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ATSA Compilation

Discussion in 'FAA' started by MJ, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    Notice: There is a website selling "study guides" for the AT-SA that has copied the contents of these posts. They are not affiliated with this site in any way, and I advise folks to be wary of a scam.

    Please feel free to add anything in subsequent posts.

    • They give 2 hours and 50 minutes for the test.
    • You can take 30 minutes of breaks (cumulative, so 6 breaks of 5 minutes a piece or 1 break of 30 minutes).
    • Notified if you move on within 90 days.
    • It pushes you to read and follow all instructions.
    • There are 7 sub tests, you will do 4, then talk to the administrator to set-up the remaining 3.
    • Some tests penalize for wrong or incomplete answers, others don't, the individual sub test instruction will mention if they do.
    • The initial instructions all said that some tests require you to wait a certain amount of time before answering.
    • Most of the sub tests had a practice test you can use (often you could do it numerous times, although it is the same questions every time)

    Memory Game
    It will start off with a number (1-9) that pops up, it will stay on screen for two seconds, then another number pops up. You need to type in the difference between the 2 numbers by using the NumPad. After typing in the answer, a second number will pop, and you need to say the difference between the previous number and this one. All answers will be positive numbers (not straight subtraction).

    Example: It displays 1 and then 5. The difference is 4. Then a 7 would pop up. The difference between 7 and 5 is 2.

    You can't change your answers. You will do 8 of these tests, and each one runs for about 2 minutes a piece. I noticed that all the differences between the numbers was valued from 1-4. Meaning, I never saw a 9 as the first number and a 4 as the second (that would be 5 different).

    The next section has 3 tests (progressively harder). The first one will flash on screen A=1, B=2, C=3. Then it will ask you what C=, A=, B=... It randomizes the order, but is really simple. Use the NumPad to answer, and I noticed answers were once again never above 4. Each part of the test has 10 questions.

    Example: C=2, A=1, B= 4. So what does B=? C=? A=?

    The second part: One variable will become an equation - such as B = C + 1. They use multiplication, division, addition, subtraction. Answers stay between 1-4.

    Example: C = B * 2, B = 1, A = 4. Answer: A = 4, C = 2, B = 1.

    The third part: two variables will now be equations. All previous rules apply.

    Example: B = C / 3, A = B + 1, B = 1. Answer = C = 3, B = 1, A = 2

    Spatial Relationship
    Tests spatial recognition skills, each problem approx. 5-10 minutes.

    Part 1: Two airplanes appear on a map on the screen, one large and one small. Also, a text box at the bottom will appear, it will state RIGHT or LEFT. In the first part, you have the viewpoint of the large airplane (pretend you're the pilot looking straight ahead on the large plane). You will use the textbox and the airplanes to determine if it is true or not (YES or NO on keyboard. NOTE: There is a small plastic piece that goes over the keyboard, on the NumPad. Yes will be the + Sign, and No will be the enter key on NumPad). You essentially need to say whether the text box is true or not - showing the relationship of the small plane to the large (you). The aircraft will switch positions and direction throughout the test.

    Example: SMALL plane is to the left of LARGE plane. Text box says LEFT. You should hit YES.

    Example: SMALL plane is to the left of LARGE plane. Text box says RIGHT. You should hit NO.

    Example: SMALL plane is to the right of LARGE plane. Text box says LEFT. You should hit NO.

    Part 2: Adds an EYE to the screen. The EYE will not appear on all the questions, but when it does, it is changing the viewpoint. Everything I saw showed the EYE directly in front of the LARGE plane, and facing it.

    Example: SMALL plane is to the left of LARGE plane (visually when looking at it like you are large plane). Text box says LEFT. EYE is present. You should hit NO.

    Example: SMALL plane is to the left of LARGE plane. EYE is present. Text box says RIGHT. You should hit Yes.

    Example: SMALL plane is to the right of LARGE plane. Text box says LEFT. No eye is present. You should hit NO.

    There may have been a third section that adds a math question at the bottom (I can't remember now).
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017
  2. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    ATC Simulation
    There are at least two parts, maybe 3. It has a basic map. Small balls will fly in from outside the screen. You need to remove (by typing the number of the ball, 1-9) any balls that will collide (you should not remove both that would crash, only 1 to prevent the collision). They start off very easy, with only two planes going relatively slow. They work up around 7 or so at once, and all moving different speeds. It does get hard, you will need to be ready right when it starts as some collisions happen a second from the start. If no objects need to be removed, you press 0 (don't press it too soon, as once you do, you can't remove any planes). This test uses only the NumPad. You get more points (doesn't actually show you a score) for removing the fewest balls necessary and without colliding objects.

    Example: 3 objects fly in. Object 1 is heading SE, Object 2 SE, and Object 3 is going N. Object 3's path will cause it collide with object 1 and 2. So removing 3 is the best situation. You could also remove 1 & 2, but it is not ideal.

