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FAA written test failures spike


Eggbeater
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AOPA Article

 

Apparently the FAA changed the written test question bank without telling anyone causing a failure rate as high as 56%(from the normal 13%). Separate articles indicate that the Fundamentals of Instruction, ATP, and Flight Engineer tests were impacted the most. I was first clued into this issue by Dauntless, who I am using for my ATP test prep.

 

So has anyone here taken these tests and had issues with them?

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So has anyone here taken these tests and had issues with them?

 

I've taken the Priv-heli, Comm-heli, FOI, CFI-heli, CGI-adv, CGI-inst, Inst-heli, CFII-heli, ATP-heli, Mech-Gen, Mech-AF, Mech-PP, Mech-IA, DPE-heli, and the ATC's ATSAT.

 

The only test I ever had a problem with was the ATP-Heli. It had a bunch of 135/ATP fixed wing questions on it.......high altitude / O2 reqs and 30+ pax questions (e.g. how many bull horns for over x# pax.) Remembering 100+ questions like that was hard. I still got a 86, but some were lucky guesses. The W&B questions were VERY tough (20 minutes each.)

 

The only one I ever failed was the IGI. I took the Inst-heli, CFI-heli, GI-Inst all in one night since they were the exact same test. I was at Parks College and could take the tests for $40 a piece one night a month. I started at 6pm, got a 92 & an 88 on the first two. I was so sick of doing the math that I blew through the IGI and got a 68. Missed it by one question because I was lazy.

 

The ATSAT was BY FAR the most interesting. I was absolutely nothing like any other FAA test. It had ATC "video games", word association, analogies, etc. The "Letter Factory" was actually fun. I got a 98% and was done in 4 hrs (didn't take the breaks.)

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I haven't taken one recently but I was planning on taking the ATP exam and had heard about this. I called ASA and asked them about it, they said most of the failures were on the FOI test. I think it's probably because that's the one people do the most memorization on. I think what the FAA did was switch the answer tags: B became C, A became B, etc.

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I've taken the Priv-heli, Comm-heli, FOI, CFI-heli, CGI-adv, CGI-inst, Inst-heli, CFII-heli, ATP-heli, Mech-Gen, Mech-AF, Mech-PP, Mech-IA, DPE-heli, and the ATC's ATSAT.

 

 

How recently did you take these tests? Apparently, this failure increase is a recent development in the last couple months.

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...I think what the FAA did was switch the answer tags: B became C, A became B, etc.

 

Good guess,...but wrong answer! :lol:

 

I just took the FOI a few weeks ago, and after scoring a high 'A' on at least a dozen practice tests (a few even at 100%), I decided to take the real test.

 

I got a 'C'!,...and felt lucky to get it!

 

The FOI may be completely unrelated to aviation, but its concepts are not difficult. Most of the memorizing is of definitions and concept models, (only a fool memorizes the answer tags!).

 

I don't know why the FAA makes these test so difficult, prompting some people to just memorize the answers, but one thing is for certain; there would be fewer failures, and far less memorizing, if the questions were not so irrelevant!

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The FAA changed a lot of questions on the FOI. You will get a lot of new questions, with never seen answers. 20+ questions out of 50 are new, when you are using any prepware.

Not easy to pass. Study the FOI topics with understanding.

The FAA is not publishing the new questions anymore and other tests will be changed step by step in the next months (I heard something about June).

 

Good luck!

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How recently did you take these tests? Apparently, this failure increase is a recent development in the last couple months.

 

Most were about 10 years ago. ATP was ~7, DPE & IA ~5, and the AT-SAT ~18 months.

 

However, not a lot changes on these tests. In A&P school were found some old test written test preps from 20+ yrs ago. Most of the questions were word for word. It was amazing.

 

I read in AOPA Pilot yrs ago that each question takes weeks of man power because of all the legal review. And often, by the time it makes it through it doesn't make any sense because they have to dumb down the wording to an 6th grade reading level.

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Recently took the Inst-heli test and after scoring low to mid 90's on a bunch of practice tests, I barely got by with a 72 on the real thing. There were several on there that I had never seen. And I do use the memorization method on any that are irrelevant, if I don't KNOW the answer during study time, I will mark it and save it then memorize all the ones I don't know for sure.

 

Definitely some changes, FOI test seems to be the worse and most highly impacted since I have seen peoples scores cut in half from practice tests to the treal thing.

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