Private Pilot Knowledge Test Guide
What is it? How do I take it? How do I study for it?
RECREATIONAL PILOT AND PRIVATE PILOT KNOWLEDGE TEST GUIDE
FAA-G-8082-17D, Recreational Pilot and Private Pilot Knowledge Test Guide, provides information for preparing you to take one or all of the following knowledge tests. This document supersedes FAA-G-8082-17C, dated 2007.
TEST NAME TEST CODE
- Recreational Pilot—Airplane RPA
- Recreational Pilot—Rotorcraft/Helicopter RPH
- Recreational Pilot—Rotorcraft/Gyroplane RPG
- Private Pilot—Airplane/Recreational Pilot—Transition PAT
- Private Pilot—Helicopter/Recreational Pilot—Transition PHT
- Private Pilot—Gyroplane/Recreational Pilot—Transition PGT
- Private Pilot—Airplane PAR
- Private Pilot—Rotorcraft/Helicopter
- PRH Private Pilot—Rotorcraft/Gyroplane PRG
- Private Pilot—Glider PGL
- Private Pilot—Balloon—Hot Air PBH
- Private Pilot—Balloon—Gas PBG
- Private Pilot—Lighter-Than-Air—Airship PLA
The minimum passing score is 70 percent.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airman knowledge tests are effective instruments for aviation safety and regulation measurement. However, these tests can only sample the vast amount of knowledge every pilot needs to operate safely in the National Airspace System (NAS).
KNOWLEDGE TEST ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
If you are pursuing a Recreational Pilot or Private Pilot Certificate, you should review Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR) part 61, Section 61.23, Medical Certificates: Requirement and Duration; 14 CFR part 61, Section 61.35, Knowledge Test: Prerequisites and Passing Grades; and 14 CFR part 61, Section 61.83, Eligibility Requirements for Student Pilots.
Eligibility Requirements for Student Pilot, for detailed information pertaining to prerequisites and eligibility.
If you are pursuing a Recreational Pilot Certificate, you should review 14 CFR part 61, Section 61.96, Applicability and Eligibility Requirements: General, for additional detailed information pertaining to eligibility.
If you are pursuing a Private Pilot Certificate, you should review 14 CFR part 61, Section 61.103, Applicability and Eligibility Requirements: General, for additional detailed information pertaining to eligibility.
KNOWLEDGE AREAS ON THE TESTS
Recreational pilot and private pilot tests are comprehensive because they must test your knowledge in many subject areas. If you are pursuing a Recreational Pilot Certificate or added rating, you should review 14 CFR part 61, Section 61.97, Aeronautical Knowledge, for the knowledge areas on the tests. If you are pursuing a Private Pilot Certificate or added rating, you should review 14 CFR part 61, Section 61.105, Aeronautical Knowledge, for the knowledge areas on the tests.
DESCRIPTIONS OF THE TESTS
All test questions are the objective, multiple-choice type. Each question can be answered by the selection of a single response. Each test question is independent of other questions; therefore, a correct response to one does not depend upon, or influence, the correct response to another. The minimum passing score is 70 percent.
The following tests each contain 50 questions, and you are allowed 2 hours to complete each test.
- Recreational Pilot—Airplane
- Recreational Pilot—Rotorcraft/Helicopter
- Recreational Pilot—Rotorcraft/Gyroplane
The following tests each contain 30 questions, and you are allowed 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete each test.
- Private Pilot—Airplane/Recreational Pilot—Transition
- Private Pilot—Helicopter/Recreational Pilot—Transition
- Private Pilot—Gyroplane/Recreational Pilot—Transition
The following tests each contain 60 questions, and you are allowed 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete each test.
- Private Pilot—Airplane
- Private Pilot—Rotorcraft/Helicopter
- Private Pilot—Rotorcraft/Gyroplane
- Private Pilot—Glider
- Private Pilot—Balloon—Hot Air
- Private Pilot—Balloon—Gas
- Private Pilot—Lighter-Than-Air—Airship
The FAA has available hundreds of computer testing centers. These testing centers offer the full range of airman knowledge tests including military competence, instrument foreign pilot, and pilot examiner pre-designated tests. A list of computer testing designees (CTDs) and phone numbers are provided in the section titled Training and Testing Publications and General Information.
