I'll second what Ralpha and 'Speed have said. Typically, your two most "intense" checkrides are your instrument and the initial CFI rides. The private and commercial usually aren't that bad, but they want to know that you know your stuff before allowing you to launch (with innocent passengers
) into the clouds. Same thing goes for new instructors - they really want to know that you know your stuff before they give you the ability to teach and sign off others. The rest of the ratings are really not that bad - the multi and MEI
are almost a "gimmies"; the ATP and aircraft type rating rides are basically just "aircraft specific" instrument checkrides. By the time you get to that point, it's not that bad - just some memorization along with jumping through the typical training hoops at school.