Photo credit to Divinity Price As many 141 school semesters are coming to an end, it also means that several checkrides are coming soon. Even if you aren't 141 and were trained 61, you may still have a checkride coming. Here are 4 tips for passing your upcoming checkride.
Be prepared beyond the gouge
Throughout almost all of my training, I had never heard of or seen a checkride gouge. It wasn't until my CFI/CFII training that I learned what it was. A gouge is a written document regarding the typical expectations of a particular Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE). Gouges can contain what to expect for the oral and the flight portion of the checkride to be taken. Most DPEs tend to have a similar set of questions that are asked, desiring a particular answer. Even though I have seen that this is the most frequently used method to checkride preparation, I would encourage this not to be your primary method. As we all know, we have to perform within ACS standards and this should include all aspects of required knowledge. Go into your checkride prepared for anything.
Only answer the question
Remember going into the checkride, it is not the DPE's job to see if you know everything but to simply assess what is and isn't to standard. This is why a well-rounded knowledge of required topics is necessary. If they ask you a question, simply answer the question and do not give them any additional information. Concise answers are the goal.
Confidence is key
Here's a little secret about experienced pilots. They can tell when you are bluffing an answer. After many years of evaluating several pilots, they have not only acquired a vast amount of knowledge but also people skills. The ability to read someone's confidence, how much they prepared, hazardous attitude and all. But right or wrong with your answer, BE Confident! According to 91.3 the final authority of the safety of flight, they must determine if you are capable of managing such a large responsibility. They are not only certifying that they think you are safe but responsible enough to uphold the privilege bestowed upon you. At all times, no matter, what be confident in every answer.
Your mindset makes the difference
I was talking to a student who was very nervous about their checkride and they said, "Well if I fail it's not the end of the world." As this statement is true, be careful what you set yourself up for. Do not cross a bridge unless you are at the gate. Meaning, if you haven't failed don't prepare yourself for the worse outcome. It sets a subconscious expectation for yourself to be okay with doing and being less. "It's okay if I get off my altitude" and "It's okay if I drift off heading" for example. A checkride shouldn't be an easy walk in the park. Do not settle for less from yourself but work your very hardest to top performance.
Good luck from the GlobalAir team to all those preparing for their checkride! You got this!