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FAQ > GroundSchool FAA Knowledge Test Prep
Instrument Flight Instructor (CFII) and Ground Instructor (IGI)?

Quick Summary: CFI-I (Instrument Instructor) test prep content is similar to that in initial IFR tests. Therefore, INSTRUMENT Flight and Ground Instructor test preps (both initial and add-on, for all aircraft types) are in our FAA GroundSchool - INSTRUMENT RATING (IFR) TEST PREP apps NOT in the regular Flight/Ground Instructor Instructor apps.
The Instrument Instructor Tests are in our IFR test prep apps.
Flight or Ground Instructor Test In Our GroundSchool Test Prep Title
  • Flight Instructor INSTRUMENT Airplane (CFI-I-Airplane) Initial and/or Added Rating
  • Flight Instructor INSTRUMENT Helicopter (CFI-I-Heli) Initial and/or Added Rating
  • INSTRUMENT Ground Instructor (IGI)
  • etc.
GroundSchool Instrument Rating (IFR)
  • Flight Instructor Airplane Initial and/or Added Rating
  • Flight Instructor Helicopter Initial and/or Added Rating
  • Flight Instructor Glider Initial and/or Added Rating
  • Flight Instructor Gyroplane Initial and/or Added Rating
  • Basic Ground Instructor (BGI)
  • Advanced Ground Instructor (AGI)
  • Fundamentals of Instructrion (FOI)
  • etc.
GroundSchool Flight and Ground Instructor
The "regular" ("CFI", non-instrument) test (including AGI and BGI) are in our CFI (GroundSchool FAA Flight and Ground Instructor) test preps. The INSTRUMENT ("CFII") tests, including Instrument Ground Instructor (IGI) are in our IFR (GroundSchool FAA Instrument Rating) test prep apps.
Visit our GroundSchool - IFR app page for Instrument instructor tests

For any FAA INSTRUMENT INSTRUCTOR knowledge test, please use our INSTRUMENT RATING test prep apps. If you're a previous customer of ours and had bought our FAA Instrument Rating test prep when you were doing your instrument rating initially, then you're all set and have nothing more to buy as in that case you just need to start up the app and select IFI or IGI as appropriate.


Our FAA IFR test prep includes the following instrument instructor tests:

  • Flight Instructor INSTRUMENT airplane INITIAL (FII): most future airplane CFI-Is, including those who are already "VFR" Airplane CFIs, take this.
  • Flight Instructor INSTRUMENT airplane ADDED RATING (AIF): take this if you are already a CFI-I-Helicopter and want to become a CFI-I-Airplane.
  • Flight Instructor INSTRUMENT helicopter INITIAL (FIH): most future helicopter CFI-Is, including those who are already "VFR" Helicopter CFIs, take this.
  • Flight Instructor INSTRUMENT helicopter ADDED RATING (HIF): take this if you are already a CFI-I-Airplane and want to become a CFI-I-Helicopter.
  • Instrument Ground Instructor (IGI)

Here are the answers to common question we get from users about this test:

What app should I get to prepare for this test?
The questions for the INSTRUMENT instructor tests have a lot in common with the IFR Instrument Rating test banks. Therefore, the INSTRUMENT instructor test preps are part of our GroundSchool FAA Instrument Rating products. They are NOT part of our CFI Flight Instructor products. To prep for your CFI-Instrument test, please get the GroundSchool - FAA - IFR app for the platform of your choice. Once you start the app, you will be able to choose from a list of tests. Choose the instrument instructor test of your choice from there and the question list will be filtered to reflect those that our editors feel reflect the Instrument Instructor test you have selected.

So:

Are the questions filtered so that I will only study the content which might appear on my specific test?
Yes, absolutely.

What is the difference between the regular and the "added rating" tests?
Please contact your local FAA FSDO to determine which test you should take as the situation varies depending on the individual. Only your FAA FSDO can give you a definitive, "bankable" answer. NONE OF THE INFORMATION PRESENTED HERE OR ANYWHERE ELSE ON THIS PAGE IS OFFICIAL, LEGAL ADVICE, and there is always a chance that we may be presenting incorrect or out of date information here.

Unofficial "could be wrong" advice:

  • The "added rating" tests are for those who already have an existing INSTRUMENT instructor rating. So, for example, if you are already a CFI-I-Helicopter and want to become a CFI-I-Airplane, take the CFI-I-Airplane add-on test (AIF). Or, for the opposite, the HIF test. What this means is that in practice, very few people legitimately need to take the "added rating" tests.
  • That said, we have heard cases where people have accidentally taken the added-rating tests thinking that because they are already a CFI (VFR), that this was an 'added rating.' Unofficially, we have heard of this being accepted from time to time by the FAA as "close enough", but we strongly suggest not counting on having this courtesy as your application may be rejected if the FAA/examiner deems this to be unacceptable.
  • Instead, most potential instrument instructors reading this, even if they already are a 'regular, VFR' CFI, as is typical, will be taking the initial tests: FII for airplane, FIH for helicopter.

What is the difference between the Instrument Ground Instructor (IGI) and the Flight Instructor Instrument tests?
There is very little difference between the two Because you get your IGI based on taking the written (and filing some FAA paperwork), what many people do is that they take their flight instructor instrument and ground instructor instrument written tests one after another on the same day. Sure, you have to pay the testing center for another test, but most people find this to be a successful strategy if they want to get both.

What is the difference between the instrument flight / ground instructor tests and the regular IFR tests such as IFR - Airplane?
The test banks vary here and as a very rough estimate they vary by about 20-30% from one another with the airplane ones varying a bit more from one another than the helicopter ones. If you're an IFR candidate who know that you're going to go for a CFI-I, you might want to consider taking both sequentially. If you do we suggest studying using our app for the CFI-I test most of the time and then once you're really good at that using our app to study the regular IFR test for a bit to try to catch any differences. We suggest it this way since instructor test is harder than the regular one (by a bit), we reckon that you'll have little problem going from CFI-I preparedness to regular IFR preparedness as your knowledge for CFI-I should be sufficient to prepare you for the regular IFR (but again, we recommend you do a few sessions with the regular IFR just to be sure). Then, you can take the tests sequentially on the same day. Please keep in mind however that FAA knowledge test results have a limited validity period (24 calendar months at the time of this writing).

Do I have to pay twice to study for regular IFR and CFI-I?
No. You only pay once. Just get our GroundSchool IFR app for the platform of your choice and select the test of your choice. If you want to change from regular IFR to CFI-I or from CFI-I to IGI or whatever, you can switch on the 'select test' screen without limits. What's more, updates are free for life in our apps so if you're planning a gap between your initial IFR and your CFI-I that's no problem.

What do I need to take if I am NOT a "VFR" CFI but want to be a CFI-Instrument as my FIRST flight instructor rating?
This is uncommon, but it happens. In this case, you will need to take both the FII or FIH test as appropriate and also you will need to take the FOI Fundamentals of Instruction knowledge test. The FOI is a general "theory of learning" test that is only marginally aviation-specific. The FOI prep is in our "regular" GroundSchool flight and ground instructor apps. The FOI prep is not included in our IFR prep. For some platforms (PC only at the time of this writing), we may also sell the FOI prep as a stand-alone prep for a slightly lesser price, but honestly, unless you have a very specific need, it is almost always better to get the entire regular Flight/Ground Instructor package as the price difference is not much.

Related Issues
Which FAA Tests Can I study For? How Many questions are there?
Instructor Add-On / Added Rating Tests