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Proposal for the FAA Fundamentals of Instruction Knowledge Test

The Fundamentals of Instruction Knowledge Test is based (according to the FAA) entirely on one document, Aviation Instructor’s Handbook FAA-H-8083-9A. I read it twice and took notes then tried answering questions from the test at King Schools. I scored really poorly on the practice tests. Most of the questions I got wrong—and lots of the ones I got right, had two answers that as far as I could tell, were equally correct. Here’s an example:

In developing a lesson, the instructor should organize explanations and demonstrations to help the student
 A.  achieve the desired learning outcome.
 B.  acquire a thorough understanding of the material presented.
 C.  acquire new concepts, generally progressing from the known to the unknown.

All three of these are correct, but you are supposed to pick the one the is, in their words, more correct.

Here’s another one where you need to guess which answer the test writer was thinking of:

Which is one of the major difficulties encountered in the construction of multiple-choice test items?
 B.  Keeping all responses approximately equal in length.
 C.  Inventing distractors which will be attractive to students lacking knowledge or understanding.

What’s ironic about this one is that one of the things they mention in discussing the difficulties of writing test questions is that often the correct answer is longer than the others. And in this case both ASA and Gleim agree that C is the correct answer.

Here’s one where the “correct” answer is wrong, but you need to memorize it anyway.

An advantage of e-learning includes
A. higher levels of mastery and retention. 
B. The instructor need not be actively involved with the student when using a form of e-learning.

I purchased the Gleim book and after studying the questions and answers I can consistently get 95-100% on the tests.

I wonder if anyone at the big schools would be interested in doing an experiment to test whether the Knowledge Tests are a test of knowledge or of test taking ability. There should be three groups. One group of aspiring CFIs who have their Instrument and Commercial ratings, but have not studied for the FOI test. One group who have studied the book and/or taken a course in the material, and one group that has exclusively studied one of the test prep books/courses.

I’m guessing that the test prep folks score in the 90s, the ones who read the material and the ones who haven’t read the book score about the same somewhere in the 70s. I have been taking the practice tests and scoring 90% or 100%. I just took the test and scored 84% (I usually score 94-98% on FAA tests). There were a couple of questions that I had never seen before but they were close to ones that I had studied. There were two questions that I had no idea what they were asking but I was confident that I had the correct answer on all the rest. When I reviewed the questions I got wrong, I couldn’t tell why my answers were incorrect.

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