AT-SA exam gouge(what to expect/how to prepare)

inigo88

Composite-lover
I have a buddy from CTI who went through the ATSA and then medical/security process in Early 2017, and he's still waiting on his Class Date. The backlog is insane right now.

Meanwhile, 6 days a week every week at the Center. My area has less than 30 CPC's, but other areas are so overstaffed that we arent getting many academy grads, and our building is allowed to release people, and my area is going to lose 5 in the next few months. Gonna be hurting over the summer.
That’s insane. You CPC on all the sectors in your area right? And management can’t move qualified people from other areas around because they wouldn’t be certified on any of the sectors in the new area? Hope things get better for you guys. :(
 

nabbyfan

Well-Known Member
That’s insane. You CPC on all the sectors in your area right? And management can’t move qualified people from other areas around because they wouldn’t be certified on any of the sectors in the new area? Hope things get better for you guys. :(
Yeah our building has 6 Areas, and such areas has about 6 sectors. Takes a few years to get fully certified on all of them. If the imbalance gets bad enough and the right people care, they can do a paid move to try and entice people to go to a short staffed area but they tend not to do that, at least here.
 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
Yeah our building has 6 Areas, and such areas has about 6 sectors. Takes a few years to get fully certified on all of them. If the imbalance gets bad enough and the right people care, they can do a paid move to try and entice people to go to a short staffed area but they tend not to do that, at least here.
What would be considered 100% staffed in your area?

My area is supposed to have around 60-63 and at the end of June we’ll be at 27.
 

ChasenSFO

hen teaser
Well, though I can't edit the first post to add the pics back with the new links, I can post them here @Juliettsierra and I hope they helped. Things changed visually a little bit between 2017 when I made these and 2018, but they should still help.

For the airplane game, the 2 versions of questions you'll get:



No eyeball as above means 747's perspective. So the Cessna is left and you hit "correct".



The Cessna is RIGHT from the perspective of the eyeball, so you hit FALSE. Remember, best advice is take a minute or two to get the True/False keys down. You only have 3 seconds, and both times I took the AT-SAT, I fumbled when I knew the answer and hit the wrong key or didn't hit one in time.

These are the RADAR game images, just open the first page in another tab and refer to these images where needed in my text in the first post:







Remember, you won't have time to do more than a few equations, but try to do the ones on rounds where there are no imminent collisions.

Best of luck to all! Hopefully one day soon you're sitting in the pool like me with no word for 6 months and counting. :)
 

ChasenSFO

hen teaser
Anyone else due to take the test(again)?

In the past, every time I was invited to the AT-SAT, it was several months away from the date of the invitation. This time, my options were to take the test 2-14 days within notification, so I am taking it in the afternoon today. Maybe that is a sign that someone in the FAA actually cares about the retirements and controllers working 60+ hour weeks in some cases while the hiring pool keeps being closed full of applicants. Maybe.

Good luck to all of you, hopefully a few NJC folks get through the cracks this time. I age out in less than 2 years now.
 

NovemberEcho

Dergs favorite member
Maybe that is a sign that someone in the FAA actually cares about the retirements and controllers working 60+ hour weeks
Nope. They just cancelled a eff ton of Academy classes. Something like only 3 classes between now and April will run and a bunch of instructors are getting laid off. Think it’s due to delays with medical so they couldn’t fill them.
 

ChasenSFO

hen teaser
Nope. They just cancelled a eff ton of Academy classes. Something like only 3 classes between now and April will run and a bunch of instructors are getting laid off. Think it’s due to delays with medical so they couldn’t fill them.
Woah, what the hell? I like how the FAA likes to pretend they aren't hitting a critical point in their ability to staff facilities, sheesh.

Well, I think I did better this year than last year. It was almost the same test, except the "numerical differences" stage where the numbers flash on the screen for 2 seconds each time had 10 damn rounds! My eyes were just about burning by the end, and the last 2 or 3 rounds I made several stupid mistakes after missing very few the first 7-8. They also made the word problem round much more difficult, I think I bombed that section. 19 minutes to answer 15 questions that I don't think I could properly figure out in 15 minutes. The details were so abstract and the questions so much trickier than the last 2 years that I struggled very much. An example would be as follows:

There are 12 books on a shelf. 3 are employee manuals, 2 are employee reviews, 4 are HR manuals, and 3 are employee records. The employee records are all kept together. The HR manuals are neither the first or the last books. The employee manuals and employee reviews are in no specific order.

Which of the following statements are true?

A) The 12th book has to be an employee manual.

B) An employee review book has to be next to an HR manual.

C) The 4th book must be an employee review.

D) No employee manuals are next to Handbooks.

E) An HR manual must be the 4th book and the 6th book.

F) The first book must be an employee manual.

