HowSwedeitis From Sweden, joined Jul 2007, 586 posts, RR: 0 Posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 7551 times:
Hello, and thanks for taking the time to read this post.
I have a question regarding the AT-SAT test; and I am wondering if there are any air traffic controllers who can perhaps give me some tips/pointers about the upcoming test, and (if I pass) the interview. What is going to be asked? What did you do? What would you have done differently?
A little about me:
I graduated from High School, and started taking flying courses out of my local FBO. I worked as an intern for about a year and a half, but the insane schedule and the flight costs were just too much. So I left with some solos, a certificate, and a great experience, but no degree. I love airplanes, and am an avid plane spotter. I listen to www.liveatc.net and monitor the flights on www.flightaware.com! A lot of friends saw this, and commented, "You should do that! You like it so much!" So, I applied with the FAA in June or July, and just now got the email. I think I may have a slight advantage in that I know a lot of the ATC lingo, the phonetic alphabet, etc. etc. but I am still concerned in the total lack of information about what the test is going to be about. 8 hours is a long time!
Any help would be very appreciated. Thank you so much!
Jgarrido From Guam, joined Mar 2007, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 7507 times:
I never had to take it, but from what I've heard there is not much in it about specific rules/procedures. The idea of the test is for the FAA to evaluate candidates for the aptitude to learn the rules and procedures in ATC. http://www.atccti.com/atsat.html has a study guide for the AT-SAT.
Not to discourage you, but 6 months is the the beginning of the waiting you'll have to do when dealing with the government. It took almost 11 months from when I first applied before I knew that and when I was actually going to start class. Fortunately I hear they've streamlined the process quite a bit since then, but don't ever expect the goverment to work quickly...unless you owe them money, but that's another topic.
Wagz From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 520 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 7493 times:
The AT-SAT has nothing to do with rules, regulations, phraseology or anything else related to actually separating airplanes. So CactusHP's comment about picking up the 7110.65 and the AIM/FAR might help down the road, right now its quite premature. It is purely an apptiude test to see if you posess the qualites and skills that it takes to become a successful Air Traffic Controller.
I also checked out the study guide linked to above on ATCCTI. It will give you a good idea of what you'll see in the test. A lot of it looks easy on paper (or a website) but its much more complex when you're taking it. A few sections on applied math, angles and reading aircraft guages were an absolute cake walk. The Letter Factory part takes a solid hour, including all the practice runs they give you. The Air Traffic Scenarios were the most fun (you don't need to know anything about air traffic to do it, its a very simplified test for the average Joe).
They give you 8 hours to complete the test, but I finished in about 5 hours I think. That also includes a lunch break and a couple shorter breaks. A lot of the time is also the test program going through screen after screen of instructions for each section, and practice scenarios.
I wouldn't worry too much about the interview. Don't take my word for it, but from what I've heard the interview is mostly a formality. In fact my tentative job offer was ready and handed to me immediately after the interview. I think as long as you show up to the interview well dressed and groomed and don't say anything completely off the wall during the interview, you'll be fine. You can look in the ATCCTI forums to find others' descriptions of the interview. I really can't even remember most of questions I got asked.
I think Big Foot is blurry, Its not the photographers fault. Theres a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside
ShyFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 7476 times:
Quoting Jgarrido (Reply 3): Not to discourage you, but 6 months is the the beginning of the waiting you'll have to do when dealing with the government. It took almost 11 months from when I first applied before I knew that and when I was actually going to start class. Fortunately I hear they've streamlined the process quite a bit since then, but don't ever expect the goverment to work quickly...unless you owe them money, but that's another topic.
Well, the announcement I applied for closed 30 June 2008. I tested in September. Just the other day, I received notice to submit my work area preferences. My information suggests that the next hiring panel will be held in January. Might be April sometime before I know for sure. I think they still need some work to do in streamlining the process, although I should probably count my blessings.
Quoting Wagz (Reply 4): The Letter Factory part takes a solid hour
I hated that test, mostly due to the length. But it was nothing compared to the word association.
Dinker225 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 1077 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (6 years 10 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 7461 times:
The word association as ShyFlyer said was a royal pain. It wouldn't be so bad if they let you look at all the 3 panels at once instead of only being able to see the one your mouse is hovering over. I don't remember too much of the test besides what has already been said since I took it so long ago. I was in the first wave of people to take it clear back in 2005 I think it was.
As for the interview it is just a formality. IIRC they asked me such questions as why I wanted to be a controller, what scenarios in my past had been fast paced and high stress and how I managed and what the outcome was, how I got along with coworkers, what I did if I had a coworker that I didn't get along with. Just basic job stuff like that.
Good luck with it all. It's a very long process but hopefully in the end it will be worth it to you. Try not to get discouraged by what some people will tell you. If you really want to do it then I say go for it. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions.
Two rules in aviation, don't hit anything and don't run out of gas, cause if you run out of gas yer gonna hit something.
Ah. That is the one I am testing for now in Seattle.
I applied with the nation-wide one, and another that was exclusive to Alaska at the same time. I got a response in September to take the test but, I didn't know that you had to take the test* (*Alaska-exclusive) in Anchorage.
Did you check with HR on this? I took my AT-SAT in my local town but I was a CTI graduate hire, little different.
The AT-SAT is just an aptitude test like the ASVAB etc. Nothing to do with actual ATC. Forget what youve heard as a pilot or listening to LiveATC.net, it will do you no good to listen to others for phraseology. The 7110.65 has the proper phraseology...I would know...like every other controller my phraseology is somewhat questionable
"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney