What is the best way to study for the Instrument Written Test?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Michael Caliz, Apr 22, 2019.

  1. Michael Caliz

    Michael Caliz Filing Flight Plan

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    When I took the written for my PPL I used an online data base and some other things (wiz wheel etc.)

    Any advice on how to study for the IFR Written Test please?

    Thanks.
     
  2. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Same way. Drill and kill.
     
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  3. simtech

    simtech En-Route PoA Supporter

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  4. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  5. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Get sportys online course, download to your ithing, fall asleep watching them. This is my routine for about 8 months now....

    I got to get this thing over with
     
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  6. ajulian3

    ajulian3 Filing Flight Plan

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    Shepherd air 100%
     
  7. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    If you want to pass the written, Shepherd. If you want to understand the material, King.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  8. PilotRPI

    PilotRPI Line Up and Wait

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    Shepherd helped the most with the written. For the practical/oral, the two FAA books and the FAR/AIM. I read those quickly for the written as well, but Shepherd really makes the difference.
     
  9. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I used a couple of different online/tablet things: GoldMethod and Dauntless. Then put it all together with a weekend Aviation Seminars IR course. I did the weekend course because getting uninterrupted study time was just not happening. Scored 90.
     
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  10. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    This topic is worthy of a sticky.
     
  11. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    A friend had a copy of the King CDs that I borrowed. Went through all the lessons, then took the practice tests. After that, went through the entire question bank. Test was easy after all that lol.
     
  12. Cogito

    Cogito Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I did this, then went on to get the IFR rating, all last year:

    Read and Understand This (FREE) :
    https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/media/FAA-H-8083-15B.pdf
    Take notes, look up what you don't understand.

    Take this Online Course:
    https://kingschools.com/ground-school/instrument-rating/courses

    Watch these Online IFR Seminars (FREE) :
    https://www.pilotedge.net/workshops
    (the first few seminars are VFR, but the rest are in-depth IFR seminars, if you really pay attention and take notes you'll understand Departure Procedures, Enroute Procedures, Charts, STARs, and Approach Plates. Yes, this is a Flight Sim site, but Keith Smith teaches IFR in a very understandable way.)

    Start your practical Instrument Instruction (get in a plane with a CFII) so the theoretical concepts make sense to you.

    Polish up your knowledge with the Dauntless iPad App. There are others, I know, but I like the way you can set it up so you don't waste time studying what you already know. I set it so if I answered any question correctly twice, it won't ask me that question again.

    Good luck. It's a lot of work, but take it step by step, there's no individual part that's too difficult to learn.
     
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  13. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    Times are changing... the LCME had recognized this as the way many medical students were getting through med school. Once they got past the hurdles (test) they were forgetting much of what they crammed for... with this they have instituted some change in the way of a flipped classroom enviroment with problem based learning for the medical schools... that is now the student needs to learn and then teach material... The logic behind this is "if you can teach it you know it"

    I understand the drill and kill parrot methodology and this does work for many, but thinking out loud here, maybe for the instrument rating this is not the best advice due to the need of having a deeper understanding of the material. Just my two cents :)
     
  14. jonnyjetprop

    jonnyjetprop Cleared for Takeoff

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    I’d view the question in two parts. You want to pass the written test and you want to know the material. In my book, they’re two separate, but equally important things. An online program like Sheppard Air’s will get you a good score on the written.
     
  15. simtech

    simtech En-Route PoA Supporter

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    If you are just wanting to get the written out of the way before training sheppardair and a few days studying it will get it done. Then you can focus on learning and flying. You will be surprised how much you retain from studying this way too.
     
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  16. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    I have actually taken a different approach. I am not saying it is right, I am saying this method of learning works for me. I have watched a few training videos before so I understand the concept, but I do not actually grasp it unless I do it. to top it off, learning the mood swings to GNS 480 is a task by itself. so I have been flying practice approaches (with CFII) and doing various things before I actually learn the theory portion in real world. for example, I took a IFR from KFAR - KSTP last Saturday and instead of usually direct I chose the GEP1 arrival (usually reserved for turbine, but the load was light and they let me), learned a lot. then came home and watched the sporties video on STAR and that made a whole lot more sense.

    yeah this method will result in dragging my training more, but I don't care, its still time in the air. I also took a decision of doing rest of my hood work, approaches etc in MSP bravo or Grand Forks instead of Fargo and puttering around on RNAV on some Podunk airports here where no one goes doesn't teach me a whole lot.
     
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  17. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    You differentiate between passing the test and knowing how to fly it. If the FAA tests were limited to what you actually need to know, then I'd agree with you. But they test you on everything that you might ever need to know, in minutia and they frequently get it wrong. Going back to your medical school example, the government would be testing doctors on medical knowledge, but they'd also have to know everything about Affordable Care Act insurance, medicare and medicaid billing, and the government nutritional recommendations.
     
