Private Pilot written test


pretty soon i will have to take the private written/computer test./

how easy is it? do most people pass it on the first try?

how much studying should i do?


I took a class that went Friday night, all day Sat. & Sun. Took the test three weeks later. I did a few practice tests online, which helped. I got a 98.


For any FAA knowledge exam, I recommend buying the Gleim test prep. You should reading every section and then continue to work every question until you know them all, then you can take an online practice test.


I used the Sporty’s DVD’s and Jeppesen 141 course book. Do the Sporty’s practice tests until you get consistent 90% or better.
I got a 98; never get a 100% as it will make your oral exam harder (usually).
I’m using the King DVD’s for my instrument and they are more detailed (and more expensive) but tend to be boring to watch. Try E-bay for the software; you can find used versions cheaper than buying new.
Most people pass on the first try unless they did not study; remember the written is only a stepping stone. You still need to pass the oral so you need to know the material. Don’t take the written until two to three weeks before the checkride as you will retain more knowledge for the oral test.

Best of luck.


Just make sure you get AGL vs. MSL down. Man, that one stupid question!!!


thanks alot for all of the responses


I second the vote for the Gleim Test Prep software. Its very good. I used it for my instrument, commercial, Fundamentals of Instructing, Flight Instructor-Airplane, Instrument Instructor, and ATP written tests.
Notice I did not use it for my private, way back when…I thought I didnt need to study. I got a 72. …I studied for the rest!


Didn’t study? Didn’t STUDY!!! Didn’t you learn anythin…

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9,…

Never mind! :wink:



I disagree. Why would you tank a question to not get a 100? I have taken many written tests over the years and the examiners always commented that they did not need to pry too hard since it was clear I understood the material. It is clear than an examiner will take the time if you score a 72 but the notion that they will also take more time if you score 100 vs. 98 is crazy.


With all respect, I couldn’t disagree more. ALWAYS do the best you can!

Your oral exam will be what it is going to be. The examiner must go over subject areas where you missed an answer, so why give him/her things to be obligated to ask you about? Wouldn’t (s)he be more impressed if you got 100?


I agree. Always try to go for the 100. I have talked to about 5 different instructors/oral exam admins. and they all say the same thing. The better you do on the written, the “easier” the oral is for you.


Can’t imagine why you’d be discriminated against for perfection on the written.


i used the king videos for my private written and i hated every minute of them. they are so boring and i don’t recommend them. i’m less than a week away from my instrument check ride and i too am all for the gleim test preps


I recommend using the Sporty’s DVD courses for Private and Instrument along with Gleim publications. I use them often even as refreshers.


The test itself is very easy…using the Gleim Software or written material will pretty much guarantee 100% … if you study:)

Usually a couple of evenings will be plenty to go over the material, and then 2-3 practice tests. Make sure that you understand the material and are not just memorizing the answers. Take a little extra time in the chapters on Weather and Flight Planning…you will be glad you did when you are in the test chamber:)

Good Luck!


i just wanted to let y’all know that i passed the written with no problem thanks to all of the review




I was taught to always study, study, study…that test is nothing compared to the A&P and inspection authorization test that i took


I second the congratulations!!

I’m not a pilot and took the online test just for fun. Finished in 11 minutes and got 40%. Sure gives one even more appreciation for the skill required.


I am currently using Gleim’s Online Private Pilot Written Exam prep. It cost $100 and was mostly reading. I wished there was more videos, but Youtube has plenty of educational aviation videos. Definitely recommend it. Don’t go buy King’s study prep for $400+