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Student Wellbeing Resources


Studying can be stressful. It’s ok to seek help if you’re struggling.

Speak to your instructor or anyone else you feel comfortable speaking with. Communication is key – we can’t help if we don’t know what you need! While your instructor is not a therapist, they may be able to help you manage your study situation with consideration to your life outside of flying.

We will do our best to work with you to help you achieve your goals.

Maintaining your overall wellbeing while you study will help improve study outcomes. This includes things like managing stress, getting enough sleep, eating well, and creating healthy relationships.

Some quick tips:

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Monitor your media consumption – you control your Facebook or Instagram news feeds, which emails you receive or open, what you watch, and what you read. Remove anything that doesn’t make you feel good.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Find a friend to open up to.
  • Eat well.
  • Schedule time for fun stuff.

Everyone will experience their own set of challenges while studying. The best thing about this modern world? It’s easy to find tools to help you with anything!

Here are some places to start: has a series of online courses to help you develop strategies to improve the way you feel. Each course is backed by clinical research and trials. Some are free for anyone to complete, others come with a fee (or can be free if prescribed by an affiliated medical practitioner). is a website developed by the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and beyondblue. It “aims to support Australian tertiary students to achieve mental and physical health and wellbeing.” The website has modules for checking your wellbeing and tips for improving it. It’s free to create a profile, and you can check in regularly to track your wellbeing status.

ANU’s “Mental Health & Wellbeing” page includes tips on sleep, mindfulness, managing exam anxiety, procrastination stoppers, living away from home, and relationship resources.

An Introduction to Mental Fitness and Self-Improvement is an online workbook written blog-style by a registered psychologist for students wanting to improve their wellbeing and “be good at their studies.”

*all links correct at time of publishing. If you have trouble with them, please try Googling the relevant university.

And no matter how you may be feeling, remember that you are not alone.

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Working in Aviation: CPL

A Commercial Pilot Licence is a minimum requirement to work as a pilot.

You need to complete a course of flight training with a Part 141 or Part 142 flight training organisation. Depending on where you go and how often you can fly, you can do this in 150 or 200 hours (see our previous post about integrated vs non-integrated CPL training).

CPL training includes theory, basic general flying, as well as cross-country and instrument flying.

Things to know before you start

Age requirements: you need to be 15 to fly solo, and 16 to get a licence. You can start flight training before 15 but keep in mind it generally takes only 10-15 hours to get to solo standard. You will need to be 18 to get a CPL.

Medical requirements: you will need a valid medical to fly solo. To obtain a CPL, you will need a Class 1. It’s a good idea to get one before you start training, just to make sure you can.
More information about medical certificates here.

English language requirements: to fly solo and to sit your CPL flight test, you must be able to prove your ability to communicate in English.
More information on this here.

CPL exams and testing

Training towards a CPL is more than just flying.

There are a series of exams and flight tests that you will need to pass in order to get a CPL.

The first exams are for pre-solo and pre-area solo. These are short written exams that we conduct in-house to check your knowledge before sending you on solo flights at certain points in your training.

The next exam you will do is the RPL exam. You must pass this in order to complete an RPL flight test. While it is not a requirement to obtain an RPL before your CPL, we do highly recommend it. It’s a much shorter flight test, but gives you an idea what your flight tests are like – the prep work involved, process, etc. Having an RPL will also mean you can take passengers on some of your hour building flights. Much more fun than doing all those hours alone!

There are 7 CPL theory exams. You can study the theory yourself if you have a self-learning course or you can attend classes at a flight training organisation. If you are completing an integrated training course, the theory training is incorporated into the CPL training course.

The following are the CPL exam codes and their corresponding subject-parts:

CNAV – CPL Navigation (common to Aeroplane & Helicopter)

CMET – CPL Meteorology (common to Aeroplane & Helicopter)

CHUF – CPL Human Factors (common to Aeroplane & Helicopter)

CLWA – CPL Flight Rules & Air Law (Aeroplane)

CADA – CPL Aerodynamics (Aeroplane)

CSYA – CPL Aircraft General Knowledge (Aeroplane)

CFPA – CPL Operation, Performance & Flight Planning (Aeroplane)

Information about what materials can be taken into each exam here.

The theory exams must be completed within a two-year period to remain valid.

And the final step…

CPL flight test

Before you can do your CPL flight test, you must meet certain requirements.

You will need a pass mark for the 7 CPL subjects, as well as completing the relevant Knowledge Deficiency Reports.

