Getting ready for the test

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by K8UA, Sep 26, 2019.

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  1. K8UA

    K8UA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Remembering myself looking around for study resources, and seeing a lot of questions from the aspiring hams, I decided to compile a comprehensive list of free resources that help to study the basics of our hobby and prepare for the license exams.

    http://k8ua.com/2019/09/how-to-better-prepare-for-your-ham-radio-license-test/

    I will be happy if it helps someone! And if you are a seasoned ham - I would appreciate you sharing your own experience: I want to see the list grow and improve!
     
  2. KU4X

    KU4X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Denis,

    Good work on pulling all those resources together. "One stop shopping" can't be beat!
    It looks like you checked all the links to make sure they had the current question pools...:)

    Just a couple of extras for your consideration (from one who has served in the past as a VE, VE team chief and VEC board member):

    1) The reference in the second paragraph to the $15.00 test fee. It would be good to note that the fee is the maximum that can be charged per exam.
    Policies on charging the fee varies by VEC (Volunteer Exam Coordinator). Some will charge the fee, some less and others not at all. Some may charge per exam, regardless of number of attempts. Others may charge only once for each initial exam at the session, but will extract a charge for retakes after a failed exam. It is incumbent upon the test-taker to find out beforehand the policies of the VEC that will be running any particular exam session.

    2) Make sure that whatever study material is used, it is current. I have witnessed too many folks that studied from the out-dated question pools and then failed their exam(s). This applies to written material as well as phone/tablet apps. A "bargain" price for a book or app is probably due to its out-dated contents.

    3) The 80% threshold for being ready to take the exam - I think that is a little low. I have found those who consistently score in the 85-90% range on practice exams will pass the exam(s).

    Perhaps a closing paragraph or two on how to go about finding an exam site and final preparation for taking the test:

    4) A list of the various VEC organizations:
    https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau...radio-service/volunteer-examiner-coordinators or
    http://www.ncvec.org/page.php?id=318

    Many have a large area of coverage, some do not. I have noticed that many would-be test-takers stop their exam session search when they determine there is no ARRL-sanctioned test provider in their area - the ARRL VEC provides about 70% of all testing opportunities. They should check with all VEC organizations when trying to find an exam site. (Let common sense prevail.)

    5) If the VEC has a web-site, read it, re-read it and do what it says. If there is no web-site or the info is confusing...see 6).

    6) It really needs to be stressed that the exam-taker needs to communicate with the team prior to showing up for the exam. Some exam teams do not take walk-ins - plain and simple. Pre-registration is required by some VECs. Don't get turned away at the door. If the team does allow walk-ins, let the team know ahead of time that you're coming. They will appreciate that for planning purposes.

    6) Show up ahead of time. Don't show up late and expect to be accommodated...it may not happen.

    7) If the exam session requires a test fee, bring it...exact amount, in cash. Most VE teams cannot handle checks, credit cards, bitcoin or bartering. Cash talks; anything else walks!

    8) Bring what you're told to bring; leave home what you're told to leave home. No exceptions, unless you cleared it with the exam team chief ahead of time.

    One closing thought: Are there any resources for visually-impaired ham wannabes? I have not researched that, have you?

    Again, great job. The mods might want to considering "pinning" this.


    Best regards,
    -Bruce
     
  3. K8UA

    K8UA Ham Member QRZ Page

    WOW, thanks Bruce - a lot of valuable comments! I hope I'll have some time to incorporate them during the weekend!

    I didn't happen to find any resources for visually-impaired aspiring hams - but this topic is not unknown to me (family), thus I will keep searching!
     
  4. W5GX

    W5GX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Check out the Handiham group:

    http://handiham.org/wordpress1/

    They have audio resources that basically go through the ARRL book. Helped me on when I was on the road, good supplement for me.
     
    K8UA likes this.
  5. W5LZ

    W5LZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    About blind applicants. Probably the simplest, most common method is for one of the VEs to read the question and answers for the applicant. This is definitely one of those prearrangement thingys, call and let us know will be necessary. It's also one of the times when there will only be that particular applicant taking the test, just too distracting/informative for other applicants at the same time. It's unusual but certainly not unheard of, so if it's required, ask!
     
    K8UA likes this.

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