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Thursday, July 05, 2007

XJT Update; TSA vs. XJT

Yes, you can make the comparison in some respects. On that note in a minute.

DISCLAIMER: This post contains my opinion, facts, and rumor. Treat it ALL as hearsay.

I finished ground school July 3, with a 90 on the systems test. That test is a ** buster! They do ask TRICK QUESTIONS (IMHO)! Without giving anything away on the test I'll just make some example questions of a similar style.

Example:

Q:What is the AB for the XZ?
A: A reasonable sounding answer for a slightly different question.
B: A correct answer for a slightly different question for a question sort of implied for the Question.
C: Something really wrong.
D: There is no XZ for the AB.

Yup, it's D. But if you didn't read really carefully, you might pick B. That I don't have a problem with but the CORRECT ANSWER IS D! So not it is only one of those 'better read the question very closely' (which is a sort of trick question in itself IMHO) it's also asking you a question for which there IS NO answer. This is like two tricky questions in one!

Another one was like this:

Q: What is XZ for AB?
A: A correct answer for a related question.
B: Another correct answer for another related question.
C: The correct answer if it was an AC instead of an AB.
D: The correct answer for the AB.

C and D are very numerically close, and mathematically, are almost the same number. So you can't remember which number is exactly for the AB vs the AC. And in class they
emphasize knowing, say, approximate numbers of fuel capacities but not THIS number which is for practical purposes the SAME number.

They also put some very hard questions right up front. The softballs were at the END the LAST 6 questions. No confidence booster here.

So, how did the class do? I made a 90, and I just got done 5 months ago with a systems class IN THIS PLANE that was LONGER. It took me 2 or 2.5 hours to very carefully take this test. I was the last one done because so many questions came down to something of a tossup between two answers.

Almost to a man, no one was confident standing in the hall after the test. I thought I had a really good chance of flunking.

We had 15 people in the class, 4 flunked. That's 26%. They've made it hard for reasons I will relate off the record if you ask. Some people made some poor choices in the past, and now we're paying for it, IMHO.

Historically, the class average is 88% with about a 6% rate. Highest in our class was a 95 out of 100. The only other guy with 121 experience also made a 90. So the experience in the room wasn't doing super hot either.

We heard it was a hard test, and it was. I haven't heard of anyone making 100. Another instructor who took it made a 98.

Compared to TSA, I took more notes. And a lot of the time I left out things I knew I wouldn't forget.

So, XJT groundschool ain't no joke, at least after basic indoc.

TSA also breaks theirs into 3 tests not two. They spend a lot more time on performance questions.

They also pay you the entire time you are in training at $1320 or so a month. At XJT you get one check for $1500 or so and at this point it's going to take 2 months to get paid any more. That's less than $750 a month folks. Second year pay is much higher at XJT so you'll make it up later.

*BUT* XJT has a much better contract, with more money and better work rules. FTD and SIM training is supposed to be better too.

So, TSA better short term, XJT long term. Upgrade at both companies is about the same. More bases at XJT.

Long term, you want to be here. But be ready to STUDY HARD.

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