First off, eff them for giving me 19 minutes and 6 choices. Second off, I have no idea what the answer is, I bombed this stuff. Only 4 or 5 of the questions were easily solved, the rest were educated guesses or even blind guesses. Harder than any testing I've ever done in school of that kind, that is for sure. Reading Comprehension, however, didn't change much and I did very well there.

A little nervous, since last year I did well to "OK" in just about every section, where as this year I did well to extremely well in every section, and then totally bombed one. One which I would argue has nothing to do with ATC, as the data isn't that convoluted. Either way, I've been the first person done with the test all 3 times I've taken it now, and passed the other 2 though not hired from the pool. Most of the rounds are timed no matter how well you do, and I usually use the entire allotted time, so perhaps everyone else is just stuck on the directions as I can't figure out how I keep being the last person in the room and the first person out. It never fails to make me nervous, lol. I did go over by 2 minutes on the personality test(it seemed a little more...odd this year), so just relax and don't take your time. Some of the questions are worded in a way where you may honestly not be sure how to answer them, but don't get hung up like I did. Going over hurts your score and there is NO TIMER. You don't find out you're over time in the personality section until you complete it, thanks FAA.

Did anyone else take it?
 
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A80TRACON

Well-Known Member
There are 12 books on a shelf. 3 are employee manuals, 2 are employee reviews, 4 are HR manuals, and 3 are employee records. The employee records are all kept together. The HR manuals are neither the first or the last books. The employee manuals and employee reviews are in no specific order.

Which of the following statements are true?

A) The 12th book has to be an employee manual.

B) An employee review book has to be next to an HR manual.

C) The 4th book must be an employee review.

D) No employee manuals are next to Handbooks.

E) An HR manual must be the 4th book and the 6th book.

F) The first book must be an employee manual.
I would've never gotten hired back in '86 if the test (which were administered at the post office) had been like this.

Bring back the old screen, that weeded people out just fine.
 

FollowMyMyspace

New Member
I am taking the test next week, I only signed up for this forum because I saw you had revived the post asking if anyone else was taking it soon. After reading this example you posted I've got to say I'm a little nervous. I am hoping to get some preparation in. I know they SAY you can really practice this stuff but I would like to at least know what to expect first hand.

Does anyone know if the ATCPrep course or the JobTestPrep course are worth anything? One is only $30 but the other is $90!

Despite the stress of the test this time around I hope you score higher than you are anticipating. You surely deserve it!
 

ChasenSFO

hen teaser
Other than test-taking strategies, I'm not sure how they can really prep you for the test. I took it 3 times now and the radar game is still intense, as are some other sections. I wonder what the legalities are of making a mock test, I would totally undercut those $90 jerks and make my own for $30 if it was legal.
 

wes30

Active Member
Took my ATSA test today. I don't feel anywhere near confident. This thread helped me on what to expect, and even the tips that were provided helped majorly, but overall my hopes are pretty low. That was the easily hardest test i have ever taken. Big thanks to the guys that provided insight. Radar & the point of view with the eye were my biggest struggles.
 

ChasenSFO

hen teaser
Took my ATSA test today. I don't feel anywhere near confident. This thread helped me on what to expect, and even the tips that were provided helped majorly, but overall my hopes are pretty low. That was the easily hardest test i have ever taken. Big thanks to the guys that provided insight. Radar & the point of view with the eye were my biggest struggles.
I'm glad the info helped! Well, don't be discouraged. Everytime I've taken the test, I thought I'd failed but then ended up passing(we'll see this time around). The radar game and point of view were difficult for me the first 2 tests, not so much this 3rd time but that is only because of repetition and going in more relaxed "knowing the deal". If you don't make it this year, reapply and you'll be more confident next time around. :)
 

nabbyfan

Well-Known Member
Hope y'all make it through and get sent to beautiful Palmdale....we're hurting even more than the last time I commented in this thread.

Any questions at all about the hiring process, OKC, placement, whatever dont hesitate to ask. Happy to try to help anybody get through it all
 

MAK49

Well-Known Member
Reading back on this information now, I can’t believe I’ve made it as far as I have :bounce:
 

cmac88

Well-Known Member
I have a buddy from CTI who went through the ATSA and then medical/security process in Early 2017, and he's still waiting on his Class Date. The backlog is insane right now.

Meanwhile, 6 days a week every week at the Center. My area has less than 30 CPC's, but other areas are so overstaffed that we arent getting many academy grads, and our building is allowed to release people, and my area is going to lose 5 in the next few months. Gonna be hurting over the summer.
That sounds like terrible management.... we've had a 4 month stretch recently of 6 day work weeks but we know its short lived. Its absurd to think that your union and mgmt dont get together to move people. We've done it consistently in our building. I'm always shocked when i hear stuff like this in other facilities. Especially the ones who are "well staffed" according to the numbers
 

nabbyfan

Well-Known Member
That sounds like terrible management.... we've had a 4 month stretch recently of 6 day work weeks but we know its short lived. Its absurd to think that your union and mgmt dont get together to move people. We've done it consistently in our building. I'm always shocked when i hear stuff like this in other facilities. Especially the ones who are "well staffed" according to the numbers
Yeah it’s crazy. I’ve been on 6 day weeks for most of the last 2.5 years. We’ve got first year CPCs almost pulling 200k in our area, it’s nuts.

And yeah it’s totally mismanaged. No real answer from anybody as to why they’re refusing to force people to move and balance the building out.
 

Crop Duster

E pluribus unum
Woah, what the hell? I like how the FAA likes to pretend they aren't hitting a critical point in their ability to staff facilities, sheesh.

Well, I think I did better this year than last year. It was almost the same test, except the "numerical differences" stage where the numbers flash on the screen for 2 seconds each time had 10 damn rounds! My eyes were just about burning by the end, and the last 2 or 3 rounds I made several stupid mistakes after missing very few the first 7-8. They also made the word problem round much more difficult, I think I bombed that section. 19 minutes to answer 15 questions that I don't think I could properly figure out in 15 minutes. The details were so abstract and the questions so much trickier than the last 2 years that I struggled very much. An example would be as follows:

There are 12 books on a shelf. 3 are employee manuals, 2 are employee reviews, 4 are HR manuals, and 3 are employee records. The employee records are all kept together. The HR manuals are neither the first or the last books. The employee manuals and employee reviews are in no specific order.

Which of the following statements are true?

A) The 12th book has to be an employee manual.

B) An employee review book has to be next to an HR manual.

C) The 4th book must be an employee review.

D) No employee manuals are next to Handbooks.

E) An HR manual must be the 4th book and the 6th book.

F) The first book must be an employee manual.

First off, eff them for giving me 19 minutes and 6 choices. Second off, I have no idea what the answer is, I bombed this stuff. Only 4 or 5 of the questions were easily solved, the rest were educated guesses or even blind guesses. Harder than any testing I've ever done in school of that kind, that is for sure. Reading Comprehension, however, didn't change much and I did very well there.

A little nervous, since last year I did well to "OK" in just about every section, where as this year I did well to extremely well in every section, and then totally bombed one. One which I would argue has nothing to do with ATC, as the data isn't that convoluted. Either way, I've been the first person done with the test all 3 times I've taken it now, and passed the other 2 though not hired from the pool. Most of the rounds are timed no matter how well you do, and I usually use the entire allotted time, so perhaps everyone else is just stuck on the directions as I can't figure out how I keep being the last person in the room and the first person out. It never fails to make me nervous, lol. I did go over by 2 minutes on the personality test(it seemed a little more...odd this year), so just relax and don't take your time. Some of the questions are worded in a way where you may honestly not be sure how to answer them, but don't get hung up like I did. Going over hurts your score and there is NO TIMER. You don't find out you're over time in the personality section until you complete it, thanks FAA.

Did anyone else take it?
Stop obsessing about this test. Think for a moment about what you've done. After a pressure cooker situation, you've recalled with great detail not just complex questions, but time limits for sections of the test, and your affect while taking the test. Then you magnanimously provided that info to try to help others. Assuming any of your recall is even marginally correct, I'd hire you based just on that. And if not that, I'd hire you because even after having been wrung through this test wringer three times, you're still psyched and motivated. The FAA would be fools if they didn't at least put you in a class.
 
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ChasenSFO

hen teaser
Stop obsessing about this test. Think for a moment about what you've done. After a pressure cooker situation, you've recalled with great detail not just complex questions, but time limits for sections of the test, and your affect while taking the test. Then you magnanimously provided that info to try to help others. Assuming any of your recall is even marginally correct, I'd hire you based just on that. And if not that, I'd hire you because even after having been wrung through this test wringer three times, you're still psyched and motivated. The FAA would be fools if they didn't at least put you in a class.
That means a lot to read, thank you for the kind words. Unfortunately, 6 years running the show at SFO and directing planes around, flying since I was 15, doing every airline station job from dumping toilets to CS to cargo, and getting "Well Qualified"(85 or better) on the test all 3 years they let me take it doesn't mean anything. This new algorithm is apparently letting seats go empty in OKC, and I'll be 30 next July with the restriction being I must be invited to OKC before I turn 32(July 2022). Applications seem to open in June/July and the wave of OKC invites don't come until Nov/Dec usually so I get 1-2 more chances. I'll keep applying and keep subjecting myself to the stress of this crazy test as many times as they'll let me, but even with all the BS since I started applying 8 years ago, this new algorithm that kept me out this time has honestly made me give up almost all hope sadly. But I won't give up.
 
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