Journal of Aviation/Aerospace Education & Research





Key words

Test-taking; Education; Consistency; Self-Awareness; Aviation; FAA


Inconsistency is the enemy of performance. Several researchers have conducted a number of studies examining consistency in a variety of laboratory tasks; however, no research to date has looked at test-taking consistency in a real-world aviation environment. In this study, participants took a portion of the Federal Aviation Administration Private Pilot Knowledge Exam for credit in their Aeronautics 1 (private pilot ground school) course at their respective university. This was done twice: once after seven weeks and another time after 12 weeks into the semester. In order to measure consistency, participants took the same exam twice (questions were randomized across blocks). Participants were then asked to rate how consistent they thought they were in taking the two exams. For Exam 1, the overall consistency between the two blocks was r = .89; while the correlation between the self-assessment and consistency was rs = .55. For Exam 2, the overall consistency remained high at r = .80, while the correlation between the self-assessment and consistency fell to rs = .11. In contrast to previous laboratory data, the overall consistency between blocks was high. The self-assessment of consistency was fairly inaccurate, particularly in the second exam. The research indicates that participants still struggle to accurately self-assess their consistency.

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