Real Answers from Real Pilots

Better Start Date?

(Chris) #1

Hey guys! I’m very excited as I have all my financing, apartment and other items lined up. My question is how much time should I give myself to do the written tests? I am thinking of starting either 1/7 or 1/21 at the Mesa location. I finish my job on November 23rd and can start studying at that time. I would like to get them all done if possible. Any advice from those who have gone before me?

Looking forward to getting to know you all!!



It really depends on the individual. Personally I think if you’re not working you can easily bang them all out in the 2 months you’ve given yourself, particularly since there’s some overlap (Instrument Airplane and Instructor, and Commercial and Flight Instructor Airplane). Also know that while we recommend completing them all, even if you just get a jump by doing the first few you’ll be ahead of the game.


(Chris) #3

Thank you Adam.

(Tucker) #4

I agree with Adam. Just make sure once you start studying, you don’t stop. It will go much faster if you study every day rather than take some time off. You should have no problem getting them all done.



When you agree with me it makes me very nervous. Please refrain from doing so in the future :wink:


(Tom Poirier) #6

As a related aside, Sporty’s Private Pilot Study-buddy app is really great for grinding through practice tests one after the other - I found it much more user-friendly than the King schools platform, and well worth the $10.

I didn’t take any writtens before starting (sold my house, car, furniture, tools, etc and moved from Maine to California in the month before my start date), but have the Private Pilot written scheduled for next week.

The more information you absorb before your start date the better- starting from zero time is like trying to drink from a firehose.

Good luck, and study hard!

(M) #7

CAX and FIA are very different now. Give yourself a few days to study for both. I finished all the tests before starting and it is making progress much more smooth.

(Chris) #8

Thanks for all the advice! My December is shaping up to be busy it looks like. I can’t wait to get the tests done and have that out of the way. I think I’ll go for the 7th as my start date, as I think having no other priorities (aside from my spouse) will allow me to solely focus on the tests.


It might be too late for you to secure a start date that close to now, be sure to call the admissions department as soon as possible to ask.

(Chris) #10

I did. They have 2 open slots as of 2 days ago. If not, the 21st has some openings also. Thanks for the lookout though.

(M) #11

It took me about 25 days to get them all done; however, I was moving across the country at the time. I took them at non-ATP locations and was reimbursed fully which amounted to $700+. Good luck.

(Chris) #12

Alright!!! I’m all set and ready to rock. I actually ended up with a start date of 2/4 as some things made me push back putting down my deposit. Kind of relieved to have a little extra study time, but chomping at the bit to get going!



Great news, now get started on those writtens!


(Todd) #14

Hey Chris!

How are you coming along with your written exams? Do you feel the later start date on 2/4 is giving you more time to study? Also, how did you decide between the Scottsdale and Mesa locations?

I’m from Ohio and visited both locations last week, took an intro flight at Mesa, and have a first class medical and approved financing. As of yesterday, they still had 2 spots open for a March 4th start date, and 5 spots open for a March 18th start date. Should I plan on the earlier start date if I have no other obligations before then, or would it be beneficial to give myself more time and pick the later start date? Maybe the mentors have a better idea.

(Chris) #15

Hey Todd,

I think if you can commit yourself to studying for 4+ hours a day I would go for the earlier start date. I honestly let December slip away with the holidays and really put 3 good weeks of study in and passed my test last night. I’m now going to see if I can knock out the instrument and commercial in 2 weeks. I went with Mesa because of cost of living and quieter. I used to live in Scottsdale 10 years ago and loved it, but wanted the bigger/busier airport and quieter surroundings.

Hope that helps!




Either plan works fine. The program is designed for the written exams to be taken during the program, but we always recommend doing it earlier if you have time. Even with the March 4 date, you should have time to finish the private written.


(Todd) #17

Thank you both for the quick responses!

Once enrolled, how soon before the start date is it recommended to move to the school location? I am leaning towards the housing offered by ATP at San Montego Apartments, at least for now. That would eliminate me having to find a nice neighborhood and buy furniture. Chris, I assume that since you have a spouse you have found your own non-ATP apartment?



I am not certain, but I don’t think they would let you move into the apartment more than a week or so in advance, check with the admissions department for a final answer on this.




I don’t believe Chris was married when he went to ATP but I was. I left my wife and the kids 4 states away and I’m glad I did. I really don’t think people appreciate the intensity of the program and the need to be able to focus without distraction.


(Chris) #20

Yes, we found our own housing close to the airport. There are some great options so it’s worth looking if you prefer a little privacy! Let me know if I can help at all.