April 2, 2023

Part 107 Test

T88% of participants taking the Part 107 Test on Monday passed it – but reports from the field say that the test was harder than most people expected.  In fact, Kim Wheeler, the successful candidate we interviewed in Part 1 of this series said that few of the questions on the sample test actually showed up in the same form on the real exam.  Detailed studying is a must – both to pass the exam, and to fly safely as a commercial drone operator.  But not to worry – here is an extensive list of resources to help you master the Part 107 Test material.

Government Resources

It’s the FAA who is giving the test, and they’re the first source for study material.  They’ve produced training materials and handbooks to help candidates, and they’re all available for free online.

  • Since the process can seem complicated, we started with FAA’s basic instructions for getting a Part 107 Certificate, which you can find here.
  • List of Testing Centers: You’ll need to register to take the exam in person.  Use this list of FAA authorized testing centers in the US, by state to find the center nearest to you.
  • FAA’s Remote Pilot – Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Study Guide: This 79 page study guide is available for free download.
  • Sample Questions: Use this sample exam to practice.  While you may not have many of the exact same questions, a lot of questions will be similar.
  • This Advisory Circular outlines the material you are required to know, and provides more information on where to find detailed documentation.
  • The Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge is the textbook for the course: study the sections required for the Part 107 test.
  • This Aeronautical Chart User’s Guide provides supplementary information for non-pilots.

Community and Free Commercial Resources

Since the Part 107 test was announced, the drone community has come together to help each other study and pass the test.  Drone businesses are firmly behind operators taking the test too – many have provided free study guides and support for their clients.  “As soon as the test was announced, people started calling with questions,” says Attorney Jonathan Rupprecht. “I decided to put together all of the information in one place as a defensive move at first, to save me the phone calls – but a lot of people have passed the test now using this material, and that’s great for the drone industry.”

  • The Part 107 Study Group on Facebook: a public group providing help and support for people taking the test.
  • Sarah Nilsson: Sarah is an attorney, pilot, advocate and philanthropist.  She has developed a comprehensive 9 part study guide for the Part 107 test.  This guide is text-based and breaks down the detailed FAA information into sections for easier management.
  • Jonathan Rupprecht: Jonathan is an attorney, pilot, and FAA certified flight instructor.  He’s created this free study guide including a game plan, cram pages, and sample questions, based on the updated Airman’s Certification Standards.
  • Commercial Drones Podcast: Ian Smith is a drone and helicopter pilot, flight instructor, and commercial drone industry insider.  Episode 6 of the Commercial Drones Podcast is a 40 minute study guide outline.
  • 3DR: Drone manufacturer 3DR has provided a number of resources for drone operators, including a study guide, sample test, and map of testing centers.

Commercial Training Courses (Paid)

Finally, if you’re a visual learner and you just can’t wade through the FAA material on your own – some of it might qualify as dense, to say the least – there are video courses available to walk you through it.  For $299, UAVCoach has developed the Drone Pilot Ground School course, which includes more than 30 video and text lectures, 5 practice tests, and – not required by the FAA – drone flight proficiency training.

Remember, the FAA says that they believe that approximately 90% of participants will pass the test with about 20 hours of studying – so pour yourself some coffee and get started.