How to Pass the Instrument Written Test
an approach to preparing for and taking the knowledge test

Update: The r/flying community strongly recommended using Sheppard Air to prepare for the instrument written test. I can’t personally recommend the software, but wanted to pass on the tip to future readers.

I had only planned to write about the figures in the testing supplement[1], but two experiences on the instrument written test motivated a second post.

  1. I was much more stressed than I expected during the test. This testing strategy helped me avoid (several) silly mistakes.
  2. My approach seemed to work! I only missed two answers (97%) on the final test.

It’s useful to break preparing and testing into three stages.[2]

  1. Months Before ~ Learn the Material
  2. Weeks Before ~ Find and Fill Knowledge Gaps
  3. Night/Day Of ~ Make the Most of Test Day
  1. You can find that post here.
  2. To keep focused, I used my system for personal task management. I added tasks for each publication chapter and each ground school lesson. Then as the test got closer, I added tasks for taking practice tests and filling knowledge gaps.

How to Upgrade Your Personal Task Management System
an approach to keep daily and weekly tasks focused on your priorities

I found this task management system useful as an Engineering Manager and Program Manager at Apple, as a student pilot, and now as I study to teach others how to fly. It helps align tasks with priorities, then focus on completing them efficiently.

Hello and Welcome!
an overview of myself and this blog

Jack O'Leary in Cessna 152 cockpit

My name is John O’Leary, although everyone calls me Jack.[1] Nice to meet you!

I am a private pilot in the Bay Area, training to be a certified flight instructor (CFI). I’m currently working on my Instrument Rating.

My (smart, beautiful, and supportive) wife suggested setting the goals for this blog in the first post. She’s usually right, so let’s do that.

This blog is meant to cover my passions: learning, teaching, and flying.

  1. I also go by Jules Altis in online communities (such as live streams or planning Microsoft Flight Sim fly-ins).