Dec. 1, 2016

In the run-up to taking the Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) exam, Todd Noonan lived and breathed studying. If he wasn’t reviewing practice questions, he was scrawling notes in his copy of the NBAA Management Guide. So when it came time for Noonan to take the exam, he felt confident that his intense preparation would pay off with a passing score.

“I absolutely did not walk out of there with that feeling,” he said. Despite his apprehension, Noonan, assistant chief pilot at New World Aviation, did pass the exam – with an impressive score – and he advises potential CAMs not to be discouraged by the exam’s difficulty.

“What I tell people is, no matter how hard you study, prepare to be frustrated by the questions,” he said. “Take it one question at a time, and prepare to find the questions challenging and just proceed as best you can and have faith in yourself.”

Noonan offered the following tips to taking the CAM exam:

  • Submit your exam application at least two months in advance. “The application process sometimes takes longer than expected, and you may have to wait for the required recommendations,” he said. “It can be frustrating if you are ready to take the test but have to wait a few weeks to be approved, as you need to keep studying to keep all the information at closest reach.”
  • Commit time to studying. “I pretty much poured every spare moment I had for quite a while into studying and taking notes,” said Noonan. From practice questions, to primary and secondary reference materials, embracing studying as a part-time job can reap benefits.
  • Focus on the most relevant references. Noonan recommended making the NBAA Management Guide the foundation of your studying strategy. “The Management Guide was absolutely the primary resource I used. I would make notes as I went through it on what I thought was most pertinent.” Other significant resources he consulted included Management by Daft, Business and Corporate Aviation Management by Sheehan and the other reference articles included with the CAM Exam Study Guide.
  • Trust your industry experience. “I think sometimes people are intimidated by the huge booklet and all the great material out there, but don’t shortchange that you’re bringing a lot of knowledge you’ve gained through the industry to the table as well,” he said.
  • Collaborate with peers. “A couple folks I worked with in the process, we formed a study group and grilled each other in terms of how we understood things,” Noonan explained. “We took turns presenting chapters of the Management Guide to one another and when you try to teach something, you find out the holes in what you know real fast.”

In addition to Noonan, the following people recently passed the CAM exam.

  • Rick Buffkin
  • Leigh Ann Beckett
  • Thomas J. Bumpus
  • James C. Cook
  • Benjamin A. Crispell
  • Steven L. Dieck
  • Jeffrey A. Duncan
  • Craig R. LaPorte
  • Kirk L. Mies

Learn more about NBAA’s CAM program.