Guidance for Student PPL/LAPL Pilots


The guidance below is for student pilots undertaking training towards a PPL or LAPL (Aeroplanes or TMG), or a NPPL (SSEA or SLMG) Pilots Licence.

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The Requirements

The details below cover all Private Pilot Licence Courses including PPL(A), LAPL(A) and NPPL(SSEA, SLMG).

Course Information

There are some hoops you need to jump through in order to complete the necessary requirements for your licence and in addition to your flying training.

These relate to the study for and taking of the necessary official theoretical knowledge exams, and are explained as concisely as we can below.

You will need to study for, and pass a total of nine official exams. The subjects are:

In addition, you will also need to pass the following practical (oral) test:

  • Communications (Radio Telephony)
Pass Mark

The pass mark for each exam is 75%. This is also the pass mark for our own on-line exams associated with these courses.

Failures & Resits

You are allowed FOUR attempts at the official exam for a given subject.

If you fail to pass the exam for a subject FOUR times, you will need to undergo further training, and you will need to enter a 3 month cooling off period. All previous exam passes in all subjects will be declared null and void. In other words, you will have to start the whole exam process all over again for all nine subjects.


All of the exams must be passed within a period of 18 months counted from the end of the calendar month when you first attempted an exam.

For example:
If you sit your first exam on the 2nd June 2016, you would have until 31st December 2017 to pass all exams.

If you fail to pass all exams within the 18-month period, you will need to enter a 3 month cooling off period, and all previous exam passes in all subjects will be declared null and void. In other words, you will have to start the exam process all over again.

At the successful completion of all exams, all exam passes will remain valid for a period of 24 months dated from the last exam pass date.

Exam Locations

You may only sit exams at a location registered with the CAA.

These locations will also have approved Ground Examiners who will act as invigilator.

The exam location will normally be the same as your flight training organisation.

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How to Study

As is often the case, you can make life easy, or you can make life difficult for yourself.

We have an in-depth understanding of the level and type of knowledge required for each of the subjects you need to study for your goal.

The amount of knowledge you need to assimilate is dependent upon the subject in question. Some subjects also complement each other, so studying them in a certain order can be beneficial from both a learning convenience and understanding perspective.

Taking all these factors into account, along with our knowledge of training and learning abilities, we highly recommend you take note of our suggested study guide and exam order strategy below to assure yourself every chance of success.

Study Order Course
1 Air Law & ATC Procedures Buy Now
2 Operational Procedures Buy Now
3 Aircraft General Knowledge Buy Now
4 Principles of Flight Buy Now
5 Meteorology Buy Now
6 Human Performance & Limitations Buy Now
7 Navigation Buy Now
8 Communications (*) Buy Now
9 Flight Performance & Planning Buy Now

* There is also a Communications Practical (Oral) Exam with a Radiotelephony Examiner. You will need to have a separate revision/preparation session for this exam. We have put together our own (and highly successful) RT Practical Exam Preparation package for you! We regularly get feedback from RT examiners and students alike on how well this prepares pilots for this particular examination. You can find out more about our one-to-one tuition package on our RT Practical Examination Preparation page.

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