Today I took the FAA Commercial Pilot Airplane written test for the first time. This test is one of the requirements for a Commercial Pilot's License (CPL). To pass you have to complete a 100 question test in 3 hours with 70% or better score. It took me around an hour to complete the test and I got 100% right.
I am pleased but not entirely surprised with the result. I studied for a long time and very carefully for that test. I expected to get at least 90%, most likely over 95%, but I always know its possible to miss a couple questions due to not reading carefully or just questions or concepts I've never studied before appearing in the test. However, I had studied longer for this test using more different methods that I did for the Instrument or Private tests. Especially since studying and preparing for the written test was the one thing I could do to get closer to my CPL goal for the months I was waiting to get started on the flight training. I was aware the questions would not all be exactly what I studied so I was on my toes, paying very careful attention to the questions and very careful that I knew my answers and my reasons for those answers.
Someone asked "Why?" when they heard I got 100% on the test. I don't know if this "Why" was "Why? Was there any question?" or "Why get 100%?". I reflected on the answer to the latter question. Why go through that effort to get 100% on a test that it only takes 70% to pass. 70% is good enough. I could have passed with a 70% two or three months ago. The answer to that question goes to the core of my being.
I've always believed and lived the ideal that if something is worth doing at all, its worth doing well. If the something is something that I'm particularly passionate it is worth doing the the very best of my ability. If there is one thing I'm very passionate about, it's aviation. Some call me anal or a perfectionist. My husband teases me frequently about it. I have to admit, I do exercise a lot of attention to detail and strive for perfection. Smile. However, I have learned, through the process of learning to fly, I have to strive for perfection yet accept rarely being perfect all of the time. I have to do that without allowing it to limit my enjoyment of the pursuit.
Fortunately for me, it seems I do have some talent in this field. Sometimes the best of my ability can be perfect. Like today when I passed a test that I could have passed with 70% with 100% instead. In aviation I will always strive to fly, learn, train and enjoy to the best of my ability and that isn't so bad at all!