Write an essay where you tell us what test preparation practices work best for you and why.

I served as enlisted aircrew in the KC-130J and UC-12W. Periodically we would be tested with code sheets ( test on particular subjects ). During these test our instructors would ask us the most seemly random questions like " what is the only wooden part on the aircraft?" Of course its the toilet paper holder, but back then I didn't know that. So they would then make us look up the answer in the big 5,000 page book called the NATOPS flying manual. While still explaining the theory of operations of an engine to them. It's comical to see firsthand, but not to experienced it. I found that the best way to prepare for these sessions was to make flash cards and read the book from cover to cover. Is it practical? Not really but did it work? Yes. Even months after discharge I still remember the most random facts I will never use again. Like at pallet position 6 the maximum weight is 4,662 lbs with dual rails and rollers installed. As I progressed through the training syllabus I eventually became an Assistant NATOPS Instructor (fancy word for teacher). Even as the teacher I was still the student in a sense. I wanted to make sure the Marines I was training would be adequately prepared for the rigors of flying. To do so I continued my studies to try and become the "subject matter expert". It always thrilled me when I knew something the instructors didn't know and I didn't want to give my students that satisfaction. So I continued with the tradition of asking completely off the wall questions while evaluating the students. Now as a instructor I finally understood that they were just seeing if we could operate under stress. "Flying is a serious matter and everyday is a gamble when we get on the aircraft". I liked to tell that to my students to help them understand that anything can happen in the air and it's better to be prepared. Moral of the story story. Dedicate the time and effort to study to ensure that you succeed. Even if it means reading the book from front to back.

Zachary from Arizona
College Freshman
University of Arizona