Not progressing on IFR learning

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by bflynn, Nov 28, 2020.

  1. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    I'm running low on my ability to progress on learning the IFR information for the test. Does anyone have suggestions on how to break past the plateau?

    I've used the King course, multiple sections of Pilot Edge and read many documents, most of which put me to sleep.

    At this point I'm pretty consistently scoring 60-70 on practice tests, so hey, I've learned 2/3 of it. My goal is 80+ and I'm just not moving forward. I don't have the most recent test, but I'm making mistakes across the board, there's no area that I feel really confident in.

    I'm somewhat opposed to a "drill and kill" course, especially since
     
  2. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There are almost always one or two subject areas when there are difficulties. It can affect everything else because it erodes your confidence. You need to target those in some way. The other thing I sometimes see is treating things as independent from each other rather that as part of a related body of knowledge, the old "can't see the forest for the trees."

    Sounds like you've done the self-study stuff as best you can. Sometimes it takes a live classroom or one-on-one session or two to put things together.
     
  3. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz En-Route PoA Supporter

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    For the test, I would suggest drill and kill. The Dauntless flash cards app works quite well for that.

    It is good to study and really know the material, as that helps in your actual flying. But to pass the test, I would just use Dauntless (or something similar).
     
  4. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Don't take any more practice tests or do anything you've been doing up until now. Go through all of my tutorials in order, one click at a time. Never click to advance unless you completely understand what was written. That means if you aren't familiar with an abbreviation or term you need to grab an FAA resource and look it up. Have an FAR/AIM handy. I assume you know lots of flying stuff at this point, beginning an IFR course, but nobody can know everything. So I aim for a middle ground of prerequisite knowledge. When you're finished, then resume taking the practice tests. My tutorials aren't made for "drill and kill", as you put it, for passing a test. They're made for relating the boring information you've been having trouble remembering to real-life applications, "scenario-based" in the vernacular of younger flyers, so you CAN remember by how, when and where you applied it for the first time. That not only prepares you for the written, but for the flight training too and most importantly for actual IFR flight beyond the rating because there's far more important stuff on those slides than just what will be on the written test. Stuff worth remembering: www.AvClicks.com.
     
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  5. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Sheppard Air the test.

    You are past the point of actually learning, and are stumbling on questions. In all likelyhood you are studying things that are either not on on the test, or are on the test but are not accurate on the test.
     
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  6. Jdm

    Jdm Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m not trying to be rude in anyway, but I think you’re just going to have to tighten up and spend more quality time with the material. Turn off the cell phone, shut the door, find a quiet place, chug coffee, or whatever works for you. I remember hitting a major road block on the ATP, but finally pulled it together and made a great score.
    I like using the old fashioned books. Every time I got one wrong I would stick a tab next to it. I had so many tabs! Each time through the book I would focus on the tabs, yanking them as I progressed. When all the tabs were gone I took the test. Made a 98
     
  7. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    How did you account for the wrong answers that are scored correctly?
     
  8. Jdm

    Jdm Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don’t understand. What wrong answers scored correctly?
     
  9. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    In the IFR and ATP question banks for the writtens, there are questions that are misleading as well as just flat out incorrect. A few of them in fact, there is no way to come up with the answer that the FAA says is correct.

    Its one thing to know the material well, which will likely get you a passing score. And if you don't draw those bad questions a very good score perhaps. But if you lose the draw, there are some very bad questions that all the studying in the world won't help you with.

    Which Is why I say, studying to know the material is one thing and studying for the written is another. Both are very important.
     
  10. Jdm

    Jdm Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I agree with the material vs test logic, but in this case the material is the test. Learn the test and get past it. There are plenty of examples as to how they derived the answers if you want to dig deeper.
     
  11. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    That's why nobody should try to get 100%. Some questions have wrong answers, as you point out. So, what's 100% prove to anybody other than you cheated? You should study for a broad understanding and be happy with a passing score. None of this watching videos over and over again and buying answer systems that don't cover the knowledge between the questions. Study first, then take enough practice tests to be comfortable, three should do it I'd think.
     
