International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Exam

- 3 mins

International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Exam

Ref: ITA - ALI, Instructions on online ITA exam - ALI ITA terms - ALI

Interview Contents

  1. A brief interview in which you talk about your educational experience and interest in graduate studies at USC. (3-5 minutes)
  2. An explanation of a term or concept (approximately 7 minutes). Two terms or concepts will be sent to you 24 hours prior to the exam so that you can prepare a simulated classroom presentation on one of those terms or concepts.
  3. Option to choose ONE of the following tools in your presentation:
    1. a maximum of 2 power point slides
    2. a physical blackboard or a white board
    3. a smart board or Zoom whiteboard
  4. The examiners will act as students and will ask questions about the term.

Presentation Contents

In addition to providing a definition and explaining the importance of your term, it is recommended that your presentation include one or more of the following:

  1. Examples (practical and/or personal)
  2. Analogies (e.g. “The structure of an atom is similar to that of the solar system.”)
  3. Comparisons and/or contrasts
  4. Word origin (meanings of prefix, suffix, root)
  5. Drawings or diagrams

ITA Terms (Electrical Engineering)

There are about 100 topics for Electrical Engineering. I am more familiar with the topics related to circuits, communication and networks than the topics related to physics.

During the Exam

Two examiners attended the exam. One of them had a brief chat with me about my experience and research, and another one asked several questions during my presentation about bit rate.

Your speaking should be clear, fluent, and with good intonation. Compared with the technical content, they are more concerned with how you deliver the content and how you handle with the questions. Also, they expect to see your passion and confidence.

After the Exam

I got 5.5 out of 7 and I am required to take one language course from ALI. It is a good experience and I have already learned a lot from Lucienne.

At the end of the semester, I took the ITA exam again and passed with a score of 6.

Kaixin (Cayson) Yang

Kaixin (Cayson) Yang


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