Start Date for KEFD :)

Hey y’all!
I am starting at the Houston-Ellington Field location February 13th and couldn’t be more excited! Ive been reading everything possible on here for weeks but I got my start date today and I thought id introduce myself!
I am graduating college (pre-law) in two weeks and then going to hit the books until February preparing! I was dead-set on law school through college, but got “bit by the bug” in June and haven’t been able to think about doing anything else. Im 20, so i am glad I caught it early and not after i subjected myself to law school.
Since the earliest I can start is February, I have read all the stuff about people taking their writtens early so ill try that to kill time until my start date. For those who have done that, did you find it advantageous in the end?

another question: What do you wish you wouldve known at the start of your ATP journey?

Im excited to be in this community with yall, and looking forward to posting some positive updates when I eventually start. Thank you for all the great questions and answers on here as well, they have helped me in a million ways already.


Welcome to the forum. Congrats on your upcoming graduation and start date!

Completing the written exams ahead of time is by far the best thing you can do to set yourself up for success. Unfortunately the written exams are still a requirement by the FAA to get each certificate, however in terms of your training, the knowledge gained is best learned in conjunction with the time flying. The written is just a box to check, simply getting through it so you have one less stressor to get in the way of your studying throughout the program.

I started with only my PAR complete and stayed one exam ahead my entire program. It was better than not doing any writtens but I still had quite a bit of stress worrying about each exam throughout the program. I wish I did more.

Seeing people on the forum talk about written exams, I have never seen one post of someone who regretted it. Only those who wish they took the advice more seriously and got more done ahead of time.

Check out these links:

Let us know if there is anything else we can do to help you prep for your start date.


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As Hannah said, I’ve never heard anyone say they regretted taking the writtens prior to starting. I have however seen many MANY posts from people saying they wish they had.

Think of it this way, and I don’t care if you’re talking about academics or manual labor, can you think of a single task you’ve ever had to accomplish that wouldn’t have been easier if some of the work was done before you started?

Long short if you’ve got the time, complete as many of the writtens as you can before you start. You can thank us later :wink:


Current student here. Welcome! About the written exams, if you can finish them all before your start date, that would be perfect. I came in with 4/6 written exams done and it made my life so much easier. Since this is a fast paced program, any time you can use to rest is very important. And just like they said, written exams are more like boxes to check, majority of the learning will still come from you being at ATP and doing the training everyday. But, try to get high scores as much as you can since some examiners on checkrides take written exams into account when trying to ask you questions.

I don’t see any disadvantage in doing the written exams in advance. Reviewing for them take so much time so try to complete them before your start date.

I started with zero experience with flying and doing this as a second career. My first week was the hardest to be honest. You’ll be bombarded by all these new knowledge plus learning how to actually fly the plane. But after the first week, you’ll feel better, not because it’s getting easier, but because you’re adapting. So yeah, expect your first week to be very busy with most of your brain trying to organize all the new things coming all at once.

Enjoy the process, it’s gonna be quick and you’ll be done before you know it. Good luck!


Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the start date at the Houston-Ellington Field in February! You’re about to embark on a really cool and fun journey that will last a lifetime. I’ve always stood by once you get the feel of flying an airplane and seeing how awesome it is, the bug will make its calling.

Getting the writtens completed ahead of schedule, if possible, will definitely lighten your workload upon attendance. Even though it isn’t a requirement, I would say get at least the PAR done so that way the beginning of your training you can focus on learning to fly instead of ‘cramming’ for a written. I think from now until February 13th you could get a few writtens completed and check the box.

I started with all my writtens completed (time allowed) and it was probably the best thing I could have done. It gave me more time to prepare for upcoming lessons and thoroughly read everything given I had time to comprehend - plus I’m not the fastest reader either. During your off days utilize any resources at the training center you have, other peers (students and instructors), simulators, and tiger posters (flightdeck poster).

Please let us know if there is anything we could help out with and if you get time, please keep us updated on your progress.



Taking the writtens early will be a huge advantage to you. All of them would be ideal, but focus on doing as many as possible. I would try to get a 90% or higher on each one. If you do not get them all finished, that is fine, but the more you can do the better.

I felt very prepared for ATP, part of that was having all of my writtens complete. I suppose I wish I had known how challenging the instrument portion can be, but maybe it is better to not know some things in advance :slight_smile:

Please let us know how else we can help you along the way.