Real Answers from Real Pilots

Preparing for ATP

For you guys (or gals) that went to ATP, did you take the writtens before attending and, if so, what ground school courses did you find the most helpful?


I took every written before I began training with ATP. I found the study courses produced by John and Martha King to be the most effective for me.


Hi Dave,

I did. While definitely not required it was good to get them out of the since their relevance to what you’re actually learning is minimal. No course just used the Gleim books (which btw are what ATP uses when you enroll). If you do decide to bang them out make sure you look for overlaps and take the tests accordingly (the Gleim books with list what tests apply to which book). For example you need to take both the IRA (Instrument Rating Airplane) and the FII (Flt Instructor Instrument). Thing is their the same test (FII has 1 or 2 helicopter questions). Another nifty btw (if you’re feeling motivated and have some spare cash) when you take the instrument exams also take the IGI (Instrument Ground Instructor) and when you take the FIA (Flt Instructor Airplane, which if I remember is the same test as the CPA (Commercial Pilot Airplane?) you can take the AGI (Advanced Ground Instructor). Neither the AGI or IGI are required BUT you can march them into the local FAA office and they’ll hand you an Advanced Ground Instructor certificate. Get 80% pass rate from your students and you’ll get a Gold Seal Instructor rating which looks REALLY good on your resume and is what helped get my into the Training Dept. Again not required but what the hey?



Thanks so much! Out of curiosity, did you take them in a particular order. Also did you train at ATP for multi or instrument first?


I did them in the normal order which you usually progress. I had my Private (but you’d do that first), Instrument, Commercial, then the Instructor stuff (there is no ME written). When I attended ATP there was no 40hr ME option, only the 100hr . Day 1 we started training in the Seminole for the multi because you did all your Instrument training in the twin. I believe that’s not the case in the 40 hr? In that program you do the Instrument stuff in the single. Depending which route you take you may go Private, ME, Instrument or you may go Private, Instrument, ME.


Thanks Adam! I already have my Private and around 90 hrs so I’m studying for the instrument now and hope to start ATP in January. I appreciate the info.

ATP provides the Sheppard Air knowledge test prep software as part of your Airline Career Pilot Program. This is not a full training course like King, but it’s a good wrote memorization test prep tool before taking the test. We use it to supplement ground school and self-study provided in the ACPP.

After scheduling your class date, you will receive an enrollment confirmation for IRA, then each subsequent test.

Just FYI so you don’t buy it direct only to have it included for free with ATP later.

My bad Justin and Brad,

Back in the good ole’ days it was only Gleim. While I’ve never used Sheppard’s program I always heard great things and I did use their awesome “cheat sheet” for the ATP written. Only used that and got a 96!


Thanks for the great info! I know some of the ground school video courses offer the endorsement to take the written.