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Aviation Instructors Handbook | Appendix A


There are four types of test items in common use today. They are multiple-choice, matching, true-false, and supply-type. The most used type is the multiple-choice test item in one of several forms. Listed below are examples of some of the more widely used forms.


Multiple-choice test items consist of a stem or question and three or more alternative answers with the correct answer sometimes called the keyed response and the incorrect answers called distractors. Detailed information on the writing of stems and alternatives can be found in Chapter 6.

Stem Presented as a Question. This form is generally better than the incomplete stem because it is simpler and more natural.

Who is primarily responsible for maintaining an aircraft in an airworthy condition?

A. Pilot in command or operator.

B. Owner or operator of the aircraft.

C. The lead mechanic responsible for that aircraft.

Stem as an Incomplete Statement. When using this form, care must be exercised to avoid ambiguity, giving clues, and using unnecessarily complex or unrelated alternatives.

VFR cruising altitudes are required to be maintained when flying

A. at 3,000 feet or more AGL, based on true course.

B. more than 3,000 feet AGL, based on magnetic course.

C. at 3,000 feet or more above MSL, based on magnetic heading.

Stem Supplemented by an Illustration. This form is useful for measuring the ability to read instruments, or identify objects.

(Refer to figure 1) The acute angle A is the angle of

A. attack.

B. dihedral.

C. incidence.

Multiple Response is Required. This form is a variation of the previous forms in that it contains more than one correct answer, and students are instructed to select all correct answers.

Which of the following statements is/are generally true regarding the charging of several aircraft batteries together?

  • Batteries of different voltage (but similar capacities) can be connected in series with each other across the charger, and charged using the constant current method.


  • Batteries of different ampere-hour capacity and same voltage can be connected in parallel with each other across the charger, and charged using the constant voltage method.


  • Batteries of the same voltage and same ampere-hour capacity must be connected in series with each other across the charger, and charged using the constant current method.


A. 3.

B. 1 and 2.

C. 2 and 3.

Negative Variety Type. This form is not suggested but, if used, always emphasize the negative word.

Which of the following is NOT considered a method of heat transfer?

A. Diffusion.

B. Conduction.

C. Convection.

Association Type. This form is useful if a limited number of associations are to be made.

Which aircraft has the right-of-way over the other aircraft listed?

A. Airship.

B. Gyroplane.

C. Aircraft towing other aircraft.

Definition Type. This form is used to determine knowledge of a specific definition.

Aspect ratio of a wing is defined as the ratio of the

A. wingspan to the wing root.

B. wingspan to the mean chord.

C. square of the chord to the wingspan.


Matching test items are used to test a student’s ability to recognize relationships and to make associations between terms, parts, words, phrases, clauses, or symbols in one column with related alternatives in another column. When using this form of test item, it is a good practice to provide alternatives in the response column that are used more than once, or not at all, to preclude guessing by elimination. Matching test items may have either an equal or unequal number of selections in each column.

Matching-Equal Columns. When using this form, providing for some items in the response column to be used more than once, or not at all, can preclude guessing by elimination.

Directions: In the blank before each electrical term in the left-hand column, write the letter corresponding to the unit of measurement which is most closely associated with that term. Each unit of measurement may be used more than once and some units may not be used at all.

  • ____ Electromotive force a. Watt


  • ____ Electrical power, apparent b. Volt


  • ____ Electrical power, true c. Ampere


  • ____ Resistance d. Coulomb


  • ____ Capacitance e. Ohm


  • ____ Inductance f. VAR


  • ____ Current g. Farad


  • ____ Impedance h. Henry


Matching-Unequal Columns. Generally preferable to equal columns.

Directions: In the blank before each phrase in the left-hand column, write the letter(s) corresponding to the type(s) of drag which is/are most closely associated with that phrase. Each type of drag may be used more than once, and some types may not be used at all.

  • ____ Occurs when varied currents over an airplane meet and a. Form drag interact. b. Induced drag


  • ____ Results from the turbulent wake caused by the separation c. Skin friction drag of airflow from the surface of a structure. d. Static drag


  • ____ Caused by the roughness of the airplane’s surfaces. e. Interference drag


  • ____ Generated by the airflow circulation around the airfoil as f. Rolling drag it creates lift. g. Sliding drag



A True-False test item requires the student to determine whether a statement is true or false. The chief disadvantage of this type is the opportunity for successful guessing.

Directions: Circle the correct response to the following statements.

  • True or False. To operate within Class B airspace, the aircraft must have two-way radio communication capability and a Mode C transponder.


  • True or False. An aviation maintenance technician must hold an Inspection Authorization to legally conduct annual inspections on small aircraft.



The aviation instructor is able to determine the students’ level of generalized knowledge of a subject through the use of supply-type questions. Short-answer essay test items are the most common.

  • Describe the position of the elevator and ailerons when taxiing a tricycle-gear airplane into a right quartering headwind.


  • What conditions are used in determining the published value of VMC?