-plane.com unless you want to add weeks or months to your study time ;)
     
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  39. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    Future poll: Do you spend (aka waste) more time on airplane sales sites or PoA!
     
  40. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    POA definitely! ;)