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S1 Examinations - from March 31st


Oliver Rhodes

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Hi all,

We announced in November that we would shortly be introducing S1 examinations. Since then, members have been working to produce an S1 syllabus which was published to OBS mentors and ATC examiners two weeks ago, and the web team have worked their usual magic to set-up S1 examinations on the CT System.

S1 examinations will be introduced at 23:59z on Tuesday 31st March.

Until then, students will continue to progress through the current system, receiving a rating upgrade once mentors believe them to be ready. After then, mentors will instead recommend students to be forwarded for examination. Examiners will request rating upgrades for successful students. 
In order to give current students the chance to progress through before Tuesday 31st March, we will not be holding another OBS_PT1 until late March/early April.

The theory exam (currently on Moodle) will move to the Central Training System.

Who will be conducting the exams?
Current ATC examiners, assisted by a team of S1-only examiners (drawn from current S2s+ with significant mentoring experience).

What will be the format of the exam?
They’ll be on SweatBox, using dedicated files available only to the examiners. Students will have around an hour of controlling followed by a debrief and questions. Examiners will assess holistically.

Will they be hard?
Yes, but no more so than exams at other levels. Our aim is to pass as many people as possible at as high a standard as reasonably possible - students will need to demonstrate that they have the skills necessary to control well during average network traffic conditions.

Will this slow down training?
Though we are working to minimise it, it’s likely that training and waiting times will increase slightly. We believe that this is a worthwhile trade-off to ensure that we’re providing the best training we can to all students.

What happens if I fail?
Examiners will provide comprehensive feedback and support to both students and instructors. The exact nature of the further training will depend on this feedback.

What if I’m a current student and I haven’t got my rating by March 31st?
You will need to take the exam.

Will I need to take the theory exam on the CT System if I completed the Moodle eLearning course before March 31st?
Yes. TGIs will be unable to forward students who have not completed the theory exam on the CT System.

Will the Edinburgh and Manchester eLearning courses remain in place?
Yes: students will still need to complete the relevant course for their assigned training position.

A massive thank you to @Ben Cook, @Daniel Crookes, and @Fergus Walsh in Training, and @Callum Axon and @Calum Towers in Web, who have poured hours of their time into getting everything together for this!

Any questions, please let us know!

12 Comments


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Robin Meads

Posted

At present I am progressing through the Moodle theory tests. Does this mean that it is not worth me continuing ?

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Fergus Walsh

Posted

@Robin Meads You are definitely recommended to continue through the Moodle and training. The Exams were brought in to streamline it with the other Exams that we have however they shouldn't be a deterrent for people continuing training. 
The Exams don't start until 31st March so you have plenty of time to get through training, even if you may have to do the Exam. ? 

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Oliver Rhodes

Posted

5 minutes ago, Robin Meads said:

At present I am progressing through the Moodle theory tests. Does this mean that it is not worth me continuing ?

If you've already attended an OBS_PT1 group session, you'll be able to progress through as normal - if you've finished your training by the end of March you'll get your S1 straight away; if you finish after then, you'll take an exam before getting your S1 rating (and will need to take the theory exam which will go live on the CT System).

The theory exam on the CT System will still be based on the eLearning resources on Moodle, so it's still worthwhile working through them!

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Oliver Rhodes

Posted

10 hours ago, Lenny Colton said:

@Oliver Rhodes Now that the secret project is complete, what did the phrase Project Aeagnap stand for?

This isn't the (not-quite-so) secret project ?

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11 hours ago, Lenny Colton said:

@Oliver Rhodes Now that the secret project is complete, what did the phrase Project Aeagnap stand for?

What's Aeagnap backwards?

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Lenny Colton

Posted

On 13/03/2020 at 21:06, Ben Wright said:

What's Aeagnap backwards?

I got that but I was still scratching my head as to what it meant, especially given the release of this secret project. I now suspect a combining of TGs, but we shall see...

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1 hour ago, Lenny Colton said:

I got that but I was still scratching my head as to what it meant, especially given the release of this secret project. I now suspect a combining of TGs, but we shall see...

It can only mean the inevitable creation of LON_SCO Bandbox. 

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Lenny Colton

Posted (edited)

19 minutes ago, Zach Pratt said:

It can only mean the inevitable creation of LON_SCO Bandbox. 

On a more serious note, I am wondering if it could be the advent of "mix-and-match" sector bandboxing. LON_W/N, LON_N/C, LON_W/S, and LON_W/C are the pairs I can think of. I can't see any triple sectors without an endorsement, though perhaps a LON_N/SCO bandbox?

Edited by Lenny Colton
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3 hours ago, Lenny Colton said:

On a more serious note, I am wondering if it could be the advent of "mix-and-match" sector bandboxing. LON_W/N, LON_N/C, LON_W/S, and LON_W/C are the pairs I can think of. I can't see any triple sectors without an endorsement, though perhaps a LON_N/SCO bandbox?

Interesting ideas, Lenny! How to split our airspace is challenging. I had a wonderful session the other day working bandbox with London TC and MPC covered. That was a great split, and definitely got me thinking about how we open positions to better serve the people who fly in VATUK.

Half of the battle is that initial interaction of sending the .contactme and issuing the STAR, correcting the fact that the pilot is 20,000 feet too high, etc. Having the “set up” position that focuses on those tasks and then gets the flight down to the TMA is quite useful. And working the TMA positions is much more manageable when you don’t have to worry about all those initial tasks of setting squawks, assigning STARs, etc.  

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Gary Oliver

Posted

Another hurdle of faff and red tape to put people who have real lives off contributing to VATSIM.... Excellent, you should be so proud.

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