IFR Rating Written Test Prep

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by SoCal 182 Driver, Jul 25, 2020.

  1. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Friends - I'm about finished with the Sporty's Instrument Rating course. I don't feel anywhere near prepared enough to take the written.

    I'd like to supplement what I've learned at the Sporty's course with something else to help me drill down and really get prepared for the test. I've heard Sheppard Air is good. Does anyone have any other suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Deelee

    Deelee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Sheppard Air is the way to go. I used it a few months ago. If you follow their system to the letter you will not only pass, but score in the 90's. I used it and got a perfect score. The thing is, you need to follow their system exactly as they specify. They have a bank of test questions that is kept up to date constantly. Their guarantee is that if you see a question that you didn't see during your prep, memorize the question and the answers then call them as soon as you are done with the test. Tell them the question and answer choices and they add it to their test bank, then give you your money back. This is how they keep things so current.

    The system is basically this - there are nine or ten question categories. You go through the categories one by one. The first pass through each category, you review the question and ONLY the correct answer. Then you review the questions in the category again, but with ALL the answer choices showing. You mark questions you either miss or are a bit questionable on. Do this for all the categories. Then go through all the questions scrambled together. Again, mark the questions you miss or guess at. then you review the missed questions. Then you take a practice exam. If you score higher than (I think it is 90?), you go take the real test immediately.

    Some of this may not be exactly right, but that's the gist. I would call them up. Their customer support is amazing. You can call for help with the system or with questions at any time (when they are open). They even have a CFII on staff to give a test endorsement if you need one. I think they also have a demo you can try out. Don't be put off by the old-school software look and feel. It isn't real pretty, but it WORKS.

    Again, I got a perfect score and I think the test only took about 30 minutes to take. You will just know the answers by sight when you take the actual test. There wasn't a question on the exam that I hadn't seen before. The test proctor knew all about Sheppard also and told me this was the best way to go.

    Good luck!
     
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  3. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Sheppard. I doubted, but for $40 said screw it, I’ll try it. I did it during March-May this year. Took the test in June. 59 out of 60 and I was mad cuz I knew the right answer and decided to change it, lol.

    I actually learned a bit using Sheppard. There were a couple concepts that I either had a tough time with or just never learned well from my videos, books, or instructor. The Sheppard explanations helped me (each question has an explanation of why the answer is right). I actually took notes during the program.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2020
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  4. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait

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    I did the King course, and then did Sheppard. I would definitely recommend Sheppard as an add on after you've been through the main course from King, Sporty's, etc.
     
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  5. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    Take 3 practice tests. If you score 85% or better on all three you will pass the the actual test just fine.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
  6. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Where does one find practice tests?
     
  7. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Eh sort of. I took 14 practice tests and my lowest score was 88, everything else 90+ and although yes, I passed, I didn’t get quite the score I was looking for. Oh well, I passed, right?
     
  8. Cluemeister

    Cluemeister Line Up and Wait

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    They become available once you successfully pass all the quizzes in the course.
     
  9. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

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    The 3 practice tests at 85% or better is my standard for me to recommend a student for the written test. In 22 years of instructing I have never had anyone fail a knowledge test. Many didn't get the score they wanted, but they didn't fail. I am sure there will eventually be an exception.

    www.exams4pilots.org
    works for free practice tests, there are better places, but may or may not be free.
    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
  10. SoCal 182 Driver

    SoCal 182 Driver Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Helpful. Thanks.
     
  11. simtech

    simtech En-Route

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    Anything over 70 is wasted effort.

    Sheppardair is the way to go. I used it for my IR and in a week or so of studying I went from zero knowledge to passing the written very easily. Follow their system and go for it. Im about to use them for my commercial.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2020
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  12. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Back around 1983 I took a local Commercial/Instrument course using Jepp materials. It was atrocious. For example, it talked about RMIs and say they were useful to fly DME arcs. That's all. No indication as to why it would be useful. I got a minimally passing grade on that.

    Later I got serious again in the courses (probably about 1992) and took the King Schools tapes. Can alternate between boring and corny. Passed written again in the high 90's.

    Finally, I was getting ready to get my rating in earnest in 2005. Bought both the Irwin Gleim test prep and ASA Prepware. That implementation of Prepware back then (have to believe it has improved) as absolutely the most atrocious thing I'd ever seen. Gleim was really great for drill and kill. They integrated the "supplemental pictures" into the book in a similar way to the actual exams. Again, I scored in the high 90's. I then booked the PIC guy to come out and knock out my rating in eight days (including the checkride).
     
  13. AU_James

    AU_James Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm glad you mentioned this. I've been working on Sheppard for 3 weeks now and I feel like I'm going too slowly or need to dedicate more time to it. Still going to keep hammering it out, but it does give me some confidence that I'm not about to forget what I went over in the first category by the time I finish studying.
     
  14. Dave Arata

    Dave Arata Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I used Sheppardair for both instrument and commercial. Highly recommended.
     
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  15. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    It’s crazy how it works so well. It’s was a SLOG. I went through every question. When I got to the last part where you mark the questions you missed, a good bit of them were from earlier in the training. That’s the part where you polish up and get a near perfect score. Is it necessary? Nah. But it’ll make the verbal easier I am guessing. Now I need to go fly off another 15 or so hours of hood/actual...
     
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  16. Deelee

    Deelee Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I thought the same thing when I used the Sheppard study system. Ones I marked were from earlier on, so going back and reviewing them again really helped solidify things. If you use their system exactly - don't go taking a bunch of their practice tests right away - it is amazing how it works. Took me a couple of weeks of heads-down, dedicated time to focus on it. But when I was ready, I was READY. I had to call Sheppard to get an endorsement, and when I told the person on the phone that I had gotten high scores on the practice test, they told me - go schedule the exam NOW. Do it in the next few days.

    I did and ripped off that 100% in about 1/2 hour. And I'm no genius, trust me.
     
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  17. Barry

    Barry Pre-Flight

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    I passed my Instrument written back in the spring, used Sporty's as well. I also got the Sheppard study system but didn't like it myself, and didn't use much at all before I gave up on it. Like you I didn't think the video content on Sportys was enough by itself, so I also read the IFR handbook and made good notes to review. Then I went back to Sporty's test prep and went through all of those, admit I didn't score great on some of them. Then I went straight to practice tests. I took a practice test every day for 13 straight days (usually took 1 hour to 1:15), taking notes on the ones I missed. started in low 70s, then last 5 tests in low-mid 90s. Went and took the real deal and got a 90. The real test I took the full 2 hours, going through and answering the ones I knew for sure were right, came back to the ones I marked to take my time. There were some tricky ones in there I had to really think about, but process of elimination helps (there is one answer you know is not right, down to the other two). Anyhow, that is how I did it, good luck.
     
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  18. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    There is a sticky on this topic, in which you'll find the other frequently recommended courses like www.goldmethod.com/
     
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  19. KeepWatch

    KeepWatch Filing Flight Plan

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    I did the Sporty's course. It's good video and very informative. It does a poor job of preparing for the test. I let 2 years go by, got the Sheppard Air course and made a 100 in 30 minutes. It doesn't teach you everything you need to know for IFR, but it teaches EVERYTHING you need to know for the test and nothing more unless you dig.

    Btw, I called Sheppard Air at midnight on a Sunday with a question about altitude on a specific procedure turn. Left a voicemail; guy called me back 5 minutes later and we talked for 10 minutes about the chart. They do what they say they'll do.
     
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