You also need to meet the following flight experience requirements:




Aeronautical experience



Flight time as pilot



Pilot in command flight time



Pilot in command cross-country



Dual instrument time



Dual instrument flight time



The CPL flight test will be at least 2.5 hours long. Before the flight, you must pass a ground component with the examiner.

TVSA recommends budgeting for 3.5 hours for the flying portion of the test.

Finding work once you have a CPL

You have several options once you have a CPL. Some include:

General Aviation – work doing things like survey, fire-spotting, scenic, and charter flights.

Networking is crucial for finding a job in Aviation. It’s important to make sure you maintain a good reputation, even during your training.

Flight Instructor – complete an Instructor Rating and find work teaching others to fly. See our previous post about becoming a flight instructor for more information about this pathway.

To open up more opportunities, you could add on ratings and endorsements. Two common ones are the Instrument and Multi-Engine Class Ratings. These can be done separately, or together in (for example) our AVI50519 Diploma of Aviation (Instrument Rating).

If you want to fly as pilot-in-command or co-pilot in a multi-crew operation, as well as holding the appropriate aircraft rating, you must have completed an approved course of training in multi-crew cooperation.

A CPL holder cannot be pilot-in-command of:

  • an aircraft engaged in multi-crew charter or regular public transport (RPT)
  • an aircraft certified for a single pilot with a MTOW of more than 5700kg in RPT
  • a turbojet aircraft with MTOW greater than 3500kg in RPT.

You must hold the appropriate aircraft category on your CPL and the class or type rating for the aircraft you want to fly.

More information:



Flight Examiner Handbook:

TVSA Nationally Accredited Training:

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The Art of Note-Taking


Note taking helps you make meaning from a text or briefing.

It’s important to summarise sections in your own words to check your understanding of it.

Write out key words and definitions. In some cases, you might like to create a quick reference list. You could do this from the back of your notebook.

Let’s be real, note taking during briefings is an art form – it’s not just about how fast you can write. The trick is filtering the key points and only writing those down.

A big part of effective note taking while in a briefing is how well you listen.

Listening tips:

  • Concentrate.
  • Analyse the message. Connect each concept to the bigger picture.
  • Take any lapses in the flow or breaks as an opportunity to make sure you have understood the key points.
  • Ask questions. If you don’t feel comfortable raising your hand mid-briefing, write them down to ask later.
  • Be objective. Try not to let your personal opinions of the person speaking cause you to miss the important lessons.
  • Find a motivation. If you don’t find the speaker or topic particularly interesting, concentrate on what value you can get out of the briefing.
  • Stay physically alert. You should be comfortable but not so relaxed that you are not engaged. This will also produce a better talk from the speaker – they will naturally respond to signs of your engagement.

Try to ignore the urge to copy everything off the slides. Instead, listen for the key points and write those down.

Develop your own shorthand, abbreviations that you understand can help you speed up your note taking. This will develop as you practice. It doesn’t have to be perfect or consistent – you’re the only one who has to be able to understand it later!

Review your notes later that day. Edit them to make sure you will be able to understand what they refer to later.

Writing has been proven to be more effective for memory retention than listening or reading. Anytime where you are actively creating, the information sticks in your memory better. This includes speaking aloud, drawing, and writing. Try reading aloud when you are going through your textbooks or Flight Training Manuals.

Handwriting is more effective than typing because you are more actively involved.

Rewriting your notes can help – this might be just making them neater, or you could expand on them by pulling together information on the same topic from different sources (e.g. write all your information about stalling from briefings, FTM, and textbooks into one section of your notebook). Use headings and subheadings to help organise ideas.

Compare your notes with a friend – they may have understood something more fully than you did.

Don’t be afraid of colour! Different coloured pens or highlighters can be a very effective way of both breaking up your notes and helping you find things later. You might like to colour code information – perhaps highlight in yellow things you struggle with and need to go over more regularly.

Do your own research into note taking styles – a quick Google search will find heaps of options and tutorials. Some methods include:

  • Cornell Method: divide each page into sections, one for notes, one for cues, and one for a summary
  • Outline Method: categorise information by levels of importance
  • Charting Method: create a matrix to show relationships between information
  • Sentence Method: writing complete sentences where terminology is specifically important
  • Mind-Mapping Method: visually represent information using bubbles, lines, etc

You might be immediately drawn to one method, or you may need to try out a few for yourself to see which one works best.

Remember: you will get better with practice. Be patient with yourself and allow yourself plenty of time to develop these skills. They’ll be invaluable for your study.