    Part 2: Along with the the above, you now also have to compute some math problems. Each will have an answer A,B,C, and D. You will use the F5, F6, F7, F8 keys for ABCD, respectively. There is another plastic piece pointing out the location, but it is not attached to the keyboard and can come off easily. You need to once again resolve traffic conflicts, but at the same time math problems will flash on screen. They stay up there just barely long enough to read question/answers (some easier questions you can solve before it disappears). They stay up for 2-3 seconds. There are some big numbers (answers above 10,000), so you may have to simplify Answers seemed to count up (A is lowest, D is highest number). It does not say whether guessing hurts you.

    There are 2-3 questions per ATC simulation (maybe 10-20 sims per each part). A question can disappear before you answer (you can still answer, until the following question pops up, in which case your answer will be to that question and not the previous one). Usually, questions will appear for 2-3 seconds, then disappear 2-3 seconds before another one appears. Sometimes, however, they will disappear and immediately another question appears, causing you to answer the wrong question. This one was actually kind of difficult. It uses addition (typically numbers were under 400 for + / -. Multiplication and division typically were under 100 for both numbers). Some questions had three parts (IE: 4 + 5 + 9), but most were just two. Smaller numbers and addition/subtraction will have different answers that are closer together (all 4 answers could be within 10 numbers: A: 21, B:24, C: 25, D: 30). and Large calculations would have bigger spreads between numbers.

    Example: 43 * 17 = A:39 B: 345 C: 731 D: 941

    Example: 21 + 14 = A: 35 B: 37 C: 44 D: 51

    You then stop, and have the administrator setup the second portion. It will require you to signup for an account on some website. They conduct the next 3 parts.

    Word Problems
    The instructions state it is meant to be challenging for everyone, and that you will be penalized for not answering all questions. I think there are 15 questions, and 20 minutes to answer them.

    Example: 5 people are in line, George is ahead of Jim who is directly behind Sally. Tom is before Alan but behind George.

    What can you determine from the question:
    A: Sally is first in line
    B: Sally is 5th in line
    C: George is ahead of Jim
    D: Jim is 1st in line
    E: Sally doesn't like Tom

    You will answer with your mouse, as it is a different application. C would be correct in this example. Other types of questions would be looking at a chart, and ascertaining the correct information. Chart could have a list of total sale amount and date of sale. It could then say there is discount being offered starting on a certain date and lasting till a certain date. The discount is only available if you spend enough. How many of the sales qualified for the discount. Another type of question is:

    Example: Only presidents can fly first class. All employees may fly business class. Jim is a president. Joe can not fly in first class. Michael works with Jim.

    Which of these statements is true:
    A: Michael can fly in first class
    B: Joe and Jim are friends
    C: Joe works with Michael.
    D: Jim may fly business class.
    E: Michael is a president

    The answer is D: Jim is a president, so he can fly first class, but he can also elect to fly business class.

    Personality Test
    There are 108 questions (two per screen). Each question will have a list of three things and you have to determine how they relate to you. You select 1 to be most like you, and 1 to be least like you.

    I like to follow the rules.
    I don't like to receive praise for my work.
    I don't like being around people.

    You need to put a MOST and LEAST by the phrases above.

    Reading Comprehension
    You will get 15 minutes to answer 18 questions. It will display a paragraph and a question for each screen. The same paragraph will be used for 3 questions, so 6 total paragraphs. The questions will ask what the main point of the paragraph is. Which statement is true, etc. Which of these seems to be an issue that the author thinks needs to be resolved, etc..

    STIMULATOR Certified

    MJ, thank you for the thorough write up on the AT-SA. There are a lot of people freaking out about it on SM and they could benefit from seeing this. It definitely puts my mind at ease if I have to take it.
  4. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    Someone else did all the work, I just made it available. They didn't want their name being posted. They will see your message though :)

    STIMULATOR Certified

    Then I retract my thanks to you, and thank the mystery person instead lol.
  6. echster

    echster Certified

    Maybe they should join us over here!!!
  7. SHELLY08

    SHELLY08 Developmental

    MJ thank you so much for this i was in freak out Mode i take the test on the 19th
  8. bryondowd

    bryondowd FNG

    This is great, thanks!

    One question though, any idea how accurate this particular bit is?

    "Usually, questions will appear for 2-3 seconds, then disappear 2-3 seconds before another one appears. Sometimes, however, they will disappear and immediately another question appears"

    According to this, you have 2-6 seconds to respond to these. That's plenty for the easy example given, but the multiplication one? No way. After working the problem out, and staring at it a bit, I pulled up a timer and clocked myself just estimating it roughly by doing 40*10 and 40*7 to get a guess in the 700 range, and that took me 8 seconds, with no distractions on a problem I'd just done. It's closer to 15 for a decent estimate of a random 2-digit times 2-digit problem. Any chance it's more like 10-15 seconds for questions like that, or is this just a weak spot for me?