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  18. ZeroPapaGolf

    ZeroPapaGolf Line Up and Wait

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    FAA writtens are full of outdated, inaccurate, and irrelevant information. Get Sheppard and pass the test. Then dive into deeper publications to actually understand the details of what you need to know.
     
  19. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    I agree, there is a lot of stuff in the written that is outdated and probably never going to be used in your IFR flying... ADF/NDB being one of them.. I don't know... do they still test on this?

    People learn in different ways, and maybe the cram, jam, and slam is OK for some and the primary rating. The point I am making is if you know the material well enough to teach it, you may surprise yourself on how well you retain it...
     
  20. JohnWF

    JohnWF Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I used King's course and got a 95 so it must be fairly good
     
  21. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I had no ADF/NDB question on the written last month. FWIW.
     
  22. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I used Sporty's video software. I thought it worked quite well for me and it was engaging to keep me going.
     
  23. mryan75

    mryan75 Line Up and Wait

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    That's not as much the case anymore. The tests are being or have been updated.
     
  24. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Staring dreamily into Martha’s eyes for hours. Worked for me!
     
  25. Stephen Shore

    Stephen Shore Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I used a combination of King and Gold Method. When I say "used" I mean that I actually bought and went through the complete courses. Kings gives you a better understanding of the course material and Gold Method gives you good understanding, but really a better way to take practice tests and prepare for the written (in my opinion).

    John and Martha King have a great company and just are hard to beat for educational purposes. If you can get around the constant reminders from them about how many hours they have and some of the cornball jokes, they really do a good job in educating you about whatever subject it is that they are teaching.
     
  26. JScarry

    JScarry Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you memorize everything on this page, and know how to do the stupid VOR questions, you’ll pass the knowledge test and the oral.
     
  27. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Seriously. I used King for the written. Hard to beat. You will learn how to do the VOR stuff. The way you can test yourself with then is very helpful.
    For oral and check ride the King course was disappointing. I found reading, watching mock checkrides and avclicks rhat @dtuuri put together was very helpful understanding a lot about how separation, plates and airspace really works. Gets into the TERPS a lot and that helped me understand the why of that stuff
     
  28. MBDiagMan

    MBDiagMan En-Route

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    I started with King and shepperdair and after a while got the Gliem because I didn’t have to bounce around different screens to reference the figures. If I were doing it over again, I think the Gliem would be all I would need. I like the paper reference figures and the answer explanations.
     
  29. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    In real world how many of you actually fly VOR approaches? Seems like one of those things that we have to do for checkride and never use again
     
  30. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    I used King for both the PP and IR writtens. 100% on the PP and high 90s on the IR. They teach you to pass the written, nothing more. But for that they did quite well with me. This assumes, of course, that you can survive Martha's "sense of humor". For the practical, I used everything I could get my hands on.
     
  31. olasek

    olasek Pattern Altitude

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    There is no “best way” way, whatever works for you.
    But I never studied “for the written”, I studied to understand the subject. I used different sources, even such unorthodox as Machado’s books.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  32. steviedeviant

    steviedeviant Pre-takeoff checklist

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    100% agree with this. I bought both and took the written in October. The test is a joke. Basically memorize the questions and answers from Shepherd and then make sure you actually take time to learn it with King.
     
  33. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Administrator Management Council Member

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    Made a sticky and moved to Pilot Training as this is a commonly asked question.
     
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  34. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    *raises hand*

    The IAF for the GPS approach to the same runway is further away depending on my arrival, and if I gotta pee...well that extra couple minutes could make the difference.
     
  35. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    <conjures up new meaning for "holding pattern">
     
  36. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Sheppard air and grind. It sucks, but it gets you there.

    I think this is why everyone is always looking for a better way to prep for a test. They start taking IFR practice tests and are completely lost. Maybe they're flying and feel pretty good about their ability to fly an approach then they try some test questions and many of them have nothing to do with anything they've done with their CFII. They figure they've missed some essential source of information for their studying and are questing for the magical book/video/etc they can absorb that will make sense of it all. Nope. Doesn't exist, it's just a slog learning a test written by government committee. Grind and slog through it until you understand or have memorized enough to pass, that's all there is.
     
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  37. coma24

    coma24 Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for the shout out. I would agree with other comments that there are study tools for passing the written, and then there are study tools for understanding how the system works. I would categorize the PE workshops as the latter.
     
  38. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-Flight

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    I used a few books and other materials then hit Sheppard Air to finish things up. 95%
     
  39. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Thanks for that link. :thumbsup:
     
  40. SOB8604

    SOB8604 Pre-Flight

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    Currently what I'm doing, several friends who are recent IR/CPL through CFII pilots and the consensus is study for and pass the test then dive into the material. I'm doing sheppard and its slow tedious progress, also got the sportys course as I like the way they explain things visually in their videos.

    I've logged a little bit of actual and about 12 hours of hood time, and the flying is awesome, I find it interesting, different and exciting...but studying for this damn written while working 80+ hours a week and balancing life is tough, I've pushed my date goal of getting certified by several times now. Now shooting to have it by the end of the summer. :eek: