ATSAT- What a waste of MY time and Gov money

PorkBarrel

Rookie
Nov 21, 2008
35
0
6
If all else fails in the end, there are contract towers you can work at within private companies, such as Lockheed Martin and Serco. They require that you have your CTO, so it's something you can consider and look into as a backup. I hope the FAA does something for ya man. I'd agree that there's no rhyme or reason to some parts of that test.
 

RobertB

Senior Analyst
Aug 18, 2008
869
6
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"It wasn?t until November 18, 2008 that I was able to take the ATSAT test. By this time I was 30 years one month and a day old. When my results came back to me I was about 5 points short of passing. I was informed that I would have to wait one year to the date to retake it and that would put me over the age limit by 1 month and one day."

--If you can't do simple math, follow simple instructions, etc. you will not pass the ATSAT and you sure as hell aren't qualified to even make it to the FAA Academy. The sad thing is, you failed by five points meaning you made a 65. The sadder thing is, that the test has been CURVED ALMOST EIGHT POINTS over the last few years to "mitigate group differences." So you would have scored a 57 on the old test...

"My dreams and opportunity to become a controller in the FAA came to an abrupt end due to a test that has nothing to do with the fundamentals of separating aircraft and the rules and regulations of air traffic control. This test is very controversial amongst students, teachers, and many other members in the field. To my understanding this test is also a fairly new thing and probably 90% of the controllers in the FAA who are checked out never had to take it."

--The test is designed to see if you are capable of following simple instructions, doing simple math, thinking and noticing things on a screen, and noticing simple patterns. The test is not controversial. It is a great way of separating applicants based on the above mentioned "skills."

--Really? The test is a fairly new thing??? The FAA has had a pre-employment test for the last 25+ years! Where do you get "...90% of the controllers in the FAA who are checked out never had to take it?" I really think you are just pulling numbers and or figures out of your...you know what.

"In my opinion, the best controllers in the nation come out of CCBC. The training you receive at CCBC far exceeds any testing exercise of the ATSAT and the Academy in Oklahoma City. The government should quit wasting its money on nonsense. There are good people trained right and willing to work where there is a high demand for employees."

--Really? The best controllers in the nation??? Forgive me while I LOL.

--How can you say, "The training you receive at CCBS far exceeds any testing exercise of the ATSAT and the Academy in Oklahoma City" when you haven't even been to the FAA Academy in OKC??? The FAA Academy now is no joke, though it is much, much easier than in years past, because the FAA wants to "have numbers to present to Congress" and let the facilities decide a trainees career instead of having those same people wash out in OKC.

--The government has to have some way of separating applicants who want to become ATCers so the ATSAT is a very necessary part of the application process.

--If you can't do simple math and follow simple instructions, I don't want you controlling any airspace where there is a high demand for controllers...


I am calling BS on this entire post...
 

killswitch

Tin Pusher
Sep 12, 2008
1,048
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Ohio
I am calling BS on this entire post...

No no, I went to school with Ronnie. He was bad ass (and looks like Chris Angel, for real!) He knew his stuff. In fact, I think I bugged him about some questions although we only had english together, we'd talk about stuff passing through the halls.

Dude, I'm really sorry to hear they screwed you man. Have you talked to Jim Scott and see his recommendation? I know Romeo is a worthless p.o.s. so I wouldn't bother with him. (Assuming he is still there.)

Again dude, real sorry.
 

chris13650

Senior Member
Dec 23, 2008
153
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They wouldn't of spent millions of dollars on the test if it was bs. Its designed to view your skills in certain areas, see how fast you are when a problem comes about, if you can work under stress and actually keep the planes from touching. I think you failed for a good reason and wouldn't want you controlling my plane.
 

Marc539

Rookie
Jan 16, 2009
31
0
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Miami, FL
Wow this is sad.

I've been stuck in a cubicle for past 7 years doing computer tech support for a corporate office, never been to a tower, flown in a small private plane, or done anything remotely close to any aviation exp. and I got a 99%.

Compared to your training I'd say you deserve the job way more, sucks for you. Hope they can make an exception, but then again..if they do it for you everyone else will whine and complain. So I don't know..good luck though.
 

hotvedt

Trusted Member
Oct 23, 2008
374
0
16
This guy didn't get screwed by anyone. And im still curious on why this community college spits out the best controllers.
 

ineedatc

Trusted Contributor
Dec 14, 2008
508
7
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Chi-town
Wow this is sad.

I've been stuck in a cubicle for past 7 years doing computer tech support for a corporate office, never been to a tower, flown in a small private plane, or done anything remotely close to any aviation exp. and I got a 99%.

Compared to your training I'd say you deserve the job way more, sucks for you. Hope they can make an exception, but then again..if they do it for you everyone else will whine and complain. So I don't know..good luck though.
LOL...I hate to laugh, but this is what I was thinking when I read the OP. I was all about failing this test. I had no prep except the ATC scenarios game. I knew math was my strongest area and that I am extremely stoic for a female (or any person in general: I read on atcmonitor.com that the people overseeing the test in the room are guaging you reactions to what you do on the exam. Moreover, that they know your score once the test is complete.), but still thought I failed that thing. The closest I've come to aviation is that I have flown once and been to the airport 2x. LOL.
 

ATCtower

Epic Member
Oct 26, 2008
1,257
26
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what do you want them to do? change the rules because you could not pass an aptitude test?

not trying to be a dick, but really... it isn't their fault you failed. Would your write the state if you failed your driving test? maybe you would, but would you expect them to do anything for you?

and as for your comment about the best air traffic controllers come from your CC.... good luck proving that bro.

your letter seems sincere enough, but a whole lot of "woe is me" intertwined.

at any rate, good luck.
For the most part, I agree with rwn. It may sound callous but perhaps your over-confidence was your demise on the exam (it is very evident you are very confident, particularly in stating your school pops out the best. Personally I would give that title to the USAF Academy but thats just me). It sounds like you may (and likely) have better qualifications than most CTI students but what sets you apart from those of us who did pass the exam?
Personally, I took the AT-SAT in my last semester at a CTI school. I studied for 2 or more hours a day for more than a month to take the exam and it paid off with a 98.9%. I graduated with a 4.0, and letters of recommendation from a number of my professors. I have hundreds of hours of flight time and dozens of hours of instrument time. For the CTI school I moved 2400 miles away from home and finished in 16 months. I have passion, love, desire, and will to be an air traffic controller as it sounds you do.
I think the way they do it is different, but nonetheless, the AT-SAT is a required exam by the FAA just the same as passing the medical exam. So, like I said, you got the crap end of the stick and should never let yourself get knocked away from your dream and should pursue all avenues you can to right yourself but my question still remains. Why should you get to do it and someone else not?

My $.02
 

Centerpuke

Junior Member
Sep 22, 2008
149
1
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HOT-LANTA
what do you want them to do? change the rules because you could not pass an aptitude test?

not trying to be a dick, but really... it isn't their fault you failed. Would your write the state if you failed your driving test? maybe you would, but would you expect them to do anything for you?

and as for your comment about the best air traffic controllers come from your CC.... good luck proving that bro.

your letter seems sincere enough, but a whole lot of "woe is me" intertwined.

at any rate, good luck.
AGREED! I am glad somebody said it. I dont want to be a dick either but seriously?

Let me get this straight: You already had a college degree and you were working in a cabinent factory? You are actually proud that you passed all of your classes with an 80% or better? You want kudos for getting 1% above a C? And you think CCBC is a superior education?

First of all, NO CTI school prepares you for anything in this job. Second, you think strutting your CTO from Beaver County qualifies you for something, it doesn't! Third, it is a good thing you didn't pass because, with your "superior" atitude, passing the AT-SAT would have just delayed the inevitable.

Trust me, you saved yourself some heartache. If you were to walk into a REAL ATC facility with any type of entitlement, they would eat you alive!

Good Luck
 

Uptowner

Rookie
Dec 9, 2008
58
1
8
Minneapolis
If someone with a Poli. Sci. degree can't pass the LSAT they don't get to be a lawyer.

Someone with a Biology degree who can't pass the MCAT doesn't get to be a doctor.

There are other avenues for you to control traffic (contract towers or the military) that might also eventually provide you with an avenue to get into the FAA someday. Is it fair that you've spent all this money and time on training and didn't make it through? No. But how bad did you screw up the ATSAT to get a 65? I crashed a planes and thought I completely blew the letter factory and still scored well qualified.
 

chichi

Senior Member
Sep 25, 2008
173
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If someone with a Poli. Sci. degree can't pass the LSAT they don't get to be a lawyer.

Someone with a Biology degree who can't pass the MCAT doesn't get to be a doctor.

There are other avenues for you to control traffic (contract towers or the military) that might also eventually provide you with an avenue to get into the FAA someday. Is it fair that you've spent all this money and time on training and didn't make it through? No. But how bad did you screw up the ATSAT to get a 65? I crashed a planes and thought I completely blew the letter factory and still scored well qualified.
:agree:

I still don't understand how people fail this test... I don't know how it's scored and I know it doesn't always seem fair, but I think most of us would have had to purposely mess up in order to actually fail. It's a basic aptitude test and I know a lot of us have some negative opinions of it... but, seriously... if you can't pass the AT-SAT, this really probably isn't the career for you.
 

CL4TKoff

Trusted Member
Oct 8, 2008
344
2
18
Sunny South Florida
Well it's not like you have no other avenues to be an ATCer.
At least you still have a CTO and can still control traffic. There was a CTO announcement back in nov or dec and you can bet on there being another one again.
For all of us who don't have CTO's [excluding the VRA's], the AT-SAT is our only path into a career as an ATC.
I say use your CTO and work as a controller... If you get into the FAA with your CTO, lets say after a couple of years, maybe you can work something out to transfer to a facility you really want to be at.

