Cost of Written Exams?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by dell30rb, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    I just signed up with CATS to take an exam. They charged me $140 (I thought the lady said $100 over the phone).

    Is this right? I swear last time I took a written it was $75 or 80... this was 3 years ago at least.
     
  2. Clip4

    Clip4 Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, that is correct. 2nd biggest rip off in aviation. The testing site gets $50 of the $140.
     
  3. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    They have to maintain the equipment, train the proctors, usually have video equipment, pay the rent, heat/ac and pay the proctor. Seems reasonable to me.


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  4. MassPilot

    MassPilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    If I remember correctly, that's exactly what I paid 5 years ago. That was with a $10 discount for being an AOPA member.
     
  5. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach

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    Cramming now.. dont want to waste $140
     
  6. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Pattern Altitude

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    I got ripped off, mine was $165.
     
  7. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Kinda funny though, because the only thing the proctors do is sit behind the counter, take your money and photo copy your CFI's sign-off. Not much training involved in that.
     
  8. Z06_Mir

    Z06_Mir Pattern Altitude

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    I operate a testing site and PSI/Lasergrade charges $175 for an FAA exam ($165 for AOPA members) and $150 for UAS exams. It's depressing how much we get as operators for the exams. Less than half actually. A couple of months ago PSI/Lasergrade at CATS merged, so expect the prices to skyrocket now that there will only be one provider.
     
  9. Z06_Mir

    Z06_Mir Pattern Altitude

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    The testing center is responsible for the supplement books, testing supplies, computers, printers/ink, plus the fee to be a testing center. If a report doesn't print correctly and we don't catch it we get charged for corrections. We have to do initial training and two types of annual training plus updating materials, getting books (and new supplement books happen all the time!), updating requirements etc... the testing center does NOT make enough money for the work involved. They don't tell you that when you sign up though.
     
  10. Ronbonjovi

    Ronbonjovi Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just looked into it and need to register. I am 36 hours in and haven't taken it yet :(. $150 at my testing center with $10 discount for AOPA.
     
  11. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    There's also an identical EAA discount, if one doesn't "do" AOPA for whatever reasons.

    Sorry to hear they merged, so much for competition...

    One local testing facility had the ability to do a local discount as well... how they were doing that, I don't know... but they liked cash, and said they had no way to run credit cards locally, but could accept cash payments.

    Probably had something to do with me doing CFI stuff... they likely lose a little more money hoping CFIs will send business their way.

    I didn't want to tell them that they're the only facility with reasonable hours within an hour drive, and two if it's rush hour... so they're going to get the vast majority of the business at the airport anyway, and their ups and downs are completely tied to the economy and student-starts.

    But got to know two of the proctors fairly well as acquaintances, considering the number of tests I took back-to-back. Nice folks. They keep a few desks open in their office for impromptu FAA walk-ins and the rest of the day they're testing for all sorts of other things, IT cert tests, real-estate tests, whatever... you name it... they had a massive catalog of stuff. Always a few people in there taking some sort of test.

    The FAA stuff, the guy said the rules are tight enough that they didn't like to reconfigure the "stuff on the desks" too much unless they had a glut of real-estate or some large group come in, so they kept the FAA desks set up in one corner of the facility's three rooms.
     
  12. abqtj

    abqtj Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If the testing site gets $50 of the fee, they are making peanuts after covering their expenses and paying for a proctor to be there.
     
  13. MassPilot

    MassPilot Cleared for Takeoff

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    I did my written test at a nearby Part 141 flight school. I thought all the written tests were at places like that. Interesting that there are general testing centers that decided to do FAA tests.
     
  14. falconkidding

    falconkidding Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Now it's 165 bucks open 3 days a week for 3 or 4 hours. No option to walk in, can't schedule in person, love having to take a day off work... 3 years ago I just walked in some Saturday morning and said I'd like to take the ppl written gave them 85 bucks and walked out 20 min later.
     
