I finally got around to taking the FAA Private Pilot written knowledge test today and passed it! With a score of 90%, I think that may qualify as heartily passed it, dare I say, even aced it?! In any case, I was stressing much more about the exam than necessary, it really wasn’t bad at all. You get 150 minutes (2.5 hours) to answer 60 multiple choice questions (each with 3 possible choices). That was way more than enough time as I finished in about 50 minutes (and I took my time). It’s a computerized testing system, with the ability to ‘mark’ questions and come back if need be. So, I breezed through the 50 or so questions that I could answer instantly or with little/simple calculations. The other 10 I came back to and worked about 6 of those with multi-step calculations, the remaining 4 I took confident educated guesses because I simply didn’t feel like working on them much more knowing I had likely passed with plenty of buffer.
I never took an official ground school class, just learning from the Gleim Publications books – the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge to learn the theory and rules, and the Private Pilot FAA Knowledge Test Prep book to prepare for this test. As I mentioned in my last blog post, learning from books only cost me about $40 (verus $200-$300 for full ground school course). I would definitely recommend these books, and the Pilot Handbook will be a great reference to check back on when needed in the future.
All that’s left now is about 1 more hour of standard solo practice flight time, and then my practical test!