Sporty’s Study Buddy iPhone/iPad App Review

Review of Sporty's Study Budy iPhone App

Sporty’s Study Buddy is an exceptionally simple iPhone and iPad App, and I mean that in the best way. Study Buddy offers itself as a definitive one-stop solution to the FAA Test Prep problem. AviationChatter was given the opportunity to evaluate the latest version of Study Buddy (Private Pilot). Find out if you should buy or pass on this one.

Study Buddy doesn’t pretend to offer anything new to the computer-based training game. In fact, this app is a direct descendant of the very same FAA Test Prep programs that made Gleim, King Schools and even Sporty’s so popular throughout the ’90s and 2000’s. That’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, bringing a quiz and training app to the iPhone is a complete game changer. Now users can study at any time or place.

Three study modes in Sporty's Study Buddy

Study Buddy's three study modes

Sporty’s Study Buddy has three training modes. Learning and flashcard modes allow users to focus on specific subject areas, like General Aerodynamics or Airspace. In learning mode, multiple choice questions straight from the FAA Written Exam are asked. Users are provided with instant feedback and receive a final grade with the option to review missed questions. Detailed explanations are provided as to why each answer is correct or wrong to aide in the learning process.

The flashcard mode is an ideal way to study for the oral exam. Study Buddy presents written exam questions that must be mentally or verbally answered. After tapping the “Show Answer” button the user self grades. I think this would be a great way to study with a friend.

Test mode is a little different. It is a timed recreation of the actual written exam and is a great gauge of what you can expect to score on your official test. All answers are multiple choice and there is no feedback until the test is complete.

One of the problems that has plagued mobile FAA test prep software has been the myriad charts and figures associated with the questions. Thanks to touch screen and pinch-zoom technology, this is no longer a big problem.

A figure from the Private Pilot Exam

Users can pinch-zoom and scroll high resolution charts and figures from the FAA manual

Unfortunately, users will run into problems with a few of the flight planning questions. These questions require use of a plotter to determine heading, course and distance information between airports. This is just not feasible with a tiny iPhone. Sporty’s would do well to implement some sort of line-drawing or plotter tool to make these questions easier to handle.

Sporty’s Study Buddy is a simple and intuitive aviation app that will absolutely help you pass the FAA Written Exam. This is a great app, hands down. It provides a great deal of information in a clean and easy format, making it a strong buy for anybody preparing for the Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Instrument or Recreational Pilot knowledge tests.

Study Buddy is a strong buy for anybody preparing for the Private Pilot, Commercial Pilot, Instrument or Recreational Pilot knowledge tests.But I do question the iPad vs. iPhone pricing. Selling at $9.99 (Recreational/Private Pilot) to $14.99 (Instrument/Commercial) in the App Store is a good price on the iPad, but I am startled to see the same price tag on the iPhone version. Yes, it is the same product, but I don’t think that Study Buddy is worth the same amount of cash on a smaller and clumsier screen.

You can buy Study Buddy for four different knowledge tests in the App Store or read more about it at Sporty’s. There is also a Google Android version available.

Disclaimer: Sporty’s Study Buddy (Private Pilot) was provided to for review purposes.

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About the author
Pat Flannigan is a professional pilot and aviation blogger. He has been flying for fifteen years and is currently working as an airline pilot in the United States.

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