"Best" IFR Home Study Course?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by bflynn, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    So I see by the leftover Halloween candy and the rush to turn into Christmas that in fact, Christmas is right around the corner. And what ever VFR pilot wants this year from Santa is either a very naughty elf OR an IFR home study kit. Since I don't believe in elves and frankly I'm reaching the age where the home study course is actually more interesting(!!!), it leads to me ask all the learned minds here - and the rest can offer opinions too - which IFR Home Study Course is the best.

    If it helps, for me this would be both a home study and a take-on-the-road during work study. heavy books are bad. Light electrons are good. Being able to watch during long trans-continental flights without wifi would be excellent
     
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  2. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    I used the Kings online software. It wasn't the most entertaining but got the job done. Truth be told the FAA test is much harder than any of the study guides. You can no longer rely on memorizing answers, you really have to know the content inside and out.
     
  3. George Mohr

    George Mohr Line Up and Wait

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    I used Sporty's for general education, which is pretty good. I used Shepair for the written prep, which was excellent. Got me a solid 95 on the exam.
     
  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Similar for me. Kings for the genearal, SheppardAir for the written.
     
  5. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Not only that, but there are questions that might not be covered by Kings. You will actually have to read and learn the AIM, IFH, IPH, FARs, etc to answer them.
     
  6. George Mohr

    George Mohr Line Up and Wait

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    With SheppardAir, the questions I got were very familiar. I think I hit maybe 2 or 3 that I didn't recognize. There was even one of those questions that are flat out wrong, and you have to answer them wrong on the test to get scored correct. Wouldn't have known that without their study software.

    YMMV.
     
  7. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    Have these courses, ie; Kings and SheppardAir been updated to reflect recent changes in the test..
     
  8. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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  9. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    When I was studying for the IFR exam, SheppardAir was constantly being updated with new info. The changelogs often reflected what questions were being updated.

    After I took the test, I emailed them about three of the questions I remember being different than what was presented. Within 24 hours I got a thank you, a full refund, and a note they would confirm my new information and have it reflected in the question database.

    And I don't think anyone's lack of participation on the forum to be a decision factor on using their service or product. What counts to me is the ability to serve the customer. And I found SheppardAir able to do that in multitudes of spades.
     
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  10. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Read the actual material? Do people actually do that anymore?? ;)
     
  11. Hobobiker

    Hobobiker Line Up and Wait

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    I'm actually using this one now and was one of the "beta testers" a while back. What I like about this one is once you get a quiz answer correct twice, it removes the question from your "pool" of total questions - leaving you with only the ones you haven't answered correctly (twice) yet. Then it has a "Leaderboard" where the top ten people compete for the number of questions that they've removed from their pool. It may sound trivial, but my competitive spirit has me working to move up the list and take the next spot. I hit it pretty hard the last couple of days and currently I'm sitting fourth on the leaderboard...not that I'm paying much attention. :)

    If I remember correctly Bryan was also competing with someone on the leaderboard, which he said pushed him a little harder too.

    I've used the Sheppard product too and liked it, but my only caveat with that one is that it's software that is downloaded on your device. I much prefer a web-based tool that I can use from any browser. I've met Jason and I get the impression that they try very hard to keep that tool updated and, as someone else stated, their customer service was always top notch...
     
  12. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    King is fine. I did the King course and took my IFR written in July and got a 93.
     
  13. Skid

    Skid Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't have anything to contribute, but Gold Method has a promo code: POA50

    Brings it down to roughly the cost of Shep
     
  14. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Frankly they’re all good. Pick whatever one suits your tastes. King has the cheesy hosts we all know and love, Gleim is completely dry and no frills, Jeppesen is a ridiculously large heavy reference tome on tons of topics, the online/Mobile device ones are good for written test cramming (not so good for actually understanding the material though), etc.

    Some folk who have long commutes like the audio book formats a couple of them offer. Those are often available on CD which can be ripped into a more convenient format to put on a device or plug into the car USB port.

    Visual learners often like the video formats. Harder to use while driving. LOL.

    Once in a great while you’ll run into an instructor who wants to use a particular thing. Not too often. Instructors are usually pretty flexible on materials from any of the usual sources unless they have a school mandate or something like a 141 syllabus that calls for specific things.
     
  15. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    What I'm hearing is King is great for the actual general understanding of IFR. Dry and no frills would bore me and a ridiculously large heavy reference tome would not be a boon on flights from NC to CA. I'm leaning toward a DVD / Text format and yes, I'm one of the ones who actually reads things. I have the Instrument Flying Handbook at the top of my reading pile right now.

    But then to do well on the test, which bears little relation to the reality of actual flying, you need to engage with a test prep system such as Gold Method or Shep.

    I will drop some very strong hints to my little elf about King...
     
  16. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    If you really want to learn the material then King is a good way to go. I actually went through part of the Sheppard Air material and while it is great for passing the exam it isn’t as great for truly understanding the material like King. Just my opinion.
     
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  17. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Highly recommend Instrument Flight Training Manual by Peter Dogan. I think the 3rd Edition is current but you might check on that.
     
