Start Date Locked In (Plus Written Questions)

Hey everyone, long time lurker here checking in to introduce myself with the great news that I finally got my start date. After a few months of planning and research, I applied for my loan and was finally able to secure my slot with the ATP at FXE (Ft. Lauderdale). I start on August 21st and will be doing the 40hr Multi option.

I went for a tour a few weeks back and went for an intro flight and loved it. I have a few hours of dual (<5) and know this is what I want, but the condition of the planes, school reputation, my intro CFI, and delineated training plan really sold me on ATP. Did I mention I flew a 2017 all glass Archer? drool

Anyways, now that I am awaiting my start date I want to follow the advice mostly posted and get my writtens out of the way. For now the plan is something like PAR-IGI-IRA-CFII-CAX-AGI-FIA-FOI and I have a little over a month and a half of free time to do it. Win. I’ve seen some other guys have been able to knock it out but my question is what route should I take to study it? I have all my materials already (well missing my ATP bookbag…) but it’s a bit overwhelming. If someone could break this down for me like I’m 2 and say read: PHAK then… then… or whatever method is used. I am not opposed to apps or online ground just obviously would like the fastest and most effective methods. Also, lowest cost would be nice.

I would like literally all suggestions and opinions, even if you’re on the same boat or working through it now. Finally, feel free to ask me questions if you’re one of the guys dreaming about taking the jump. I’ll keep you all updated as I progress through the program and hopefully beyond.


Thanks for introducing yourself.

The route that I would use for the writtens is to Study the AOPA Study Buddy for the private, and then the appropriate Sheppard Air courses for all of the other writtens. All of that material should be included with your ATP material, so there should be no additional cost to you.

I am really glad that you are getting a head start on the writtens, you will be very thankful that you did in a few months.



I completely agree with Chris and that’s a good flow but after the PAR the order is less important. Just make sure you take your Instrument exams together (IRA and FII) and the CAX and FIA as well as those pairs share similar test banks of questions making it much easier. Also the AGI and IGI are not required but either one can be used to get additional ratings and/or a Gold Seal on your licenses so that’s optional and entirely up to you.

Have fun!



Thanks for the advice I will definitely use Studdy Buddy and Sheppard Air advice. I guess I was just wondering if for starting the Studdy Buddy is enough since it seems to just be practice tests without much explanation for the answers or a ground course beforehand. I will just power through it until I can do about 95% or higher.


Thanks for the suggestion I’ll be sure to knock them out together. I figured I’d take the extra tests since it seems it won’t be too much new info and I can use all the practice I can get… extra ratings don’t hurt either.

I’ll get to it guys, thanks again!

Hi guys,

First off - congrats, Arturo, on securing an ATP start date! My boyfriend also just got his start date - September 18 at Fort Lauderdale.

I see a lot of posts on this site relating to studying for written exams and completing those before starting training. I know my boyfriend has been working on the pre-training modules that he was instructed to complete by ATP - apparently there are 60 or so.

So that leads to my question - are these modules in addition to the study prep for the written exams? I only ask because I see the written exams getting a lot of attention, but not much in terms of the modules that have to be completed on the ATP website.

Can someone shed light on this? Are there the same thing?



You are correct. The Self Study Modules are separate from the written
exams. I would suggest to your boyfriend to focus on the Modules first as
his first written exam doesn’t need to be taken until after he starts the
program. If he wants to get a jump start on his writtens, he can.

If you go here:
it talks about getting ahead and Self Study.

Thanks for the clarification, Tory!


As I have suggested before, I strongly recommend that your boyfriend join the forum himself so that he can ask his questions directly. I find that no matter how good the intent is, much often gets lost in translation.


Hi Chris,

He actually does have an account, and uses the forum frequently to look at past posts. We are currently separated by a few states and our schedules don’t always align, so I tend to ask questions here as I think of them, especially since you all are the experts.


The thing about the FAA Written exams is they are a require for the checkrides however the material really doesn’t correspond with the curriculum. While not required to be completed prior, many students (myself included) found ourselves at a great advantage by getting them out of the way. Doing so allows you to focus and study what you’re doing NOW without having to cram for material not relevant at any given time. Again not required but if he can, he should.



Thanks and that’s great, what’s your boyfriend’s name? Looking forward to meeting him later on.

Anyways, like Adam said, based on the modules I’ve done already they are very different from the written exam material. Best way I can describe it is the modules will teach you practical workings and how to really fly, the written exam is much more theory. The two won’t translate directly so if he has time then it would be good to start studying for that as well.

I used for my PPL and instrument. I have looked at a few others my friends have used and I liked the way this program and instructor explains stuff.


10 months is a long time. Your persistence will pay off, Thomas. Congrats on getting your start date. We would love to receive updates from you.


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Love to hear updates, even from you Tom :wink:

Congrats on the PPL. While not easier I’m certain the rest will go smoother.


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Congrats Tom! You’re really gonna enjoy it, are you coming to FXE?

Anyways, it’s been quite a while and I’ve been busy studying but it’s about time for an update. I’m now an Instrument rated Private Pilot I’ve had great experiences through the past 6 months: soloing, flying in clouds (having to go missed because of being in a solid layer at 200AGL is up there) and many more. If there’s anyone on the fence reading this like I was a year ago, I truly believe ATP is one of the best options for flight training. My CFI is very knowledgeable and helpful and I’ve been able to get through the program with no problems. Feel free to ask me anything.

My next checkride is in less than two weeks and it’ll be my Commercial multi engine (we skip Private multi now) and I’ll be heading to CFI school a week after that when I finish my Com single add on. It has been a long road and it’s gone fast. If not for the hurricane and some weather I could have finished in about 5 months but I believe some of the setbacks really help get you accustomed to the realities of being a pilot.

Oh and I’m still working on the last few CFI writtens, but Chris and Adam you guys were dead on about getting them done early.

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Hey Thomas,

Congrats on the start date! I should be starting in San Diego soon too. I recently earned my PPL out here and the airspace was definitely intimidating; I started flying in Virginia and it doesn’t compare, when I got out here it felt so scary flying with terrain all around you and then having to think about the airspace too. But honestly it wasn’t that bad, you will get used to it I actually enjoy the scenery now. :+1:t5:


Personally I’m a big fan of busy airspace. While it can seem overwhelming at first, controllers, airspace, terrain, weather are all challenges every pilot must conquer. It will force you to up your situation awareness sooner and that’s a very good thing.


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Hi Elaine!
I see that your partner is a pilot situated in Fort Lauderdale and you both are long distance. Im in the same situation and looking to make a friend whose in the same situation. Im pretty new to all this and learning about my boyfriends lifestyle and job so would be nice to have someone who understands what it’s like to be the girlfriend :slight_smile:

  • Kellie

Hi Kellie,

We actually have been in the same state for a while now so I’m not sure if I’m the best resource or not, but happy to chat and help in any way I can! Currently, my boyfriend is closing in on 1500 hours as an instructor at ATP and will soon be headed to the airlines. That’s when the real fun begins trying to figure out where we are going to be located!

Ah nice! My boyfriend works for a mainline airline but we’ve learnt so much on how to go about his work schedule and the distance. I’ve created and instagram page if you wanna check it out? It’s @ cdftomia