Many people are told that in order to pass a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) written exam all that's required is memorization of the questions in a knowledge test guide or with online prep software. Well, times are changing and many people are seeing questions on the FAA exam that they have never seen before.
The FAA doesn’t necessarily want people to know all of the answers to all of the possible questions that may be asked on a written test. Many think that to publish the questions would just encourage students to simply memorize the answers. On the other hand, some instructors are concerned about questions that may come up that the student is not prepared for.
The hope is that revising the testing system could help to ensure that pilot applicants better understand real-world operations and risk management. Many instructors say that they believe students learn more from real-world experiences and good decision making and not from a book with a bunch of questions from the FAA. Having a knowledgeable instructor that is committed to helping their students will ensure that the student has the required skills needed for their certificate and then demonstrate what they have learned with practical tests and oral exams.
Occassionally, there may be a small number of questions that have not yet reached us due to the way the FAA informs test prep providers of updates. There may also be a few questions from time to time that are worded in a different matter. Most changes are quite minor, and be certain that if we don't have it yet, it's rare that any other written test prep providers do either. Sometimes we have been told that the FAA throws in ungraded and/or experimental questions into a written test. We are not informed of these types of questions, but from what we are told they are generally not graded. A written test score strongly depends on studying the questions as they have been written. We especially recommend that you do not memorize the questions, as the FAA is increasingly relying on changing words and making slight question variations to forbid this and, well, because it's actually ultimately unhelpful to your goal of becoming a safe, knowledgeable, and efficient pilot. More or less, study the questions and our detailed explanations to best prepare you for variations that you might see both in the written and practical test and, more importantly, in real life.
The main factor in how well you will do in preparing for your written test is how much time and effort you put into studying using Jeppesen training materials and how much time you take to genuinely understand the material presented. Some people put too much emphasis on making sure that they have the absolute latest update of the questions and not enough time studying. The FAA might change up to a dozen questions in a given test bank per year.
There's no benefit to you in spending hours tormenting yourself over the technical details of the FAA written test banks. Preferably, concentrate on studying the material presented, and you're very likely to do great, just like the thousands of pilots before you.
This screen shows you how the FAA Knowledge Test Questions are embedded into our Private Pilot Online Training and Test Prep product. You learn not only the test question; you also learn the concept behind the test question. Our goal is to not only help you pass the test, it is to ensure that you learn the material to become a safe and competent pilot.
About the Author: As the University and Flight Schools Account Manager for Jeppesen’s General Aviation Sales team, Audrey is passionate about getting people excited about flying. She is an active pilot and currently working on finishing up her Commercial license. She hopes to one day fly for a medevac company so that she can help others in need.