Student testimonials

Jamie Bacon

Jamie Bacon

“I was a student with Bristol Ground School from November 2015 – February 2017 and recently passed my final exam. I researched extensively before committing to any ATPL theory provider, but in the end, choosing Bristol Ground School was a no-brainer. Their reputation speaks for itself; Bristol Ground School has a proven track record for getting people through the ATPL theory with excellent pass marks, myself included. You’ll struggle to find a bad word spoken about them.”

“The quality of the printed materials and ATPDigital software is fantastic, and their question bank – BGS Online – is a must-have. The brush-up courses at the end of each module are led by highly experienced, knowledgeable and approachable instructors, who genuinely want you to succeed. They help to fully prepare you before sitting the exams.”

“Thanks again to everyone at Bristol Ground School for all the support during my studies. Without you, I’m sure I wouldn’t have achieved 14 first time passes with an average of over 90%.”

Ivana Alvares-Marshall


“I have passed all 14 exams and cannot thank Bristol Groundschool enough for the support and help they provided in the preparation of my ATPL written exams. The Bristol question bank was also a massive help! The time and energy the instructors provide to the students is amazing and made such a difference to my success, they were always willing to lend a helpful hand.”

“Bristol Groundschool provides a wonderful professional service and I will definitely be recommending BGS to potential students.”

Ivana Alvares-Marshall, first corporate female pilot in Malaysia and first Indian female pilot in Malawi, currently converting my FAA licence to the EASA ATPL.

Jonathan Cormack


I started studying for my ATPL theory with Bristol Groundschool in August 2015. The reasons that I chose BGS were that it was the biggest provider, had excellent reviews when I searched online, and the added benefit of being close to my home.

The printed materials are very high quality with good images throughout. It made them easy to read and, even for a non-physics / maths type like me, accessible and understandable. Whilst travelling being able to access the course on the iPad or laptop was equally easy.

Whilst most study is distance learning, the face-to-face tuition is first class. The Accelerator weekends that BGS runs for the trickier subjects are to be highly recommended. They give a great “turbo-boost” and make the distance learning side more straightforward.

BGS’s team of instructors are very engaging, mostly ex-military, with good stories that bring subjects to life and lighten the drier elements of any course. They genuinely care about their students, are accessible via phone/ email if there are any questions and it makes for a good atmosphere and learning environment. The brush-up weeks are also brilliant: everyone teaching really knows their stuff. Most students take the brush-up week training and then the exams the following week. I’d reckon on adding at least 5% to my exam marks as a result of this.

Lastly, the BGS Online resource is invaluable. It is the most comprehensive and up-to-date question bank around.

The ATPL certainly isn’t easy: no one I have come across says anything other than it is really hard work. Doing it through distance learning alongside a full-time job, as I’ve done, has required a significant dedication of time and effort: in my case I completed it in just over 12 months. However, the feeling of achievement on passing the 14 exams is second to none and, as you’d guess, I’d wholeheartedly recommend BGS as your approved training provider to help you on your way!

Daniel May


I fly the Cessna 208 Black Hawk. Parachute flying isn’t what it once was. Most centres now operate turbine aircraft to carry a larger payload even higher than before. It is a very demanding ‘hands on’ job, operating within a single pilot role. Multiple flights per day coupled with ever changing conditions mean that you have to be constantly on top of everything.

I rely heavily on my ground school training to make the right decisions; something Bristol GS prepared me well for.

Daniel May, full-time pilot at Black Knights Parachute Centre

Edoardo Minuto


Working as a First Officer for Vietnam Airlines

Your fame preceded you, and I had no doubt for a moment about where I would do my ATPL theory courses. The distance learning with Bristol was amazing, the online question bank was even then ahead of its time and the brush-up courses just helped to complete an excellent preparation. I passed all my theory exams first time, with an average score of 92%+!!!

I completed my CPL/IR and MCC, and after a thorough selection process, I joined the cadet program of Vietnam Airlines in September 2015 and I am now proudly working as a First Officer for Vietnam Airlines.


Jevan Burchell


“I did my research on ground schools before choosing BGS and I definitely made the correct choice. You have created a fantastic learning facility and I really appreciate your time and support through the course. The instructors especially have been brilliant. Keep up the good work!”

Valentino Abdelghani


The ATPL course was one of the hardest challenges of my life, especially because I’m working while I am studying, but thanks to the organisation and professionalism of the staff at Bristol Groundschool it was easier for me to study, prepare myself and pass all the ATPL exams first time.

The staff care and really want their students to pass. They will do whatever they can to help students understand the subjects. I would totally recommend them to anyone.

Jamie Dickson, easyJet First Officer


BGS were fantastic! All of the materials were superb and the iPad app was a life saver! It made all of the study so easy and it meant I could take the study materials into work and do some revision in the back galley on my break! The revision courses again are superb; they really prepare you for the exams not just with the knowledge but with the vital exam technique which is key to getting first time passes.

For the best results, train with the best people – Bristol Groundschool!

“Thank you Bristol Groundschool for all your help getting me to where I am today!”

