So you want to knock out the written tests early? A Guide

Hello all,
Im very new to the aviation world!
Currently, I have obtained my first class medical and was recently approved for a loan to ATP, which I plan to enroll this spring at their Ogden location.

In the meantime, through advice of this forum and friends, Im studying for the PAR (Kings School) and beyond. Im about 75% through and have been taking excellent notes, although I would say Ive already spent close to 50+ hours.

Obviously everyone learns differently and retaining information is the most important part (the combination of the videos and note taking seems to be working great for me), but is there any benefit of having these detailed notes for the future?
I truly enjoy the note taking, but there are many sections that Im positive I could retain without notes. Is spending this much time on notes overkill?

How did you actually study for the writtens? Just watch the videos? Videos and notes? Flashcards? If you did take notes, are these beneficial in the future for any purpose?

Also, if you have any other tips for a zero time noob who is about to start flight school in a couple months, Im all ears and appreciate these conversations very much! Ive been an eager observer of these conversations, but finally feel validated to contribute now that this is going to be a real thing! Thanks

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Tavin,

As you said everyone learns differently but most people I know who prep for the tests don’t take notes at all. The King course is excellent but at this stage you simply want to use the test prep section. As stated many times this is simply rote memorization when it comes to the FAA Knowledge exams and most of the other information will be way out of context until you actually start flying.

As for anything else honestly the more writtens you can complete the better. That will lighten your load during training considerably.

Adam

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I used Sheppard Air’s test prep to study for the written. I percieve writtens to be the monkey on your back and getting them done as soon as possible is a good relief. As Adam has said, most of your learning will come when you start flying so its just a matter of memorizing the answers to the questions. But I wouldn’t throw away your notes because after the written comes the checkride later down the road and what you are currently doing supplemented with other methods will help you study for the checkride. Good luck

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Thank you Adam, I appreciate the insight.

Tavin,

I personally would not spend all that time writing notes. I doubt that you will find any use for them down the road as the written exams do not necessarily correlate to the knowledge you will need. I would watch the vides, but more importantly, do the practice tests until you haver the correct answers memorized. I would try to spend less time per test, but get more of them completed.

Welcome to the forums. Please continue to check in as you go through the program.

Chris

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I am 4/6 into the tests they recommend you start with. I must admit I take notes but I’m a bit old school. I think I will benefit from having my notes when I become a flight instructor to refer back to. I think it may help me better explain the stuff to new students one day, as I progress through these lessons, that’s always in the back of my head that I will one day have to explain this to someone.

Although to pass the tests I don’t think you NEED to take notes. I also know how I retain information and I usually need to write it down. I plan to have a large cumulative review of everything before I start actual training and it will be nice to refer back to notebooks.

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I honestly never took notes. I found that there is so much concise printed material on general aviation subjects that there isn’t much point in taking notes, unless it’s something that really warps your head. You’ll find the ASA Oral Exam guides are basically Cliff-Notes of the official FAA handbooks.

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This was awesome, thank you for your feedback! I hope to start soon, still waiting on my first class to be approved!!

Nik

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Hi Luke,

Im studying for the IRA now. Don’t misunderstand my question, I want to be awesome at instrument flying (and that includes really understanding everything) - but as I go through Shepard air, I’m memorizing a lot of answers (not learning) but I’m planing on studying all of this later and really learning/understanding it (with out the pressure of studying for the written). Is this what you did? Did you basically memorize everything?

By the way, you’re right… this is grueling.

Thanks,

Phill,

That’s the way it’s done. You’ll learn the material while you’re taking instruction when it’s relevant and applicable.

Adam

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I may be the exception, but I do not like Sheppard Air for the very reason you indicated that you memorize answers and do not learn a whole lot. I used the King videos for private, instrument, and commercial. I scored in the 90s, including a 92% on instrument written. With that said, if you’re planning to go back and learn the concepts, and it works for you, then nothing wrong with that approach. I did not have any issues during any of my check rides with those scores. I say, do whatever works for your learning style and as long as you learn the concepts, then go for it. Best of luck with your training.

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Just took my instrument and FII exams yesterday (and yes, they are just about question for question the exact same test, so do them back to back). Passed with a 92 and a 90 respectively through the Sheppard program. I totally agree that I didn’t feel like I “learned” as much through Sheppard as I did with the King private, but everybody (including my dad, a retired USAir captain and my step-mom, an American captain) said forget learning the material, you’ll do that with your instructor. Learn the test, pass the test.

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Calvin,

Good work on the written exams! Just a few more to go.

Chris

I passed my private and plan to take my IRA & FII in a couple days. I’m in the middle of going through all 1100 questions on Sheppard Air, and I just started studying 6 days ago. Very draining along with a full time job. Does anyone know if the question bank gets much smaller for the CAX. I’m really pushing to to get all 6 exams done before I start on May 11th.

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The CAX is 977 questions

Jimmy,

The CAX is basically a PAR with some more technical questions along the lines of commercial hiring and limitations. You’ll be surprised, but you’ll probably already know a decent amount of the questions already. I have completed all my writtens while working full-time, it is do-able, you’re on the right track - keep pushing!

Brady

Thanks!

Hey Luke,

I am in the process of waiting for COVID-19 to settle a bit more as I recently moved to Phoenix to be my mothers caretaker who suffered a stroke and has small cell lung cancer. So, the last thing I want to do is contract a respiratory virus that could kill her even quicker than her own health issues at the moment. I am a newbie to aviation and have decided I want to make a career change during this difficult time in my life. I have not yet applied for a loan nor selected a start date, but have done extensive research on ATPs website while finding this forum very helpful as well! I am in a bit of limbo, because once I hopefully am approved for a loan and have all my ducks in a row, I will start here in Scottsdale, AZ.
I am curios to how I would be able to get a hold of the King Schools Private Pilot Ground School & Test Prep Course if its only available after a deposit to ATP? Also, is there a long time between having your loan approved and an available start date for ATP? I ask that because I am a bit confused on how you could start the written tests before you start the program. Lastly, is there any study material that I could spend this entire summer reading over? So when the time is right I am fully prepared to apply for a loan, get my FAA medical and start the program through ATP. I appreciate your guide to help me get started on a very exciting time in my life!

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Ryan,

All of the study material you need will be available after you place your deposit down with ATP. If you want to study prior to that, you will need to acquire your study material on your own. You can purchase study material directly from the dealers themselves.

I would recommend the Jeppessen Private. Pilot Manual if you really want to start reading now.

Chris

Ryan,

May I also recommend you visit the FAA’s pub website where there’s TONS of great reading for the low low price of FREE! I’d start with the Airplane Flying Handbook and the The Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/

Adam