FAA – CPL written exam

What you need to know about the written exam ? (CPL)

Attaining the status of a commercial pilot is a milestone. As a commercial pilot, you will be able to fly for compensation or hire. This could include flying people, cargo, or in a variety of other capacities. Many commercial pilots pursue careers as flight instructors, charter pilots, and/or with the airlines.

As the regulation says in the §61.123 (d) you will need to:

Pass the required knowledge test on the aeronautical knowledge areas listed in §61.125 of this part

61.125 : Aeronautical knowledge

  • (a) General. A person who applies for a commercial pilot certificate must receive and log ground training from an authorized instructor, or complete a home-study course, on the aeronautical knowledge areas of paragraph (b) of this section that apply to the aircraft category and class rating sought.
  • (b) Aeronautical knowledge areas.
    1. Applicable Federal Aviation Regulations of this chapter that relate to commercial pilot privileges, limitations, and flight operations;
    2. Accident reporting requirements of the National Transportation Safety Board;
    3. Basic aerodynamics and the principles of flight;
    4. Meteorology to include recognition of critical weather situations, windshear recognition and avoidance, and the use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts;
    5. Safe and efficient operation of aircraft;
    6. Weight and balance computations;
    7. Use of performance charts;
    8. Significance and effects of exceeding aircraft performance limitations;
    9. Use of aeronautical charts and a magnetic compass for pilotage and dead reckoning;
    10. Use of air navigation facilities;
    11. Aeronautical decision making and judgment;
    12. Principles and functions of aircraft systems;
    13. Maneuvers, procedures, and emergency operations appropriate to the aircraft;
    14. Night and high-altitude operations;
    15. Procedures for operating within the National Airspace System;
    16. Procedures for flight and ground training for lighter-than-air ratings.

To pass the written exam you will need to receive an endorsement from a CFI.
Most of the flight school / instructor will ask you to do 2 tests with a score more than 85% before to give you the endorsement.

All FAA written tests are multiple choice questionnaires and are entirely computerized.
The D-day you will have 3 hours for 100 questions and a minimum score of 70%.
Depending of the center you will do the test you will be able to bring all the stuff you need including a non-programmable calculator.

How to train ?

Where to take the exam ?

• I dont need to tell you than you can do it in the USA in a approuved center.
Please find the list on the pdf.
Expect between $100 and $150 and there are usually no delay there… (If you fail the test, you can do it again 1h after)

Source: https://faa.psiexams.com/faa/

• You also can do it in Flight Safety at Paris Le Bourget

The FAA test center is only open the WEDNESDAYS FROM 13:00 TO 17:00 and the THURSDAYS FROM 9.30 TO 17.30. You can expect a delay of 3 months and the fees are 210 €


Maud Duboscq – DOS Assistant – FAA/TSA Administrator
FlightSafety International • Paris-Le Bourget Learning Center • Zone Aviation d’Affaires
• 1300 avenue de l’Europe • BP 25 • 93352 Le Bourget Cedex • France
Tel: 33-(0) • Fax: 33-(0)
maud.duboscq@flightsafety.com • flightsafety.com

To schedule an exam, call, fill and send the following documents to Maud Dubosq


Flight Center at Paris Le Bourget is not an approved center any more.

After your writen ?

The written exam is valid for two years. If you do not take or pass the practical part / check ride during this period, it will expire and you will have to retake it. No prorogation is possible.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments