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Certified Aviation Managers: Tips on Passing the CAM Exam

Make no mistake: for those studying to become a Certified Aviation Manager (CAM), the qualifying exam is no walk in the park.

Nearly 500 individuals have been awarded NBAA’s CAM credential, which provides official recognition of a person’s readiness to move into a management position within an aviation operation. For those studying for the exam, or persons considering pursuing the CAM credential, it’s important to keep in mind how earning the credential requires rigorous study and preparation over a considerable period of time, culminating in the final exam.

“Don’t underestimate the difficulty of the exam,” said David Rimmer, CAM, president of Long Island-based Talon Air, a jet charter and management company. “It is comprehensive and covers all areas of the industry.” Rimmer passed the exam in March.

“The exam was one of the toughest things I’ve ever taken,” agreed Paul Sheldon, CAM and a captain for Constellation Brands, Inc.

Dan Tucker, CAM, a captain for Jen Air, passed his CAM exam early this year. “You have to be organized, and you need lots of resources,” he said, noting that many of them are available through NBAA, including the NBAA Management Guide.

“You have to be organized, and you need lots of resources.”

Dan Tucker CAM, Gulfstream Captain, Jen Air

Despite being unsure if they had passed the test, Rimmer, Sheldon and Tucker all received their congratulatory letter within about a month of taking the exam, thus concluding months and – in Rimmer’s case – years of study and preparation.

These recent CAM “graduates” provided the following tips from on how to prepare for the final exam:

  • Set a deadline for yourself to take the exam. Having an end point helps with planning, focus and study habits. But don’t put added pressure on yourself by telling anyone when you are taking the test.
  • Devote an hour or two every day to studying. Take advantage of downtime on extended or international trips, when you might have additional time to study.
  • Reach out to other CAM graduates and industry mentors with questions.
  • Attend CAM-accredited professional development program sessions at NBAA events.
  • Practice, practice, practice. All three recent graduates took the practice tests many times, including at the start of the program, to give them an idea of where they stood and which subject areas they might need to brush up on.
  • Don’t rush through the final exam. Answer the easier questions first, then go back and work on the more difficult ones. Draw upon your aviation experience, rather than trying to remember answers to similar questions on the practice exams.

Review NBAA’s CAM resources at nbaa.org/cam.

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