A few pointers...
1. Just because you filed a route doesn't mean you'll get it. ATC has many reason for giving you a new route. (Expect the unexpected)
2. Call for your IFR clearance before you set up your Nav radios and/or GPS.
3. Set up those radios before you take off. It's a bitch to do it shortly after take off an mostly likely it will get screwed up.
4. Follow your clearance. If ATC say's intercept V97 and you intercept V63 you may end up with a violation or, if you're in the mountains, an impact with cumulus granite.
5. Think ahead of the aircraft. Never let the airplane get to a place your mind hasn't already been thinking about. Ask yourself, what are my next two things. Or if your situational awareness is lagging behind, ask yourself, "where am I?", "where am I going?" and "how do I get there?"
A couple years back I had about a 100 percent pass rate on Multi-Engine checkrides. However, things have changed. Most of the experienced instructors have moved on leaving the training to newer, lower time multiengine instructors. While I'm not trying to beating up the newer MEI's, I have noticed my pass rate has dropped a little.
One of the biggest problems has been a loss of control of the airplane during engine out operation. Most of the time this happens when the applicant allow the airspeed to bleed off to an unsafe level at which point I have to intervene. Rather than write a long winded explanation on what happen, lets just put more emphasis on maintaining at or above Vyse during engine out operations. If you can hold altitude at or above Vyse great, do that. If you lose an engine during departure, lower the nose and maintain Vyse. don't let it go below it trying to make the airplane climb. If you are shooting an instrument approach, and you need to arrest a descent, remember to add power when you raise the nose.
Another issue has been identifying the inoperative engine. Dead foot, Dead engine works. Don't use the engine instruments. Several applicants got confused on which engine failed and attempted to feather a working engine.
I have had a couple of applicants read from a book on how to do each maneuver. You need to know how to fly basic maneuvers from memory. Reading from a book on how to do slow flight, Steep turns, the Vmc demo or stall procedures is not acceptable. Notice the ACS uses the wording "To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills
associated with....." and "The applicant demonstrates the ability to:" This means the pilot knows how to do each maneuver. (Up until just recently, I have never seen this. 99.9% of multi-engine applicant know how to fly their airplane and do each maneuver from memory.) Please note, this is not to imply that an applicant is to memorize the aircraft checklists and then do them from memory. I am talking about knowing how to conduct a maneuver, for example steep turns, from memory.
Please review the Private and Commercial ACS for the required maneuvers for the muti-engine rating. There have been some changes from the old PTS.
As part of the pre-checkride activities, the DPE must make sure the aircraft is legally airworthy for the practical test. I've had a few problems lately that could have been solved before showing up for the checkride.
1. Not bringing the aircraft logbooks. The only way the DPE can determine if the aircraft is airworthy is to review the aircraft logbooks. No logs, no review, no checkride. The FAA will not us accept anything else other than the actual aircraft logs.
2. Missing log enteries. The mechanic did the work but did not make the log entery. Sorry, that's another no go item. The FAA doesn't consider the work complete until the log book entery is made and signed. So if the mechanic did the 100 hour but didn't log it, the 100 hour didn't happen.
3. In correct log enteries. I recently had a Cessna 172 show up with a fresh annual inspection but all the AD that where listed in the entery applied to a Cessna 150. How does that happen?
4. Overflown AD's. While this tends to happen to privately own aircraft, I have seen it at several flight school. Basically, the aircraft has been flown so much that they end up overflying the time period in an AD. A good AD list well help keep track of those things.
So before you show up at your check ride, review the aircraft log books for completeness, accuracy and, most of all, Aircraft Airworthiness. And finally, remember to bring the logbooks with you.