Study Tips for Your AMT Tests
It's the moment you have been waiting for! After years of studying or 18 or 30 months of "on the job" training, you're ready to take your tests and become a certified A&P mechanic! Congratulations!
But where do you begin?
Many times, when people are ready to take their tests, they open the study guide, see the 1,000 questions (I'm not exaggerating on that number either) on just the written, and then realize that they must also complete an oral and practical section. Then, on top of that, they remember that they have to do this for three subjects! This usually is when people freak out. I know I did!
So, how do you go about studying for each test without feeling like you're going to lose your mind and slowly watch humanity go up in flames?
Believe it or not, there are many things you can do and avenues you can try to help pass!
With that said, welcome to my "How to Guide."
Over the last couple of weeks, I have been asking many of my Instagram followers what advice they would give to someone studying for their test, and with a mixture of their comments, along with my knowledge of how to pass, this is what we came up with.
So, let's begin!
Make Yourself Comfortable
Whether, it's your General written test or your Powerplant oral and practical, setting yourself up with an environment aimed for success can help ease you into the process. It's listening to some relaxing music for some people. For others, like myself, it's making sure the room I am going to be studying is clean and free from distractions. This also means putting items like your phone away. The goal is to remove any distractions. However, as @leo_g_99 says, "Surround yourself with friends or family members that will help you study and be a positive influence.
Once this is done, as @yanet_manica says, "Organize everything."
Set a list for yourself of what subjects you would like to cover each day and how you will do it. When I was testing, I chose to study either two small sections or one large section each day. The only time frame I had set for myself was the day of testing. I never added any other time frame to memorize each section because I did not want the added pressure. However, if you feel that that is something that would work for you, do it.
With so much technology in the world, most people decide that they will skip the book and go straight to the ASA Prepware. With that, I say, hold your horses, Charlie! The Prepware may be great and all, but I have found that it makes it easy to over-analyze each question, and not in a good way!
Start with the book! To each their own, but I suggest blacking out the wrong answers. By doing this, you allow yourself to focus on only the correct answer. "But Elena, what if there are two questions with similar answers?" Well, this is why you read the whole question! Don't skim! Actually read the question and read the full answer! With 1,000 questions doing that might seem like a lot, but it is what guarantees that you learn it and memorize the right answer. If you happen to feel stuck when reading a question, do what @ melmood suggestion. "Don't overthink, and always keep an open mind" By relaxing and not over-analyzing the question, you can and will succeed!
After you feel confident enough with yourself and that section, NOW we head to the ASA Prepware. Take a test but only in that section (for example, if it's hydraulics, test only with the hydraulic question). When you can pass the Prepware test for that one section with a 100 (or a high A), the process begins all over again with the next subject.
When you feel confident enough with each section, test yourself on the Prepware with all the questions from each subject you have scored 100 on. Doing this will help keep the questions and answers from the previous subjects fresh in your mind as you keep moving forward.
When I first started testing for my oral, I grabbed the book and would look at the question and read the answer and nothing. Literally, nothing would happen. It's wasn't like the written for some reason; the information just wouldn't stick! So, what did I do? I made flashcards! In fact, I found these flashcards on Quizlet, and I printed them out (it took me hours) on flashcards, with the questions on one side and the answer and description on the other and then created labels for each section so I would know where one subject began and where it ended. I studied for my Oral the same way I studied for my written; one subject at a time. When I felt comfortable with the questions, I would then have someone test me. If I got more than three questions wrong within that subject, I would keep practicing until I got them all right. I slowly added each subject to the pile until I could answer them without getting any wrong.
Please note: it is essential to study the description along with your answer. @livtheging shared with me the importance of this on Instagram when she said, "On a few of my Oral questions, I forgot the exact wording for the question. However, I was able to explain the concept to the DME. Because of that, he knew I understood the concept and gave me credit."
If flashcards aren't your thing, I still suggest using Quizlet. You can find the questions, read them right on your phone, create games and quizzes for the questions, and lastly, have it read the questions and answers out loud to you. This can be very beneficial when you are driving or can't be looking at your phone, computer, or book, and you still want to study.
You can do several things to help you prepare for your practicals, so let's break it down.
Study with a buddy
@beerbearborky says, "Start learning early with a buddy. Doing this can help you gain the knowledge and feel less nervous on exam day." In fact, this is what I did. I had a buddy come over to the house who had just tested with the same DME I was going to test with, and he broke down each practical with me until I got them all down packed. It is what made a difference the day I had to test.
Believe it or not but there are videos on YouTube that you can find of people who break down the practicals. @type_wavy says that YouTube is your best friend if you need clarity on material from different perspectives. YouTube can help you understand the material and understand why you are doing something a specific way. All for references, of course.
Attend an FAA Exam Preparation Course
Not many people have heard of these types of classes, but they exist! They are courses that have been created to help students, like yourself, learn the required information needed to pass the practical portion of the exam. These come in handy for people who have been out of school for a long time and need a refresher.
You can Google "FAA AMT Exam Preparation Course" for a list of different places the provide this type of instructions or ask within your area for a facility that offers this type of training.
If you live in the South Florida region, I would suggest giving Rick Flores a call! He has his own school located here in South Florida called AMT Prep of Miami. I highly recommend him! He worked for a large commercial airline for many years and currently teaches at one of the South Florida AMT schools. You can reach him by texting him at (786) 368-7425.
Nothing worth having comes easy! If they wanted anyone to be an AMT, they would make it as easy as going to school and handing a certificate to you. But they don't! So believe in yourself! Take it one subject at a time. You got this! It is truly worth the struggle you are about to take on. You may not realize it now, but when you hold that certificate in your hands for the first time, you'll know exactly what I am talking about!
And don't forget, you have support! Whether it be your family, friends, me, or the thousands of other AMT's around the world. We are here to offer advice and support.
You got this! Now go rock these tests!
Advice from other AMT's
"You either know it or you don't. So don't stress." @jodimfbossier
"Just relax, believe in yourself, and before the test listen to music you like!" @thanasis.katsigiannis
"Make flash cards or use sticky notes and put them in places around your house to read." @chris.shaw44
"Hand write all the questions and answers. It helps with muscle memorization." @xrs54
"Study, but don't psyche yourself out on it." @joe_alonso14
"Take study breaks. It's easy to overload yourself." @jbailey129
"Study every day for an hour or 2. Study guides and Quizlet app/ flash cards helps a lot!" @ogcblast
"Study at a pace you feel comfortable with and have confidence in yourself." @williamlowery5
"Take it easy. Take breaks. Use music maybe. Study regularly and be consistent." @_pardeep6255
"Don't under estimate yourself. Go in positive and you will pass with flying colors." @lyfejourney76
"Don't over think the answer." @akoneida
If you have any other tips for someone looking for advice, add them to the comment section below!
Could you please share the Quizlet you used to make your flash cards? I’m old school and want something physical to study.