The first step in taking a knowledge test is the registration process. You may either call the central 1-800 numbers or simply use the walk-in basis. If you choose to use the 1-800 numbers to register, you will need to select a testing center, schedule a test date, and make financial arrangements for test payment. You may register for tests several weeks in advance, and you may cancel your appointment according to the CTD’s cancellation policy. If you do not follow the CTD’s cancellation policies, you could be subject to a cancellation fee.
TAKING A KNOWLEDGE TEST
The next step in taking a knowledge test is providing proper identification. You should determine what knowledge test prerequisites are necessary before going to the computer testing center. Your instructor or local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) can assist you with what documentation to take to the testing facility. Testing center personnel will not begin the test until your identification is verified.
Acceptable forms of authorization:
- A certificate of graduation or a statement of accomplishment certifying the satisfactory completion of the ground school portion of a course from an FAA-certificated pilot school.
- A certificate of graduation or a statement of accomplishment certifying the satisfactory completion of the ground school portion of a course from an agency such as a high school, college, adult education program, U.S. Armed Force, ROTC Flight Training School, or Civil Air Patrol.
- A written statement or logbook endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that you have accomplished a ground training or home study course required for the rating sought and you are prepared for the knowledge test.
- Failed Airman Knowledge Test Report, passing Airman Knowledge Test Report, or expired Airman Knowledge Test Report (pass or fail), provided that you still have the original Airman Knowledge Test Report in your possession. Before you take the actual test, you will have the option to take a sample test. The actual test is time limited; however, you should have sufficient time to complete and review your test.
Before you take the actual test, you will have the option to take a sample test. The actual test is time limited; however, you should have sufficient time to complete and review your test.
When taking a test, keep the following points in mind:
- Carefully read the instructions given with the test.
- Answer each question in accordance with the latest regulations and guidance publications.
- Read each question carefully before looking at the answer options. You should clearly understand the problem before attempting to solve it.
- After formulating an answer, determine which answer option corresponds with your answer. The answer you choose should completely resolve the problem.
- From the answer options given, it may appear that there is more than one possible answer; however, there is only one answer that is correct and complete. The other answers are either incomplete, erroneous, or derived from popular misconceptions.
- If a certain question is difficult for you, it is best to mark it for review and proceed to the next question. After you answer the less difficult questions, return to those you marked for review and answer them. The review marking procedure will be explained to you prior to starting the test. Although the computer should alert you to unanswered questions, make sure every question has an answer recorded. This procedure will enable you to use the available time to maximum advantage.
- When solving a calculation problem, select the answer that most nearly matches your solution. The problem has been checked by various individuals and with different types of calculators; therefore, if you have solved it correctly, your answer will be closer to the correct answer than any of the other choices.
USE OF TEST AIDS AND MATERIALS
You may use aids, reference materials, and test materials within the guidelines listed below, if actual test questions or answers are not revealed. All models of aviation-oriented calculators may be used, including small electronic calculators that perform only arithmetic functions (add, subtract, multiply, and divide). Simple programmable memories, which allow addition to, subtraction from, or retrieval of one number from the memory, are permissible. Also, simple functions, such as square root and percent keys are permissible.
The following guidelines apply:
- You may use any reference materials provided with the test. In addition, you may use scales, straightedges, protractors, plotters, navigation computers, log sheets, and electronic or mechanical calculators that are directly related to the test.
- Manufacturer’s permanently inscribed instructions on the front and back of such aids (e.g., formulas, conversions, regulations, signals, weather data, frequencies, weight-and-balance formulas) are permissible.
- Testing centers may provide a calculator to you and/or deny use of your personal calculator based on the following limitations:
- Prior to, and upon completion of the test, while in the presence of the proctor, you must actuate the ON/OFF switch and perform any other function that ensures erasure of any data stored in memory circuits.
