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FAA and the Knowledge Testing Centers (PSI)

6 mins
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Most people who want to fly a drone always have the same question. Can’t I just fly it?

The answer is a bit more complicated than a yes or no. Depending on what you intend to do with the drone, you need a license that certifies you as a drone pilot.

FAA Knowledge Testing Centers are there to help you get your drone license. You can take an exam to earn your commercial drone license. Before you can do that, though, you must register with PSI to find a Knowledge Testing Center near you.

This article will answer all your questions about FAA Knowledge Testing Centers, including how to register on FAA, where to find these testing centers, and more.

What are FAA Knowledge Testing Centers? #

The FAA has facilities nationwide for testing your knowledge in a related aviation field.

These facilities, where you can take exams that comply with the drone’s FAA regulations, are known as Knowledge Testing Centers.

What is the relationship between the FAA and PSI? #

The FAA has partnered with PSI for its Part 107 exams. PSI designs protocols for evaluating drone proficiency within FAA regulations.

PSI also provides tests to Knowledge Testing Centers. That way, the FAA ensures a facility can evaluate your drone proficiency through PSI exams.

Where are FAA Knowledge Testing Centers located? #

PSI makes finding a Knowledge Testing Center exceptionally easy through its website.

Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the PSI FAA website.
  2. Click on Find a Test Center.
  3. Enter your postal code.
  4. Select your country from the deployable Country menu, which is the United States in this case.
  5. Select the radius within which the website looks for the testing center. It is preset to 50 miles, but you can select from 5 to 300 miles or kilometers.
  6. Select Unmanned Aircraft General – Small from the deployable Exam menu.
  7. Finally, click the blue Search button.

Then you’ll get a list of all the facilities within the radius you set, with the first facility being the nearest to the postal code you entered.

You can always click the address of the Knowledge Testing Center, and it will redirect you to Google Maps. There, you can click on directions and set your address.

Google Maps will give you the best way to get there in less time.

Are there any Knowledge Testing Centers outside the US? #

Each country has its own aviation authority. For the European Union, you have EASA; for Canada, the CAA, and so on.

You must comply with the aviation authority regulations for the country in which you want to operate a drone.

But what if you want to take the exam outside the US? At the time of writing this article, you can’t. Only Knowledge Training Centers located in the US can test you.

But as you see on the deployable Country menu on the PSI page you have previously accessed, it has all the countries listed.

That suggests it’s only a matter of time before you can take the exam outside the US.

Can’t I take the Part 107 test online? #

The only way to take the Part 107 exam is by going to a Knowledge Testing Center and completing the paper and pencil test.

However, renewing your Part 107 exam is an online test, and recreational pilots interested in a TRUST certificate can take that online too.

What prerequisites do I need before taking the FAA exam? #

You must complete a few tasks before taking the test at an FAA Knowledge Testing Center. Let’s review them.

Obtain your FTN #

The FAA Tracking Number or FTN is your unique identifier tied to your IACRA account. Here’s how to get it.

  1. Go to this FAA link. That will open the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) website.
  2. On the top right side of the IACRA website, you will see a form to fill in with your credentials.
  3. Click the blue Register button below.
  4. You will see many options to select, but choose the Applicant option.
  5. Scroll down and click the Agree to the TOS and continue.
  6. Now, the page asks you to fill in some info. If you don’t have the certification information, just skip it.
  7. Fill in the Personal Information, Security Questions, and Username/Password. Then click the Register button.
  8. The page displays your FTN, which is an alphanumeric combination. Please save the FTN and Username in a safe place, as those are key credentials.

How to schedule the FAA exam via PSI #

With your FTN number, you can schedule the exam at your preferred Knowledge Testing Center as follows:

  1. Go to PSI FAA.
  2. Find the Create an Account button. Click it.
  3. Scroll down and fill in your FTN, first, and last name. Then click the Continue button.
  4. Next, agree to some terms.
  5. On the next page, you must complete your registration, filling in your preferred email address and other info. Then scroll down and click the green Continue button.
  6. Confirm your email. Access the email you entered in the previous step and confirm the link the sent you.
  7. That email link prompts you to continue the registration process. Fill in all the information. Then click the Register button.
  8. The next page shows you all the exams. From the Exam Deployable menu, select the Unmanned Aircraft Systems exam. Then click the Select button.
  9. Now, you see some pop-ups you must accept before paying for the exam.
  10. The next page asks you to fill in the number of attempts and the authorization category. Please read all the instructions as they give you the number of attempts to fill in.
  11. From the Authorization category deployable menu, select None. This selection is only if you haven’t taken the test before.
  12. Next, select any particular accommodation requirements.
  13. After selecting the accommodation, you’ll land on a page with a Scheduling Procedures prompt. Read it carefully and then click the I Understand and Agree button.
  14. The page looks for the nearest exam date according to your registration info. Now you only need to select the date and time that suits you better and pay.

How can I practice before taking this exam? #

What if you want to study before the test? Go to PSI FAA and select Practice Exams. Then select the Unmanned Aircraft systems from the deployable menu and click the Select button.

The page will prompt you to the practice exam.


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