Commercial Written Exam Passed

Studied, wrote and passed my FAA Commercial Written Exam on Saturday – what a relief!

With what I thought was a proven method to tackle these pesky FAA written exams, I booked the exam and spent all day Saturday in a local coffee shop preparing with the same question bank software I had previously used for my Instrument exam. However, by early afternoon, it was clear that things weren’t going quite so well this time. The question bank didn’t have any memorization tricks this time around and the questions were from such a broad content range (private, instrument and commercial) that it meant for a tricky exam. I started the afternoon off taking a few short practice exams, but quickly found myself discouraged not performing as well as I had hoped.

Taking some time to reflect on it, I realized I was getting myself tripped up on some of the question/answer wordings and that started to get me pretty frustrated. The whole “select the BEST ANSWER” in a multiple choice test has always bothered me because it leaves too much to interpretation. Also included in the exam questions are an entire series that are completely out of date, relying on knowledge and understanding of navigation systems that aren’t even found in our trainer aircraft. However, the good news was that I was really nailing the calculation questions which was comforting.

By about 4 PM, I pretty much decided that pouring over the questions much longer wasn’t going to help me get a better result so I bought myself a snack, took a short walk and then headed over to the exam. Driving over, I convinced myself that all I had to do was not get more than 30 of the 100 questions wrong and that whatever passing grade I received would be just that, a passing grade.

So the end result is that I did in fact pass the exam with a score of 75% – clearly much less than I would have liked but still a passing grade. The next challenge will be the Commercial Multi-Engine Checkride scheduled for this coming Wednesday.

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