Question to IFATC members... What should I expect?

Hello, yesterday I submitted my application for being a IFATC, and I have a question for the IFATC members who had to pass the exams. I’m asking this because I want to know what I should expect…

Is it hell? Or it can be pretty easy?

Sorry if is inappropiate

Thank you all :)


It can be anything. Just remember to have a pen and a piece of paper with you to take the written test

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If you approach your testing with a level head and open mind, you can’t go wrong. It all depends on your mindset and attitude. Trust yourself, use the available resources, practice, and you’ll do great. If you make a mistake, don’t sweat it - mistakes need to happen sometimes for something good to come out of it. Look forward to seeing you on the team soon. Best of luck :)


It’ll be hell if you make it hell and come unprepared. The resources are available so you don’t fail so totally use them for what they are designed for! It’s really worth the studying time to get into IFATC. Very rewarding feeling.


OK, thanks all. Don’t worry @Suhas. I have like +3000 operations in Training server. So I don’t have to worry about.
BTW I read the ATC Manual like 3 times, so I shoud study it a bit more.

Depends on what exam you’re talking about:

  • Theory exam - this one is limited to 15 minutes, so it won’t even be enough to warm up to the first circle of hell. If you know the theory - you’ll pass. Just don’t forget to check your answers, especially in question about patterns, I mixed up left and right on mine and sometimes it can mean pass or fail.
  • Practical exam - this is the most important one, as it is your ticket to IFATC. Setting up a tracking thread would be a good thing, I’ll personally recommend Manchester (EGCC). Basically, I’d suggest studying the perfect practical video, as it covers and explains everything.
  • Radar practical - this exam I’m yet to have, so I’ll let that for IFATC Officers. All I can say is that this is the most difficult one and usually requires weeks if not months of training.
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Right, now I’m feeling more confident, thanks all. :)

If you come prepared and understand the concepts of the manual you can be good.

But it’s executing that to a good quality under the pressure of high traffic which makes an excellent controller.

If you can learn these 2 things, you can be a great controller.

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No matter how difficult it is or not, if you really want to join, then even multiple failures shouldn’t stop you. I see you’re confident but it’s always cool to remind: fearfully? go and do it!

I can’t speak for the whole team, but I’m extremely sure that everyone made mistakes there and was forced to accept unpleasant feedback (not offensive, but objective). It only makes you more experienced and more stress-resistant, which is very important for the ATC. For a more accurate answer, you can check Alexander’s post from above. My words only help to understand that IFATC isn’t a soulless machine, but a team of people who have overcome difficulties in becoming who we’re now 😉


Important piece of advice right there, if you wish to pursue ATC and you’re truly passionate, then nothing should stop you and you should be determined to join. I can’t speak for most, but a lot of the people around me, including myself, had to work for a long time to get into IFATC. I took 4 written tests, 3 of which I failed, waited 9 months, then retook all of my tests and passed.

If you are seriously considering joining, we’d love to have you on the team, just remember that you have to put the work in to get to where you want to be.

On another note, recently I’ve made some posts, specifically aiming at people such as yourself that are aspiring to get into IFATC. There is some information in there that can be extremely useful if taken into consideration and applied to your controlling, check them out!


Only if your in a really busy airport and there are like 20 different aircraft requesting landing or take off but it’s really fun and you will enjoy being IFATC

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I thought the written test was quite easy, but only because I extensively reviewed both the manual and the videos on Infinite Flight’s YouTube. I would definitely say the videos were more helpful because they helped you visualize situations, but the manual has little caveats too so make sure you look at that.

The practical is different. I feel like the main thing that trips most people up is nerves. If you’re nervous, you obviously won’t perform as well. The main thing is to just get a lot of practice in. If you can gather a group of experienced pilots via friends or an ATC tracking thread and simulate a practical, you will feel a lot more comfortable when you actually sit down to do it.


IFATC is a wonderful team where you can chat, fly and control with wonderful people from all over the world. If you are thinking of becoming an air traffic controller IRL I highly recommend you join as it’ll give you a base of knowledge which will help you a lot later on.
Overall, IFATC is a great organization that I strongly recommend joining!
Cheers and good luck!


I personally recommend anyone eligible to at least apply for IFATC. The activity requirements are small, yet you get to chat and have fun with all its members.

You still need to excessively review the ATC manual and watch the tutorial videos on the Infinite Flight YouTube channel reason I failed first initial theory test. The next step is to create an ATC tracking thread to help prepare for your practical.

Important Reminder: Only take the practical when you feel you are ready. Don’t be nervous while taking the test.

Good luck, and I hope to see you on the IFATC Discord one day!

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We all fail in life at some point, Mateo. An important aspect and characteristic of being an IFATC controller is being able to admit when you messed up/ where you did something wrong, what corrections could have been made to remedy the situation, and how you can implement those changes into future sessions. We all make mistakes, but it is how you deal with those mistakes that proves your mettle.

He is not wrong here. I am a recently promoted Officer, and I can tell you with 100% accuracy that becoming an Officer is very rewarding, but very, very challenging. You must learn a variety of things, including: Intercept angles, horizontal/ vertical separation, terrain clearance/ avoidance, practical procedures that adhere to the current weather/ TFRs/ NOTAMS/ ATIS.

Great advice here, and throughout this thread! Shane does a brilliant job of explaining some concepts. Unlike Shane, I did not have to retake any of my written tests, but I have failed at least 4-5 Practical tests on my way to becoming an IFATC Officer. I was also forced to wait a whole year after I received a couple level 3 violations (Ghosts for the old geezers here ;) ). During that time, I extensively read up on simulation and IRL procedures and taught myself how to read SID/ STAR/ Approach plates, how to correctly calculate V-speeds, TOD distances, and learn some basics of flight theory, Aeronautical Sciences, and engineering.

We are always happy to accept those that wish to join, however there is a level of commitment and dedication that we all uphold as well. We’re a very open, easy-going, and diverse group of controllers who are all connected by our passion for flying, in one way or another. Remember to always stay up-to-date on the Manual and always look for ways to improve. We hope to see you join our ranks one day and would love to have another addition to the IFATC family! Best of luck!


Yes you’re right. My brain got confused jeje. Thanks all for the cheers. I’m gonna study a lot the manual this evening so I can proceed with the Written.
Stay safe everyone :)

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If you have any questions, feel free to PM myself or any one of the IFATC controllers in this thread, and we will be happy to assist you!

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