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API Studying

MiracleWhip

New Member
Hello everyone,

I recently picked up API and was hoping some of y’all who have gone through can shed some light. I picked up my pubs last week, and find that there is a ton of information in these books to properly retain that fast without missing things here and there.

My question is, if I were to simplify it and went through every ELO and answered them and skipping the other portions, will that be enough to pass?

The reason I ask is because during TBS, I was told to study only the ELOs for the exams. But when I took the phase exams there were quite a few questions that weren’t listed in the ELOs. It wasn’t until I read every page that I started to get high 90s.

Thank you all so much. I am just looking to find an efficient way to study, as many of y’all have recommended!
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
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Super Moderator
Contributor
“Efficient way to study” is the right attitude. From now through wings, you’ll be continually handed a lot of info to learn and not enough time to learn it. Key to success is figuring out exactly what you need to know, and getting it in your head as efficiently as possible.
First, don’t bother trying to learn the pubs before you start class. Read them through and get a general familiarity with the material but that’s all. There are entire chapters of some of the pubs which have, maybe, two or three things you actually need to know.
Pay attention in class and annotate any points the instructor makes. Whether you take notes or highlight the pubs, whatever works for you, but if the instructor makes a point of emphasizing it, write that shit down.
Get a study group. Get. A. Study. Group. And if the first group you get doesn’t work for you, find a new one.
Share gouge in and among your study group. Use the gouge. Yeah, yeah, I know; live by the gouge, etc. Use it - don’t rely on it. There are a lot of old versions of exams floating around out there. Study them. It will focus the areas you need to study. The exams are different, but the material’s the same; it’s still clouds and engines and wings and Class B airspace. Only so many ways to ask about them. Once you’ve seen five or six versions of a question, the seventh isn’t likely to throw you. Plus it gets you used to the format of the questions (“All of the following are true of (thing) except...”)
API’s not hard. There’s nothing in the material that’s really difficult to master, at all. It’s just a lot of info to learn in a short amount of time, which is a skill not everybody has, but one you need for the Program.
Good luck, and don’t forget to unplug and go out and have fun sometimes.
 

MiracleWhip

New Member
Thank you sir! I appreciate it. What I have been doing (only my third class so far) is to print out the ELOs from the beginning of the book and answer them as I follow along. Anything I may have missed that the instructor goes over, I annotate on my notes. For the most part, I’ll omit the rest. Would you recommend this strategy?
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Thank you sir! I appreciate it. What I have been doing (only my third class so far) is to print out the ELOs from the beginning of the book and answer them as I follow along. Anything I may have missed that the instructor goes over, I annotate on my notes. For the most part, I’ll omit the rest. Would you recommend this strategy?
Honestly I think you’re focusing too much on the ELOs. As I recall from my time as an instructor, only about 30-ish% of the ELOs were covered in the exams. Albeit that was a few years ago now.

But at the end of the day, the right technique is whatever works for you. Some guys get through looking over their notes the night before in front of the TV. Others - like me - had to study their asses off.

Just keep in mind that the purpose of API is only partly to actually teach you Aviation stuff. I think the more important purpose is to get you into good study habits and memorization techniques that you’ll need once you get flight side.
 

Swanee

Self aware since 2014
pilot
Contributor
Get a study group. Get. A. Study. Group. And if the first group you get doesn’t work for you, find a new one.
As the XO of the USMC UAV initial school and FRS, I can't stress this enough.

90% of our attrites studied by themselves.



Also, don't get caught up on ELOs and TLOs. The way TECOM runs schools (like TBS) through MCTIMS vs how aviation schools are run is completely different.

For API, study with a group, find an instructor when the group can't answer a question, and never leave a class without all of your questions answered.
 

AllYourBass

Unusual Vibration Salesperson
pilot
I'm going to throw a plug for using spaced-repetition software like Anki, Memrise, Brainscape, etc. I've used Anki to get through everything from college to my yearly NATOPS checks and it was absolutely vital to my aircraft commander process. I used it all throughout IFS/API/Primary/Advanced/FRS/Fleet (I can't count how many people across how many squadrons are using my current deck).

I'm partial to Anki because it's the one I started with and still use, but its features can be a little user-unfriendly and it isn't super conducive for group studying. I think Brainscape and maybe Memrise allow you to create collaborative online decks, so your whole study group could each take a chapter and make flash cards out of the whole pub. Then you can access those cards on your computer, on your phone, in bed, on the shitter, waiting in line, etc.
 

Uncle Fester

Robot Pimp
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
Whatever method you use to study, test it against the old gouge exams floating around out there. If it doesn’t seem to be sticking, change up your study methods until you find something that works. Don’t wait until you flunk an exam.
 

MiracleWhip

New Member
Thank you gentlemen. I was under the impression that ELOs and TLOs were a recurring thing, since I mostly used it during my very short time in the military for OCS/TBS. I now know to broaden my focus if only 30% ish is pulled from it. I really appreciate the help, and happy holidays!
 

Birdbrain

Well-Known Member
I'm about to finish API and all of the above advice from the winged gentlemen helped me succeed in academics, especially the flashcards for ELOs and study groups. I detested flashcards in college because they are tedious and in API I sucked it up and just did them to my benefit. Both of those study tools are outstanding assets in learning the pubs.
 
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