Sorry, I'm in the Cross country phase of the program and don't have access to email. I've been flying 8hrs a day for the past 5 days! I've been to Jacksonville, Atlanta, Bowling Green, Chicago, Springfield (MO), Meridian (MS), and back to DFW. Tomorrow, I'm back off to Jacksonville. I'm getting what I wanted out of the program...which is actually going CROSS COUNTRY!
TAKE AS MANY WRITTENS AS YOU CAN BEFORE STARTING THE PROGRAM! YOU HAVE TO HAVE ALL FIVE DONE BEFORE YOU CAN START THE CROSS COUNTRY PHASE (WHICH IS 5 WEEKS AFTER STARTING)! THERE IS TOO MUCH OTHER STUFF GOING ON TO WORRY ABOUT THE WRITTENS. IF YOU DON'T HAVE A CFI THAT CAN SIGN YOU OFF...TAKE THE CFII, FOI, AND FIA BECAUSE THEY DON'T NEED ONE. ATP PAYS FOR THESE TESTS SO IF YOU CAN, GO TO THE LOCATION YOU ARE PLANNING ON ATTENDING, BUT CALL THE 1800ALLATPS NUMBER FIRST.
Sorry it took so long. I'm probably about half way done. I start my CFI stuff shortly after new years. I have my com checkride on New Years Day. In answer to your question, I had all my writtens done before starting the program. It made things a lot less hectic...and also more boring for the first few weeks b/c I didn't really have a whole lot to do other than fly. But I would recommend doing the writtens as soon as possible. It will make life a lot easier. Good luck on the CAX. It was one of my least favorites...followed by the FIA only b/c they were long tests. But I still did well on them so that's all that matters.