Jamie Dickson, First Officer on A319/20 with easyJet.

Andreas Rosboch


I chose Bristol Groundschool over competing courses because of the excellent reviews online and not offering discounts to lure people in. The training at Bristol Groundschool and the quality of ATPdigital is outstanding. I still use the books for revision. The trainers are excellent and they know what they need to do for you to pass.

If you think you’ve studied enough, study another 10%. This will make all the difference. That holds true at the airlines as well.

Andreas Rosboch, Second Officer with Cathay Pacific, based in Hong Kong.

Tommaso Cruciani, Air X Pilot Apprentice


“I enjoyed studying at BGS and would recommend it to anyone getting their ATPL’s. I can honestly say I had fun at Bristol Groundschool and made some lasting friends. Bristol Groundschool is the best choice if you want to pass your exams first time, the material is great, the instructors are passionate and the question bank is comprehensive.”
Tommaso Cruciani

Pilot Apprentice for Air X

What made you decide you wanted to train to become a pilot and when?
My case is the same as many pilots, who have been fascinated by aviation since they can remember. Some people grow out of it and forget about flying – I never did. The instinctual fascination with aviation that children feel is something that has not left me and continues to remind me why this job is so unique.

Why did you choose the modular route?
I would always choose the modular route. I believe it forms a more adaptable, self-reliant and well-rounded pilot. Often, integrated training, though of high quality, is too standardised and fails to expose pilots to enough scenarios which require them to problem-solve independently, especially during their hour building.

What was your greatest challenge during your training?
Every part of the training is a challenge to begin with, however with practice it all eventually begins to make sense and gives you an enormous sense of satisfaction and achievement.

How long has it taken you from your first flight to obtaining your licence?
I first flew solo when I was sixteen, obtaining my frozen ATPL as soon as I could after university at twenty-two years old.

What words of advice would you pass on to any aspiring pilot hoping to follow the same route as you?
Start as early as you can. You don’t necessarily need to be flying early but reading about it and immersing yourself in aviation will prime you for the knowledge you will require later on. I used to read flying textbooks before I could fly and would spend hours at the airport watching airplanes and getting to know people who would let me into hangars and take me flying. Overcome your shyness and maximise your exposure to aviation

How would summarise your training at Bristol Groundschool (BGS)?
I enjoyed BGS and would recommend it to anyone getting their ATPL’s. The self-study part is up to you, however when you go to the Revision Weeks the instructors will help immensely, pulling all that knowledge together in preparation for the exams. I can honestly say I had fun at Bristol Groundschool and made some lasting friends.

What are you currently doing?
Currently I am working as a Pilot Apprentice with a private charter company called Air X. Working in the offices during my time as an apprentice allows me to learn about the airline industry, while looking forward to my type rating on one of the company jets in 18 to 24 months.

What are your career plans for the future?
I plan on enjoying the type of varied flying that jet charter companies provide. Travelling around the world for two weeks per month, flying into any destination possible, followed by two weeks off seems to me the best possible pilot job out there.

Stephanie Bloxidge


“I know having studied with Bristol Groundschool and having them on my CV really helped me at my interview. The staff at Bristol Groundschool really care and are passionate about their subjects. I would definitely recommend them, their course material and question bank.”
Stephanie Bloxidge

First Officer on the Dash 8 Q400 for Flybe

What made you decide you wanted to train to become a pilot and when?
Experiencing flying from an early age in light aircraft gave me the initial excitement and enthusiasm to become a pilot. I took my first flying lesson at 16 but due to the cost I did very little flying until I was at university. At university I joined the university air squadron, gaining over 80 hours on the Grob Tutor. During those 3 years, I decided to make aviation my career choice.

Why did you choose the modular route?
Integrated was never an option for me due to cost. The modular route allowed me to work several jobs simultaneously alongside flying lessons and hour building at weekends.

How long has it taken you from your first flight to obtaining your licence?
Even though my first flying lesson was at 16, I didn’t start training properly until I graduated from university at 21 years of age. I obtained my CPL and IR shortly after my 25th birthday.

What words of advice would you pass on to any aspiring pilot hoping to follow the same route as you?
Talk to as many people in the industry as possible and attend the Flight Training Exhibitions as they are great to get a feel for what is going on in the industry. Always be planning the next step of training. Most importantly, stay positive! Whenever I felt a little disheartened and questioned my career choice, I think of a fantastic quote by Henry Ford: ‘When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

How would you summarise your training at Bristol Groundschool?
I never thought I would have fond memories of the ATPL theory exams but I can honestly say, I had the best time! I found it really hard to believe I was ready for the first Revision Week when I had completed all the modules on the iPad. However, the Revision Week reinforced everything I had learnt and ironed out anything I had been unsure about. The ATPL course requires a lot of hard work but I felt fully prepared by the time I went to my exams. I have made some great friends at Bristol and many of us have kept in touch.

Why choose Bristol Groundschool?
I had been recommended Bristol Groundschool by numerous friends within the industry so it was an easy choice!

