A Comprehensive Guide to the FAA Knowledge Test

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Congratulations on reaching the FAA Knowledge Test milestone. Below are some helpful tips and insight for a successful written test experience.

Don’t see your question or have other written test feedback? Please email us at [email protected].

Scheduling your FAA Knowledge Test.


FAA written exams are provided through PSI.

The FAA utilizes a third-party testing provider, PSI Services, to administer all written exams. PSI exams are available at a number of testing locations throughout the US and abroad and can be scheduled online. Locating a written testing center is accomplished as part of the test registration process.

The first step to scheduling your FAA written exam is to visit https://faa.psiexams.com/faa/login. First time users will be required to create an account. You may also review exam eligibility requirements from the link on the homepage.

Read more on scheduling the FAA Knowledge Test.

What documentation do I need when taking the FAA Knowledge Test?

An applicant must present state or federal government-issued photo identification as proof they are at least the minimum eligibility age required for the requested knowledge test. Acceptable forms of identification are noted in the table below. In the case of an applicant under the age of 18, who does not possess an acceptable of identification, a parent or legal guardian is required to accompany the applicant, and after presenting identification as described in the above table, may attest to the applicant’s identity.

required identification

You must also present an acceptable authorization or endorsement to take the exam. That can include:

  • A certificate of graduation from a home-study course developed by the aeronautical enterprise providing the study material
  • A written statement or logbook endorsement from an FAA-certified ground or flight instructor, certifying that you have satisfactorily completed the required ground instruction
  • Logbook entries by an FAA-certified ground or flight instructor, certifying satisfactory completion of the required ground instruction
  • A certificate of graduation from a pilot training course conducted by an FAA-approved pilot school, or a statement of accomplishment from the school certifying the satisfactory completion of the ground-school portion of such a course

What should I expect when taking the FAA Knowledge Test?

When you arrive at your chosen test facility, your documents (authorization and identification) will be reviewd by the test proctor and you will be checked-in for the exam. The test proctor will review the testing requirements and procedures and provide you with the opportunity to ask questions. The test will be taken at a computer terminal and will consist of multiple choice test questions. You will be able to mark questions for further consideration as the questions will not be scored until you make a final submission. The minimum passing score is 70%.

The Private Pilot and Instrument Rating exams each consist of 60 questions and you are given two hours to complete. The Commercial Pilot exam has 100 questions and you are given 2.5 hours to complete the test. Here are a few testing tips:

  • Incorrect alternatives may be attractive if you do not understand the question, so take your time and be sure that you understand the question before considering the possible answers.  
  • You’ll find it helpful not to even look at the choices until you understand what the question is asking.
  • Don’t linger too long on any one question. Answer the questions you readily know and then go back to the ones you find difficult.

After submitting the test, test results will be given to you immediately, and you’ll want to hold on to them because you’ll need to give them to the FAA examiner when you take your practical test.

What can I bring to the FAA Knowledge Test?

written test

Testing aids such as an E6B flight computer are permissable.

Applicants may use test aids such as scales, straightedges, protractors, plotters, navigation computers, log sheets, and all models of aviation-oriented calculating devices that are directly related to the test. In addition, applicants may use any test materials provided with the test. Manufacturer’s permanently inscribed instructions on the front and back of such aids, e.g., formulas, conversions, regulations, signals, weather data, holding pattern diagrams, frequencies, weight and balance formulas, and air traffic control procedures are also permissible.

Please note, the test proctor may deny the use of their personal calculating devices if the applicant’s device does not have a screen that indicates all memory has been erased.

How do I prepare for the FAA Knowledge Test?

Sporty's online course

Sporty’s online courses provide a dedicated written test prep module.

You should study the materials identified by your flight instructor or included in a home-study course. Sporty’s online courses featured a dedicated test preparation module with interactive tools. Users may create unlimited study sessions from a proprietary database of thousands of test questions. Plain English explanations are written by Sporty’s team of CFIs. Detailed analytics show users which areas need the most help, and allow you to study only the questions you’ve missed. Then, you may take an unlimited number of practice tests that simulates the real knowledge exam.

What happens if I fail the exam?

While failing an exam is rare, you may retake the test. Your instructor should review your knowledge test report with you and cover the areas that were deficient. When you are ready to retake the test, you must present either the Airman Knowledge Test Report (AKTR), or an airman computer test report (if the test was taken at an FAA-designated computer testing center).

The applicant must also present an endorsement from an instructor who provided the additional training. This endorsement may be in the form of a signed written statement, logbook entry, or by completing the Authorized Instructor’s Statement portion of the failed AKTR.

Sporty’s FAA Knowledge Test Updates

Sporty’s publishes regular written test question updates for its test preparation module. While the FAA does not publish actual test questions, representative test questions are available, and new questions released by Sporty’s represent emphasis areas which you will likely enounter on the test.

What are validation questions?

The written test may include validation questions which are questions used to accumulate data for statistical analysis of test question validity and performance. Validation questions are NON-scored questions, and do NOT count against the applicant’s final test score.

How long is a successful knowledge test valid?

A knowledge test expires 24 calendar months after the month it was taken. If a practical test is not completed during that period, another knowledge test must be taken.

knowledge test supplementsWhere can I access the Knowledge Test Supplements?

This Airman Knowledge Testing Supplement is the reference book used for the written exam. Questions that require referencing figures or charts will reference these documents.

How do I replace a lost Knowledge Test Report?

You may log into your PSI account and print a duplicate or expired test report. https://faa.psiexams.com/faa/login

Can I submit a suggested test question to the FAA?

To suggest an airman knowledge test question, please send an email to [email protected]. You’ll need to include the applicable knowledge test, topic, proposed question, correct answer, suggested distractor answers, reference document, and contact information.


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Flight Training Central Staff