High level learning

Course Introduction Guide

Course Introduction Guide

Course Introduction Guide

We are delighted that you have taken the decision to study with Orbit Groundschool – and hope you are looking forward to beginning your theory tuition. Below is some information about getting started with your studies.

Content

  • What do you need to get started
  • Loading your CBT software
  • Setting target dates for your modules
  • Maths, physics and KSA
  • Lesson format
  • Modules and exams
  • Progress tests and practice
  • Technical support

1. What do I need to get started?

Now that your registration has been processed, you will shortly receive an email with instructions to download our industry-leading training software, ATPdigital. For further details  – see no. 2 below.

The training materials you need will depend on the course you are studying and whether you have purchased a complete course. As a minimum, you will need the following:

  • An EASA approved calculator **
  • A mechanical navigation computer (that gives solutions for airspeeds over 300 KT.) We recommend the Airtours or Pooleys CRP-5
  • A fine tip marker (non-permanent) for use on your nav computer
  • Some drawing tools, including a pair of compasses
  • A protractor and a ruler
  • If your course includes the subjects Flight Planning and Monitoring; and/or General Navigation: a Jeppesen General Student Pilot Route Manual containing charts and plates used in these two subjects
  • If your course contains the subjects Mass and Balance, Performance and/or Flight Planning and Monitoring: hard copies of the appropriate UK CAA publications containing planning data and graphs (these are referred to as the ‘CAPs’).  Note, although the UK has now left EASA, these publications are still used to support the course of study, and equivalent material is used to support EASA exams.

Other than the CAPs, these can be used in all the exams.

** Approved calculators. The approved models for EASA exams are Casio FX 82 series or similar. Source https://orbit-groundschool.nl/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Austro-Control-Exams-Exam-Guide-2023-2024.pdf Other exam authorities may have their own requirements.

Check what you have received and, if anything is missing, contact us at Orbit Groundschool as your course provider as soon as possible.

2. Loading your CBT software – ATPdigital

ATPdigital is our CBT software of choice which you will use to study the lessons and complete all of the quizzes and progress tests throughout the course.

The licence you receive with the course entitles you to two installations of ATPdigital, which can be used on either PC or Mac (installations on an iPad app don’t get deducted from your available installations).

Download links along with guides on how to install and use ATPdigital can be found through the links below:

If you experience any problems when loading your software, please visit our developer and suppliers IT Support page: www.bristol.gs/support

3. Setting target dates for your modules

When you sign in to ATPdigital, the first page you’ll see is the Dashboard page. On the right-hand side of this page is your My Progress graph.

This graph will show you how far you should be through your course based on your Target Dates.

If you are studying as part of a Class, the Target Dates for your course will be set by your school. If you are managing your own studies you can edit your own Target Dates by clicking on Edit Dates on the top left-hand corner of the panel.

Once you start completing lessons you will see a second line appear which you can compare with the Target line to see how far ahead of/behind of schedule you are.

Orbit Groundschool is required to ensure that you have sufficient knowledge of maths and physics concepts before commencing your studies. We might address this requirement in other ways, in which case the maths and physics lessons and test will not appear in your course. If so, you should work through the math and physics lessons in the Math, Physics, and KSA module on the ‘My Course’ page before starting the rest of the course. Once you are confident in your math and physics skills, you can move directly to the progress exams. If you pass them (≥ 75%), the associated lessons will be marked as completed and you can continue. If you do not pass, you must make up the lessons and pass the lesson quizzes before you can retake the progress exam(s). If you prefer, you can still study the lessons before taking the progress exam(s).

Note, some partner schools ask us to separate maths and physics from KSA, so they will appear in separate modules.

KSA

If you are studying as part of an ATPL, MPL, or CPL course you will need to complete the KSA lessons and pass the progress tests before you attempt your final exams. The KSA elements of your course are contained in two modules: the lessons are in the Math’s, Physics, and KSA module (or KSA module if your school does not include maths and physics) that precedes the bulk of the course, and there is a KSA testing module at the end.

There is a single progress test in the first module; this will test your understanding of the pilot competency concepts described in the lessons. You may complete these lessons and the test at any stage. We recommend that you do them before studying the following modules.

The KSA testing module contains a mental arithmetic lesson.  Your school may allow you to complete the mental arithmetic unsupervised, in which case there will be a progress test in the module. Alternatively, they will make other arrangements for a supervised test.

