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Today I completed my 8th FAA Knowledge Test. As you can see below, I did very well on my tests. Check out what I did to study for each of the tests.

  • PAR (Private Pilot – Airplane) -> 98%
  • IRA (Instrument Rating – Airplane) -> 98%
  • CAX (Commercial Pilot – Airplane) -> 94%
  • FOI (Fundamentals of Instructing) -> 98%
  • FIA (Flight Instructor – Airplane) -> 95%
  • FII (Flight Instrument Instructor – Airplane) -> 100%
  • AGI (Advanced Ground Instructor) -> 92%
  • IGI (Instrument Ground Instructor) -> 88%

Study Tips


Time Spent Preparing: 20 Hours
I used the King Schools Private Ground School on my iPad. I will say some of their jokes and comments are a little cheesy, but I remember a lot from their course. It’s important to really understand this material, as it is the foundation for everything else. I would also watch ground school videos on YouTube.


Time Spent Studying: 16 Hours
I used the Sheppard Air study system on my iPad. I only studied for the IRA, but took the FII right after the IRA test. I would have taken the IGI on the same day, but didn’t really know about it until a week later. A majority of the test questions are similar between all the tests. There are only a few questions on the FII and IGI, that aren’t on the IRA, but shouldn’t cause too much of an issue.


Time Spent Studying: 11 Hours (CAX) and 8 Hours (FIA)
I used Sheppard Air on my iPad for the CAX and FIA. I took the AGI right after the FIA. These three tests are very similar with only a few questions that are different. If you want to take the AGI, take it right after the FIA; if you know your stuff any of the new questions shouldn’t be a problem.
I found that watching some YouTube videos on the different commercial and instructor flight maneuvers, like spins, the lazy eight or chandelle, helped me visualize better for the questions.


Time Spent Studying: 4 Hours
I used Sheppard Air on my iPad. This test is all about behavior, learning, and communication. For me, some of the were obvious. It’s not very difficult.

Sheppard Air Review

Sheppard Air is a study system that is based on rote memorization of questions and answers or memory aides. Because the FAA doesn’t publish test questions, Sheppard Air relies on test takers to remember new questions and answers. Test takers can get a refund of their prep materials, if they relay a new questions that Sheppard Air doesn’t find in their database.
Their study system worked very well for me. It goes something like this:

  1. Study each question and correct answer for a particular section of the test bank
  2. Go back through that section, but show all the answers and randomize the questions and answers. This time you will mentally pick the correct answer and check your self.
  3. Repeat the above process for each section.
  4. After going through each section, you will go through ALL the questions in the bank. The questions and answers will be randomized. You mentally pick the answer and check yourself. If you guessed, or picked the wrong one, you mark it for further review.
  5. You will go through all your ‘marked’ questions 2 times; mentally picking the correct answer and checking yourself.
  6. After completing all of the above, you take a practice test. Score higher than a 90% and you should take your exam(s) as soon as possible.

The downside with Sheppard Air is that their system does not teach you the material. It is only to be used as a test prep. If you are taking the tests prior to any ground school, there will be a lot of unfamiliar concepts. They do have explainations for each question, often referencing FAA materials, but it probably won’t teach you that concept. If I was confused by something, I would often find some YouTube videos to explain it.


Overall, I’m extremely happy that I am don’t with my writtens for a while. I’m excited to focus on flying and filling in the knowledge gaps.