FAA Knowledge Test

Not wanting to forget everything I’d been studying in preperation for the ground school final, I wasted no time in scheduling to take the FAA knowledge test. It used to be called the “written” and is often still referred to as such, but because it’s given on a computer these days, the FAA decided to change it to the knowledge test.

The Sanford airport’s FBO happens to be a test location, so I called and scheduled to take the test today at 12:30, a couple hours before a scheduled flight lesson. Kill two birds with one trip.

I spent yesterday evening and night going through all of the FAA test questions one last time. I was determined to ace the test, so I wanted to make sure I knew the answer or knew how to calculate the answer of every question in the book.

There was a 20 minute delay in getting the old computer up and running and connected to the FAA. I believe they send my info and download my test questions via the Internet, and then send my score once I’m done. I sat down with my E6B flight computer, plotter, basic calculator, scrap paper and pencil, and the test suppliment book with all the charts and figures referenced in many test questions.

One by one I answered them and was feeling pretty confident. Some of them were quick and easy, but I always took my time so as to not make stupid mistakes. Others took several minutes to think through and calculate. Those were actually the “easier” ones for me, because I understand the process well; it’s not something I have to memorize and either I know it or I don’t.

There were two questions I “marked” for later review, though I thought I had them right. After answering all 60, I went back to those two and spent some more time thinking about them. One of them I just had to think about how different weather affects the altimeter, so I thought through it again and knew it was correct. The other was one of those that you either knew or you didn’t. It was a question on visibility/distance from clouds regulation in class G airspace below 700ft. AGL. I knew it was an oddball one, but all of the valid answers were oddball. In the end, I just had to pick what I was pretty sure was correct. After 1 hour and 15 minutes of the 2 and a half hours given for the test, I was done.

The test proctor came in, typed in a few things to have the test scored and the results printed. “Good job.”, he said. “You can’t do any better than that.” “I can’t?”, I responded. “No, you got them all right.” He took the printed report and embossed it with his FAA approved test center seal. Woohoo! I’m a happy camper.