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For someone that has recently completed their private pilot SEL, what would be the suggested next steps/process to getting instrument rated as efficiently as possible (both time and money)?

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    $\begingroup$ It would be similar to the most efficient way to get your private pilot license. $\endgroup$ – Farhan Feb 3 '15 at 21:51
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The fastest path to any rating is intensive training.
If you can take time off from work and do an "accelerated instrument training" program you can probably knock out the rating in less than a month. That AOPA article says 8 days, I've seen a lot of two-week courses advertised.

Note however that there's a difference between being instrument rated and proficient for real-world IFR operations in actual IMC. These courses will almost certainly cram all the knowledge and procedures into your head that are required to get you to pass your instrument checkride, but you may have never flown an approach in actual IMC (if suitable weather doesn't pop up for you to fly in your time will all be simulated under the hood), and because everything is compressed and focused on "passing the test" you may come out of the program lacking the confidence to actually go out and use your newfound rating without doing some additional work with a local CFI (this is a point sometimes raised by pilots who have gone through these accelerated training programs).

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  • $\begingroup$ you also need to get the written out of the way in advance. $\endgroup$ – rbp Feb 4 '15 at 0:44
  • $\begingroup$ VERY good point about time in actual IMC; if you can get it as part of your instrument rating, DO IT. The hood can simulate a low ceiling with good visibility (such as stratus clouds w/o precip or fog underneath), but it can't simulate a bad-vis situation such as an ILS to 2000 RVR in an indefinite-ceiling fogbank or having to do a VOR/DME into 800' ceilings and 1.5mile vis in driving rain. $\endgroup$ – UnrecognizedFallingObject Feb 4 '15 at 0:51
  • $\begingroup$ @rbp A few of the two-week courses actually include the written - but I expect those courses require a certain masochistic tendency in order to complete them $\endgroup$ – voretaq7 Feb 4 '15 at 3:55
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Well for money, the military is the most efficient. For time, just getting it done as fast as possible (one of those 10 week/summer programs) and showing up to each lesson prepared. For being extremely confident in IMC flying, again, the military.

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