Although many students are reluctant to do them, stalls are also something to be practiced during solo practice. Have plenty of altitude and begin with simple power-off, straight-ahead stalls. What you're looking for are the aerodynamic indications of the stall. How do the controls feel just before the break? What does the burbling of the air over the wings and tail feel like? When you get more confident, you can add departure stalls and accelerated stalls. Again, it's a matter of building on skills.
Once you solo and log some time in the local practice area, you'll start on cross-country training. It's a good idea to have the written out of the way-or at least have booked some time learning cross-country flight planning-before you start the cross-country work.
If you're not learning at an airport with a control tower, you'll want to become comfortable with the radio and how to operate to and from an airport with an operating control tower. There are several interactive computer programs that will allow you to practice your radio procedures and a number of aviation-band receivers that will let you listen in on the professionals.
With check marks in all the boxes for the practical test standards (PTS) requirements, you'll have to log a couple of hours with your instructor in preparation for the flight test. It should be a review of everything that will be on the flight test. It's not a secret that examiners have their pet concerns, and your instructor should be aware of the specific things the examiner you've drawn will want to see you perform.
There are a number of things you can do to help make the practical flight test a success. It goes without saying that you should arrive for the flight test on time; be sure the airplane is airworthy and that required inspections have been accomplished; have all the paperwork for you and the airplane available for the examiner; and be sure you have all the endorsements you need.
If the examiner asks a question and you don't know the answer, don't fake it. Both the oral and the flight test are learning opportunities and examiners know a lot. Nothing wrong with taking the opportunity to learn from them. Although during the flight test you're technically the pilot in command, there's a good chance the examiner will take the opportunity to show you how he wants you to do a maneuver. Watch and learn.
You're paying for the ride, so try to enjoy it. If you and your instructor prepared properly, there's no reason you won't do well. It's become a cliché, but when the examiner hands you the temporary certificate it really is a "license to learn."
Remember, you're paying for the training and you can always take your business elsewhere. If you're not happy with the service you're being provided, ask for what you want. You're not required to stay with the same instructor or even the same flight school for your training.
Pilots are a breed apart. Becoming a pilot involves mastering a number of skills and psychological challenges. When you successfully conquer them you have every right to be proud of the accomplishment.