Bristol Groundschool helped me achieve better results than I ever could have imagined for my ATPL’s. The Revision Weeks are the perfect environment to consolidate all the hard work you’ve already put in and to give you complete confidence when walking into the exam room!

What are you currently doing?
I am currently working as a First Officer on the Dash 8 Q400 for Flybe.

What are your career plans for the future?
I am really enjoying the challenge of the Q400 at the moment and would like to progress within Flybe and gain a command on this fantastic aircraft.

Paul Ryan


“I would totally recommend Bristol Groundschool – 14 first time passes and over 90% exam average, all while working full-time in less than 12 months, what more could you ask for. Bristol Groundschool deliver high quality training and go the extra mile to support each and every student.”
Paul Ryan

Trained pilot

What made you decide you wanted to train to become a pilot and when?
During my childhood I was fortunate enough to grow up living close to an airfield. I used to watch the aircraft flying over my family home with awe and amazement. I would then bug my parents to take me to see the aircraft at the airfield. From then I knew what I wanted to do.

Why did you choose the modular route?
Modular I think suits students better who are self-funding their training, having the ability to do each part as finances allow is a big plus.

What words of advice would you pass on to any aspiring pilot hoping to follow the same route as you?
Do it as you can afford it. Start with your PPL, hour build as funds allow and so on. Enjoy it and don’t let time pressure force you down a financial path you cannot afford. It will have taken me 6 years from starting to save for my PPL to having my fATPL in hand. Pick well established schools that come with recommendations.

How would summarise your training at Bristol Groundschool?
Excellent, the computer-based software is fantastic, it gives you structured learning and daily study targets based on your desired completion date. Couple this with the Revision Weeks that are delivered by highly experienced instructors.

If you complete the computer-based course, attend the Revision Weeks and complete the work given while you are at the Ground School you can be confident of passing your exams. Without the structured content of the Bristol course and high level of training from the staff I would not have been able to work and study at the same time.

Why choose Bristol Groundschool?
14 first time passes and over 90% exam average, all while working full-time in less than 12 months, what more could you ask for.

What are your career plans for the future?
I have now completed my training and MCC and hoping to secure an airline job in Europe, fingers crossed.

Matt Bedford


I obtained a 90% overall pass mark in the examinations, this proves that the staff at Bristol Groundschool are remarkable.”
Matt Bedford

Modular training was the only choice of training route for me as I had a full-time job. I chose Bristol Groundschool because I they are are professional, have excellent attention to detail and are very helpful. The Revision Weeks before I took the exams were very brilliant in reassuring me and helping me to understand what I had learnt through studying at home.

After obtaining a 90% overall pass mark in the examinations, it proves that the staff at Bristol Groundschool are remarkable at what they do best, they are a first class training provider!

I am currently a flight instructor at Horizon Flight training school. My ambition is to become an airline pilot or business jet pilot but in the meantime I am going to build my hours as a flight instructor.

Ben Bowker, Jet2 Pilot Apprentice


“Bristol really put together a fantastic package for the Revision Weeks with top notch instructors and great material, its then when everything really comes together.”
Ben Bowker

Jet2 Pilot Apprentice

I’m a huge advocate of the modular training route. Bristol Groundschool worked for me. The quality of their books, online training and question bank made it easier for me to organise my study and made it far less painful than it may otherwise have been if I had not studied with them. The modules were really well structured and the technical detail was made easy to understand.

When I got to the Revision Weeks, and I’m sure 99% would agree, Bristol really put together a fantastic package with top notch instructors and its then when it really comes together. By the end of the Revision Weeks you really are ready for the exams. A lot of hard work but quite enjoyable too.

After totting up my training cost from 0 – ATPL, I have spent around £40K which has been spread over a number of years, so for me, coming from what I would call an average financial background has been demanding yes, but achievable. Also, if you’re able to work alongside your training, any debts you do pick up will be able to be paid off far quicker, so you’re not having to wait until you start your first airline job before you begin to pay back any borrowed money.

Distance learning is hard enough so make sure you have the best materials, support and instructors and use a school, like Bristol Groundschool that has proven it works.

I now work with Jet2 as a pilot apprentice! in Leeds, 12 months on the ground in various departments then a type rating on a 3-year bond!


James Carter


“The best school, with the best staff and the best service. Unbeatable!”
James Carter, BGS student.

Pilot in training

When did you decide you wanted to become a pilot?
I’ve always wanted to work in aviation, first I worked as an air traffic controller, but then I started looking into becoming a pilot. I took a test session and after that I was hooked. My first flight was in 2009 and now in 2016 I am continuing to work so I can pay for my flight training. My ambition is to get a job with the airlines, any airlines.

Why did you choose the modular route?
Because it is cheaper and you can continue to work and earn.

What advice would you give to an aspiring pilot?
Just go for it, flying is the best thing I’ve ever done.

Why did you choose Bristol Groundschool?
Bristol Groundschool is the best school I’ve ever gone to, with the best instructors, the best support and the best service, unbeatable!

What are you currently doing?
I am continuing to work to pay for my flight training.