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FAA Part 107 Test-Day Tips

Part of an FAA sectional chart that drone pilots need to understand to pass their Part 107 license tests.

You've prepared for your FAA Part 107 exam, have created an IACRA account, and have registered for the test. Now it's time to actually sit for the exam. Here's some general information about the FAA Part 107 exam itself, along with a few test-taking tips.

Obviously, the most important tip I can give you is to make sure that you understand the information. There are 60 questions on the test, but they are drawn from a test bank of hundreds of questions. Memorizing the answers to practice questions won't work because the order of the answers is randomized. You actually have to understand the material.

The second most-important tip I should remind you of is that there are no refunds of FAA knowledge test fees if you fail. In the case of the Part 107 knowledge test, you'll also have to wait 14 days before you can take the test again, in addition to paying a second testing fee. So again, don't register for the test until you're sure you're going to pass.

Specifically, make sure that you understand the following topics like the back of your hand:

Link to Pilot Institute Part 107 Commercial Drone Pilot course

Those sections combined will constitute most of the test. If you understand them all, you're practically guaranteed to pass.

Although most drone pilots who are new to aviation consider the above topics to be the hardest parts of the test, they're actually the easiest if you understand them. The answers literally will be right there on the screen or in the test supplement.

What I mean is that the answer to a chart question will be right there in the chart if you understand charts, the answer to a METAR question will be right there in the METAR, and the answer to a TAF question will right there in the TAF. They're basically freebies if you understand the concepts. So be sure you understand them before registering for the test and paying the fee.

The rest of the questions will be on the topics referenced on this page, specifically:

Note that a few questions may reference fixed-wing aircraft control surfaces, flight characteristics, abnormal attitudes (stalls and spins in particular), and weight and balance. The Part 107 certificate presently includes fixed-wing privileges, so you'll need a basic understanding of how unmanned fixed-wing aircraft fly and are flown.

If you've been preparing by way of the self-study route, and you're still not confident that you'll pass the test, I suggest you consider taking a training course like the Pilot Institute Part 107 Made Easy course.

Helpful Hints for Test Day

Here are a few things that you should know before you actually show up to take the Part 107 test.

What to Do Once You've Passed the Part 107 Knowledge Test

Congratulations! You've passed your exam! But you're not a pilot just yet

Within a few hours to a few days (but usually a few hours, at least on weekdays) your test results will be transmitted electronically to IACRA. You'll then need to log into your IACRA account to actually apply for your Part 107 pilot certificate. Your exam results will be reviewed by an FAA inspector; and unless you're already certificated as a Part 61 pilot, sent to TSA for the security screening.

Assuming that TSA has no issues with your application, you should receive an email with a link to your temporary certificate in a week or two. The temporary certificate will be valid for 120 days, by which time you should receive your permanent certificate with your pilot certificate number. It will be valid for the rest of your life, unless revoked, as long as you take recurrent training to satisfy the FAA's currency requirements.

Revised November 26, 2022

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