New Study Guide for Technician / General / Extra Tests

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by N5HZR, Oct 4, 2016.

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  1. N5HZR

    N5HZR Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Correct Radio Amateur Answers Manual CRAAM) is produced to help people to obtain their Amateur Radio License. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires that all amateur radio operators (hams) must pass a written test to obtain a license. As with all federal tests, the actual question pool, and answers, including distractors, are published for review. This new manual presents all of the questions, and ONLY the right answers.
    The distractor answers have been removed, so all you'll see is the question, with the correct answer in bold type. For years, amateur radio trainers have suggested that you NOT look at the distractors, or that you should highlight the right answers, while ignoring the wrong ones. With this manual, you don't have to do that.

    This new manual also contains all three amateur radio license classes of Technician, General and Extra. The general idea with this type of manual is that you can use your short term memory to help you pass your tests. Once your licensed, you'll have plenty of time to learn the different portions of our hobby that you enjoy. The Technician test information is valid until June 30, 2018, General until June 30, 2019, and the Extra portion is valid until June 30, 2020.

    This combined manual is available on for only $9.99, and more information is available at: Help your friends get licensed now, or start your upgrade process today!
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2016
    N0IRS, NX6ED, K9AYL and 3 others like this.
  2. W2JF

    W2JF Ham Member QRZ Page

    While possibly a good adjunct to more conventional methods, guides such as this "teach to the test," something educators have decried for decades, simply because it presents a great, often irresistible, temptation to simply memorize answers. Such memorization can be helpful, IF it is used as a "check" to see if one's reasoning is correct, but not as a "quick 'n' dirty" way to gain disingenuous access to operating privileges. Exams should not be viewed as some kind of annoying "hurdle" placed arbitrarily in one's path, but as an indication of the kind and level of competence that one will need, to operate a 1500 watt radio station intelligently and efficiently. Correct answers are never substitutes for correct reasoning; they are simply the result of correct reasoning, and the implicit underlying knowledge.
    KM1H, KB0PGI, AJ5F and 4 others like this.
  3. N5HZR

    N5HZR Ham Member QRZ Page

    John, great question, I'll need to formalize this question for the website!
    This manual came out of our last combined Technician / General "traditional" amateur radio class. The students wanted us to also run an Extra class, and a half dozen of us instructor types couldn't figure out how to run an extra class to teach all of the underlying laws, rules, regulations, statistics, electrical engineering and astrophysics that's required for that test in less than two years. So, we started asking around to all of the Extra license holders, asking how they obtained their ticket. A few had electrical engineering backgrounds, and they said they "Just took the test". The rest all said they read the question pool, memorized it, and blasted out the test. During the last 6 months, we've researched assessment methods, and realized that the goal was to become a responsible amateur radio operator, and the test was a hurdle that needed to be cleared. These tests represent a base level of knowledge that must be learned to gain the privileges of being an operator. I'm old enough that I took a Novice, Technician, General, and Advanced tests as I moved through the process in about 6 months. The most recent of those tests was over 30 years ago. When I passed my test, I was legal to make my first QSO, however I wasn't able to make that transmission, without help from the stack of Elmers that I've had the pleasure of knowing. I've learned more about amateur radio in the past 6 months than I did to pass those 4 tests... I'm guessing a large number of questions that I answered in 1985 would not be correct here in 2016. What we've seen in the students that have passed their tests is that they learn infinitely more when they don't have to stress over passing a test. We'll still run the annual Technician / General class, and we probably have half of the class licensed, before the class starts. Again, thanks for the statement, you're absolutely correct...
    N4VER, KB2NBY and 9M2TPT like this.
  4. KE0CAA

    KE0CAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I would have to disagree with some of what has been said before. Amateur radio is a hobby that is slowly dying off. In order to get more people interested in the hobby and especially the young generations who are part of our disposable electronics culture we need to find ways to get them interested. As such a test before you can pick up the mic on your own can and should be viewed to some extent as an annoying hurdle. If you chuck the operator manual in front of someone who has a job, school, or both in front of them the book likely will never get opened. If instead you let them cram and learn the rules and a little bit of the theory to help keep them safe so that they can pass the tests they will then become even more interested in the hobby. Once they get on the air and start setting up stations they can then begin to learn and truly understand what all of the gobbledygook in the books actually means. As a VE and someone who recently was licensed and upgraded to Extra through a class I would have to admit that if I was expected to have all of the knowledge of an extra when I went in to take my Technician test I wouldnt have even gotten started in the hobby. The larger that hurdle to entry is the fewer people who will even both to get started; Especially in this day when everyone has a smart phone and can use voice, sms, or even video chat to communicate its more important than ever that we make the entry cost as low as possible to keep the hobby alive. Thank you to the group who put this book together and priced it at a reasonable rate. I am sure that you will help to bring more people into this hobby.
    K4BCO, K2DFC and N5HZR like this.
  5. KE0CAA

    KE0CAA XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    And as a followup I must also request that a kindle version be released to further spur interest in the hobby. Dead trees are unpopular with youths ;)
    N4HQU, KM4UJP, W5PFG and 1 other person like this.
  6. N5HZR

    N5HZR Ham Member QRZ Page

    Matthew, thanks for your comments. You pretty much hit the nail on the head. All of your comments were our design goals. The good news is that we're seeing a pretty good uptick in our ham activity and new licenses, at least in our corner of the world. We're in Norman, OK, and we talk about this on the club's homepage at: .
    Better, faster, cheaper, as applied to the licensing process.
    A Kindle version is in the works. We're working on finishing the formatting. We'll report that format here, when it's available. Thanks.
    N4VER likes this.
  7. WA4SPJ

    WA4SPJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you so much for your work with this new license manual. I admire your determination and concern for those of us who were not able to attain a degree in electrical engineering but who enjoy the wonderful hobby of ham radio non the less. Please do find a way to get the word out as soon as you finalize the kindle version of your book. I have been wanting to upgrade to extra for some time now and your book may be just the thing I need to motivate me in that direction.
    N4VER likes this.
  8. AB3TQ

    AB3TQ Subscriber QRZ Page


    I don't like it. I see an uptick in exam takers that can pass the exams as a good thing. You are doing your best to trivialize the exams. So why don't we just eliminate the those pesky exams, since they don't actually serve any useful purpose. How much uptick would we see then? Would that make amateur radio healthier in your opinion?

    I took a look at your website. I took note of the October 8th meeting topic. How many of your not distracted by the wrong answer students will be able to build anything? They won't even know how to get started.
    October 8 Meeting: Build Your Own Equipment
    KM1H likes this.
  9. K9AYL

    K9AYL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just ordered the book, should have it Wednesday of next week.
  10. AE7XG

    AE7XG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just so you know . The more books like this that are put out for every one to help them pass the test the FCC wrote, the more they will lean to change all the questions.
    Just A thought I had while reading this.
    Like you I had A lot of very good Elmers. Can your class construct A simple dipole antenna out of A box of random wire and pvc, maybe some 300 ohm tv twin lead.
    I would be interested in finding out.
    Extra Class questions asks about how to find the frequency of A coil(#14 wire wound 22 times around A 3 inch form) ? Some things are learned with hands doing so they make more sence.
    Just saying .
    Don't get me wrong I thank you for your efforts, we need more people in the hobby. They can learn after they get their ticket. I'm still learning , I do not know everything.
    best wishes
    started in 1978
    KJ4ZSI, KM1H and N5HZR like this.

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