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Instructor Wannabe

Asked by: 2408 views Flight Instructor

1. Pease suggest what study materials do I need to start with in preparation for CFI/CFII ratings?

2. Since the FAA no longer releases test questions to the public, how to get prepared for the written exams. As you know, many FAA questions need more practice on the tests than mere knowledge only (i.e. you do have the knowledge and can perfectly answer an oral question but the way the written questions asked trick you sometimes and make you choose the wrong answers, let alone that some FAA questions have no correct answers or worse what the FAA considers as a correct answer is actually a wrong answer). 

3. Are King, ASA,and Gleim, are still helpful in getting prepared for the FIA and the FOI tests. If yes, how that could be possible if they no longer have access to the FAA quations bank.  

Thanks in advance for those who take the time to answer. 

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3 Answers

  1. Lucas on Mar 10, 2013

    How to ace your FAA written exam

    Recently the FAA has changed most of the questions on the written tests. The first tests to be affected were the FOI, ATP and FE, resulting in a dramatic increase in failure rates across the board. The same process is happening with Private, Instrument and commercial written tests.

    Speaking with the testing department of the FAA it became pretty clear that they would like better pilots to be roaming the sky (as the number of graduating pilots has stayed relatively the same, the number of incidents and accidents has dramatically increased).

    To help promote this new concept of a pilot that actually knows what he is doing while flying an airplane the FAA has not released the new questions to the public and is not going to any time soon “we are tired of pilots that have very little knowledge when it comes to the written material”.

    If you are like us, and have passed all your written exams already, you probably studied using the usual method of memorizing question and answer, heck I remember taking 7 minutes and 50 seconds for my FOI test and scoring 100 (the total number of questions was around 125 when I took it), and it took me just over 1 day of practice. I also remember locking myself in my house, phone off and disconnected door bell, for over a week to memorize the 1,500 questions of
    the ATP.

    Keep in mind that the FAA’s goal is to increase each bank of questions to over 6,000 making the old method of studying obsolete.

    Here are some of the problems with such a method of studying:
    1 Not everyone has a memory that can instantly recall 6,000 questions (heck if you can do that why not be an astronaut rather than a pilot).
    2 After you pass your written you possess no greater aviation knowledge than you did before taking it.
    3 All the material that was purchased to help pass this darn step can and will go in the garbage (I know mine did).
    4 The memorizing system might work anyway but it is very long, tedious and useless.

    We can probably keep going quite a bit longer with this list, but we would become as annoying as the written itself. I have been teaching weekend classes for the past 11 years and have had people of all walks of life come to my class but there was 1 common phrase with most of them “I have tried this and that method and nothing worked, I still can’t pass this test can you really get me to pass it in just 3 days?”. My words to my students have always been the same: “I have to ask you to leave all your knowledge behind and let me explain the material in a different way an EASIER WAY. If you can do that I can guarantee you will pass the test”.

    Our wish was that everyone could attend one of our weekend classes and find as a result an easy way to pass their written exam, but we can’t be in more than one place at once. So I went back to to the past where I used to be a computer programmer and decided to redesign our classes into a virtual course, that would allow us to be in more than one place at a time. The result of this brain child was Pilottrainingsolutions.com where all this knowledge is stored in a virtual format.

    We have been asked “why is your course different from the others” and the answer has always been the same: “we will teach you the material, rather than questions and answers, in a very simple way using time tested techniques that have been very successful in helping all our students achieve their aviation goals, and thus far in over 1,000 students that we have helped, we can count the ones that failed using only the fingers of one hand.

    If you would like to see if our techniques will work for you feel free to download one of our FREE TRIALS at


    I sincerely hope that this information is going to be helpful and allow you to fulfill your dreams of flight.

    So far we do not offer neither the CFI/A nor the FOI but the FII is still the same bank of questions as the IRA so the Instrument software works just as good. The FIA and FOI will probably be ready by the middle of the summer.

    Cheers Lucas

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  2. Wes Beard on Mar 10, 2013

    All the study material needed to pass the tests are listed in the front of the appropriate PTS. Instead of finding ways to cheat the system and pass the test, why not just learn the material and pass it.

    If all pilots would learn the material starting with the private pilot test. The FIA test should be a breeze. In my opinion.

    The FAA questions are designed to determine if you know some detail or work out some problem. The answers will always be the same length and use familiar words that sound alike.

    What is the angle called that connects the relative wind and chord line? Angle of incidence or angle of attack.

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  3. Jim F. on Mar 10, 2013

    Please do provide a citation for your claim that the FAA asks trick questions on purpose that don’t have correct answers or one’s which they think are right even though you say they’re wrong.

    I have to echo Wes’ answer and say the resource to find out what you need to know is the PTS. That’s why they made it and give it to us.

    Sure, Gleim, King, ASA, ect will help you pass, because they help teach the material. But don’t think it’ll be a free pass just since you’re paying more than basic home-study.

    From what I’ve seen/heard from people, those that think the questions are trying to trick you simply don’t know the material well enough to know the correct answer.

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