Confidence is definitely required to do this job, but from what it sounds like, you seem a bit over-confident.
If you can write to the FAA and tell them that your school is better than the Academy in OKC, which has processed thousands of controllers who keeps this countries aviation system running so safely at every airfield from the small county airports to the major class bravo airspaces, then that sounds a little too cocky.
With the attitude that you gave in that letter, did you really expect them to go the extra mile to even try to help you?

All in all, I wish you the best of luck man and hope it all works out for you
 

ColtsATC

Trusted Contributor
Aug 27, 2008
590
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Ok, so do u think because you waited until you were 28 to start a career path, spent $60K on what is essentially a worthless degree, and got a half ass CTO that you are entitled to this job?

Face it, you failed a test required to get this job and now you wanna whine about it because YOU failed. Stop trying to hang it on the FAA. Thousands of people passed this test from a generation ago to today.

And u think some community college trains the best controllers?? HA!

Oh and whoever said the air force academy trains the best, they don't train controllers. Officers aren't controllers in the air force. Us enlisted folk are the controllers. Only country in the world where enlisted people are controllers
 

ColtsATC

Trusted Contributor
Aug 27, 2008
590
14
18
i distinctly remember training a Saudi MSgt (or equivalent to E7) at PSAB. to be a controller in the Saudi Air Force you had to be a senior NCO.
What? They are over 31!! Impossible...lol. That's the first country I'd heard that had enlisted controllers. My bad
 

DanielEtvs

Trusted Member
Jun 16, 2008
402
0
16
hank krakowskis
Oh and whoever said the air force academy trains the best, they don't train controllers. Officers aren't controllers in the air force. Us enlisted folk are the controllers. Only country in the world where enlisted people are controllers
i think they probably meant USAF Tech school, then again this job teaches we cant assume anything eh? Perhaps they DID think Colorado Springs trains ATC. lol i used to have to train the would-be AOF/CC's in the RAPCON and that was a nightmare.


As for the initial post.... I dont like everyone piling on and bashing the guy for his words. He obviously has invested a lot of his life into pursuing an ATC career & is very passionate about it. Let him vent a bit. Lots of us have confidence/arrogance/bravado.... its a fine line... on one hand they want you to have that sort of edge to be a good controller, on the other theyll "eat you up" (as one poster said)if you walk into the facility with that attitude. A little tact and diplomacy might go a bit farther in getting a more favorable outcome but I dont fault somebody for being opinionated and upset. You cant take every word literally and hang the guy for it. I am an ARTCC trainee 50% checked out & when i took that practice ATSAT on our 2nd day at the academy I dont know what I would have scored(they didnt tell us) but I crashed a few planes and messed up that word game part as well. This job does have very serious requirements though... everyone who does it realizes at any time if they get an uncorrectable vision or hearing problem... et al... thats all she wrote as far as an ATC career. It just goes to show if youre already in dont take it for granted there are a lot of people out there who want your seat and are willing to sacrifice a lot for it. I am a VRA, but the kids in my OKC class who graduated from Beaver were all pretty sharp in my opinion.

There are a lot of towers you can work at with your CTO and make a good living doing so. Its not the end of your ATC world, and certainly dont give up on fighting the FAA.....

with a little tact and diplomacy.


:cool:
 

zabnut

Senior Member
Jun 17, 2008
275
9
18
Albuquerque
He might have failed because the FAA might have changed the grading system. They have done that in the past and could have recently. They did grade on a curve to have more "Pass" but in actuality even all the passing scores did not get hired. We all know that.

The FAA has always changed the acceptable hiring score to coincide with how many they need to hire. ie they need 250 new hires they hire the top 250 and that might allow you to get hired with as low as 85 this time, next time it might be as high as 93 and the time after that it might be 75.

It is common sense really. But for the sorrow this guy feels he needs to move on and deal with it. If you did not pass this test then you more than likely, even with all your preparation, not do well in a major facility and THAT is where we need most of the new hires, not a level 7 tower.

Seriously I don't care if you went to school for 10 years and have 10 CTOs, I want the best to train and this test is how we pick who is the best.

This could actually end up being a blessing in disguise. You could have been sent to a crappy facility with a high cost of living and not get checked out ever and now you can hopefully work for a contract tower and live a long and happy life. I have to believe that things happen for a reason.
 

killswitch

Tin Pusher
Sep 12, 2008
1,048
9
38
Ohio
...got a half ass CTO that you are entitled to this job?
Half ass CTO? << sighs >>

I agree with the entitlement but who are you to say his effort to get it was any less than someone elses? You are allowed to come off your high horse a tad.