  18. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    I think a lot of it depends on how you learn too. I am very visual and prefer to watch videos and then be quizzed. I read the Instrument Flying Handbook and Instrument Procedures Handbook, but to be honest I am a bit of a slow reader and my reading comprehension is a little slower (I promise I am not stoopid :confused:). I just don't learn as quickly from reading (although I still read quite frequently when I am trying to learn different subjects).

    I can tell you my written score would not have been nearly as good if I had just relied upon the FAA handbooks. However, somebody who learns quickly and efficiently through reading could do just fine with the handbooks.
     
  19. GaryV

    GaryV Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I used Kings program for my pilot but Sporty’s for the IFR primarily because of price. For whatever reason the Sporty’s course never clicked for me. In the end I just kept taking their online tests until I was sure I’d pass. I did so I did get my money’s worth but would try Kings again of I needed to take additional training.

    Everyone is different and Sportys courses are praised by others. It just didn’t work for me.

    Gary
     
  20. patlaw

    patlaw Filing Flight Plan

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    It's good to know that King has such good content, but I don't think I can take John and Martha.
     
  21. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Both @SixPapaCharlie and @Cajun_Flyer did GoldMethod, and that motivated me to do it as well.
     
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  22. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    This won't help @bflynn , with an N-number in their photo, but for any Canadians who stumble on this thread the online ground schools at Harv's Air were great 18–19 years ago (I used them for both PPL and IR) and I hear they still are. I went into my Transport Canada exams extremely well-prepared: https://www.harvsair.com/online-ground-school/
     
  23. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

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    Machado also has an IFR ground course available now. I bought it but haven’t had time to dive in yet.
     
  24. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Holy necro post batman! I can only barely remember making that post :)

    But since the thread is alive, let me follow up. I did get the King course. Work has kept me busy, so while I've been through the course, I haven't absorbed it yet. I'm not sure if I like the King course.. A lot of times the practice test questions aren't about things covered in the course. Good that test questions are covering different topics, but it gives the impression that the course material is incomplete.
     
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  25. Deelee

    Deelee Cleared for Takeoff

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    whoa yeah this is a bit old... but timely since I am again using Sheppard to drill and kill for the comm written.

    For actual learning - I like the Jeppesen instrument/comm book and reading the FAA pubs instrument flying handbook and instrument procedures handbook (the latter will make you so so sleepy).
    For passing the written - Sheppard Air all the way. I got a 100% (no, the DPE didn't grill me extra hard because I aced it.... quite the opposite). Their system just works. Yeah, you are memorizing questions and answers. I get it. It is gaming the system. But it will get you past the written with a good score and you can use other study materials to learn the content in-depth along with what your CFII will be teaching you.
    Right before the practical, I got the ASA Instrument Pilot Oral Exam Guide and read it a bunch of times. Aced the oral part of the practical, too (as well as the flight portion).
     
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  26. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, accidental resurrection. Someone activated the thread with a spam reply, and when I commented, I forgot to check the date on your original post. Thanks for giving us an update.
     
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  27. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    No worries. It’s good to come back to these things from time to time and see what’s changed.
     
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  28. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    do you have your IR?
     
  29. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Nope. Like I said, busy with work and can’t find the time to do everything I want to do. Something has to give.
     
  30. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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    It's not the best, but I still passed with a 90. It could use more questions about SLDs.
     
  31. PlasticCigar

    PlasticCigar Pre-takeoff checklist

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    King is boring but actually tries to teach the material (although when I took the IR course it was on VHS tapes). I don’t know if it will appeal to millennials much because it’s not very exciting but if you can get through the tapes and have a semi-competent CFI, you’ll probably learn what you need to know. John and Martha got me through my private, instrument and commercial written and oral exams.

    Sheppard Air is phenomenal for actually answering the test questions. They don’t pretend to try to teach you the material— they just prepare you to take the test. I have to admit I was a skeptic but EVERYONE told me to try it, so I decided to use them for my FOI. I had already read the AIH so I just used Sheppard the week beside the test and I got 100%.

    My advice is to use King to learn the material and Sheppard to take the test. Passing the test and being a competent instrument pilot are two entirely different things.
     
  32. Initial Fix

    Initial Fix Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Years ago I self studied for the IFR. Used the king vhs tapes. Today I would use Sheppard Air along with reading the books.
     
  33. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'd make my recommendations, but they are a bit out of date. I passed my PP written over 20 years ago and the IR written 10 years ago. For those who care, I used King for both. At the time they prepared you for the written, period. If you could stand Martha's "humor" you would learn the material. I don't know what their courses are like now. In any case, best of luck to you!
     
  34. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Vintage Snazzy (so my adult children say)
    I did King to learn things, and gold method to drill on tests to hammer home what I learned with Kings.

    For me, the IFR material overall isn't as "engaging / interesting" as the PPL material, but that's how I'm built. It did the trick for me.
     
  35. WDD

    WDD Pattern Altitude

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    Viewing the video is a like what you'd imagine your senior citizen aunt and uncle would put together if it was 1995 (and this from a guy who is 60). Material was what was needed and it worked for me. If you don't mind substance over style, you'll have no problem.
     
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