The KSA testing module also contains a ‘summative’ progress test preceded by an explanatory lesson.  We recommend that you do not attempt this until you near the end of your studies, as it will draw on knowledge gained during your study of the ATPL or CPL material.

All KSA elements must be completed before your final exam.

5. Lesson format

At the end of most lessons, you are presented with a multiple choice quiz that tests your understanding of the lesson. You must complete the lesson quiz 100% correctly to record the lesson as complete. Each time the quiz is taken, the answer sequence is randomised.

6. Modules and exams

This is the breakdown of subjects and modules for the standard Orbit Groundschool ATPL course set as an example. The arrangement of subjects between modules may be different for your school, or if you’re on a different course. The table also shows the duration of and number of questions in the examinations.  Note, MPL exams are the same as ATPL exams. For details of ATPL(H)/VFR, PPL and BIR exams, contact info@orbit-groundschool.nl.

 

Subject

Licence

Exam duration

No. of questions

Module 1

061

General Navigation

ATPL
CPL

2:15
2:00

55
45

050

Meteorology

ATPL
CPL
IR
CB-IR

2:00
1:30
1:30
0:50

84
63
63
35

040

Human Performance and Limitations

ATPL
CPL
IR
CB-IR

1:30
1:00
1:00
0:35

48
35
35
16

033

Flight Planning and Monitoring

ATPL
CPL
IR
CB-IR

2:00
1:30
1:15
1:00

42
33
27
22

090

Communications

All

1:00

34

031

Mass and Balance

ATPL
CPL

1:15
1:00

25
21

Module 2

022

AGK: Instrumentation

ATPL
CPL
IR
CB-IR

1:30
1:00
0:30
0:20

60
40
20
12

062

Radio Navigation

ATPL
CPL
IR
CB-IR

1:30
0:30
1:00
0:40

66
22
44
24

021

AGK: Airframe and Systems, Electrics, Power Plant and Emergency Equipment

ATPL
CPL

2:00
1:30

80
60

010

Air Law

ATPL
CPL
IR
CB-IR

1:00
0:45
0:45
0:30

44
33
30
18

070

Operational Procedures

ATPL(A)
CPL(A)
ATPL(H)/IR
CPL(H)

1:15
1:00
1:15
0:45

42
30
40
32

081/2

Principles of Flight

ATPL(A)
CPL(A)
Helicopter

1:30
1:15
1:15

46
37
42

032/4

Performance

ATPL(A)
CPL(A)
ATPL(H)/IR
CPL(H)

2:00
1:45
1:15
0:45

45
28
35
20

 

7. Progress tests, practice, and exam questions

Multiple choice progress tests are inserted after each topic; topics may comprise of several lessons. Progress tests are more difficult than the lesson quizzes and longer, often containing up to 60 questions. The pass rate is lower, at 75%. You may take the progress tests as many times as you wish to perfect your scores and consolidate your learning. The answers are randomised each time and the system records all your test scores.

In addition to the quiz and progress test questions, you can access a built-in database of exam questions that are designed to match the EASA question bank as closely as possible. The options are either to search for a topic, to take a timed exam, to take an untimed exam, or to practise questions. When exams are requested they are generated so that they contain the correct proportions of content from each syllabus objective.

The software allows you to start working through the questions and then return to the subject later to look at either, the questions you have yet to attempt, those you got wrong, or all the questions again. ATPdigital will display the lessons by subject from the ‘My course’ page, to make revision easier once you have completed them.

8. Content updates and sending results

It is important to connect to the Internet on a regular basis throughout your study. This will allow you to receive lesson updates, new questions and ensure that your completed lessons/tests are uploaded to your official records on our servers.

You can see if you have any updates available by looking at the bottom left of the Dashboard page.

Clicking on the ‘Updates Available’ will take you to a screen where you can download the updates.

Next to this you’ll find the button which shows whether or not your completed lessons/tests have all been uploaded to your official records on the server.

If the button is green, this means that all of your results have been uploaded and your official records are up to date

If the button is red, this means that you have completed lessons or tests which have not yet been uploaded to your official records.

To upload your results, connect your device to the internet and then click on the ‘Sync’ button to run a manual sync.

9. FREE Question bank – BGSonline

As part of your course, you also get free access, for 12 months, to our industry-leading examination practice website, BGSonline. ATPdigital also contains the same database of
questions under the ‘exams’ function which can be used offline with less functionality.

