Preparing for ATP zero to hero

So there’s still a year and four months left until I apply for ATP. In the meantime, I’m preparing myself for the intensive coursework ahead. I have finished reading the Pilot Handbook of Aeronautical Science and Private Pilot Exam Preparation 2017. I just started reading my third book which is Airplane Flying Handbook. What should be my next book? Any recommendations?


Honestly, I don’t really know what else you could do right now. As you get closer you could start studying for your writtens. I would not take them now as they have a two year expiration on them.


Thanks Chris. You brought up a valid point. I didn’t know that they expire in two years. I’m hoping to read Instrument Flying Handbook next.

Also, would like to find out the criteria for the FAA first class medical test. I mean, the things they check.


An FAA medical exam is really just a general health checkup. As long as you are in good health I would not worry too much about the details.


Greetings and thank you for your time and attention. I start ATP Mesa in August and have started to study the self guide curriculum. I am also reading the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and Airplane Flying Handbook simultaneously. This will be my second career and I am completely committed. I feel as if I could be doing more than the 4-5 hours of studying average per day. Some things come naturally and other like the EB6 is giving me fits in the process to obtain the proper answer. I also just joined AOPA. Any assistance and or guidance will be greatly appreciated.


Have you started studying for your FAA writtens yet? That would be where I would focus my energies.


As a current student, listen to these guys when they say knock out as many written tests as possible. It will allow you to devote all your time to studying your current topic of instruction…one less thing to worry about. I just passed my private checkride this morning, but wished the whole way through that I had time to take writtens before.

Which books should I start with?

To start studying for your PPL you should go online and use Sporty’s Study Buddy software which is free. For the other exams the Sheppard Air software will be available to you after you give your deposit and set a date.



I used the ASA Prepware iPad app for my private…i think it’s $10. Everything else is Sheppard Air, which is provided by ATP once you put your deposit down.

Edit: i forgot to mention Sporty’s…thanks Adam :slight_smile:

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I did purchase study buddy from sporty’s. I did make my down payment but do not have access shepherd air. Thanks


Study Buddy for your PPL should be free? Contact ATP for access info.


Were the written exams hard to complete during the program? Or just overwhelming? Also regarding study buddy I only have the option for the practice exam and the learning topics does ATP provide additional access for study buddy. My start date is July 17 and Im trying to knock them all out.

It wasn’t overwhelming in my opinion, just a lot more studying.

What you have is what I had. Study all of the questions and learn the answers…the actual test will be exactly like that.

Was help around for you too by instructors and other students, to understand some of the formulas and everything? And btw CONGRATS on your PPL!!!

Thank you! Absolutely…help is always available!


Thanks. I have that so I will focus on study Buddy. I start August. The equations to eb6 and weight and balance are giving me fits also. I have been reviewing study material in AOPA, you tube no self study portal in ATP. Just attempting to get ahead. Any suggestions or just wait for the starting date?

Thanks in advance Lavell

I have study buddy but don’t have access to Shepard test. Deposit was paid and starting August 7th. Thanks Lavell