How Hard Is It to Get a Part 107 License?

By Pilot Institute
Posted on November 5, 2021 - 5 minute read

According to statistics, there are now more than 200,000 certified drone pilots in the US. Earning a Part 107 drone license requires a considerable amount of work. How can you prepare for the knowledge test and avoid failing the exam?

Passing the Part 107 knowledge test

Let’s get the basic stuff out of the way first. You need to pass at least 72% or 42 out of 60 questions in the Part 107 knowledge test so you can proceed with the drone license application. The questions are in multiple-choice format and are randomly picked from a much larger pool of questions. This means that every Part 107 applicant will be answering a unique knowledge test.

The thing that can make the knowledge test intimidating is that it covers topics that people may not commonly know, especially if you have no background in aviation. After all, the average person likely does not know how to read sectional charts or interpret heavily abbreviated weather reports.

If you’re wondering what it really takes to pass the Part 107 knowledge test, it all comes down to proper preparation. It’s not rocket science, but it’s no walk in the park, either. If you put in a modest amount of work, there should be no reason for you to fail the knowledge test.

How to prepare for the knowledge test

Now that we have established that preparation is key, let’s try and describe in greater detail what proper preparation looks like. Spending time and putting in the work are given, but you also need to take a smart approach to studying. Here are some sure-fire tips to get you started on the right foot.

Set aside enough time to prepare

When you make an appointment to take the knowledge test, you’re also implicitly determining the window you’re giving yourself to prepare. Be sure to give yourself enough time. It really is up to you based on your specific life circumstances, but most people recommend setting aside around two weeks or 20 cumulative hours for studying.


No matter which studying strategy you go with, it is equally important that you commit yourself to the process. This does not mean that you need to take time off from work for those two weeks. However, try and free yourself from any distractions when it’s time to study.

Set aside an hour or two per day, grab a chair, and focus on the instructional video you’re watching or the sample exam you’re taking. The quality of your study sessions is so much more important than the amount of time you spend studying.

If you want a guide to help you finish studying for the knowledge test in two weeks, then check out this Part 107 14-Day Challenge checklist. It enumerates all the study topics that you need to tackle in sequence with the ultimate goal of completing everything within 14 days. You will still need to do the legwork in downloading all the needed study materials.

Identify priority study topics

Here is where coming up with a smart strategy starts to matter. The questions in the Part 107 knowledge test are categorized into five subject areas. These are not evenly distributed as summarized in the table below:

Regulations 15 – 25 %
Operations 13 – 18%
Weather 11 – 16%
Airspace and requirements 8 – 15%
Loading and performance 7 – 11%

The smart strategy would be to dedicate more of your time studying the topics that will show up in greater numbers in the test. For instance, spending more time on Regulations compared to Loading and performance is just practical.

Take note that this advice really only applies if you decide to compile or research for your own set of study materials. Should you decide to take a training course, then the study materials should have already been curated and organized for you. This brings us to our next item –

Look for good study materials

As we mentioned, the quality of your study sessions is far more important than the length of time you spend studying. This highlights the importance of looking for high-quality, updated, and well-organized study materials.

You would not want to be jumping from one topic to another without any logic. You want to go through your materials systematically with one step building the foundation towards the next. This is how you can maximize learning in a short period.

Take a risk-free training course

If you can afford a paid training course, then it’s probably the best option that you can take to increase your chances of passing the knowledge test on the first try. Training courses are designed to provide the essential information in a manner that is not just systematic but also engaging. That is precisely what Part 107 Made Easy online course by Pilot Institute offers.


This course provides reading materials, lecture videos, sample questions, cheat sheets, and a flashcard app to help you study. Paying a one-time fee gives you lifetime access to the course contents, even after it eventually gets revised to reflect changes in the drone industry. Coupled with the 14-Day Challenge, this training course massively boosts your chances of passing the knowledge test with just two weeks of studying.

The reliability of this Part 107 course is so well-established that it’s literally risk-free. Should you fail the Part 107 knowledge test on your first try, Pilot Institute will refund you both for the training fee and the $175 fee to take the test. This risk-free guarantee is a testament to how much Pilot Institute believes in the effectiveness of the Part 107 course.

While preparing for the Part 107 knowledge test, we also encourage you to go beyond simply passing the test and earning your license. Comprehensive training should help you learn things that will also come in handy during your eventual career as a professional drone pilot. The goal should be to become a skilled and responsible drone pilot, not just to pass a certification test.

Final thoughts

Our advice for those who are planning to apply for a Part 107 remote pilot certificate is this – it’s not exceptionally difficult, but you can still fail if you do not prepare. Take the time to look for good study materials or, better yet, a good training course. These are worthwhile investments over the long run if you plan to earn money with your drone.

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