- The use of electronic calculators incorporating permanent or continuous type memory circuits without erasure capability is prohibited. The proctor may refuse the use of your calculator when unable to determine the calculator’s erasure capability.
- Printouts of data must be surrendered at the completion of the test if the calculator incorporates this design feature.
- The use of magnetic cards, magnetic tapes, modules, computer chips, or any other device upon which pre-written programs or information related to the test can be stored and retrieved is prohibited.
- You are not permitted to use any booklet or manual containing instructions related to use of test aids.
- Dictionaries are not allowed in the testing area.
- The proctor makes the final determination relating to test materials and personal possessions you may take into the testing area.
DYSLEXIC TESTING PROCEDURES
If you are a dyslexic applicant, you may request approval from the local FSDO or International Field Office (IFO) to take airman knowledge test using one of the three options listed in preferential order:
Option 1. Use current testing facilities and procedures whenever possible.
Option 2. You may use a Franklin Speaking Wordmaster® to facilitate the testing process. The Wordmaster® is a self-contained electronic thesaurus that audibly pronounces typed in words and presents them on a display screen. It has a built-in headphone jack for private listening. The headphone feature must be used during testing to avoid disturbing others.
Option 3. If you do not choose to use the first or second option, you may request a proctor to assist in reading specific words or terms from the test questions and supplement material. In the interest of preventing compromise of the testing process, the proctor must be someone who is non-aviation oriented. The proctor must provide reading assistance only, with no explanation of words or terms. When this option is requested, the FSDO or IFO inspector must contact the Airman Testing Standards Branch (AFS-630) for assistance in selecting the test site and proctor.
Prior to approval of any option, the FSDO or IFO inspector must advise you of the regulatory certification requirement of being able to read, write, speak, and understand the English language.
CHEATING OR OTHER UNAUTHORIZED CONDUCT
Computer testing centers must follow strict security procedures to avoid test compromise. These procedures are established by the FAA and are covered in FAA Order 8080.6, (as amended), Conduct of Airman Knowledge Tests. The FAA has directed testing centers to terminate a test at any time a test proctor suspects a cheating incident has occurred. An FAA investigation will then be conducted. If the investigation determines that cheating or unauthorized conduct has occurred, then any airman certificate or rating that you hold may be revoked, and you will be prohibited for 1 year from applying for or taking any test for a certificate or rating under 14 CFR part 61.
Airman Knowledge Test Reports are valid for the 24-calendar month period preceding the month you complete the practical test. If the Airman Knowledge Test Report expires before completion of the practical test, you must retake the knowledge test.
Upon completion of the knowledge test, you will receive your Airman Knowledge Test Report, with the testing center’s embossed seal, which reflects your score.
The Airman Knowledge Test Report lists the learning statement codes for questions answered incorrectly. The total number of learning statement codes shown on the Airman Knowledge Test Report is not necessarily an indication of the total number of questions answered incorrectly.
The Learning Statement Reference Guide for Airman Knowledge Testing, found at www.faa.gov, contains the listings of reference materials, learning statement codes, and learning statements. The learning statement codes, as used in airman testing, refer to a measurable statement of knowledge that a student should be able to demonstrate following a defined element of training. You should match the codes on your Airman Knowledge Test Report to the codes in the Learning Statement Reference Guide to review your areas of deficiency.
Your instructor is required to provide instruction on each of the knowledge areas listed on your Airman Knowledge Test Report and to complete an endorsement of this instruction. The Airman Knowledge Test Report must be presented to the examiner prior to taking the practical test. During the oral portion of the practical test, the examiner is required to evaluate the noted areas of deficiency.
Should you require a duplicate Airman Knowledge Test Report due to loss or destruction of the original, send a signed request accompanied by a check or money order for $1.00, payable to the FAA. Send the request to:
Federal Aviation Administration
Airmen Certification Branch, AFS-760
P.O. Box 25082 Oklahoma City, OK 73125
If you receive a grade lower than 70 percent and wish to retest, you must present the following to testing center personnel:
Failed Airman Knowledge Test Report
A written endorsement from an authorized instructor certifying that additional instruction has been given, and the instructor finds you competent to pass the test
If you decide to retake the test in anticipation of a better score, you may retake the test after 30 days from the date your last test was taken. The FAA will not allow you to retake a passed test before the 30-day period has lapsed. Prior to retesting, you must
TRAINING AND TESTING PUBLICATIONS AND GENERAL INFORMATION
Most of the current Flight Standards Service airman training and testing publications can be obtained in electronic format from the FAA Web site, www.faa.gov. The training and testing publications and general information can be found on the opening page of that Web site under the Education and Research tab. If a publication is not available in electronic format, there are instructions for obtaining paper copies. Information found on the Web site includes the following:
Code of Federal Regulations
Computer Testing Supplements
Knowledge Test Centers
Knowledge Test questions
Knowledge Test statistics
Learning Statement Reference Guide
Practical Test Standards
Type Certificate Data Sheets
Advisory circulars (ACs) provide guidance and information on various subjects related to airman certification.
Airworthiness Directives (ADs) are notifications to aircraft owners of a known safety deficiency with a specific model of aircraft, engine, avionics, or other system.
Code of Federal Regulations
The portion of 14 CFR containing what was formerly known as the Federal Aviation Regulations can be found on the Web site. 14 CFR contains regulations designed to promote aviation safety, and govern all aviation activities in the United States.
Computer Testing Supplements
The knowledge testing supplements contain the graphics, legends, and maps that are needed to successfully respond to certain knowledge test items. These supplements will be provided by CTD test center personnel during the airman knowledge test.
Knowledge Test Centers
The Knowledge Test Centers portion of the Web site contains current listings of CTDs and other testing centers, and the registration telephone numbers to call to register for a test.
The following is a list of the computer testing designees authorized to give FAA airman knowledge tests. This list should be helpful in case you choose to register for a test or simply want more information.
Computer Assisted Testing Service (CATS)
1801 Murchison Drive, Suite 288 Burlingame, CA 94010
Applicant inquiry and test registration: 1-800-947-4228
From outside the U.S. (650) 259-8550
LaserGrade Computer Testing
16821 SE McGillivray Blvd., Suite 201
Vancouver, WA 98683
Applicant inquiry and test registration: 1-800-211-2753 or 1-800-211-2754
From outside the U.S. (360) 896-9111
Knowledge Test Questions
Sample questions are located in the Airman Knowledge Test Questions section of Web site and represent the types of questions included in the actual test banks. Practicing these questions will help you become familiar with similar questions on the airman knowledge tests. The knowledge test is not designed to intimidate any prospective airman; it is designed to measure understanding of the rules and regulations required to receive an FAA certificate.
Knowledge Test Statistics
Test statistics for all airman knowledge tests are contained in a series of tables organized by year and subject area. Individual tables are provided for the following subject areas: test volume, pass rates, average test scores, countries, regions, and district offices.
Learning Statement Reference Guide
Learning statement codes replace the old subject matter codes and are noted on the test report. They refer to measurable statements of knowledge that a student should be able to demonstrate following a defined element of training. The learning statement corresponding to the learning statement code on the test report can be located in the Learning Statement Reference Guide on the Web site.
The practical test standards outline the knowledge and skill requirements for each airman certificate and rating. The references listed in each task of the practical test standards indicate the specific publications used to develop the skill standards. The ability to issue immediate changes prior to publishing revised printed copies ensures the practical test standards are always accurate and usable.
The training handbooks are the basic information sources an airman applicant should refer to when preparing for the knowledge and practical tests for a specific certificate or rating.
Type Certificate Data Sheets (TCDS)
A Type Certificate Data Sheet contains a formal description of an aircraft, engine, or propeller, including detailed specification of the type design and the information required for type certification.