IFR Flight Training

These are the must read publications for your IFR training

First and foremost the FAA has actually published what is possibly going to happen on your checkride.
So how easy is that? They have even gone crazy and provide this information as a free download:
(other PTS can be downloaded here)
The PTS even includes a pilot checklist, so every applicant must read this.
There are some very good printed copies available on amazon too.
If you have not read this, you are well behind the curve.
If you are based in Europe, Middle East or Asia you need to read this checklist too:

FAR/AIM
Bring a current FAR / AIM!
Seems obvious, why would you want to show up with outdated regulations.
And yes even this is available for free from the FAA (but a PDF is hard to annotate and put stickers in)
The FARs fall under the Code of Federal Regulation Title 14.
This is going to be with your for the rest of your flying career so you might as well get to know it intimately
Understanding difference between Part 61 part 91. If you don't know this you have not read the reference materials. Re-read or ask your CFII
Bring the FAR/AIM to the exam. During the aural you may be asked to reference it.
Whilst you read it mark up important items and place tabs on the pages to help you find items quicker.

Further material:
There are many great commercially available training guides out there 
Lesser known is that the FAA actually provides some very good training material for free
and these can be downloaded from this page.
Especially you should read 
I have never seen an examiner complain that you knew too much of this stuff....
What to consider on a checkride:
  • Safety and good judgement
  • Good airmanship
This you should have already learned for your private pilot certificate.
If you have any question about that ask you CFI/CFII and yes you guessed it the FAA has a very good book on that too.
Its for free and can be downloaded here: Airplane Flying Handbook
  • You are PIC on this flight! 
The examiner is not PIC, if anything seems unsafe, say so and take action.
Go around if you have to, just because it's a checkride don't force anything.
  • Consistently stay within the PTS standards
Don't be sloppy. Remember the examiner is not looking for perfection but for you paying attention.
So if you are off standards for whatever reason, fix it immediately.
Concentrate and fly the aircraft, don't worry about passing or failing (thats the examiners task).

Areas of special emphasys:

As a private instrument rated pilot you will likely fly in a single pilot environment
The FAA provides some good tips for Single pilot resource management which you should be aware of

Show stoppers:
  • Have not read the PTS
  • Have no copy of FAR/AIM
  • Logbook not completed and signed correctly (referring to your airline's computer logbook system does not help)
  • Aircraft for flight exam not airworthy
  • No valid TSA clearance (when required)