Diving Back Into Studies!

News Category : Student Help & Advice

News Tag : Student Help & Advice

7th, March 2022

How to return to studying after a “sabbatical”

Worried about getting back into your Studies ?

Regardless of whether you have just finished school or university or if it has been several years since you were last confronted with study material, returning to studies after a prolonged period may be quite daunting, having the brain being “inactive” or “dormant” in terms of its approach to theoretical application and then suddenly jumping into the deep end may seem to be a strenuous task.

Therefore, understanding how to approach your studies after having been away from them for an extended time is important. Whatever the reason for the absence, be it work commitments or family, finance or travel, there are a few key things to remember when approaching your studies which will assist you in getting off on the right foot.

In this short article we will highlight some key areas that can help ease you into studying once again as well as offer a few tips on how to get the most out of the SkyLearner System.

Create a Timetable

Creating a study timetable will help you create a routine and ensure that you complete the work you set out to do. It is important that this is a realistic schedule, one that incorporates all your daily activities & commitments and allows for down-time.

Your schedule should allocate for all your subjects and should be diverse in the way that it is laid out so as not to overwhelm you. Some people may find that it is easier to split their time between two or more subjects. This may help a single subject from becoming too tedious, but care should be taken so as not to spread yourself too thinly.

Take a Study Break

When focussing on achieving a goal, such as completing your ground school subjects, it is easy to overlook the value of a well deserved study break.

The increased mental capacity required and additional workload that come with studies can very easily lead to an individual burning themselves out.

Study breaks are known to improve energy levels, reduce a stress and improve your memory!

 Types of Study Breaks

Be sure to use your study break effectively, during this time try and step away from any external stressors you have. The idea is to be able to return to work feeling refreshed!

  • Go for a walk
  • Meditation or breathing exercises
  • Power nap
  • Reorganise your workspace
  • Listen to music
  • Have a snack



Study Smart

It is very important to study in such a way as to store information in your brain’s long term memory banks. There are many technics you may use such as creating mnemonics (using a pattern of words, phrases, songs, or poems to help remember a larger concept) or by creating visual aids such as mind maps. It is also essential to create study notes as you go along.

The human brain remembers best when it can see, hear and feel an example.

You may also find that you struggle to study alone, if so, reach out to other students at your flight school, form study groups and try bringing the subject to life by talking about your understanding of the content and trying to piece together how the concepts may be applicable in the flying environment.

If you are unable to create a study group, or if you simply need some more professional guidance book a lesson with your instructor, this can often help you pinpoint problem areas you may have been struggling to grasp by yourself, which, will ultimately assist with time management as you will be spending less time on that particular problem area.


Commit your Learning to your Long Term Memory

Create Study Notes !

Practice Makes Perfect

Remember the Private Pilot’s Licence can be used as a stepping stone to your Airline Pilot Exams and even if you do not intend to fly commercially the information you learn should be retained in order to make you a better General Aviator

The SkyLearner System affords you the opportunity to attempt practice exams, which allows you to test your knowledge in an exam environment.

Understanding the concept is more important than simply knowing the answer as aviation is about the practical application of these concepts. So when using the solution bank make sure you understand the explanation rather than simply remembering the answer verbatim.

A key element in retaining knowledge is repetition and this is why the solution bank is so handy. Our Solution bank allows you to practice exam style questions as well as view a detailed solution to each problem.

Create an Appropriate Working Environment.

Create a clear and functional working environment for yourself. Remove distractions and allow yourself to be submerged in your work for the time that you have dedicated to your studies.

Find a quiet area to set up your workstation, place your phone on silent & turn off any background noise – do not listen to music with vocals, studies reveal that whilst music can aid studies, music with lyrics detract from concentration and tend to decrease the amount of information retained.

It may also be useful to inform your friends, family, or roommates that you are studying to decrease any possibility of being distracted. Also remember that a cluttered workspace will make you feel uncomfortable and may distract you from the task at hand.

Set Realistic Expectations.

Set yourself realistic goals, these must be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and, Time-based. Once again, we are all different and what is achievable and measurable for one individual may not be for another.


Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Time-Based

If you are struggling to settle down and get into the work, one of the best pieces of advice I was ever given was very simply:

“Do it for 5 Minutes”

This may seem ridiculous, and I too was a sceptic, but I have found that inevitably sitting down to work for “just 5 minutes” feels easier than committing to a prolonged study session.

Once you have committed to making a start with “just 5 minutes”, you will find yourself naturally studying for longer and ultimately being able to build a good study habit.

Do not be afraid to ask for HELP

Never be afraid to reach out to your instructors for help if there is something that you do not understand. The SkyLearner TKI team is always ready to help, so please reach out to us if need be. You may also look to your peer group, others who are busy with their studies may also be struggling and need your help, or, they may have been stuck on a concept once before and so may understand where your difficulties lie.

Aviation is a small community, and you will find most people are willing to help if only you ask. It is also however advisable that you do the work, do the research, and do not rely solely on others. If there is something that you do not understand the first-time round, always try first to make sense of the problem yourself, but, if you get stuck, ASK FOR HELP!

Enjoy the Ride!

Ultimately, gaining knowledge is about furthering and advancing your skill set, it should be an enjoyable experience, if you’re not enjoying it (at least for the most part), you’re doing something wrong!

So, with all that in mind, the best thing to do, is to take a deep breath, and start at the beginning, and remember, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon! Have fun!

About the Author:

Ryan Mitton

SkyLearner Accountable Manager & TKI
Based: South Africa

Ryan is the Accountable Manager at SkyLearner Aviation and has vast knowledge in the aviation industry afforded to him through his CPL, BMIL in Technology & Defence Management as well as his 10 years of aviation experience as a pilot in the South African Air Force.