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New sample knowledge test questions highlight FAA training update

The sample knowledge test questions, posted March 11, are intended for use in practice for the exams and may not be identical to actual questions applicants encounter. However, the sample questions are representative of the real thing and can be considered “suitable study material,” the FAA said.

Correct answers are not provided, but each question comes with an associated topic code. For private pilot applicants, for example, the code links the subject matter to a task element in the Private Pilot—Airplane Airman Certification Standards.

An airman knowledge test supplement containing charts and other graphics needed to answer some of the sample test questions during your practice test-taking sessions is also available.

According to the FAA, many aviation-industry members had requested that the sample knowledge test questions be available in the training and testing section of the FAA website for study—after which applicants can take a practice test (including a test score) on the website of the FAA’s knowledge test vendor, PSI, and then take the official knowledge test. The private pilot knowledge test includes 60 questions and requires a minimum passing score of 70 percent.

Flight instructor applicants are among those for whom the practical test standards are still the basis for a checkride, so the knowledge test questions include a learning statement code that can be matched with codes listed on airman knowledge test reports to evaluate knowledge areas missed on an exam. The FAA’s new sample knowledge test questions document for flight instructor airplane notes that the questions “are suitable study material for all the Flight Instructor rating tests including helicopters, gliders and gyroplanes” because they “represent the same type of questions that can be found on all Flight Instructor tests.” A full flight instructor airplane knowledge test contains 10 questions.

You can keep track of the FAA’s schedule for adding and revising knowledge test questions by checking the notices published in What’s New and Upcoming in Airman Testing, which is available on the FAA’s Airman Testing web page. The latest update was posted on March 12.

Also included in What’s New and Upcoming in Airman Testing for those engaged in flight training is helpful information about airman knowledge test statistics, ACS volumes under development or revision, and a list of FAA handbooks and testing supplements that are under revision, along with estimated release dates for many of the new volumes.

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