I was recently up in Joburg and decided whilst up there, to pop into the CAA offices. I was amazed to see the number of students writing exams and talking about their results straight after exiting the venue. One guy had failed and was booking to write a week later. As I'm sure you are aware, in Cape Town (and other examination venues accross SA) we are extremely limited in comparison to the Jo'burg operation. We have to apply to write about 3 weeks to a month before, are only able to write once every 40 days or so (9 times this year), wait about 2 - 3 weeks for the results to be posted, and by the time the results are out the deadline for the next exams is due. Everytime this year the originally posted deadlines for the next examinations have had to be extended as the results from the previuos exams weren't ready. My questions are as follows:
- Is there any chance of incorportaing the CPL & ATPL exams onto a computer based system such as in Jo'burg or like the PPL exams so that students can write when they are ready? Can the CPL & ATPL exams not be set up in conjunction with the existing PPL online centres scattered accross the country?
- If this is not possible, can the CAA increase the number of sittings availible per annum? I would understand if their was a lack of attendance and it wouldn't be feasible, but everytime I have written this year, there are many pilots present to write these exams.
Whilst waiting for the results to be posted, which is usually 2 - 3 weeks, those that have written have no idea whether to continue learning for the same subject, in case you have failed, or to start learning for the next. This is wasted time and when combined adds a few months onto the process of getting your exams.
During March this year there were two exams during the month. One at the beginning, the 9th and the other on the 23rd. The Examinations Department were able to get the results out from the first set of exams, after only 4 days to meet the next sittings deadline. Why aren't they able to do this everytime?
I look forward to your answers above and congratulations to what you have done to the SACAA so far.
Just to add to the topic, this is a letter I have just written to Mary on the subject.
I have no idea who to speak to about this because everytime I speak to someone in the Examinations Department I get left in the same position I started at.
I am writing exams in Cape Town on the 7th & 9th of September next month. The next exams in Cape Town are only on the 19th October. Almost a month and a half after the September sitting. I wanted to come up to Jo'burg once I received my September results and write any failed exams or to write new exams but the exams department cannot help me. The problem is as follows. I have to wait two weeks, as claimed (usually 3 weeks), for the September results to be published. Only once I have received these can I enter for the Jo'burg exams. The problem is that the closing date for the October, Cape Town exams (when I would want to write again) is on the 18th of September! Only nine days after the actual exams. The exams department has never released the results for exams so early, so once again they will delay the closing date for however long they wish. How does the exams department accomodate someone who wants to write exams at both venues I asked a lady this morning, her answer was clear and straight forward, "We don't." I even wrote a letter a week ago to find out if there is any way they could help me out. Not a chance. No reply to the letter, I had to phone. Why does the closing date have to be five weeks before the actual exams (another question I asked) "There are many applications and this takes time" Rubbish, It does not take five weeks to process an application and ship exam papers down to Cape Town. I even suggested entering right then and there once I had received my Jo'burg results straight away. This option was shot down. "Rules are rules," she says, "...and the closing date is final (even though it is guaranteed t be changed)". When I asked about the applications taking five weeks to process, her answer was "It takes about 3 weeks." After this I just gave up and thanked her for nothing.
Mary, I ask with clinched hands and on my knees. What can I do and furthermore what can the CAA do to accomodate not just me, but others that don't want to wait their whole lives to write exams?
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Please see the CAA Forum for Mary's response on this matter for info about the CAA Exam Center opening at FACT in 2010.
There are major logistical issues that are required to be met for outstation exams, hence the longer lead times required.
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Had the same "problem" when writing my cpl in Cape town in the late 90's.
Very frustrating for the aspiring pilot. However, talking from experience, my advise to those making use of outstations to write exams is this. (and online for that matter)
Prepare yourselves better for the exams by studying harder and more wisely then the problem of not getting results in time for the next sitting will eliminated.
Lets face it ladies and gents, when you put your pen down after an exam your gutt feeling will tell if you studied enough or just waisted your money and the examiners time.
How do I know this?
AME 1986 (SAAF)
No offence intended. Use it don't use it.