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According to various online search results, the FAA test questions are not made available to the public (page 6), but used to be. Yet, question books claim to have the exact real questions.

How are the latest questions obtained? I am aware of the sample questions the FAA provides, yet publications and online study sites claim to have "the most up to date" actual questions.

Are the questions available by FOI request? Does the FAA provide the questions to publishers on some limited basis?

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  • $\begingroup$ I think some of the questions and answers are gathered or updated by crowdsourcing. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Jun 21 '17 at 19:22
  • $\begingroup$ I think so too, and I suspect there is a bounty offered. It would interesting to know for sure. $\endgroup$ – STWilson Jun 21 '17 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ I have studied using a program that encourages users to call in with new or updated questions, etc. There is no bounty offered that I am aware of, just the assurance that everyone appreciates the help. $\endgroup$ – J Walters Jun 21 '17 at 19:43
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    $\begingroup$ I just took the Instrument Test and at least 90% of the questions were from old tests. There were a few that were very similar to the old test questions, just different numbers. I think that out of 60 questions there were 2 that I hadn’t seen before. $\endgroup$ – JScarry Jun 21 '17 at 21:55
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Years ago (35?), I taught ground school for pilots. The question pool was not published then (it was later published, and then withdrawn), the company would send college students to take the FAA test, with the idea that they would capture certain questions, so that they could be edited and put into study guides.

As I recall the goal was about 5 questions per student taking a test. Most of the students were not pilot candidates, but rather engineering and even humanities students at colleges.

Attendees would also report on small differences after they had taken the written, and the company question pool would be revised.

I cannot tell you what process is used today.

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    $\begingroup$ Interesting, indeed. Apparently the FAA was offended by that. The link I just added to the questions says, In some cases, unscrupulous test preparation providers have sought to obtain actual test questions by overtly or otherwise encouraging knowledge test takers to share information about actual questions and possible answers immediately after taking the knowledge test. The FAA has taken action against such companies. $\endgroup$ – STWilson Jun 21 '17 at 20:26
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    $\begingroup$ Interesting, I had not heard that, but then again I have not worked for that company for decades. I can say that the FAA was aware of our question books, and actually sent employees to our courses. The company still provides training. $\endgroup$ – mongo Jun 21 '17 at 20:47

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