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Flight Training Fundamentals Knowledge Examination

Sample TestThis is a continuing series of the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge for flight training students. The handbook is published by the Federal Aviation Administration and provides important information for flight training students and for pilots who already know how to fly. Here is a part from the chapter about Knowledge and Skill Examinations.

These are the two exams administered by the FAA that a flight training student needs to take and pass before he or she is issued a license. This section is about the knowledge test. We will discuss the skill examination in another upcoming article.

Knowledge Examination

The knowledge test is the computer portion of the exams taken to obtain pilot certification. The test contains questions of the objective, multiple-choice type. This testing method conserves the applicant’s time, eliminates any element of individual judgment in determining grades, and saves time in scoring.

If pursuing a recreational pilot or private pilot certificate, it is important to become familiar with 14 CFR part 61, section 61.23, Medical Certificates: Requirements and Duration; 14 CFR section 61.35, Knowledge Test: Prerequisites and Passing Grades; and 14 CFR section 61.83, Eligibility Requirements for Student Pilot, for detailed information pertaining to prerequisites and eligibility.

If pursuing a recreational pilot certificate, it is important to review 14 CFR section 61.96, Applicability and Eligibility.
Requirements: General, for additional detailed information pertaining to eligibility; and if pursuing a private pilot certificate, 14 CFR section 61.103, Eligibility Requirements: General, contains additional detailed information pertaining to eligibility. Sample test questions can be downloaded from Airmen Knowledge Test Questions:

Each applicant must register to take the test, and provide proper identification and authorization proving eligibility to take a particular FAA test. The option to take an untimed sample test will be offered. The actual test is time limited, but most applicants have sufficient time to complete and review the test. Upon completion of the knowledge test, the applicant receives an Airman Knowledge Test Report that reflects the score and is embossed with the testing center’s seal. To pass, a minimum score of 70 must be attained.

When To Take the Examination

The knowledge test is more meaningful to the applicant and more likely to result in a satisfactory grade if it is taken after beginning the flight portion of the training. Therefore, the FAA recommends the knowledge test be taken after the student pilot has completed a solo cross-country flight. The operational knowledge gained by this experience can be used to the student’s advantage in the knowledge test. The student pilot’s CFI is the best person to determine when the applicant is ready to take the knowledge exam.

Where To Take the Examination

The FAA has hundreds of designated computer testing centers worldwide that administer FAA knowledge tests. These testing centers offer the full range of airman knowledge tests. Applicants will be charged a fee for the administration of FAA knowledge tests. A complete list of test centers, their locations and phone numbers can be downloaded at “Airmen Certification Frequently Asked Questions”

An applicant can also contact the local FSDO to obtain this information. If the student pilot chooses a 14 CFR part 141 flight school with test examining authority, the school will administer the knowledge test during the curriculum.

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