I'm studying for the private pilot knowledge exam, and wondering if the answers to the sample test are posted anywhere. Here is the exam: https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/testing/test_questions/media/PARSampleExam.pdf

  • $\begingroup$ I purchased the exam booklet (they have one edition for each year), which covers all the possible questions that might come up in the actual exam, with correct answers. My instructor told me that you can just memorize the answers from the question bank to pass the exam, since they're all MC questions. Of course that is not recommended! $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Jan 26, 2017 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ I don't think this is true anymore with the new ACS, as far as I'm aware they no longer publish active test questions. $\endgroup$
    – Caleb
    Jan 26, 2017 at 15:31
  • $\begingroup$ If that's the case, I think you can just purchase one for the exam a few years ago. Out of all the questions, I'd say at least 98% are unchanged the next year. That would provide you a reliable source for study. $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Jan 26, 2017 at 16:04

1 Answer 1


Let me answer your question by first quoting from the 2017 Gleim Instrument Pilot Knowledge Test book.

The FAA no longer releases the complete database of test questions to the public. Instead, sample questions are released on the Airman Testing page of the FAA website on a quarterly basis.… Gleim utilizes customer feedback and FAA publications to create additional sample questions that closely represent the topical coverage of each FAA knowledge test.

The rewrite removed questions that are no longer relevant to most pilots, e.g. NDBs, Colored airways, and added new questions on things like GPS, PFDs, CRM.

In addition, they now shuffle the answers for each tester, so you can’t just do things like remember that most of the answers to a group of questions is 'A'.

They supposedly cleaned up the answers on some of the calculation questions so that minor differences in measurement do not result in getting an answer that is not one of the choices. For example, in previous exams some of the charts were reproduced at 98% scale. If you didn’t correct for that you would get an answer that was midway between two selections.

They also cleaned up the questions that had two right answers but one was more right than the other.

Since the exams are testing for the same content, and draw the questions from known publications, understanding past questions will give you the knowledge to pass the current exam.

Purchasing a test book from GLeim, ASA, or Sporty’s is probably worth the money for most people. With your purchase, most booklet makers also give you on-line tests so you can go into the test well-prepared.

According to Gleim, 85% of test takers pass on the first try, so don’t make too big a deal out of the test. If you are prepared, you’ll pass.


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