Back to Squawk list
  • 33

FAA to modify FOI exam changes, re-grade tests

The FAA will immediately reverse some of the changes made to the Fundamentals of Instruction (FOI) knowledge test, review others, and re-grade tests taken since February when pass rates plummeted. (Since the new Fundamentals of Instructing (FOI) exam was released on February 14, 2011 the failure rate had jumped from 14% to 59%.) ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Jeff Lawson 0
An older article describing the details of the impact of the changes is in [ this article from March 7]. The FOI knowledge test is a part of the CFI testing requirement.
Chris Murray 0
So.....instead of making the tests harder and making CFI applicants study harder, we just make the test easier? Great job! :-/
Ross Gruenberg 0
When a portion of the test is material that has never been presented, or available for the applicant to study, there is a ploblem with those particular questions.
usad 0
I applaud the AOPA, the National Association of Flight Instructors, the experts in test writing and validation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Liberty University, Professional Aviation Board of Certification, University of North Dakota, University of Oklahoma, and Western Michigan University, and everyone else involved in this policy reversal...for their great self control and professionalism and for not laughing their asses off at the stupidity of the FAA, AND especially for not saying, "I told you so, stupid."

Bobby Rhett 0
So was the problem that the questions were actually incorrect and/or ambiguous, or that the prep courses were using outdated material? I would think that the 2008 edition of the Aviation Instructor's Handbook would be in widespread use by now. If applicants and instructors were relying on outdated prep materials that did not cover developing knowledge in the industry, the blame does not rest solely on the FAA.

Or is the industry questioning the actual Handbook? That raises much larger issues...
conortodd 0
I recently took the FoI exam and passed easily. I did use test prep software, but I also actually read the Aviation Instructor's Handbook. I'm willing to bet that a lot of CFI candidates aren't even reading the AIH, and consider the theory therein to be a bunch of mumbo-jumbo.
True, if you're going to teach at a school that already has a syllabus, you don't really need to know how or why the thing's put together. However, you're at a disadvantage if you don't know that stuff because you're missing an important tool for self-reflection as an instructor.
Bobby Rhett 0
One more statistic I would be interested in: How many people took the test, say, per month, prior to and following the changes? Is there a flood of new, underqualified applicants from somewhere? Those questions need to be looked into before a simple percentage has any relevance. I could get any test to become "statistically problematic" by sending a flock of unprepared test-takers.
cberry 0
I took the FOI and passed but many of the questions did seem ambiguous. It sounds like the purpose of the change was to get away from a rote recall of facts but with a multiple choice test with three answers per question it is difficult to test much else. The FOI had been given in a specific format for years and people studied a certain way to pass. Changing it without notification to the applicants was wrong. The changes to the test don't make for better instructors. The real test of what is known and whether it can be applied is the oral exam with a live examiner. The written is only an initial gate to go thorugh to insure that the applicant has a minimum level of facts so he does not waste the examiners time.
sounddoc 0
i took and narrowly failed the FOI exam a little while ago, and then got a letter in the mail from the FAA stating that some of the questions i got wrong could have been misinterpreted and that after a review of my test, they said I actually passed. I've taken a few FAA written tests up to now, and only for the FOI was the primary study material a single FAA handbook. I found the test to be based wholly on semantics and a lot of the questions would have been completely ambiguous if not for the help of wrote memorization. N.B., I don't mean memorizing the Gleim, I mean memorizing the frakking handbook itself. The handbook was written by psychologists. The test was written by the FAA. So feel free to guess the quality of some of the questions... Nevertheless, people who haven't taken the FOI are still going to be smug and say that CFI candidates are whining about a test that's too hard - I repeat; those who haven't taken the FOI test... Haters gonna hate! :)
dean sibley 0
The FOI was the only written exam I every score 100% on. There are only 40 questions as I recall. Jesus, the FAA they had to toughen it up somehow! Look at the quality of CFI that is being produced today. Sure young CFI's don't know everything but they should know the prop faces forward. FOI is elementary and the minimum pass should be 90%. I still use things I used in FOI daily even when it doesn't relate to aviation. Quit squeaking by a learn something. Learn the trade not the tricks!!!


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
This website uses cookies. By using and further navigating this website, you accept this.
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.