Friday, January 30, 2009

Commercial Pilot Knowledge Test

We all call it the "written" test 'cuz it's not the oral or flight test. It's actually a computer-delivered test with 100 multiple-choice questions, up to 3 hours allowed. Minimum passing grade is 70%. (Now THAT's a scary thought...)

Unfortunately it includes some subject areas that really don't apply to glider pilots, so I've spent a lot of time studying and practice-testing those areas. It's hard to learn those areas because they're all abstract knowledge to me. Things like radio navigation with VOR's and NDB's - I've never seen either one, so I have no real-world experience to confirm what I read about. Things like Class B and Class C airspace - I don't and won't fly there, so that stuff just doesn't stick. No way I'm going to get 100%. I figure if I'm really solid on all the glider stuff and the stuff that applies, then missing a few questions on those topics will only pull my grade down a little. The best I did on the ASA computerized practice test was 97%.

I passed with a 95% score. As I recall, when I took my Private Pilot written, I got 93%.

The test report doesn't tell you exactly which questions you missed, but gives some "Learning Statement Codes" which point you to general areas of knowledge. You have to get further instructional time on the areas missed. Amazingly, I didn't miss any of the VOR stuff! What I did miss were:
  • Airspace classes and info on a sectional chart. I remember being unsure about some Class E ceiling and boundary questions.
  • Airport signs and taxiiing techniques. Yeah... in six years, I've never taxied an aircraft at an airport that had signs, so I'm not surprised I'd miss a question on "destination signs".
  • PIC authority and responsibility. Not sure what that was... I'll have to look into that.
That means I got 100% on all the glider, weather, instrument and aerodynamic questions.

So now it's time to focus on getting ready for the Practical Test!

No comments: