Completing writtens before starting?

For those that completed all or some of their writtens prior to starting ATP, how much would you say it helped you out while completing the program? Do you feel like having the writtens done before starting ATP made the experience more manageable and less challenging, and if so by how much? A considerable amount? Thanks!


Hopefully some folks will chime in but if you browse the forum you’ll only see people who are grateful they did and those who were sorry they didn’t. While many don’t and are successful there no question it lightens the load considerably.

Look at it like this. On the average people say they needed 2 weeks of study for each exam while maintaining there regular life (work, school, etc). There’s 6 exams so that’s 12 weeks. Now imagine you’ve just started a HIGHLY accelerated program which I promise will be more challenging than anything you’ve ever done. Would you rather have those 12 weeks of study behind you or in front of you?

Your call.



I started the program with only one done, the PAR. Did I make it through the program successfully? Yes, no training event or checkride failures but if I had a choice I would have preferred less on my plate.

We don’t recommend delaying your start date to get writtens done because EVERYTHING is about seniority. The sooner you get training started, the quicker you’ll be in your way to an employee number. If you have 6 weeks before you graduate college or finish work before your ATP start date, absolutely get as many done as you can. Why not? It will only help you and like Adam said, no one has ever regretted doing them ahead of time. But if you can’t, it’s okay. Get started as soon as possible.



I had all of my writtens completed before starting the program and though that it gave me a significant advantage over other students. While others were studying for those exams, I was able to focus on other aspects of my training and even take an occasional few hours off in the afternoon.

That being said, the programs designed for you to be able to complete the writtens while in training, I would not lose any seniority by taking time to complete the writtens beforehand. Do what you can, but do not delay your training for such.



While optional to complete any writtens beforehand, everyone that did has said that it was worth it. There’s no need to quantify.

Now, if you do decide to take the writtens beforehand, great. Just make sure that you take advantage of the extra time that you will have during the program. It would be all for nothing if you didn’t use your time wisely.


1 Like

Hi Tory, I didn’t want to start a new thread. I begin ATP in about a month. I am currently working through my “Orientation” on the ATP site. However, I was wondering what resources you would recommend I study (as there are a lot) in order to take my PAR, IRA & CAX before my first day of class. I am just struggling with getting started/ where to begin. Any help would be mega appreciated!

Hey Grant,

While I’m not a mentor or even in the program yet, I’ve been on this thread and have noticed that the mentors state to:

Get sporty’s study buddy or kings schools private ground school - take three practice tests and send them to ATP training support showing 3 over 90% scores and they will endorse you for your PAR (but need to make a class deposit first).

After this then purchase Shepard air for the rest, same process, provide over 90% on three exams for IRA and CAX and training support will endorse you (again need to have submitted a deposit).

The rest of the instructor exams don’t require endorsements.

Thank you so much mentors for the advice , you guys are awesome!

Hi Grant,

I recommend Sporty’s Study Buddy for PAR. Sheppard Air for the rest. Follow these instructions: Get Ahead By Taking FAA Knowledge Tests Before Starting ATP / ATP Flight School

Be sure to study the entire question bank for each test, especially the PAR.


Hey Lubberto,

I just started my 4th week with ATP at KTKI (McKinney, TX) and I came in with the PAR, IRA, and FII completed. I’m glad I knocked out the PAR ahead of time because my first few weeks have been fairly low-stress. I’m really able to just focus on what we’re actually working on in the plane.

At the beginning of the program, there is a lot of information flying at you. We have ground lessons in the evenings on Zoom for 3 hours, twice a week. In-person ground lessons when the weather doesn’t permit flying. Simulator lessons. And a lot of aviation language, abbreviations, plane parts, etc. to learn. You can definitely handle all of it, but if you were able to take a bit of stress off yourself by getting a few writtens out of the way, I would recommend it. If I could do it again, I would do the commercial test too. I noticed that even though a lot of the information didn’t make much sense to me while I was studying, I actually came in with way more knowledge than I otherwise would have.

I used Logan’s study method as my guide and spent about 2 weeks studying for the PAR, and 2 weeks total studying for the IRA + FII (I scheduled and took the IRA and FII back to back on the same day). Here’s Logan’s post: I finished the first 3 writtens in 4 weeks and so can you
I scored PAR: 95% IRA: 100% FII: 92%
One other caveat that I didn’t know about beforehand is that the questions you miss on your writtens are areas your DPE will spend extra time going through during your FAA check rides. So the better you score, the easier the oral portion of your check rides will be. Now take that with a grain of salt since I haven’t done a check ride yet, it’s just what I’ve heard around the training center. Maybe some of our Mentors can chime in and discuss that.

But let me know if you have any other questions about the first few weeks! It’s been awesome so far, and I have zero regrets choosing ATP!



Thanks for taking the time to write up this post. We know you’re busy being in the beginning of the ACPP. This can really help others prepare for their upcoming start dates. It’s one thing to hear it from us mentors, but from current students just ahead of where they are, truly invaluable.

Glad to hear things are going so well for you! Keep us updated along your journey.


1 Like

Hi Jay,

Thanks so much for so much detail. I know not only myself but many others are going to benefit from your response. It was the exact response I was looking to hear as I was wanting to kind of estimate my experience in the program having the writtens knocked out. I truly appreciate this.

I can’t wait to see your journey at ATP, gotta keep us posted man.

Thank you again!!

1 Like

Hi Hannah,

Honestly, this forum was so helpful to me in the weeks/months leading up to getting started, so I’m just glad I’m finally at a place where I have something valuable to contribute back to the community.
Thank you for all the information you’ve shared and continue to share on here! I have a bunch of your posts bookmarked. Having access to mentors has been so valuable!

1 Like

Of course! I’m glad it was helpful to you. I’ve learned so much from this forum, and I was just excited that there was finally a question I had insight into.
Good luck studying for the writtens! And let us know when you get a start date and which ATP location you’ll be at!
And if you have any questions in the future, feel free to reach out.

Wooooo all, I missed my favorite topic somehow this week! I must have been to busy in front of my tigerposter and systems manual to see this posting. :smiley:

I’m a big believer in if you can complete at least 1 written prior to Day 1 you’re off to a good start. If you have time (but not delay start date) to get as many as humanly possible.

I came into ATP with all my knowledge tests due to my time I allocated right before the pandemic hit. It made my life 110% easier, but today I wouldn’t delay a start date due to writtens. Really after the PAR knowledge test, each one after can be complete within a week or two.

@JayV, solid write up friend. I’m glad you took the advice given from others across the forum and it seems it may has paid off.

One thing I need to say is after you complete a written is make sure to go through the ACS codes and understand what you got wrong and know how you can answer it come checkride time. It doesn’t have to happen right now, but make sure you visit the ACS prior to the mock checkride.