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Airservices Australia Psychometric Testing

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Airservices Australia Psychometric Testing

Old 23rd Nov 2010, 01:16
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mac7643193,
Been 25 years since I was at the College, so probably have a hazy recollection at best. Before automation, we had Flight Datas whose job it was to get the Flight Plans off the printers, work out which controllers needed to know about them , and write flight strips for them. We typically did this for about eighteen months before we went back to the College to do the ATC course. It was great grounding. Before we went back to the College we got attached to sectors, pilot briefing, went to secondary towers, etc.

We actually learned a fair bit about overall ATC, through osmosis, before doing all the theory.

It also depends alot on the personalities in your course. Some courses come through relatively unscathed, whilst others are decimated. If you can get your course to adopt a 'no-one is left behind' attitude it will go along way to helping all of you. Socialising in the course is highly recommended. Keep it positive. Group study/ socialising sessions tended to help in my day, and from all reports still do.
If you are able, try to get in time at the Centre, both before the course and during it, even if you have to do it off your own bat. Most controllers are more than happy to help. Remember not to make comments about how you would have done it differently. A little knowledge can be an exasperating thing.
A good model to remember is the Unconscious/Incompetence, Conscious Incompetence, Conscious/Competence, Unconscious/ Competence.
Basically at the start you don't know how much you have to learn, over time you realise that you have a lot to learn. Gradually that learning starts to take over and you can start to do the job. The end state is you start doing the right thing without having to really think about it. Think about what you were first like when starting to learn to drive, and what (hopefully) you are like now.
There is a lot of book learning, remember that you will not only be tested on your ability to parrot fashion recite it, but most importantly on how to apply it. If you are unsure, ask your instructors. Talk to your course mates. Try to think big picture i.e I know I have to do this or that, but why? The why is very important.

In the simulator, if in doubt, be conservative with separation. Instructors are looking for graduated improvement, not someone who is a superstar in 4/5 or 9/10 runs. You are only as good as your last sim exercise. Expect to have bad days, pick yourself up, learn something from it, and get going again. In the sim you need to be in front time wise. You will be told that you need to scan,scan,scan. If you feel you are getting desperately behind i.e. too many things to do and not enough time, ask if you can stop the the exercise. You may find that now you can calmly assess what needs to be done, that you are not as far behind as you thought you were. If the instructor asks to stop the exercise, don't take it as a criticism, they have probably decided that you are not getting out of the exercise what you need because you are just reacting to whatever is happening.

The instructor may say to keep it running when you ask to stop, they might decide (don't forget they have seen the exercise many times) that you are not as far behind as you think you might be and will learn more by fighting your way out of the hole you have been busily digging for the last X minutes. They might decide that it is a 'good' experience for you to have that you allowed too many aircraft into your airspace, without thinking of the possible consequences. Maybe it was better if you knocked back a clearance or two, and now you can see the consequence of your actions. Every sim run is a learning experience. Get out of them what you can. I'll guarantee that you'll think twice about being 'gung ho' the next time, after you have been burnt. Its the transition from Unconscious/Incompetence to Conscious/ Incompetence that is the hardest.
In the real world there are times due to weather/ traffic / emergency situations, that you will ask for someone to sit behind as a second set of eyes to make sure you're not missing something. It is most important to recognise your own limitations and do something to address it. You need to put safety first, ego second.

I would suggest on Day One of the course, take the lead and try to organise a social do for your course, try and get some people already on a course to come along and have a quiet ice-breaking drink and a bit of a natter about how they have found the course. Keep it positive.

Besides what it might feel like at the odd time, the instructors are there to help you get through, but you must help yourself. Make sure you have studied what is asked of you, and then some. Try to help your course mates, if someone is lagging help them as much as possible, but not to your own detriment. You learn a lot yourself when you try to explain something to others. Avoid personality clashes with instructors, you may get the odd one. They also have bad days.

Instructors will try to keep their reports to you generally positive, don't rest on your laurels, read between the lines. I have done this,this and this right but they have a concern here. That concern is something you need to work to fix quickly. In ATC you generally don't get the bouquet for what you did right, that is just self motivation, occasionally you do however get the brickbat for what you didn't do right. Suck it up, it happens to everyone.

Other than that, keep your head down, bum up and work hard.

Last edited by max1; 23rd Nov 2010 at 01:42.
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Old 23rd Nov 2010, 02:32
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Just had my phone interview. Seemed to go ok (touch wood)... All the questions were based around 'describe a situation where...' type of thing. ie, where you were under pressure to meet deadline and how did you cope? or where you thought safety was at risk and what did you do?
Didn't take long to get through, only on for about 10 minutes.
If you have yours coming up, think of things from your work experience about:
-time pressures
-safety issues
-receiving feedback
-what is important to ATC and how you fulfill these (three)
-coping with pressure
-systematic working

What was the situation, what did you do, what was the result.
Good luck to everyone

kieran
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Old 23rd Nov 2010, 03:13
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I was in the college 4 years ago on a tower course. We all pitched in $20 at the end of the first week and bought a BBQ. Then every friday for the first few months we had a BBQ at one of the houses. Great way to get to know everyone.

We all made it through and I think all of us rated in the field eventually.
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Old 23rd Nov 2010, 06:05
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Hi guys, was just curious if anyone from the recent brisbane testing (late october) have been accepted or rejected yet? All my referees were contacted the start of last week but am beginning to stress out a bit as have heard nothing either way from air services. Also does anyone know generally how many people are on each course?
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Old 23rd Nov 2010, 06:30
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I had my reference checked almost 3 weeks ago now, no offer or rejection...
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Old 23rd Nov 2010, 07:23
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I wouldnt get to excited, I recently started a tower course, it was just over two years from the initial application to the start date.

