Can I register for an IACRA to schedule my written exams before even getting a start date at a school? Or should I wait to register just in case I need information from the school I’m interested in? I am wanting to complete these exams before starting-creating study time for check rides.
You can register with IACRA at anytime.
Keep in mind is the exams expire in 24mos if you haven’t taken the associated practical exam, so if you think for any reason you won’t be completing your training (for the specific license or rating) within 2yrs, you should wait.
You do need register with IACRA to get your FAA Tracking Number (FTN) prior to taking any writtens. You can just go ahead and register, there is nothing you will need from he school to register.
Keep in mind that you will need an instructor sign off to take several of the writtens. You can obtain that through the company you bought the test prep software from, or through ATP once you have registered.
As Chris mentioned, you will need to complete an IACRA for a FAA FTN to connect to your Airmen Knowledge Test account. This is used so that when you submit an application for a license or rating, the respected knowledge test can be attached appropriately and verified by both your instructor and DPE.
Chris’ link from the Pilot Institute is a good resource.