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  12. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Everybody is different, so I can only speak to what worked for me. I did ok with the Sportys videos for high level, initial learning. Read the instrument flying handbook and instrument procedures handbook. Bought and read the Jeppesen IR and commercial fixed flight discovery series. That good me to a place of pretty deep knowledge. All this while flying with CFII. Then bought the Sheppard Air package. Followed it to the letter. Got a 100 on the written. More flying witch CFII to get the required hours. Bought and have been studying the ASA oral exam guide relentlessly for a few weeks now. Did very well in my mock oral.

    Checkride is scheduled for Wednesday. I feel confident, but not cocky. I am, ready, but nervous. I am looking forward to the checkride, but respect the importance of it and the difficulty.

    To each their own, it that’s what got me to where I am in terms of preparedness.
     
  13. Eldorado

    Eldorado Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I agree with the recommendations to try another method, ie 3 day seminar, flash cards, hire a tutor. It helped me to have a study partner in which we taught each other and learned from each other while watching an old “preKing” video, where the instructor was videotaped using only a blackboard(1983) and some sample test questions.The back and forth, explaining, understanding, competing really helped. After 3 days of this, took the test without any other studying. Both easily passed with a total of 3 days. We would turn off the tape and discuss, before starting a new section. Of course, after passing the test, the real learning begins.
     
  14. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    Review the avclicks. For me that made some of the concepts that Escaped me stick much more easily. If you are consistently getting the same types of questions wrong then you don’t really understand that material. No biggie. Need to try relearning that info. Probably just got it mixed up and having Hard time resetting that info.
     
  15. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Always worked for me. King videos and Gleim for private and instrument, Sheppard for commercial.
     
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  16. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Thanks for the thoughts. This feels like a lack of breadth in the king course, I’m hitting things that I don’t remember ever seeing - was that not seeing or not remembering ;) . There is competition for attention going on too, work has been pretty harsh, need this break time.

    I’ll take a look at resources listed.

    I see I cut off the end of the original post. *since I really want to know this stuff, not just pass a test. Slow down, one thing at a time.
     
  17. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Cleared for Takeoff

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    I know you're asking about the knowledge test, but what I'll say here may apply anyway -- take it or leave it, I'll just throw it out there:

    Instrument flying is obviously very technical and a great deal of detail-oriented information must be kept top of mind. But as a pilot examiner, nearly all of my questions for the instrument rating ground portion (formerly known as the "oral") are built into practical and realistic scenarios which force the applicant to correlate knowledge rather than just recite information by rote. An unpleasant but necessary part of my job is occasionally having to issue a Notice of Disapproval during the ground portion of a practical test when it becomes clear the applicant can't do that. But in many cases they're hung up on what I perceive to be an "information retrieval roadblock." When I debrief flight instructors after these events I'll usually ask the CFI to look back upon the ground training provided to the student. I'll ask if the CFI, upon review of that training, could recall whether they required the student to "look up the answer" when he or she couldn't produce it. Usually, with a little digging, I'm able to determine that the ground sessions between instructor and applicant, regardless of the format they followed during the initial and intermediate stages of training, would ultimately resolve down to verbal quizzing in the days or weeks leading up to the practical test. And when the student would answer one of the instructor's questions incorrectly, the instructor would simply supply the correct answer.

    A far better method of learning and retaining knowledge is digging into the associated reference material and producing the correct answer when stumped. For many (certainly not all) of the questions on instrument rating ground portion of the practical test, it's acceptable to "look up the answer" or at least round out a mostly complete answer by referencing the correct FAA publication. But when the applicant doesn't know where to look for the answer in the myriad of available publications and is left completely stumped as to how to apply knowledge, the ground portion simply grinds to a halt.