  • Visit www.bgsonline.eu and log on using the same username and password you used to activate your copy of ATPdigital.
  • The exam type (licence or rating) is set automatically depending on your ATPdigital syllabus.
  • Your free subscription period will expire 12 months after you activate ATPdigital. However, you may renew it once for up to 12 months at a 50% discount on the usual subscription costs. The best way to use BGSonline is to study your course first then when you are preparing for your exams, practice papers on the BGSonline website. There are far too many questions for you to attempt to learn by remembering the questions, you really do need to have a sound understanding of the subject, which you can only gain by studying it.

Exam feedback – We would appreciate it very much if you would provide us with any feedback on the questions, as soon as you come out of your exams. The quality of BGSonline is dependent on the quality of feedback we get from our students who sit their EASA exams each year. Please email info@orbit-groundschool.nl

10. Technical support

You are entitled to 12 months’ free technical support for ATPdigital from the date of purchase.

If you experience problems with ATPdigital please start by visiting the IT Support page on our developer and suppliers website where you will find Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) as well as troubleshooting guides for ATPdigital on all available platforms.

If you are unable to resolve your issue on their website, email their support team on support@bristol.gs and do copy info@orbit-groundschool.nl in cc as well, or phone on +44 (0)1275 345913.

Please provide as much detail as possible and include screenshots if you can.

11. Revision courses

Our course materials will guide you through each of your two study (or three with PPL) modules until you are exam ready. Before those exams take place, we host a revision week that revisits the key concepts of each module and also includes the latest feedback from the exams, to make sure you are ready to take your exams with confidence. Revision weeks or brush ups are available completely online. These Revision weeks or brush ups are organised quarterly. Please refer to our website for the published dates.

We hope you enjoy your course and we look forward to hearing from you when you are ready to book your revision courses. You can do this by booking online through our Revision page at https://orbit-groundschool.nl/revision-weken/

Following the completion of your revision week, you can take your exams for the relevant module. Orbit Groundschool is an approved examination centre for Austro Control exams. We recommend booking your exams two to three months in advance.

Students aiming for an EASA licence can sit the exams with an EASA state of their choice. Please note you must pass all 13  exams within 18 months of your first exam sitting. On most occasions the revision week runs the week prior to the examination sittings, we recommend you go straight from your revision weeks into the exams, without a gap.

Please note that you must complete the ATPdigital lessons, quizzes and progress tests before attending the revision courses.

Please note – No refund will be payable if revision weeks are not attended within 18 months of the course purchase date as current and existing EASA legislation requires the entire training must be completed within a period of 18 months. This should include self study, quizzes, progress tests and completion of the mandatory revision weeks for the entire course.

12. Booking your exams – Austro Control

Orbit Groundschool is an EASA examination centre, so you have the benefit of sitting your exams with us, usually the week after completing your revision course, in a comfortable and supportive environment.

If you are on an approved course, your school is required to certify that you have completed all the study required. In practice, you should apply for the exams before you have finished the distance learning phase so we can monitor if you have satisfactorily completed the relevant module with all requirements*, to then sign you off, and lastly perform a final check that everything has been completed before you can attend our revision course.

We recommend you book the exams at least two to three months in advance to get the dates and venue you would like. For further information about the exam booking process please visit our website.

*Satisfactorily completed with all requirements: quizzes scored at 100%, and at least a score of 75% for each mandatory progress test.

13. Course completion

All modular advanced and professional theory courses should be completed within 18 months*, with the actual date of installation of the course materials as starting date. This includes both the completion of the self-study period and the quizzes, which require a guaranteed score of 100%. Progression tests must also be met with a score of at least 75%. Moreover, attendance in the virtual ‘revision & brush up’ sessions is mandatory for all subjects of the relevant course.

If necessary, the set period of 18 months may be extended under certain conditions.* These conditions will be further agreed together with possible solutions, e.g. in the form of some additional training.

After successful completion of the theory training, the EASA theory examinations may be attempted in accordance with the provisions of FCL.025 (b)(2).**

  *EASA Easy Access Rules for Aircrew (Regulation (EU) No 1178/2011), AMC1 to Appendix 3 (B)(c).
**EASA Easy Access Rules for Flight Crew Licencing (Part-FCL).