Today, we asked recently-certified remote pilot Monira B. to share his experience studying for and taking the FAA Remote Pilot Knowledge Test.
I’ve been building and tinkering with drones for the last couple years and flying them recreationally. I wanted to get into aerial photography and figured I’d eventually sell prints or try to monetize it, so it made sense to get a remote pilot’s license. Based on what I read online, it’s better to be safe and get the license than not. I didn’t have any prior piloting experience so I was starting with zero knowledge and this was all new to me.
Given I was starting from scratch and self-guiding myself through this process, I wanted to understand the test style (it’s also been over 10 years since I last took a test in college). I downloaded “Prepware Remote Pilot” and went through 10-15 random test questions to get a feel for the style of questions (I think I missed 90% of all these).
Next, I read through ASA’s Remote Pilot Test Prep as my main studying resource. It’s main appeal was the short chapter text and the easily consumable writing style. I read through the content in less than a week and took my first full test through the Prepware Remote Pilot app. I ended up getting 73%.
I looked through all my missed questions and reviewed the correct answers with the explanation blurb. Through reviewing the questions, I noticed a trend that I was missing most questions in a few sections (Weather–TAF/METAR and Sectional Charts), so I doubled down studying in those areas and spent a few days really diving into those sections to make sure I understood the content. I repeated the test in the app and increased my score to the high 80s so I felt comfortable taking the actual FAA test. I would recommend taking practice tests until you feel comfortable and achieve a high score.
I scored an 82% on the final test and passed on my first attempt.
- Schedule a test date in advance to force yourself to study.
- Use the app, since your phone is always with you. It’s easy to run through a handful of questions randomly throughout the day (especially since you’d probably just be surfing facebook anyway).
- Check the updated test questions on the ASA website (they’re free) prior to taking the test.
- Notice the trends in certain areas, so you can spend your time studying other areas. For example, the Remote Pilot in Command is responsible for almost everything, so questions asking “who’s in charge when…” are easy to answer. Focus on studying what’s new to you.
- Eat something ahead of time.
- Once you’ve answered all the questions on the test, go back through and look it over before submitting.