Joined: Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:11 pm
The format however is pretty much the same with the exception of there being quite a few definitions that you will need to have down word for word.
Really? When did you write your ITA? I wrote mine this past summer and I would disagree strongly with that statement. As I remember, we only had one actual definition on our ITA where we had to write it out ourselves verbatim.
There were other instances where you would need to know definitions of stuff, but not necessarily for verbatim, more for matching, true/false, etc.
Anyway, while the ITA is a TON of material, I believe it was the easiest test on the course (I did the VFR course). The reason being is the format. Lots of multiple choice, lots of matching, lots of pairing one thing with the other from a bank of terms.... only some short answer (and short answer could be like a few words only) ... So, while you do need to know a ton of stuff, you don't need to know it inside out, necessarily.
As mentioned above, I didn't spend tons of time memorizing definitions verbatim or anything for ITA, I just ensured I understood and had a solid comprehension of the material at large (and could tell one definition from the other for things that were similar). I know one of my colleagues did spend a lot of time studying definitions verbatim and was mad because as I mentioned on our test there weren't a lot of specific write out the definition verbatim type questions.
On the other hand, the actual tests on the course, you need to know stuff much, much more solidly. There still aren't really many definitions in our block tests, but there are tons of questions on MATS references that require you to not necessarily produce the reference verbatim, but for damn sure know every part of it and don't change the meaning at all if you aren't writing verbatim. Again, this is based on the VFR course.
BE SURE you do memorize all the abbreviations and identifiers in Block 9... these were tested heavily on the test. And if you aren't there yet, that's basically just the stuff like ACA = Air Canada, JZA = Jazz for airliners (and obviously more complicated than that) and also then the airport identifiers for American, Canadian and International.. there's big lists of them in there.
So, I found the ITA to be a much more forgiving test format, while tests on the course are more difficult since you need a much more solid grasp, but there's far less material and you know much better what is going to be tested (90 to 95 per cent of the tests are pretty much knowledge of MATS references - again, in VFR).
Anyway, don't get too worried about ITA.... I mean, definitely take it seriously and study hard, but if you have a solid grasp of the material and put enough hours in, you should do fine.
Side note, I just have to plug the program I have been using as it has really revolutionized my studying. It's called Anki, and it's a program that uses the theories of active recall and spaced repetition for optimal learning.
If you don't know what spaced repetition is, here's an article that explains it:
http://lifeinthefastlane.com/learning-b ... epetition/
But in short, and relevant to the course, you do a flash card like you normally would, then either input that you didn't know the answer at all, you knew the answer, or you found the answer very easy. It then won't show you that card again until a specified time based on how you answered.
So for example if you didn't know the answer at all, it will show you the card again in one minute.. If you knew the answer, it shows it in 10 minutes (and then not until the next day, then 3 days, then 5 days, etc etc) if you continue to know it well. If you found it easy, it shows it again in 4 days, then increasingly larger intervals, etc. If you advance a card several days forward then for whatever reason forget it, the process starts over and you start seeing it more often again. You can also study "freestyle" if you wish too and just want to go over certain cards again and again.
Essentially what I've found this does is makes me spend less time wasting reviewing stuff over and over that I already have down and allows me to focus more on learning or reviewing stuff I don't have well.
This is especially important since the course as you know is cumulative, so while I'm learning new material as I went along in the course, I still did my daily flash cards from earlier blocks to keep that stuff fresh in my mind and learned as Anki tells me it's due.
But basically this program was about 90% of my studying for ITA and block tests (I also create paper flash cards of the key MATS concepts in the week or two before the block test to cram the final details in), and it worked well for me.)
Anyway, you're obviously free to study how you wish, but I just can't help but speak positively of this program to whoever I talk to..
If you're interested in checking it out, the website is here:
The downloadable computer version is free, there's also a free AnkiWEb version where you can access your account anywhere with the Internet (that's what I use to study at Nav Canada when I was in course) and there's also mobile apps which you can synch up to your account (the Android app is free if you have that phone, if you have an iPhone though it does cost, that's the one thing the developer charges for in order to subsidize development on everything else).
When you get to Nav they will give you your IPad and included on it will be a flashcard program similar to Anki, although I never used it as I found Anki superior and had already started with it.
Once again I found Anki completely helpful for ITA, as if I had simply gone through all the material at once, then circled back for review, I would have forgotten a lot of the earlier stuff. However, while I was learning new material, I was also reviewing my cue cards for the past chapters too and keeping up to date on that.
As for the questions at the end of blocks/chapters on the ITA, definitely don't think that those questions are the be all, end all either. They are very, very limited in that they only touch on a small amount of the total material. Also, you will find some of them actually give wrong answers (especially in the first block.. there were several ITA mistakes... hopefully they have been fixed, but be advised if it tells you something is wrong you are pretty sure is right, it's entirely possible there's a mistake ... you can check that once you get on site).
Also, don't be alarmed if you find some of the ITA a bit dense. The first chapter particularly I found somewhat dull and it had me wondering what I got into. But I enjoyed some of the other parts more and in general. The ITA is a good foundation, but unfortunately some of the material in the ITA is going to be pretty much learn and then dump... it won't necessarily be relevant going forward. There isn't a separate VFR and IFR ITA, it's all just ATC, so some things are way more relevant to VFR, some way more relevant to IFR and some for both... but yeah, a lot of it I haven't really ever thought about again or had to use again since writing the test. And some does get brought up again through the course, so it's definitely a benefit to have that starting point and to get everyone on the same page.
So yeah in general in terms of getting through it, I would try to say just figure out a plan, figure out a way to study and stick to it and be diligent. The ITA likely won't be a sticking point for too many people. I think more than anything it's just to initially weed out those who don't have a work ethic and drive to put the time in to learn the material. But for example there were 4 people in my VFR course and 12 people in the IFR course that started a couple weeks later than ours... of those 16 total, 15 passed the ITA.. one person in IFR failed it first time, and I believe passed the rewrite.
I definitely think the course will likely take more than the 100 hours they quote to complete. I didn't study every single day, but I definitely put in some long hours to get through ITA.