    At those times, I'd just have to throw a WAG at it as soon as I see the multiplication symbol (maybe multiply the highest digit to eliminate the lowest responses) and hope I get a third of them right, and that that isn't enough to bomb the section even if I do the actual simulation part well.

    Are other people able to actually do this math in under 6 seconds, or even estimate within 100?
  9. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    You're not supposed to be able to do it. It's about prioritizing tasks.

    To illustrate this point... In officer candidate school, the instructors give the trainees more tasks then they can possibly complete. If they do complete them, they're given more work. It's not to see how much work they can do, it's to see what work they choose to sacrifice in order to complete the rest. Similar concept with this aptitude test.
  10. GulfCharlie

    GulfCharlie Certified FAA

    FAA Facility:
    BNA Nashville Tower
    This is crazy, I has no effect on working traffic lol.
  11. Robertb

    Robertb Certified FAA

    FAA Facility:
    A80 Atlanta Tracon
    The VRAs are failing miserably at high level facilities, at the moment, so there has to be some kind of aptitude test to reduce the number of applicants applying through public hiring posts.
  12. I am another one that was freaking out over the ATSA so I was using the 'old' study guide that was put out by StuckMic... I was really focused on studying the 'old' applied math problems (time, speed, distance)... would you say that is a waste of my time? From your overview, it doesn't look like those type of math problems are asked on this new test.
  13. rdyotz

    rdyotz Certified

    The way I read it, it sounds like it only displays for a few seconds (although it could be longer, I feel like when things are actually happening, people's sense of time goes out the window [depending on the scenario 1 minute can feel like 5 seconds or 30 minutes]). Sounds like it maybe happening very quickly though. However, it seems like the question may only display for a short time, but you can still answer if it has disappeared. Also, remember everyone will be doing the same thing, so they expect people to have low scores on areas (then need to hire people, so even if the highest score is an 80, they will still hire them - essentially it will likely be a curved score)

    The way I read the write-up, you are correct, no D=ST calculations. It seems to focus on performing quick math while prioritizing things (ATC sim would prioritize not crashing 'planes' instead of the math I would think). There are probably some free math apps on the web that will throw you a bunch of random problems (+ - / *) and see how fast you can solve them [granted, it won't have the ATC sim at the same time, but it will help prep your brain for working fast - also, you could load up one of those games on your phone that have you land aircraft, etc to learn multitasking].

    There are also a plethora of word problems and other things online, you can probably Google many of these tasks to find games that help prepare you more for the test. I feel like for many people (at least those that haven't been in school for awhile), the big issue will be getting your brain to function again, and quickly.
  14. MJ

    MJ Administrator Staff Member

    Anyone have any good apps to share?
  15. Brooke

    Brooke FNG

    Is the test only 3 hours and 20 minutes then? I heard the previous test was 8 hours long...
  16. DontCallMeShirley

    DontCallMeShirley Developmental

    If you have a decent amount of time before the test, even just a week, I would suggest "Secrets of Mental Math" by Arthur Benjamin and Michael Shermer. Pretty brisk and easy to read book that will help if your mental calculations are slower than you would like. I've only been reading it for 2 weeks now and I'm insanely fast compared to where I used to be.

    I can probably answer questions like that in about 5 seconds now, sometimes faster. However, I'd have to agree with everyone else where it's more likely just meant to be a distraction while you eliminate conflicts. Of course you still want to answer it correctly, but I'm willing to bet it's not weighted as heavily as the simulated traffic stuff. One question I have is, if you answer questions quickly, do they just keep on coming, or is there a limit to how many it will ask you?

    Definitely a relief if it is multiple choice IMO, if you learn to multiply left to right instead of the traditional way, makes it way easier to guess before you fully solve the problem.

    @bryondowd, looks like you have your technique down for multiplying, just practice like crazy and try to learn other shortcuts to get your times down. I'm not kidding when I say that mental math book/techniques cut my calculating speed in half in less than an hour.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2016
  17. mrobs15

    mrobs15 Certified I ♥ pointSixtyFive

    Awesome info, Thanks to everyone involved.
  18. Question about the 2nd part of the test: memory/variables... Is it always A, B, or C in some order...or do they use different variables (for ex. F, G, H)? Thanks in advance!!
  19. rdyotz

    rdyotz Certified

    Sounds like it. People were saying when you sign up for the test with PSI, it says it allocates 4 hours for the test. So, some of that is probably checking people in.

    It looks like it. I think they would have stated it if they were different variables. Either way, it doesn't sound like it would matter too much.
  20. DontCallMeShirley

    DontCallMeShirley Developmental

    Does anyone know if the math favors estimation or an exact answer? Say I can quickly come up with a number close to my answer, will the available choices make it difficult to use that guess?

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