Most accurate practice exams?

Discussion in 'Becoming a Ham - Q&A' started by KK4JW, Oct 4, 2018.

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  1. KK4JW

    KK4JW Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I've been switching back and forth between QRZ's practice exams, and ARRL's practice exams. I'm consistently scoring higher on the ARRL practice exams though, and that's raising an eyebrow. What's everyone out there feel is the most realistic practice exam?

    I don't want the better scores of the ARRL's to give me a false sense of hope, and I don't want the lesser scores of the QRZ exams to give me a sense of failure.
  2. AB3TQ

    AB3TQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    You don't understand the Exam procedure. The Extra exam is comprised of 50 sections. In a real exam, or a practice exam, ONE question is RANDOMLY selected from each section. Selected from exactly the same pool of questions. Depending on the random mix selected, the difficulty depends only on your understanding of those specific questions. The concept of any exam being more "accurate" than any other exam would be a myth.
    K4AGO and KE0DZW like this.
  3. KU4X

    KU4X Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Good evening Joshua,

    As long as you taking tests that are generated randomly for each practice exam session, there is no one site that is better than another.
    What you do need to watch out for are sites that do not generate random exams, but base the practice exam given on prior performance or the test-taker's selection of which elements to take. As far as ARRL's practice exams are concerned, there may be something wrong with their algorithm, or there may be switch you need to set, such as selected tests that include diagrams. (Most of the practice exam sites I have seen have a switch to include or not include questions with diagrams.)

    As you probably know the Amateur Extra exam consists of 50 questions, taken from a pool of 712 total questions. There are 10 subelements, E0 thru E9.
    The distribution of questions is as shown below:

    (Thanks to NC4FB:

    The NC4FB site also has an excellent syllabus:

    If you are in a quandary about which site to rely on:
    1) Go with QRZ, since it is the harder one. Once you're consistently hitting 85%-90%, you will be ready for the exam.
    2) Find a third site, take their exam(s) and see if it matches with either ARRL or QRZ. Just make sure you are taking a randomly generated test!

    Good luck!

  4. KK4JW

    KK4JW Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    Thanks guys. I do understand the exam procedure (how questions are randomly selected, etc.), it was just odd to me that I was scoring better with the ARRL's exams than with QRZ's. The only noticeable difference is the ARRL's is only scored once complete, and QRZ's "scores as you go". The QRZ exams I'm scoring in the mid 80's consistently, and the ARRL exams I've scored in the 90-94 range consistently. That's a pretty big swing IMO on a fifty question exam.

    I guess I'll just keep studying the material, and mixing up where I take the practice exams from until I'm confident in both.
    KU4X likes this.
  5. N5AF

    N5AF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  6. K4AGO

    K4AGO Ham Member QRZ Page

    My wife used to study for all three exams. She aced the Tech and general and missed 2 questions on the extra. I highly recommend this site. And, it is free. Free is good.

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