Are other VEs noticing the same trend I am?
With our FD this year, we ran our typical test session on site. As a VE group, we do a test session every few months as the demand for tests is not too great here.
I have been a VE for a few years (5 or 6ish) and have a few dozen sessions under my belt. A few years ago, folks would come into the test sessions and generally pass/upgrade. Sure, a few would fail for whatever reason but the percentages were "normal".
Lately though, I am seeing a majority of people come in with zero preparation and act as if they will breeze through the test without cracking the book. I can understand the spur of the moment testers at FD, but not with a scheduled and advertised session.
I have actually had a few testers as of late who statistically could have done better if they flipped a coin on every question. They will fail epically and sit down 5 minutes later in expectation of passing the test. However, when they fail a 2nd time, they act angry at the VEs and storm out pouting and whining.
Are you other VEs noticing this as well? Why are people walking into our sessions completely cold and acting as if they will automatically be getting their license? Then, why are they getting angry? I understand disappointment ( I had to take my extra twice) but not when you come in unprepared.
Just FYI, this is happening with testers in ages from 18 to 50, male/female, members of a ham family or not, prior radio experience (commercial, CB, FRS, etc) or absolutely no prior info on radio at all.
"Life is just like ridin' broncs, its a battle". Chris ledoux
Long live Steamboat
I haven't seen this in my area because most (all) of the the applicants have taken classes.
I took my extra cold, without study, but I was a professional engineer. It would of been very embarrassing for me to fail that exam.
When you suggest, "read the book," what is the response?
Member: Backyard Engineering Group
This is not the case we see at our club. Sure, when I give a class there is always that 1 person that thinks they can just take the test and not ever crack a book. I tell them right off, that I will cover all of the subjects in the book and terminology, but they will need to read the book and review the questions before they take the test or they may not make it. 1 person in each class, so far, has not passed testing.
We have people drive literally hundreds of miles to get to our club meetings to test because the other clubs do NOT advertise their exams. A couple of weeks ago we had a guy fly in to our local airport--personal aircraft--to take his test. He passed his Tech and his General. I'd have to say this is more the standard for what we have going. We tell people that are interested that the support materials are geared to help you get the license, but you will probably not pass testing cold. We give them the QRZ URL and tell them when they can pass the first 5 to 10 exams to come and try the real thing. Everyone that has read the book and taken the suggested practice tests have passed.
Originally Posted by KC7YRA
The hobby is getting an influx of folks that really do not understand the basics. This is a tough one to deal with when they post a question here on QRZ. Most often the answers are way past what the person really intended to have an answer for. This is because the wording of the questions seems to relate a knowledge of the fundamentals and so thinking that the answer is on that level. The poster then asks another question which clarifies that the poster hasn't got the fundamentals to understand. It is then our job to provide that knowledge or just blow the poster off and continue with life. Somewhere somehow somebody has got to tell them how things work. So many of the newer folks that do not have a license and some of those that do have it are lacking something very important and that's an Elmer. Someone to direct and make that person answer questions as to how and why things work the way they do. So a lot of the time we are dealing with up and coming radio amateurs that need the background to understand why it is the way it is. The internet is a great resource but it can and often does have some information that is just plain wrong. When you go the the web site and as an experienced person with knowledge then you know what sites can and should be suggested. You would steer them away from the stuff that is not good.
It's a difficult time but most of these folks just entering the hobby want to learn and are eager to do so. The license is only permission to operate, it doesn't really mean you have the knowledge. It's a starting point.
BTW the test is in place to filter those that want to learn and those that don't. Otherwise our bands would be full of folks that will turn the amateur bands into CBville. As some will mention getting a license is easy. It is if you put some sort of effort in to it. I doubt very many people can walk into an exam secession cold and pass the test. Again, it's not hard to get the license but if you do not use effort you will be screened out.
Last edited by KO6WB; 06-25-2012 at 09:10 AM.
You're simply seeing the results of our "education" system, Brad.
"Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty."
John Basil Barnhill
"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."
FWIW Brad, I've never seen the behavior you've described.
The closest I've ever seen was when a ham I know showed up at a VE session with a group of Scouts, one of whom had no ID of any sort -- no report card, library card, nothing. The VE Team Leader declined to accept this young man for testing, in part because he'd told that ham exactly what he would accept.
The ham basically threw a hissy-fit and called all of the VE's present several choice names. Meanwhile, suggestions that a phone call to the young man's home, to ask the parents to bring acceptable ID were ignored.
Some people have character. Some people are characters.
ANNOUNCING the 19th Annual WASHFest 2014, The South Hills Hamfest, Sunday, 23 February 2014.
Located at the Castle Shannon VFD Memorial Hall, State Route 88 (Library Road) at Grove Road, Castle Shannon PA., ~ 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.
[From Downtown, Take the Liberty Bridge across the Mon, go through the Liberty Tunnel, then turn onto SR 51 South to SR 88]
Talk-in on N3SH/R 146.955 - and N3FB/R 443.650 + (131.8 PL).
See you there!
Direct them to an arrl handbook and operators manual rather than have them memorise answers to questions.
now with true viterbi decoder!
I want to get a pilots license, but I don't care about actually having to learn how to fly syndrome?
73 de Charles - KC8VWM
North American QRP CW Club #3159, SKCC# 5752