(Here’s a link to the questions with a CFI’s answers.)
The 2018 ACS update (ACS-10A) indicates that the recurrent exam will be different from the initial certification exam. Still 60 questions, still 1.5 hours to take the exam and still at a testing center. Yes, the test center fee an expense that I consider unnecessary, but it’s still the system. (That may change when Section 336 is repealed).
Recurrent Knowledge Test Description
(From the ACS):
The recurrent knowledge test is an important part of ensuring that airmen who hold a remote pilot certificate with sUAS rating can operate safety in the National Airspace System (NAS). Recurrent testing is required for Airmen who do not hold a pilot certificate that was issued under 14 CFR part 61. The recurrent test is also required for airmen who do hold a pilot certificate that was issued under 14 CFR part 61, but do not have a current Flight Review as per 14 CFR part 61, section, 61.56.
What I read here is that of you are a Part 61 pilot with a current BFR, your sUAS Certificate is also current. No retesting is required.
If you are not a Part 61 certificate holder, then you will take the recurrent certification test. It appears in reading the ACS that there will be more emphasis on Airspace Classification and Airport Operations. Interestingly, I don’t see anything in the ACS about weather.