    This is also a crude but effective way of ensuring every ground training session is "multi-channel," at least in a basic way, for the student. I'm a huge fan of multi-channel learning because it almost always works for any student if conducted properly. We all learn differently; some of us can simply read a textbook and "get it." Many of us could read that book fifty times and still not get it. We need someone to disambiguate information for us, i.e. an instructor, and/or we need the information to flow in and out of our brains via multiple learning paths. If we read, then discuss; discuss, then write; write, then draw; teach, then be taught to; ask questions, then be forced to find the information within the appropriate publication; at the right intervals and with the correct length of sessions, it's virtually guaranteed to be effective over time.

    The huge additional benefit to this method is that the student becomes comfortable "traveling" through the appropriate publications to retrieve information. The more time you spend in the publications, the easier they are to "navigate," and the more sense you'll be able to make of the general framework. This pays off handsomely during that stressful time in a practical test in which one is called upon to come with the correct answer to a question and needs to use FAA publications to do it.

    TLDR; Flash cards aren't enough. Look up the answer correctly and thoroughly whenever you're stumped. Get a buddy and exchange information verbally, in writing, by drawing, and by quizzing each other.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  18. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  19. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Take a week or two off. Do something else. Don’t even think about IFR. Self ban yourself from here if you have to. Then jump back in with a clear head.
     
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  20. Adventure Aviator

    Adventure Aviator Pre-Flight

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    As others have said, you can use sheppard air to increase your score on the written exam, but you need more than that to pass the oral. Ryans post is a good one and this is how most DPEs are conducting exams these days. It is a bunch of information, but you need to know it to be safe and an effective IFR pilot. I found that having an instructor that could put the information into context was very helpful, and with so many instructors that don't have thousands of hours of real world flying it is hard for them to do that.

    My last and final IFR instructor flew in Vietnam and missions over the north pole watching for Russian invasions. He could take any of the material from the FAR/AIM and put it into a real world example for me, and that helped tremendously. Want to understand why all the background behind the lost comms procedures, he gave me a story where he lost everything electronic in IFR and the ground was not visible until several hundred feet AGL. It made things click for me and helped me get past the rote part of the learning.
     
  21. Lndwarrior

    Lndwarrior Line Up and Wait

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    Try writing it out.

    I really struggled with instrument training. The one thing that got me through it was writing out the issue. For example (yeah I know this sounds stupid, but I had an issue), the compass rose. I just could not get it into my head headings, reciprocal headings, figuring out holding entries, etc.. My solution was to write down everything I knew about the compass rose and how it was used in IFR flight. I had started writing a blog just so I could access this info. anywhere. I had no intention of trying to get people to view my blog (for which I was very successful!).

    Writing down everything I knew, or could research, on a small topic helped me retain it into my thick skull. You can see how I wrote out my compass rose issue here: https://garysflyingadventures.blogspot.com/2010/01/rose-by-any-other-name-will-still.html

    Not suggesting you create a blog but handwriting, or typing in Word, can make sure you have it for future reference.
     
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  22. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    Colonel Mustard, knife.
     
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  23. Kelvin

    Kelvin En-Route

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    How much flying have you done? Once I started flying, the questions started to make BIG sense...
     
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  24. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    I started on ifr a couple year’s ago and it was torture. None of it made any sense. When I picked it up this time it was trivial. Not sure why. Maybe experience, maybe motivation. Not sure if this helps any.

    someone here recommended this book when I started back up and it really did fill a lot of gaps for me. https://www.amazon.com/Instrument-Flying-Richard-L-Taylor/dp/0070633452
     
  25. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What exactly are you struggling with? Isolate the questions that you’re getting wrong and drill them down.
     
  26. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Take a break.

    Then you’ll have to drill and kill. There’s too much wrote memorization on that test that just has to be done that way until you can see how it works “in the system”.

    Motivation: study like it’ll kill you if you don’t know it. It might. :)

    I ended up setting work completely aside to finish mine after years of messing around with it. Total focus to completion.