your training and flying career, you will be required to take
tests to ensure that you are able to safely perform the duties
of your pilot certificates and ratings. We’ve provided
a brief explanation for some tests you’ll be required
to take and pass before earning your pilot certificate or
Test (a.k.a. Written Exam)
Test (a.k.a. Check-rides)
Before you fly Solo, you are required to have a Student
Pilot/Medical Certificate, which serves as your student
“learner’s permit.” To obtain your Student
Pilot/Medical Certificate, you must visit a physician who
has been designated by the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) as an Aviation
Medical Examiners (AMEs). After successfully
completing the medical exam, the AME will issue you the
Student Pilot/Medical Certificate. There are three classes
of medical certificate. To learn more about the “Classes”
of medical certificate, Student Pilot/Medical Certificate,
costs, How to obtain a medical certificate, and Frequently
Asked Questions, visit the Medical
Knowledge Test (aka Written Exam)
After completing ground school (either scheduled classes,
home-study program, or one-on-one with your instructor),
you will take the FAA’s Knowledge Test (Written Exam).
The Knowledge Test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions
drawn from a bank of about 1,000 questions for the Private
Pilot Knowledge Test. You must pass this test by receiving
a score of 70 percent or higher before you can take your
Practical Test with a FAA Designated Examiner. The Knowledge
Test lasts approximately 2 hours.
are various Knowledge Test Guides available to help you
study for the test. Your instructor will also direct you
to the various study materials to help prepare you for this
test. Several companies offer condensed ground school courses
that allow you to review each question and answer to help
you prepare for the test. The Knowledge Test is administered
by commercial computer testing centers, in which some flight
schools offer FAA-approved computer testing as part of their
services. If you need to locate testing centers near you,
ask your flight instructor or contact the Flight
Standards District Office for more information.
Test (a.k.a. Checkride)
A Practical Test (checkride) is the final step in achieving
your pilot certificate or rating, whether you are preparing
for your first checkride for the Private Pilot Certificate
or your Airline Transport Pilot Certificate. A typical
checkride lasts approximately 3-5 hours. The Practical
Test consists of two-parts: an oral exam and a flight
test given by FAA Designated Examiner.
The purpose of the oral portion of the checkride, which
is taken on the ground, is for the examiner to ask you
questions to test your aeronautical knowledge regarding
flight and non-flight related items according to the
Practical Test Standards
The purpose of the flight portion of the checkride is
for the examiner to test your ability to perform specific
flight maneuvers, make good judgments, and fly the aircraft
safely. According to the PTS, the examiner can ask you
to perform any or all of the flight maneuvers outlined
for each particular certificate or rating.
and your flight instructor will spend plenty of time in
preparation for the Knowledge and Practical Tests.
Remember the phrase “ Cooperate & Graduate!”
Never argue with the examiner. The examiner has much more
flying experience than you do. If you have questions about
any thing the examiner asks you, ask the examiner to clarify
the question. The best solution to any problem is communication.
The examiner realizes that you will be a little nervous
during the checkride. The best advice is to relax and allow
your knowledge and flying skills speak for themselves.
by: Sedgwick Hines Copyright 2004-2011 AvScholars Publishing, LLC.
All Rights Reserved.