study for Part 107

How to study for Part 107: 6 tried and true training courses for FAA’s aeronautical knowledge test

So you want to start a drone small business, or you’re interested in a full-time job as a professional drone pilot? Excellent! But before you can legally become a certified drone pilot, there’s one big step you need to take. You must get your drone pilot’s license. What likely comes before that? You’ll need to study for Part 107.

Yes, that’s because there’s a big step you need to take in order to get your drone pilot’s license. You’ll need to pass a written test called the FAA Aeronautical Knowledge Test. It’s referred to by many as the Part 107 test.

If you want operate a drone commercially — and you don’t already have an existing manned pilot’s license — you must pass an in-person written exam. (People with an existing Part 61 manned pilot’s license do not need to take the written exam. They simply need to complete an online course). And unless you already have significant airspace knowledge, the test isn’t going to be easy without having done some work yourself.

The best way to study for Part 107 testing? I recommend a full-on Part 107 test prep course.

So how are YOU studying? A good friend of mine told me, “I’m going to just study the night before — college style.” Wait, what?! No! Don’t do that!

It’s important that you know the information not to simply pass, but to really know the airspace. That’s critical so you can be a safe pilot. 

But your means of learning answers to the Part 107 questions doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. My top ways to study for Part 107 test require just a couple hundred dollars. Even better, you can study from your couch, through these handy, online Part 107 courses.

Drone Pilot Ground School TheDroneGirl

Drone Pilot Ground School

This is an online test prep course for commercial drone pilots, led by drone guru Alan Perlman.

At the end of each lecture you’ll get a 10-question practice quiz. There’s also a 25 question quiz at the end of each module AND 5 full-length practice tests.

The course has a clean, simple interface. I’ve been watching it on my subway rides to work and while on the stair-master at the gym!

Drone Pilot Ground School has the highest-quality customer service. Email them to clarifying a study question and you’ll get a quick response — usually from the founder, Alan Perlman, himself!

Plus, if you fail your test, Drone Pilot Ground School refunds your testing fee (normally $175) if you had passed one of their practice exams with a score greater than 85%. 

What comes with your purchase: 300 practice questions (including actual FAA questions), video lectures, a cram sheet, 1:1 customer support

Time needed to complete: 10-15 hours

Pass rate: 99% across more than 13,500 students

Length of time to access course before your membership expires: Unlimited lifetime access

Cost: $299

Drone Launch Academy

Instructors with more than 75 years of combined experience in aviation teach this online, self-paced course. The course comes with 1 year of unlimited access.

What comes with your purchase: 200 practice questions (including actual FAA questions!), colorful video lectures, a handy 75 page downloadable e-book study guide

Time needed to complete: 10-15 hours. That’s 5 hours of video material, plus about 10 hours to go through the study materials.

Pass rate: 99.02% across more than 5,000 students

Length of time to access course before your membership expires: Unlimited lifetime access

Cost: $199

Use Coupon Code DroneGirl50 to get $50 off (automatically applied when you use this link)!

John Peltier FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course

John Peltier’s FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course

Former Air Force pilot and instructor John Peltier created this FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course. As you might expect from a guy who oversaw all academic material for F-15E students (and once earned Instructor of the Quarter in the Air Force, to boot!), it’s a no-nonsense online training program including about three dozen videos and quizzes.

A neat component of the course is a Live Chat feature with Peltier himself. Yep, meaning not a random customer support person or a robot. That gives you access to Peltier directly without needing to send an email. The only caveat? Since it’s just Peltier (and he needs to sleep, right?) don’t expect answers 24/7 — though expect it to be, say, 16/7.

John Peltier’s FAA Part 107 Remote Pilot Test Prep Course is also good for folks who prefer smartphones over computers. After all, all Peltier Photo Courses (whether the Part 107 course or other drone and photography courses) are available via a mobile app for both iOS and Android.

Length of time to access course before your membership expires: Unlimited lifetime access

Cost:$129 for lifetime access. Or, you can pay just $79 for 30-day access.

Peltier also offers a recurrent course, if you simply need to brush up and study for that test.

DARTdrones Part 107 Test Prep Virtual Course

If you need a little more accountability to actually follow through with studying for the test (and aimlessly scrolling through slides and passively listening to a video) won’t cut it for your learning style, consider the live, interactive virtual course hosted by DARTdrones.

DARTdrones’ offers a more-traditional online Part 107 Test Prep Course. On its own, it costs $200. But there’s also the live version — which is usually offered on weekends on a monthly basis. That affords you to ask questions live on the video chat system and interact back and forth with the instructor, really getting the opportunity to pick their brain.

What comes with your purchase: The complete online Part 107 Test Prep Course (a $200 value) that includes a 300+ test question bank. There’s also a 50-page study guide, plus two, 4-hour weekend live trainings held virtually.

