I will help student pilots remove all their confusion on online ground school vs. classroom.
You will know in which aspects online ground school is better than a physical classroom.
I pointed out various reasons: Why online ground schools are better than physical ground school?
First, understand these:
- The FAA doesn’t require student pilots to take physical ground school for a private pilot license knowledge test.
- Student pilots require only an endorsement from a certified flight instructor to take the exam.
The endorsement is a proof that a student pilot is knowledgable and ready to take the PPL knowledge test.
Do online ground schools have authorization from FAA?
Online ground schools are legit.
However, online ground schools don’t need authorization, the flight instructors need. Only FAA certified flight instructors can endorse you for a knowledge test after you complete the course.
So what are the main differences?
The central difference between an online ground school and a physical ground school is you don’t have the opportunity for group studying, online.
In the traditional classroom setup, you can discuss with your classmates of problems and some students just need discussion to remember multiple subjects.
But taking an online ground school, you are on your own with a lifetime access to the course.
That is beneficial for many student pilots.
- You can pause, play and rewind through various videos at your own pace;
- Multiple resources available, and practice tests will aid determine your progress;
- Fail a mock test, and retake the exam, to clarify a subject.
Unlike conventional ground school, student pilots in online ground school can repeat these tasks every time they need to.
Likewise, different kinds of online ground school courses are available to fit students need.
- Some are designed in a conventional whiteboard style training;
- Others are a blend of animation with a whiteboard explanation.
- Some instructors focus on teaching in a real-life environment.
Why did I say online ground schools are legit?
FAA certified flight instructors create online ground school courses and can give you an endorsement for a private pilot license exam.
Like I mentioned earlier to take an exam all you need is an endorsement.
You need to study adequately before requesting for an endorsement. Without passing the practice tests in the online course, your CFI won’t sign your endorsement.
After you pass all the practice tests with at least a 70% score, the instructor will know you are ready to take the exam.
Some online ground school promises a full refund of your money if you don’t pass the exam during your first take.
That true is:
Online ground school instructors are confident enough before signing you off an endorsement.
If you don’t understand a subject, yet decide to sit for the FAA knowledge test and fail, no flight school will give you a refund.
Perhaps this is a solid technique for online ground school owners to attract more student pilots to their courses.
Regardless, in the end, all that matters is how good are you at absorbing knowledge.
No matter where you take your ground course: Online or in a traditional classroom, ultimately, it all depends on your effort to pass the exam.
Is the online ground school enough to pass the PPL exam?
Once you complete the online ground course, and pass all the exams, the online ground school instructor has to endorse you so that you can take the PPl exam.
Most online ground school promises about endorsing you and that is true.
So if you take the course alone and pass the exam you are ready to take the exam with your endorsement.
Typically ground school will ask for a little charge to sign you off.
However, the cost of an online ground school is a lot reasonable than a physical ground school.
Why online ground schools are cheaper than physical classroom course?
To answer this question you must realize that maintaining a flight school is very expensive. There are many other costs in a flight school other than renting a hangar.
Having a classroom and teaching students in a conventional setup is costly.
To cover all the cost flight school owners prepare PART 161 packages for flight training.
In that, the ground school is also included.
To make a profit flight schools certainly have to design a complete course where the cost of ground school is structured and designed to make it look like a necessity.
On the contrary, online ground school operate online, mostly using a team of flight instructors through online platforms.
Online ground school owners only have to pay one time cost to create all the essential content for students.
A team of certified flight instructors, frequently update the contents to keep it most relevant according to the time and FAA requirements.
Any student pilot purchasing an online ground school will have access to the content and resources from the comfort of their room.
Online ground school owners don’t have to rent a hangar or any kind of physical classroom.
The cheaper price for online ground school seems like a red flag for many student pilots.
There are quite a few online ground school that are excellent and have good reviews.
It is always wise to choose an online ground school because whatever you will learn in a flight school classroom, you can learn the same thing in an online ground school.
Especially, if you are going to take your PPL exam, then I suggest purchasing an online ground school is better than physical classroom courses.
Lastly, the FAA doesn’t require student pilots to have proof of physical ground school or online ground school.
All they want is an endorsement from a certified flight instructor which you can get from an online ground school, at lesser expenses.
Bigger benefits for students who like to group study.
There are different kinds of student pilots:
- Some like to study independently;
- Some like to enroll in a flight school conventional classroom course;
- Others prefer online ground school.
All kinds of student pilots can take the private pilot license exam as long as they have an endorsement for taking the exam.
I can’t tell much about the independent student pilots, but one thing I can assure that they like to study at their own pace and doesn’t require help from others.
Student pilots that intend to study in a group discussion or like to brainstorm to understand a topic better, it is best for them to enroll in a physical ground school.
But those taking the online ground school also have similar opportunities.
If you are having any kind of trouble understanding a topic then you can post your question in the discussion forum within the course.
There are hundreds if not thousands of other student pilots in an online course forum. They will reply to you and you can discuss about your difficulties.
Likewise, the online ground school flight instructors regularly check the forum and answer the student pilots questions.
And instructors will suggest you which section of the video tutorial discusses the specific topic so that you can go back and re-watch the video.
How expert are the online ground school flight instructors?
Well, many student pilots have concerns about the flight instructors in online ground school.
No one wants to buy a course from inexperienced flight instructors.
Most popular online ground school instructors are veteran flight instructors.
The instructors in online ground school may be more experienced than your average flight instructor in your flight school.
But there are several online ground school training and not all the instructors are veterans.
For example, think of King School’s online ground course.
- King School is instructing and training pilots for the last 40 years.
- Their online ground school has excellent reviews from decades ago.
Likewise, the ground school training by Rod Machado.
- Rod Machado is a pilot and a flight instructor with over 30 years of experience.
RELATED: Best online pilot courses review.
Imagine learning from such an experienced flight instructor at your convenience.
Every student pilot has their studying style. You have to choose a course that is most suitable for you and the language is understandable.
Regardless, of physical classroom or online ground school, it is ultimately your effort that will help you to become a better pilot and acquire your private pilot license.
Certified flight instructors can guide you and show you what to study but they can’t spoon feed you all the knowledge.
Different online courses are designed to suit different students taste.
You can purchase an online ground course and if you think it is not the right one for you can ask for a refund vs. in the flight school classroom, you cannot ask for a refund if you don’t like the instructor’s teaching style.
Both online ground school and physical classroom have their pros and cons but I believe, the online ground school has more pros versus a physical classroom.
Go here to read the reviews of online pilot courses I think is best for Student pilots to prepare for the private pilot license knowledge test.