Scan - Air Traffic Standardized Aptitude Test

Scan - Air Traffic Standardized Aptitude Test

Scan - Air Traffic Standardized Aptitude Test

Scan was the first of the three "games" given in the AT-SAT. After the instructions, you're given a long seven-minute practice period, which is enough to be comfortable with how things work.

In Scan, you're presented with a radar screen that will show a number of airplane contacts (anywhere from 3 to 8 at any given time). They will fly slowly at various speeds across the screen, usually staying visible for about 5-7 seconds. Each contact will have two numbers. On the top is an identification, which is a number followed by two letters. On the bottom are three numbers, ranging from 100 to 900 in increments of ten, which represent an altitude (if I remember correctly; whatever it represents is irrelevant to what you'll be doing).

At the bottom of the screen is a range of numbers listed; for example, 140-360. Any contact outside of this range needs to be eliminated from the scope by typing in the identification number (no letter) into the 10-key number pad on the side of the keyboard. Be sure that the Number Lock is turned on! In this example, 140 and 360 are inside the range. Once you enter a number, the corresponding contact will turn red and disappear after a few moments. If you mistakenly enter the wrong number, use the Delete key (-not- Backspace) to correct it; entering a false contact will count against you. Keep in mind that it's one keystroke per number -- as obvious at the sounds, in the practice section I kept forgetting to delete both numbers.

Every so once in a while -- from around 30 to 60 seconds -- the range at the bottom will change without warning. This is the only real challenge to the test, so you'll need to keep an eye on the range. The actual test lasts 15 minutes and rarely feels very stressful; the only difficult moments are when a range changes and the computer tosses on a few extra contacts at the same time. These pass pretty quickly, so keep cool and you'll do fine.

Tips: Don't spend too long focusing on individual contacts. Move your eyes around the screen in a pattern -- making a circle, scanning left to right, or whatever works for you, so long as you're keeping your eyes moving to watch for new contacts. It may help to repeat the range to yourself in your head.

I found it helpful to look down briefly at the range after every contact. That way I was aware of whether it had changed and could react more quickly. Think of it in the same way that you'll look down at your speed briefly in your car while driving -- little glances. ...or at least that's how I drive.

If you're not familiar with using a 10-key pad, practice a little bit beforehand. Because the numbers are lined up different than a phone -- with 1-3 on the bottom and 7-9 on top -- it's easy to mess up if you're not used to it.

Compared to Jeremy Justice's version: The online version of Scan is pretty good practice. The changes to the range on the AT-SAT are more infrequent and there are typically less contacts on the screen, so if you're comfortable with doing it online, you'll do well here.

Practice: AT-SAT Scan

Compared to the Green Book: The Green Book version of Scan is pretty much broken, even with the update. Don't bother using it. Really.
Written by Rosstafari