Get Ahead: Taking One Or More FAA Knowledge Tests Before Starting ATP

Want to get a head start on your Airline Career Pilot Program? ATP encourages new students to complete their FAA Airman Knowledge Tests before their start date. These tests consist entirely of multiple-choice questions drawn from a predefined database, so with the right prep software you can get a good score even before you start one-on-one training with our flight instructors.

Preparing for Knowledge Tests

Students beginning from zero time should first study for the Private Pilot - Airplane test using Sporty’s Study Buddy, available for free in a web-based version or for purchase as a stand-alone app. For each knowledge test after the Private Pilot, ATP enrolls students in Sheppard Air’s test prep software at no additional cost. Students beginning with Credit for Private Pilot are automatically enrolled in the Instrument course when they place their deposit. Once you have completed an FAA knowledge test, contact ATP STraining Support at [email protected] to receive access to the next Sheppard Air prep course.


The Private Pilot, Instrument, and Commercial Pilot knowledge tests each require an endorsement from a certified flight or ground instructor confirming that you are ready to take the test. ATP’s flight instructors can give this endorsement based on practice tests from the test prep software. Take screenshots of at least three practice tests with scores of 90% or better, then call ATP Training Support at 904-595-7992. Instructors will review your practice test results, then email you an endorsement.

Scheduling the Test

FAA knowledge testing centers are located across the country, including at most of ATP’s training centers. When you call ATP Student Services to get your endorsement for the test, we will help you locate a nearby testing center and schedule your test.

Paying for the Test

The Airline Career Pilot Program includes all required knowledge tests in the program price. If you take a test at one of our locations, you will not be charged for the exam. If you take the test elsewhere, save your receipt, and ATP will reimburse the cost of the test once you start training with us. (Please note that ATP will only reimburse students for tests taken after placing the $995 program deposit.)


Taking the knowledge tests before your start date removes a possible source of program delays, and allows you to focus on your flight and ground training. As an added incentive, if you complete the Private, Instrument, and Commercial tests prior to your start date, ATP will reimburse you for your required third party iPad apps, as well as a 1-year subscription to ForeFlight Basic.