I drove down to Cedar Rapids today where I spent eight hours total with the FAA examiner, and I passed the CFI oral! With a lunch and a couple breaks, the actual questioning lasted about six hours. The easiest part was giving simulated ground lessons about weight & balance and S-turns. The hardest part was discussing a few confusing regulations. I liked how I didn’t have to answer questions the entire time — it was more of a discussion. I learned several new things and got to listen to a few entertaining stories. The eight-hour day went by quickly.
My advice to flight instructor students would be to come prepared with detailed lesson plans, have the fundamentals of instruction fresh in your head, and study the 14 CFR Part 61 regulations very closely. Have pictures or diagrams for everything possible. Also, keep in mind that you definitely won’t know everything (ever!) and look at the CFI oral as a good learning opportunity.
It stormed in the afternoon, so driving was a good choice. I’m scheduled to fly with the examiner on the 8th to do the flight part of the test.