Improvements to written testing procedures coming January 13, 2020

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New contract for written testing modernizes testing process

The FAA recently awarded a new contract for the development and delivery of FAA written tests (knowledge tests). The change will result in several improvements and modernization of the airman knowledge testing process beginning in January.

The most significant change is the requirement to obtain an FAA Tracking Number (FTN) PRIOR to taking your first written test. Effective January 13, 2020, any applicant who wishes to take an FAA knowledge test will be required to possess an FTN – an 8-digit unique number assigned from the FAA’s Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) system. All applicants will be asked to provide the FTN at the testing center. Obtaining an FTN is a one-time, free event and will be used for all future FAA interactions and applications.

For those who already possess an FTN, there is nothing further to do; however, if you do not possess an FTN you may register at The FTN will be printed on the knowledge test results and connected to your FTN when you apply for your next certificate or rating via IACRA.

Also effective January 13, 2020, will be the inclusion of Airman Certification Standard (ACS) codes on the written test report instead of learning statement codes. ACS codes provide better information to help applicants understand exactly what they need to study and why they missed a particular question. Each task element in the ACS includes a unique ACS code and each test question is linked to an ACS code for ease of reference. This change represents a vast improvement in identifying deficient knowledge areas.

Additional changes that will take place in January include the removal of the embossed or raised seal on the knowledge test report and the ability for the applicant to reprint lost or destroyed test reports online without having to request a hard copy reprint from the FAA.

Some helpful links relative to the upcoming changes:

FAA is hosting free webinars on the changes to written testing. Upcoming presentations include: