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Passing the Academy (Enroute)

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by , 11-23-2016 at 11:00 AM (1146 Views)
Quote Originally Posted by italk2planes View Post
I know there are a few threads out there that detail experiences with the Academy, but seeing the new hiring wave and duplicate threads, I figured I would try to post my recent experience in OKC. Reading the experiences of those before me helped when I was at the academy.

I graduated. Less than half of the class passed. Here would be the advice I pass on:


*Until you have a class date, continue to pursue your goals, advance in your career, plan your vacations. Basically, don't put your life on hold. It took about 13 months from the day I applied until the day I got called with a class date, and then another 2 months before my class date.

*Do NOT bother studying the map before your first day. If you can't learn the map in the time they give you, the job isn't for you. At my facility, they gave us 10 days to learn each map, which are much more complex than the academy map. No point in trying to get a head start.

*Instead, try to relax. Clear your mind. Get in shape. Remove major distractions in your life. Live a little, have some fun.

*I stayed at Anatole and recommend it, but those of us that passed came from Anatole, Isola, Kim's, and a few other places.

*I brought my very supportive girlfriend with me. I would not recommend bringing the kids. Those in my class who brought kids with them all washed, it's just way too distracting and Oklahoma really isn't that kid friendly it seems.


*Regardless of past experience, I recommend taking basics. The FAA pays you, and it's easy, and it will benefit your social life. You are going to want to have some fun in Oklahoma, which is hard to do if you don't get along with the class-mates. That said, the few that skipped basics ended up graduating.

*Encourage the class to hang out every Friday night (or if on night shift, Saturday night.) Have a group message going on facebook or via text and try to network with your class even before going to OKC. Having a close-knit class will help you keep your sanity

*Some people in my class started memorizing the map in basics. I don't oppose that idea as much as memorizing it before you get to OKC, but I would really recommend the "take things as they come" approach. When they give you the map, proceed to memorize the **** out of it as fast and efficiently as possible. Then, memorize the non-radar phraseology and know it well!

*You should have your map and phraseology sub-consciously memorized long before you start day 1 of practice problems.

*I studied about 2-3 hours a day during the week. Unlike most people, I studied mostly by myself. Memorizing the map and phraseology seemed much easier doing it alone. Even when we started running scenarios in class, I still came home and studied by myself. Rather than running problems in the group study sessions, I just wrote down the mistakes I made in class, came home, reviewed them, and figured out how to fix them the next day.

*In non-radar: Know your map. Know your phraseology. Learn from your mistakes, especially when you make the same mistake twice. Basically, don't allow yourself to make the same mistake three times, no matter how minor. During practice problems, take your time. Don't key up the mic until you know what to say and that the clearance won't kill anyone.

*On the map test, CKT 1 and CKT 2, Aircraft performance, and computer entry tests - you have got to get a 95% or better. That should be your standard because frankly these are 20 points that are the easiest points. You still have to study hard for these tests. Don't get less than a 95% on any of them. The CKTs are a bit tough. They can test you over any bullet point in the big binder they give you on day 1. So, know every single bullet in the big binder they give you on day 1! Start making flash cards and studying for the CKT tests a good two weeks before the test.

*Non-Radar evals: TAKE YOUR TIME! Basically, tanking a non-radar eval will not kill your chances, but doing well on them will really help you on radar eval days because it will drastically reduce the pressure. Here's what I mean:
Based on the scores I got on my 3 radar evals (41, 78, 90), I would have washed out if I had less than 24 points going into the radar evals. (34 possible). This means I could have gotten like a 35 on both of my non radar evals and still graduated.
That being said, I had 32 total points going into my radar evals which was a good thing because I scored a 41 on my first radar eval. Because I had done so well all the way up to the radar evals, getting a 41 didn't really crush me since at that point I needed to average a 66 on my last two - very do-able. If I had tanked my non-radar evals, I may have needed to average an 80+ on my last two radar evals. That's a big difference from needing to average 66. The less pressure on eval day, the better, you'll be nervous enough as it is. So do well on your non-radar evals, but if you don't, it's okay! One of the guys in my class failed both of his non radar evals and he graduated. So never give up

*Radar - again, know the phraseology and learn from your mistakes. Ask questions in between practice problems!

*Radar evals - they are slow paced compared to the practice problems you run. Take your time and be methodical. If you make the point-outs, get your departures off, & solve the conflicts, you're going to do fine. If/When you make a mistake, don't let it get you down and snowball into a couple of extra 2 or 5 point errors. Move past it.

*Don't try to make sense of all the rules, especially if you have military experience/ CTI. The reality is, it's a game... a 3 month long interview. It's like learning how to play a new video game or something. Learn the rules and try to get as good at the game as possible in the time you're given.

that's all I have. Good luck to everyone

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