What steps should I take after failing the oral portion of the check ride for my PPL?
AOPA has a great article about this, and it basically says:
Like the article says, it isn't the end of the world! About 20% of first time applicants fail their checkride, but all you have to do is use it as a learning experience and let it make you an even better pilot.
If you have questions about specific subjects, you can also ask questions here and we will be happy to help you out!
Keegan, I understand you may not want to specify where you had difficulty, but without knowing that, I'm afraid it's going to be difficult for anyone to help direct you.
Let me throw out two thoughts:
1) If you failed on regulatory questions, that is a lot like studying for a spelling bee. Reading, retention, and repetition is hard work, but required.
2) If you failed on the "what if" questions, I have a feeling you have even more work to do. I think the "what if" questions are what separates the great pilots from the pilots I'd refuse to fly with. "What if" you lose your engine over this spot at 7,500 feet MSL with the winds aloft 160º at 30 knots at 6,000 and 180º at 45 knots at 9,000? If you didn't know instinctively at every moment of your flight where you would put the aircraft down using your GPS nearest feature, your flight plan (filed or not), your engine out training, and your common sense, then you're going to have a little more difficult time convincing the DPE who failed you to give you another chance.
I'm absolutely not trying to scare you off of flying, but I've only got 500 hours and I've already been through a failed alternator at night and a nearly engine out landing by day (diminished power leading to a deviation and unscheduled "idled" landing) and it only takes once to know for certain whether you can pull these off with your training and good common sense, or panic and declare an emergency unnecessarily.
If you'd like to post a few examples of questions that gave you trouble, I know everyone who browses this forum will be helpful.