CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 6

TEACHING TO THE TEST

While teaching to the test is a black-listed concept
in education, this approach is simply the way
flight training is, and has always been, done. We
need to understand how our students will be
tested so that we can prepare them to pass, so they
can succeed in getting their certificates. (After
which the real learning begins.) But is this-you
know-cheating? No, not at all. In fact, the FAA
asks us to teach to the test, saying in the standards
themselves, "The FAA encourages applicants and
instructors to use the ACS when preparing for
knowledge tests and practical tests."
ORGANIZATION OF THE ACS

The standards for each license are made
up of chapters or sections, organized from
preflight through postflight, that the FAA calls
"areas of operation." Each of these sections
has a large number of sub-sections, with each
sub-section being an element of the test. In a
grid-like box the ACS identifies the task, gives
references, presents the objective, outlines the
required knowledge, gives risk management
requirements, and lists the skills that the
applicant needs to demonstrate.
The ACS requires examiners to test applicants
on all skill elements laid out for each area of
operation, plus answer at least one knowledge

"element," and at least one risk management
element. Unless, of course, your student missed
a few questions on the written exam. Then the
ACS requires examiners, when assembling
their "plan of action" for each test, to include all
subjects missed on the written knowledge test as
part of the oral exam.
To see how all of this plays out, let's take a look
at the simple task of starting the engine from the
Private Pilot ACS.
We're given four references for this task: the FAA's
Risk Management Handbook, the FAA's Airplane
Flying Handbook, the FAA's Pilot's Handbook of
Aeronautical Knowledge, and the airplane's flight
manual or pilot's operating handbook. That's a lot
of reading before engaging the starter.
The objective is "to determine that the applicant
exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management,
and skills associated with recommended
engine starting procedures." By the way, all ACS
objectives are "to determine that the applicant
exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management,
and skills associated with (fill in the blank)."
The knowledge section in this case has
three elements: Starting under various
conditions, starting with external power, and

engine limitations as they relate to starting.
Remember that the examiner must choose
at least one of these. Risk management for
engine starts on the private test is limited to
propeller safety. The actual practical skill set
requires the proper placement of the aircraft,
"considering structures, other aircraft, wind,
and the safety of nearby persons and property,"
and the use of a checklist.
NOT ALL SO SIMPLE...

Of course, most of the other tasks on the
ACS tests are significantly more complex.
For instance, in the Private Pilot ACS, soft
field takeoff and climb has six possible
knowledge elements, eleven possible risk
management areas, and fourteen skill elements
to demonstrate-including verifying the
assigned/correct runway, checking the engine
instruments once rolling, and complying with
noise abatement procedures. Of course, with

THE EXAMINER CREATES INTEGRATED
SCENARIOS TO TEST NOT ONLY THE
APPLICANT'S KNOWLEDGE, BUT
HOW THE APPLICANT APPLIES THAT
KNOWLEDGE TO "REAL LIFE" SITUATIONS.



CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2

CFI-to-CFI Newsletter—Vol. 10, Issue 2
CFI Notes
CFI Notes: Letters
CFI Notes: Did You Know? There I Was…A Cirrus, a Cruise Ship, and the USCG
Standards Dissected—ACS Basics
Safety Seminar: Difficult Decisions—What Would You Do?
Collected Wisdom: Tricks of the Trade
CFI News
CFI Tips: Beyond Teaching "To the Test"—How To Ramp Up Your Instruction
ASI Message: Moving Up, Down, or Sideways
Real Pilot Story: Powerless Over Paris
Safety Spotlight: Scalable Safety Framework
Point/Counterpoint: Keep Spinning the Whiz Wheel or E6B No Mo?
Chart Challenge: The Art of the IFR Chart
You Can Fly: 2019 AOPA FlightTraining Service Experience Survey Now Open
Safety Quiz: Density Altitude
CFI Tools: Weather or Not—Thunderstorm Challenge
Chief's Corner: Mentoring—A Different Perspective
Safety Tip: Marshalling Signals
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - CFI-to-CFI Newsletter—Vol. 10, Issue 2
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - CFI Notes
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - CFI Notes: Letters
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - CFI Notes: Did You Know? There I Was…A Cirrus, a Cruise Ship, and the USCG
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - Standards Dissected—ACS Basics
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 6
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 7
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 8
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - Safety Seminar: Difficult Decisions—What Would You Do?
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - Collected Wisdom: Tricks of the Trade
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - CFI News
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 12
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 13
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 14
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - CFI Tips: Beyond Teaching "To the Test"—How To Ramp Up Your Instruction
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 16
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 17
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 18
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - ASI Message: Moving Up, Down, or Sideways
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 20
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - Real Pilot Story: Powerless Over Paris
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 22
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - Safety Spotlight: Scalable Safety Framework
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - Point/Counterpoint: Keep Spinning the Whiz Wheel or E6B No Mo?
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 25
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 26
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - Chart Challenge: The Art of the IFR Chart
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 28
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - You Can Fly: 2019 AOPA FlightTraining Service Experience Survey Now Open
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - Safety Quiz: Density Altitude
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 31
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - CFI Tools: Weather or Not—Thunderstorm Challenge
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - Chief's Corner: Mentoring—A Different Perspective
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 34
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - 35
CFI-to-CFI Newsletter - Volume 10 Issue 2 - Safety Tip: Marshalling Signals
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