Time needed to complete: 8 hours for virtual, live training, plus unlimited time with the recorded course material.

Cost: $375 for the virtual live course, or $200 for the standard course.

CommercialDrones.FM podcast

While I’ll admit this is not a complete form of studying for the test, episode 006 of CommercialDrones.FM podcast by Ian Smith is a great. This episode goes over all 35 questions in the online test for Part 61 certificated pilots. While it won’t be as many questions as the written test — and in fact, doesn’t include some of the hardest questions — it’s a great way to at least learn about some of the types of test questions.

In this episode, Smith provides the questions. He pauses so you get a chance to ponder your answer. Then, he gives the answer as well as explanations of why it is correct and why the others are incorrect. It’s fun, engaging and highly informative. Listen to it during your next evening walk or on the commute to work.

Consider it a cheery, free way to audibly study for Part 107. Oh, and while you’re at it, listen to episode 008 of the Commercial Drones FM podcast, in which I get to guest-star on the show!

Time needed to complete: About 40 minutes

Cost: Free

FAA’s online training course for Part 61 certificated pilots

Drone operators with an existing pilot’s license (Part 61) will not need to take the in-person test. Instead, they need to complete an online course.

That online course is free and publicly available online to anyone who doesn’t have a manned pilot’s license already, which means people without a pilot’s license but wanting to be a commercial drone operator can use it as a self-study resource for the written test.

Keep in mind that — since this is geared toward existing manned pilot’s license holders — this may not cover everything you need to know to pass the test. That being said, other documents worth reading from the FAA are the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (PDF), the FAA’s online sample questions (PDF), and the Part 107 Advisory Circular.

Time needed to complete: 2 hours

Cost: Free

FAA Official Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge

While the test will include a mix of both drone-specific and general manned aircraft questions, some readers have also pointed out that the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, which is the official FAA handbook, is a good place to learn more general airspace knowledge. You can pick up your own copy here.

Cost: The latest edition costs about $30 in paperback or $50 for the hardcover copy. But, if you don’t mind the virtual version, then you can also get it on Kindle for just $2.99. You don’t even need a Kindle to read it, as it’s available on Amazon’s free app.

What’s your top-recommended way to study for Part 107? Share it in the comments below!

Some of the links on this page may be an affiliate link. That means Drone Girl may get a commission for purchases made through some of the above links.  You will not pay more when buying a product through the above links. You may occasionally receive a lower rate through coupon codes negotiated by Drone Girl on these links.


  • Ted Morgan says:

    Gowdy Brothers Aerospace has an online course walking thru all the parts needed to study for the test. $150 online. Some good overview parts and some parts just cut and pasted off the FAA web site. But a good start, well organized and the cheapest I have seen.

  • Steve Goldman says:

    Nice list, thanks!

    There’s also the Prepware Remote Pilot phone app for $5. They have many different FAA test prep apps. I haven’t used it so don’t know how effective it is.

  • J Geibel says:

    The online course for Part 61 certificated pilots has a required test – it is necessary to get a grade of 100% to get the completion certificate to apply for Remote Pilot Certificate. I recently passed it.
    The non-pilot test will be administered through FAA test centers (about 500 nationally) at $150 a pop. I’m not sure what the minimum score is (usually 70% for FAA tests) but typically if you don’t pass – you pay the same amount to retest later.
    According to FAA statistics (2013) the pass rate for knowledge tests for the Private Pilot, Sport Pilot categories (the most basic) is about 85%
    Should be interesting to see what the pass rates are for the drone (Remote Pilot Certificate) test will be.

  • Michael J. says:

    Thank you for putting this all together. I actually purchased the DART Drones UAV ground school for 250 dollars and have been very pleased so far. I will be flying for precision ag stuff for my university and am preregistered on CATS for August 29th!

  • Alec says:

    Certified Training Institute offers several online courses. Their instructor was involved writing in the part 107 rules. I took the exam prep course and am waiting to take the FAA test.

  • Chris R says:

    Don’t forget about the UA part of the exam, based on the CFR Title 14, the eCFR link is:

    Took a few practice tests already, many of the same questions exist, but there appears to be a solid mixture of UA ops/risk mgmt, chart feature idents, weather, and aircraft performance. Know your charts! Good luck everyone!

  • Very will organized, great job. I have a question, I have a commercial pilots license but am not current nor have I flown in the last 5 years. Will I have to start from the beginning in order to get my Remote Pilot Certificate?

  • Rudy Shackleford says:

    Question: As you know a pilots license doesn’t expire in the same way a drivers license does. Take your biennials and medicals…

    I have a Private Pilot certificate but my medical and biennial are expired by many years. Do I need to start over on the Part 107 test as though I never had a pilots license?

  • Marina Gafanovich says:

    The source link for Part 107 Advisory Circular (PDF) in this material expired. Here is the working one –

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