Home > Blog > A&P Mechanic Test Prep Resources: Find Answers to FAQs Here
by SJVC on June 12, 2019 · 9:00 am
Are you preparing to take the A&P mechanic exam in pursuit of a career in aircraft maintenance? This resource center has everything you need to know about preparing for your written, oral and practical examinations administered by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
SJVC Fresno Aviation Campus President Lionel Smith offers guidance on what you should know about the test, and how to best prepare for each examination. Find frequently asked questions; test prep tools and resources; and testing center information below.
The term A&P stands for Airframe rating and Powerplant rating, and refers to the two certifications that aircraft mechanics can obtain:
Mechanics that hold a certificate with an Airframe rating have demonstrated proficiency in maintaining and repairing the body of the aircraft, including the landing gear. Those that hold a certificate with a Powerplant rating are also qualified to maintain and repair the aircraft engine. Some mechanics only hold one of these licenses, while others are licensed in both areas¹.
There are separate tests for Airframe and Powerplant mechanic certificates, in addition to a general test that covers both. To become an A&P mechanic, you must successfully pass the general written examination as well as separate Airframe and Powerplant oral, written and practical tests within a 24-month period².
Per the FAA, to pass a written test, you must answer at least 70% of the questions correctly³. To pass the oral examination, you must correctly answer three out of the four questions correctly to pass. Practical examinations are based on your demonstrated proficiency as observed by an FAA Designated Mechanic Examiner4. Get more information about practical test standards.
The written Airframe and Powerplant tests are 100 questions each, while the general written exam is 60 questions. Most test centers will allow two hours to complete these tests. The oral and practical exams cover 43 technical subjects, and usually take a full day (or about 8 hours) each to complete¹.
According to Lionel Smith, a Designated Mechanic Examiner handles the oral and practical test, and a test proctor is on-site during your written tests. During the oral and practical test, you will be interacting directly with your examiner one-on-one. For written tests, you may be taking your test alongside others in a testing facility4.
If you fail any part of the test, you may apply for retesting 30 days after the date of your failed test. To apply to retake the test before the end of this 30-day period, you will need to provide a statement signed by a certified mechanic or repairman that shows you have received additional instruction in each of the subjects you failed¹.
Before you take your written exam, you will need to present your proof of experience or proof that you graduated from an FAA-approved aircraft mechanic school. This documentation must be presented to an FAA inspector at your local FAA office¹.
Make sure you bring along the following items to your oral and practical examinations, says Lionel Smith:
Are you getting ready to take the oral, written or practical exam for your A&P license? Check out these test tips from SJVC’s Fresno Aviation Campus President Lionel Smith.
“When students don’t take any of the tests along the way, they get to the point where they are preparing for the test and realize, ‘This is pretty overwhelming. I should have learned more as I went or should have tested as I went.’ And for some of them, it becomes very overwhelming. That’s why we encourage our students to take the general written [exam] right away while it’s still fresh in their mind.”
“We want to see them consistently scoring in the nineties [before taking the written exam] because there’s usually at least a 10-point drop when they take the real test. By doing that, we have very few failures.”
“We have a good sense for the ones that are prepared [for the test]. They’re the ones that are always jumping in there, getting their hands on everything, and asking lots of questions. When they work in groups, they’re obviously the leader of the group. They’re really motivated and focused. Those students usually do very well.”
“All the questions come from a specific textbook, FAA 8083, and we use that textbook in our program. I advise [my students] to skim through some of the sections. and if they just come across something that they don’t remember anything about, I strongly suggest reading back through these sections and focusing their efforts in these areas.”
To be considered eligible for the A&P certification tests¹, you must be:
*Students may take the A&P written, oral and practical examinations prior to their 18th birthday. However, the certification itself will not be issued until after they turn 18 years of age.
You can complete your written exam for your A license, P license or combined A&P license at these computer testing locations in central California. See a full list of testing locations in the U.S. on the FAA website.
San Joaquin Valley College (Fresno – Aviation Campus) 4985 East Andersen Avenue Fresno, CA 93727
California Aeronautical University 1450 Boughton Drive Bakersfield, CA 93308
High Desert Testing 18368 Readiness Street Victorville, CA 92394
Hummingbird Aviation LLC 700 Tioga Drive Modesto, CA 95354
Reedley College 995 North Reed Avenue Reedley CA, 93654
The Aviation Maintenance Technology program at SJVC is approved by the FAA, and prepares students with the skills and technical knowledge they’ll need to take the A&P license exams. By working directly with skilled aircraft maintenance technicians, students at SJVC get a comprehensive introduction to aircraft maintenance and repair. Students in our Aviation Maintenance Technology program can earn a Certificate of Completion in as few as 17 months, or an Associate of Science degree in as few as 22 months.
Learn more about the Aviation Maintenance Technology program at SJVC. Ready to speak to an admissions representative? Request information or call 866-544-7898.
Important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended SJVC can be found here.
4 Several FAQ responses are sourced from an interview with SJVC Fresno Aviation campus president, Lionel Smith, conducted in May 2019.
Posted in Aviation Maintenance Technology