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 the King Schools Private Pilot Ground School and Test Prep courseware, available through Student Extranet 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 Sheppard Air at 940-642-4945 to receive access to your 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. Students who wish to take the Private Pilot test will receive a endorsement from King Schools once they have successfully completed the King Schools Private Pilot Ground School and Test Prep courseware. For the Instrument and Commercial Pilot tests, ATP’s flight instructors can give the endorsement based on practice tests from the Sheppard Air 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.

Knowledge tests requiring an endorsement

Complete these three before beginning the Airline Career Pilot Program to get reimbursed for a 1-year subscription to ForeFlight Basic (your required third-party iPad apps).

Knowledge tests not requiring an endorsement

These will need to be completed before beginning the CFI Academy. The FII question bank is very similar to the IRA bank, so many students choose to take the FII immediately following the IRA even if it will be some time before their CFI training.

Optional knowledge tests (at extra cost - not included in ACPP)

These tests are not included in the program because they are optional. They are available for those who are interested in becoming a Gold Seal CFI. Students can take both of these written tests at an ATP testing center for $150 per test.

Scheduling the Test

FAA knowledge testing centers are located across the country, including at most of ATP’s training centers. When you call ATP Training Support to get your endorsement for the test, we will help you locate a nearby testing center and schedule your test. Reminder: test results are valid for twenty-four months, so don't take them too early.

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. (ATP will only reimburse students for tests taken after making the $995 non-refundable first payment to secure a class date.)

*Total of reimbursable tests

Starting from Zero Time Starting with Credit for Private
Tests $900 $750
ForeFlight Basic $80 $80
Total Reimbursable Cost $980 $830


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 also reimburse you for a 1-year subscription to ForeFlight Basic (your required third party iPad apps).