Color vision tests


Well sized member
I'm sure this has probably been covered before, so I apologize for not being able to find the answer...

I was invited to take the initial screening test, which sounds cool - but I have abnormal color vision and don't want to waste my time if I'm not going to pass the medical.

I was actually cleared for an unrestricted medical back in '97 by taking the signal light gun test. I know that doesn't help me for ATC, but I was wondering what tests they use for ATC applicants. If it's just the plates then I'm screwed - can't pass those.

I know that's initially what they use (the cards). However, I don't know if there is an alternative test you can take if you fail the cards.
You can ask this on the flight surgeon forum...I am actually curious as I have a hard time with the plates as well
Hi guys I'm new to this site but was medically disqualified at a PEPC almost two years ago for color vision. I won't rant about the raw deal I got but the process goes as follows. At the PEPC all applicants take the Divorne Plate test, not the Ishihara plate going to a local optometrist and passing the Ishihara will get you no where. If you fail the Divorne Plate test (you are allowed to miss 2 plates) you will then take a Farnsworth Lantern light test which shoots 3 rays of light at you (red, green, and white) and you have to decipher there order. In addition to this you have a pass another test that is a bunch of violet checkers (my best description) that vary in color. You must put them in order similar colors must the closest so when its finished, looking from one end to the other it looks like a smooth color spectrum. After two years I had dismissed the hope of becoming a controller when out of the blue I received a call on a saturday night from the FAA asking if I wanted to take the ATCOV which is their newly approved vision test. Needless to say I was shocked and they even paid all of my travel expenses to get me to and from the regional office building that administered this test.
The ATCOV exam is a 5 section exam and takes about an hour and a half. Each section is divided into instructions, practice, and test. they go as follows.
1.) You must identify call text in different colors (this is essentially three lines of text giving aircraft info) The colors are red (which indicates an alert) Green (which indicates aircraft information you are not responsible for) White (an aircraft you are responsible for) and Yellow (I can't remember exactly what that indicated). This section is incredibly easy.
I apologize if the order I list these is incorrect.
2.) You are given a small square that is a certain color (red, light blue etc...) which you have to remember. the screen then flashes to a bunch of random colored squares and then you are asked a simple math question before you are taken to the final screen where you must identify all of the squares that are the same color as your initial square.
3.) This section tests your ability to locate the color red (for alerts) quickly. The screen will appear full of call text BUT one of the call text has flashing red in it indicating an alert. You are given only a few seconds to identify the red then the screen changes to a three question screen asking you if the red alert was on the left side of the screen, the right side of the screen, or there was no alert. This is the most intense section of the test but I found it to be fun. It's fast paced and goes on for 8 to 10 minutes. Some people may find it to be the hardest section.
Thanks for the info JSmith - I think I'm going to take the exam and then see if they accept me for medical screening. Sounds like the new test is something I might be able to pass.
Excuse me for being new but I'm not sure what "TOL" is. Yes, I get another shot at becoming a controller and from what was said to me by the flight surgeon my color vision won't be in question again. I can't imagine the FAA would pay for your travel and employee time to administer the test if they had no intentions of letting you become a controller. I'm not sure if I get to proceed with my tentative offer I had signed at the PEPC or if I am able to go elsewhere. I'm going to try to find out if the contract is still good seeing as how I am no longer "medically disqualified"....I don't know if I was ever completely medically disqualified because I've always been on the list to take the ATCOV once it came out. As for the vision test....I would say it's a much more practical gauge for testing color vision as it applies to the job and I applaud the FAA for implementing it.:clap:
Wow, this is an interesting turn of events. That is, hearing about this new test. So it is now standard protocol to take the Dvorine, and then this new test if one fails? I can't pass the ishihara, and the dvorine, unless you want to buy it, is incredibly hard to find, so even though I've heard it's easier, I've never tried it. I'd really like to give this new test a whirl - this is really encouraging actually. It sounds like a more practicle application - as opposed to the plates which are b.s. Did you go to OKC to take the test or did they have it at another facility? Hopefully they'll have it at the massive medicals (you guys have a name for these group medicals they give while in process) so as to expedite the process. It be a bitch to have to go to OKC to get it done.