Nothing moves particularly quickly, and nothing is set in stone with the training academy (not a bad thing in many respects). My course start date was set back three times!
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Old 23rd Nov 2010, 10:53
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Max1 - great post mate. I would suggest that all ATC hopefuls read and re-read it.
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Old 23rd Nov 2010, 12:01
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Cheers Showa Cho,
On re-reading one other thing thing I may have left out, it is not a competition between course mates. You need to help each other. The goal is to ALL get across the line, some may fall, but don't fall into the trap of thinking that if someone goes down that this makes you better. ASA selected ALL of you for a reason, i.e. that they saw something in ALL of you that would make decent controllers.
There are no kudos in saying that I was the only one off my course to rate, when the course behind and the course after had a better success rate. Same selection exercise, same instructors, same theory, same sim exercises.
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Old 23rd Nov 2010, 23:33
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Great post Max1 and thanks a lot kieran for the information on the phone interview... was reallly helpful.....fingers crossed as for now...... hey kieran did you also ask the hr person as to when and what the next steps would be..ie time frame...
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Old 24th Nov 2010, 01:57
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Thanks

Thanks for the info Max1, it is good to hear from someone who has been there done that.

I was in Brisbane in October and my referees were checked 3 weeks ago. I believe there are 12 per course and they have 3 courses lined up for Jan, Feb and April I believe! Not many spots when 1800 applied initially. Just have to be patient I guess as it is out of our hands.
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Old 24th Nov 2010, 02:46
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Mac7643193

Your statement below is infact true!

They have 3 courses lined up for Jan, Feb and April I believe!
I'm also fairly sure that the Feb twr course is scheduled to start on or around Feb 3.

Not many spots when 1800 applied initially.
Pity the poor sods who have to sort through that pile!
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Old 24th Nov 2010, 03:16
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As far as timeline, next stage if successful in phone interview is testing day which "is sometime" January or Febuary. I wasn't speaking to Gemma directly and my contact only had a few details with her at the time...

kieran
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Old 24th Nov 2010, 03:44
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Spoke to Gemma last week and she said the first course could be last week of Jan or third week of Feb due to some schedule problems with the simulator. I'm doing the medical exam this week. Not sure what's gonna happen after that.
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Old 24th Nov 2010, 05:07
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I must be going to a slightly different college to the one Max went to.

I would agree though that the most "tough and ruthless" aspects have not that much to do with the actual work. And that "surviving" has a fair bit to do with ones approach/ attitude and personallity.

Being an above average social member of the college, I wouldn't place as much emphasis on team bonding to help pass the course, I'd put it in the help maintain sanity category.
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Old 24th Nov 2010, 06:59
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Mac7643193

So you haven't heard anything after the reference check either? Did you apply for tower or enroute?
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Old 24th Nov 2010, 13:36
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ATC_intrain, the <10% plucked percentage is drawn from a rough 50% success rate - passing the course and successfully rating, and assuming at least 10:1 rejected:successful applicant. More addressed at burning your bridges than answering the chances of being selected, but then overall outcome is something to consider.

I'm surrounded by controllers who have come to ATC not because that's all they wanted to do since they were a lad/lass, but because after doing something else they thought it might be interesting & they might be suited. Enthusiams & desire can only make up so much for a lack of aptitude.

Good luck. We need every bum in a seat we can get rated.
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Old 24th Nov 2010, 17:35
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enroute, as far as i can tell no one outside of melbourne has been contacted by airservices as yet
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Old 25th Nov 2010, 03:10
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Hi all....., firstly, thanks to Max1 for a most informative posting - one of the best I've seen on this thread!

I haven't posted for a while, but have kept up reading this thread while, like many others, I wait patiently for the next step. For those interested, this is my situation: I completed the online test in September 2010, and got an email in October 2010, that went as follows:

"Thank you for completing the online testing as part of the recruitment process for the role of Air Traffic Controller in training.

I am pleased to tell you that you have been successful across all components of the testing. Congratulations.

As a result you will be progressing to the next stage of the process which is a short telephone interview prior to attendance at an assessment centre.

Please note that due to the large volume of candidates your telephone interview is scheduled to occur in December 2010 - January 2011 for assessment centres to be run in 2011.

Thanks and congratulations once again for your participation and performance in this process to date."

So I hope to get to do my phone interview in Dec 2010 - Jan 2011. I'll post again if anything changes, but in the mean time....., congrats to those that have progressed (stupidthursday), and good luck to those like me, that are still waiting.

To those in the know (like Max1 and the others), thanks for the time taken to keep us "newies" in the loop with some handy advice, and what to expect......, much appreciated,........ please keep them coming!
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Old 25th Nov 2010, 08:51
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hi straightshooter... jst checking.. so you still havent had your telephonic interview yet... or you havent been sent the linl to book one..... ? I am confused with them... whats happening.. I guess the things in the post are correct then.... ASA does takes it sweet time to process..... I have recently appeared for telephonic interview just like Kieran17..... wonder whats next??
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Old 25th Nov 2010, 09:33
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ATSB Report

May I suggest that those who have applied for ATC read this report.

http://http://www.atsb.gov.au/media/.../ao2009056.pdf

Sobering reading, retrieving a bad situation is more important than processing the routine.

edit, sorry link doesn't work, see post 1230.

Last edited by missy; 25th Nov 2010 at 21:39. Reason: link
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