  15. Z06_Mir

    Z06_Mir Pattern Altitude

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    We aren't allowed to take payment at all. PSI said they're not allowing it at this time. So everyone has to register with PSI on their own.

    It is a bummer that the competition is going away. It isn't fair to applicants or centers for that matter. The center that you go to sounds like a nice setup! I wish we had the ability to test for things other than FAA. I wanted to apply for the crane certification exams but PSI said that they're not letting facilities add to their list of exams at this time. Okay whatever. Can't give fire/EMT exams because we aren't ADA compliant (no elevator, old building). Maybe someday, then I could have a full-time proctor rather than having all the CFIs proctors (and myself). We also can't proctor our own students exams (which is understandable) so we're always scrambling to get on the other persons schedule.
    I used to be very flexible when it came to scheduling. They had to register through PSI but I would allow them as a walk-in if they scheduled with me. But then I started getting no-showed on so I am not as flexible now. Huge issue with the drone exam people just not showing up. If they no-show when they scheduled with PSI we still get the exam fee we would have earned. Paying proctors is tricky because you can pay them by the exam *if* they will always make minimum wage. Well this is easy for the drone exams and even private pilot/instrument exams. But I gave an ATP written the other day and they have 4 hours to complete the exam. You can hardly pay someone minimum wage and still make money on that exam *if* they take the entire time. My high-score is 2.75 hours on a commercial applicant. I usually have to take the longer exams so I don't risk losing money on the deal. Sigh.
     
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  16. rbridges

    rbridges En-Route

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    I took mine at the local tech school. Probably easy money for them since they already have the facility and proctor; he just verified a few things and had me sit in with students taking other tests. If you're a standalone facility, I can see where this would be a burden.
     
  17. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    My local school does it too. You sure they weren't just a local CATS site (like mine) aka not standalone....


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  18. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    $140 is dirt cheap for an exam...
    PMP costs over $450 and Cisco Certified Architect (CCAr) is about $15,000 ($3,750 (USD) for the initial interview, and $11,250 (USD) for the exam itself).
     
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  19. mtuomi

    mtuomi En-Route

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    Is that a typo?!

    I got 88% and it took 35 minutes. Surely your candidate fell asleep halfway through?
    I hope he passed! :D
     
  20. Clip4

    Clip4 Pattern Altitude

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    Except the people doing all that don't get squat. The test company takes the 2/3.
     
  21. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    If everyone thinks it's such a goldmine go start a testing company, let us know how it goes :)


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  22. Clip4

    Clip4 Pattern Altitude

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    Like Flight Service, it is a contract monopoly with the FAA.
     
  23. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Then why are we complaining that we lost a provider?


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  24. Billy Cesarano

    Billy Cesarano Filing Flight Plan

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    There is a rapidly growing trend to destroy aviation in America. Higher and higher costs, incomprehensible regulation and Monopolizing the testing portion is just another step. If you didn't already know it, Monopolies in America are illegal and this is Government approved. Wait till there is only one aviation insurer left.
     
  25. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    What's the first?
     
  26. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Nameyourown DPE fees. ;)
     
  27. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    But you may get a checkride for "free."
     
  28. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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  29. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    A 44709. :)
     
  30. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    That ain't no check ride and all things considered, it surely isn't free.
     
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  31. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    How times have changed. My entire PPC cost $400 in 1965!
     
  32. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That’s incredible! I was charged $400 for the checkride alone.
     
  33. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    And you got change from your dollar spent on a McD's hamburg, fries and shake.
     
  34. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Have an examiner from the FAA do it. You don't have to use a DPE.
     
  35. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    You're right. There are no rip offs in aviation.
     
  36. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    These amounts seem laughable compared to the costs of maintaining an airplane.
     
  37. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    Costs of maintaining a certified airplane. All things considered, I consider parts and avionics for an experimental to be pretty fair.
     
  38. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    Wow that is cheap for a DPE lol
     
  39. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    How much did you pay?
     
  40. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    My PPL was $600, my IR was $700