Real Answers from Real Pilots

Written Exam Timeline

I am getting ready to begin the process of applying for the Airline Career Pilot program, and I was wondering how long I should give myself between now and a possible start date to finish all my writers and score well on them. I am just finishing my four year degree, and consider myself a pretty good student. I was planning on studying for my written exams the same way I would any other exam I faced in college (going to a library for multiple hours every day). Having never taken an FAA written and not exactly sure what to expect as far as how much study material I will need to review, how much time before a start date do you suggest a student allot for getting their written exams done?

Thanks,

Dominic

Domenic,

Obviously different people learn at different rates and you’ll get different answers. Let me say this, studying for the FAA writtens is different from your college exams in that you are really just studying for the exams, this is rote learning at it’s finest. I gave myself 2 weeks per exam at a very relaxed pace and I scored high 90’s on all. Take a look at Sporty’s Study Buddy, it’s free online and will give you an idea of what the exams are about.

Adam

Dominic,

I am glad that you are planning on working on your writtens prior to starting the program, but I would not delay your start date for the purposes of taking written exams. The program is actually designed to allow for taking the writtens during the program. We encourage people to take them early, but it is certainly not required.

Chris

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Thanks for the help! I know its not related to this feed but there was a feed a while back regarding the JetBlue Gateway Select program. I haven’t been able to find it, but Adam you provided a nice timeline comparing a students progression through each program. I was was wondering if by any chance you still had access to this timeline?

Dominic,

Not sure where that thread went but I think it ran it’s course? Anyway what I was basically saying was the JB program stated you’ll be starting at JB after 4-4.5yrs which is easily 2-2.5yrs after the same pilot starting at ATP. What that means is if both pilots desire to be at a Major our ATP pilot has 2-2.5yrs to build maybe 1500-2000+ turbine hrs. With current Regional upgrade times at 3yrs (give or take, many are quoting 2) that means after say 6yrs our ATP pilot will most likely be a Regional Capt with around 5,000hrs TT INCL, 3,500 turbine AND 750-1000 turbine PIC while our JB pilot will have only been at JB for 2yr with 3,000hrs TT, 1500 turbine and 0 turbine PIC. That means our JB pilot couldn’t even make the mins at most Legacy carriers.

Don’t get me wrong JB is a great airline and I have a ton of friends very happy there but none of them spent $125k for a 4yr Gateway program. If JB is where you want to fly, while there’s no guarantee, after 2yrs at a Regional you’ve got a good shot of getting hired there WITHOUT spending that much cash AND training and instructing for 4yrs.

Adam

Thanks Adam, I had applied to the JetBlue program and found the thread helpful as I weigh out my options.

I was trying to find that thread as well, as it had a good timeline. I just found out that I’m on the short list for JB Gateway Select Program for the Jan or May class. Excited and hope I get the opportunity. If not I will strongly consider ATP.