CFI Brief: Knowledge Exam Updates

New FAA Knowledge Exams were released February 9. The Private Pilot test saw the most significant changes this test cycle. Questions being deleted covered outdated topics including automatic direction finder/nondirectional beacon (ADF/NDB); Radar Summary Charts; the En Route Flight Advisory Service (EFAS); medevac; and transcribed weather broadcasts (TWEB). The FAA will also delete from the knowledge test “questions involving scalability (i.e., those questions requiring the use of nonstandard scales for measurement or calculation),” and aircraft performance and weather questions “that involve multiple interpolations across multiple charts.”

What’s happening to EFAS? In keeping with the trend toward greater GA use of automation, including tablet devices and datalink, for both preflight and enroute weather briefings, the FAA is working with stakeholders to “right-size” the National Airspace System. “Because these initiatives are likely to include streamlining services such as the En-Route Flight Advisory Service (Flight Watch), the agency has removed EFAS questions from the private pilot airplane knowledge test as of February 9. The decision is also part of the FAA’s ongoing effort to utilize the limited test space for more meaningful questions, rather than those which require rote memorization. Although the questions are being dropped for now, EFAS and the services it provides are still available for pilots, at least until October 2015.

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Do you have an idea for a Knowledge Test question? The FAA accepts recommendations for test questions; to read all about it and submit a question click here.

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