International Teaching Assistant (ITA) Exam
 3 minsInternational Teaching Assistant (ITA) Exam
Ref: ITA  ALI, Instructions on online ITA exam  ALI ITA terms  ALI
Interview Contents
 A brief interview in which you talk about your educational experience and interest in graduate studies at USC. (35 minutes)
 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.
 Option to choose ONE of the following tools in your presentation:
 a maximum of 2 power point slides
 a physical blackboard or a white board
 a smart board or Zoom whiteboard
 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:
 Examples (practical and/or personal)
 Analogies (e.g. “The structure of an atom is similar to that of the solar system.”)
 Comparisons and/or contrasts
 Word origin (meanings of prefix, suffix, root)
 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.

Familiar (49): Adder Design, Ripple Carry Adder vs. Carry LookAhead Adder; AM (amplitude modulation); AND gate; bandwidth; bit rate; Boolean expression; capacitance; Circuit analysis; CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) logic; continuous time system; current source; determinant of a matrix; discrete time system; DRAM (Dynamic Random Access Memory); encoder; Flash Memory; flipflop; FM (frequency modulation); FORloop, WHILEloop, recursive function call; fulladder; HalfAdder, FullAdder, RippleCarry Adder; Karnaugh map; Kirchhoff’s current law; Kirchhoff’s voltage law; Laplace transform; Latches, FlipFlops, Counters; linear circuit; Linear equivalence circuit; Logic gate; matrix; Multiplexer; NOT function; Observability; Ohm’s law; OR gate; Phasor diagram; probability density; random variable; randomaccess memory; resistance; ROM (Read Only Memory), RAM (Random Access Memory); Semiconductor; sensor; signal generator; signaltonoise ratio; Synchronous systems – Clock and Clock Skew; Timing analysis of a digital circuit; Transmission gate in VLSI; voltage source
 Known (14): Ampere’s law; diffusion current; error probability; feedback control system; filters (lowpass, bandpass, …); Fourier series; Fourier transforms; frequency response; Impulse of response; impulse response; inductance; modulation and demodulation; packet; step response

Not familiar (21): assembler; assembly language; balanced threephase circuit; Bus Arbitration, Fixed priority vs. Roundrobin priority; electromagnetic wave; FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays); ground reference; highlevel language; Interrupt driven I/O (input/output) vs. Program driven I/O; localarea network; Maxwell’s equations; Mesh current; Microprocessor; oscilloscope; Potential energy barrier; protocol; resonant circuit; Sinusoidal steadystate analysis; stability criteria; subroutine; widearea network
 Unknown (15): accelerometer; actuator; asynchronous detection; closedloop control; compiler; contentaddressable memory; diode detector; Magnetism; openloop control; Outputrate control; Permeability; recursive filter; rootlocus; Rotating field; Tachometer generator
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.