The Future of Airman Knowledge Tests - It's coming...

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by write-stuff, Apr 9, 2020.

  1. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Should be interesting to see how the flying communities do.
     
  3. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    Last year, I did a handful of classes of hands on drone training for one of our insurance clients. They got their Part 107 test training from a person who supplied them with "the app". All it had on it was a test question and the answer, and all of the students said it was soooo much easier to pass the test using this app.

    While I was walking them through AirMap and other drone programs, I casually asked each class a single airspace question - I'd point to a Delta and ask what kind of airspace it is. A shockingly small number ever got it right. One of the students even said Alpha!
     
  4. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    Yeah, that's a common theme among the Remote Pilot crowd. I'm generalizing, but most don't want to learn anything. They just want the plastic card and then go fly. They highly resent having to take a test and many believe it's simply a money-grab by the FAA (who doesn't get anything from testing fees).
     
  5. Kodiak

    Kodiak Pre-Flight

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    I'll be taking the written in the next few weeks. The way I see it, I'll at least know how to answer the questions from the study material. It will not be however, just putting down memorized answers. I also know the concepts behind the answers.
    This sounds like what the Harvard Medical School did. They stopped teaching medicine and started requiring med students to figure out what the medical school wanted them to know and do. It was quite a confusing experience for the med students from that time onward.
    Come to think of it, I think I'll expedite the test now. Thanks for the heads up!
     
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  6. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    Oh god. Video capability. If a King Video can cure narcolepsy an FAA video can usually give it to someone who never had it! :)

    I know I know. It’s because they have to be professional and sanitized and carefully scripted... it just makes them so... cardboard.
     
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  7. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    I'll be the first to admit legacy FAA test questions were so bad that memorization was a necessity. Thankfully they've evolved since then, and continue to do so.

    I'll be happy to see the sheppardairs of the aviation training world either die off or adapt to actually teaching aeronautical concepts rather than producing mental "cheat sheets" for test takers.
     
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  8. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    i disagree. I would rather be questioned on the overall knowledge to test if i actually understand the concept than how well i can memorize. whatever you memorize for a test wont stick with you when you actually need it. concept of the "why" will.
     
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  9. TommyG

    TommyG Pattern Altitude

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    There is still also the problem of google. Nothing ****es me off more than when I give a student questions to bring home and answer. I tell them to use PHAK, Jepp, whatever legit source is available. They come back and I ask them more in depth about thier answers. Usually right away I know they used google to get the answer. I explain to them that google is gonna give the answer, sometimes the wrong answer, but they are understanding why that is the answer. So i thrown the questions out, give them a new set and send them on their way.
     
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  10. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Sounds like you would enjoy the humor that's on the coffee mug @flyingron sent to Dr. Bruce
     
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  11. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Same thing in computer science classes - do the students think we don't recognize when they use stackoverflow? It's so easy, because they submit the wrong answers they get from stackoverflow.....
     
  12. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    My students know the material backwards and forwards. I regularly point at a chart and ask them to tell me what airspace starts where and they nail it from AGL to MSL, SFC to Unlimited.

    At least, when I used to teach...
     
  13. Kodiak

    Kodiak Pre-Flight

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    I can assure you that I am possibly the world's worst memorizer. The courses (Dauntless and Gleim) I am taking for the written both have study guides that you go over before answering the questions. So there is a learning process with that. The question pool they then use only cements my getting the right answer. Learning something from textbooks is really somewhat nonsense anyway. It has been shown that medical students only remember 10% of what they have been taught after graduation (use experienced doctors only). Therefore, we retain what we have been taught hands on. Actual learning comes mostly through experience.
     
  14. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    there is nothing stopping us from learning differently. I just couldnt wrap my head around VOR tracking until i flew it a few times. I learn by doing as well.
     
  15. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    6 chapters a night and reading specifically to find the answers for the homework probably has more to do with the lack of retention than “learning from a textbook”.
     
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  16. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The original "I don't know it all" of aviation.
    Someday soon, pick up a copy of the FAA Aviation Instructors Handbook. You’ll have sooo much fun with the early chapters.
     
  17. Domenick

    Domenick Line Up and Wait

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    I am missing the point. Why change the way the FAA tests? Do they think it will make GA safer? Further reduce the already very low fatality and injury rates? Stop "maneuvering" accidents, i.e. buzzing your buddy's house? Change stupid to competent? Stop pilots from running out of fuel?

    Or is it just because some sociological wonk decided rote memorization was morally bankrupt. Or did someone with the FAA's ear at PSI pitch a clever way to make money, add more stress to the training process, and make it harder to attained a certificate?

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
     
  18. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    The tests aren't the goal. Learning is the goal. The tests just exist to prove (in theory) whether or not you've learned what they want you to know.

    So why change the tests? To strengthen the requirement to learn concepts.
     
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  19. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Because tests are to evaluate learning, and if the tests encourage people not to learn, they’re “broke”, and need to be fixed.
     
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  20. Domenick

    Domenick Line Up and Wait

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    What is the evidence that learning by rote memorization is not learning? It's how we all learned multiplication and much, much more. It's what spelling bees are all about.

    If changing the entire FAA testing philosophy has no tangible goal, but just makes the instructors feel better, why bother?
     
  21. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    The issue is not that memorization is verboten. It is certainly a valid form of learning for things like regulations, airport signage, airspaces, etc. The issue here is the memorization of specific test questions and answers. For example, assume there is a test question that requires a calculation. If you know the correct answer in advance, you can then answer the question without knowing how to perform the calculation. That's the type of memorization that they are trying to reduce.
     
  22. jimhorner

    jimhorner Line Up and Wait

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    Well, my case is a single data point, and I’m sure there are examples contrary to mine, but when studying for my private written, I certainly didn’t get a good grasp of the actual learning.

    I was in college(mid 80’s) , my father was my flight instructor, and I really knew how to study for tests, particularly tests which had all the questions and answers published. I was home for the summer and spent hours in my room going through the printed test questions book answering each and every question, going back and redoing the ones I missed, and doing it again and again. When I got to the point that I could go through the entire set of questions without a single wrong answer 3 times in a row, I was ready. My father picked out a set of questions as a practice test and was astounded when I finished in under 10 mnutes. Of course I had the questions memorized, no way to help that using my method. He then sat me down and asked some real world type situational questions about regulations, airspace, frequencies, cloud spacing, etc. I didn’t have a clue. Did learning occur? Not much.

    The point is, that I didn’t spend hours with the FAR/AIM or any other source materials; I spent hours with the test questions. I nailed those questions, but had little knowledge of the underlying source material. it worked for the written, not so much for learning.
     
  23. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Seems like a step in the right direction. They’ve been preaching scenario based training for a while.
     
  24. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    What this doesn’t consider is that a CFI has to sign a student off and an examiner has to also test them. I can’t see a student who can’t get a 70 on a test without a Sheppard being able to actually get through the CFI and DPE gates. I might be wrong.

    I can pass the IFR written now (min 70), I’m sure of it. I’m going to spend a little extra time and money trying to ace it (Sheppard). I think many of the people doing stuff like Sheppard are possibly thinking the same.
     
  25. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    People learn differently. Let me rephrase....people manage testing different ways. I don't memorize, never was very good at it. The Sheppard approach is a disaster for me. Yes, I tried it for the instrument - complete failure because I wasn't learning the material, I was learning how to pass a test. I have the same problem when I create a test for my students. It's not easy to develop an exam to test comprehension of concepts - as Mike's learned with the FOI material. Many of us (me included) deride the FAA's FOI, but there is validity in some of the material.

    I started on the instrument again last fall (not as long as Nate's 20 yrs, only 10 years for me). Delays finding a CFII really puts a damper on studying when there's no visible end in sight.
     
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  26. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Maybe a student who can’t get a 70 on a test without a Sheppard shouldn’t get through the CFI and DPE gates.
     
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  27. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    This is all too amusing. People have complained about the FAA written test for years, but somehow managed to pass, usually with the help of a test prep.

    Now the FAA is moving forward and redoing the writtens, which will make them even harder for the "these test are too hard" crowd.

    How long before AOPA lobbies the FAA to delay the switch to improved testing? o_O:eek:
     
  28. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

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    Too late for anyone to lobby effectively. The process has already started. With a passing score of only 70%, I don't see any way that the tests are too hard. Personally, I think they should require a score of 80% and have 4 multiple choice answers instead of 3. But that's just me.
     
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  29. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Yep, exactly my point, I don’t think they’d be able to, so no problem.
     
  30. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    With type rated ATPs who can’t correctly calculate a simple weight and balance, can’t see that a CG forward of the nosewheel or someplace in the airplane behind them on the ramp would be a problem, can’t find the CG envelope to verify that, and can’t decipher the CG envelope when presented with it, having been shown within the last week or two how to do it, being informed about the common errors mentioned above, and being told that this is absolutely part of the oral, I can see lots of ways people would fail a written requiring 70% if they can’t memorize the answers.
     
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  31. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    For years all we've seen is b1tch and moan about how difficult the test is, how unfair the check ride is. I've said many times if the FAA only required a post card to be mailed in to receive a pilot certificate, they would demand it be postage paid.
     
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  32. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Quote from a recent applicant, btw... “What’s the ACS?”
     
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  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    People always complain about tests. Doesn’t matter if they’re easy or hard.

    The real question is whether they measure anything of value.

    Whether someone studied hard or just memorized, they still have to “get it” by the practical, besides getting past their CFII, so the written becomes just one data point...

    But we all know lobbying doesn’t really work if a regulator wants something in any field.

    Looking forward to seeing what they do, really.

    Lots of weeping and gnashing of teeth originally over the ACS, but it’s a hell of a lot more organized than the PTS ever was.

    Aligning writtens with it doesn’t seem like a bad thing.
     
  34. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I do agree that better testing is a good thing but the best way that FAA can serve the pilots is not to make things more difficult but make it easier.
    We are still in the mode of 110 Baud / Typewriters days they need to determinate information that is easily understood by everyone, not just pilots.
    I have yet to find a pilot, regardless on how sharp they think they are, that can decode every single bit of information the way it is now.
    Their time would be better spent on making information available that is easily understood and be able to use / apply.
    Someone out there has nothing better to do and they come up with all these ways simply for job security, in my opinion.
    Rewrite the Regulations in a way that you don't need a Specialist to explain, and even then you may get 2-3 different interpretations, and make the tests Practical, not many pilots remember much after they get their Certificate / pass a Written. Most, when you ask them a question about WX, will get out their EFB and can get better information than most of the specialists.
    Re Write regulations, and Chart information that are simple an direct, ask questions that are practical, post information that is easily understood.
     
  35. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Line Up and Wait

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    This thread made me think of a question a CFI friend posed to me when I was studying for the private.

    What is this marking on a sectional?

    4CD0A4D8-6812-4DBA-A9E8-7A1FB3B1EEED.png
     
  36. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    It's an "O", as in Ohio.
     
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  37. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Hopefully this will finally bring an end to all those accident reports that list the primary cause as “Pilot memorized knowledge test answers.” ;)

    The old tests are bad, but I’ve yet to see anything bad that the government couldn’t make worse...
     
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  38. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    More likely the "O" at the end of "GULF OF MEXICO", given that it is in the water and near a magnetic variation line of that angle...
     
  39. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    ...or maybe the "O" in "ATLANTIC OCEAN".

    Screenshot_20200410-230510_FltPlan Go.jpg

    Screenshot_20200410-230536_FltPlan Go.jpg
     
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  40. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    E2000631-A3B3-4A46-88F2-5BEE7A1325ED.png