Funny you say that. I heard an instructor say he hates having to grade us.I’ve found jets to be less stressful than Primary simply because there isn’t an invisible line you are worried about (read: “jet grades”). I show up, do as well as I can, ask questions if something wasn’t making sense and try to internalize that flights lesson.
In Primary, I spent so much time stressing out about “I got a 5 on this, but a 3 on this while my buddy got 4s on both.....” that I didn’t enjoy it at all. Every flight was me trying to beat MIF by more than my peers, and it added a lot of undue (self imposed) stress to each flight.
So far through jets, I’m just trying to beat myself. I know what I did on last flight, and try to improve flight to flight, irregardless of what the grade sheet says. It’s a subtle difference, but it has made flying a lot more enjoyable for me.
Hammer you have prior flight time? Just curiousThanks for adding this man. These are definitely hard truths. Luck is major factor - the draw with sim instructors and that you'll fly up to 14 flights with your on-wing, which can be a gift or a curse.
I second living with buddies with minimal distractions. A good method is to find dudes in your API class that are heading to the same place. I had two roommates which meant we always had someone for practice sims and studying.
From what I saw, prior flight time can a huge boost. It can also bite people in the ass. Being good at comms, instruments, and landing the airplane early on are game changers. However, the majority of dudes that I saw DOR were prior-time guys. They either weren't having fun or were overwhelmed with the challenge of primary. The highest NSSs I saw were also from guys with only IFS experience. These guys were committed to the practice sims and internalizing the knowledge. For the most part though, prior guys all wound up doing well. If you can combine manic work ethic with a solid foundation of flight time, then the sky is the limit.