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What It's Going to take...

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by KY5U, Aug 11, 2005.

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  1. K6FAF

    K6FAF Guest

    Charlie, you had the last word of today.
    So be it.
    73 de Hans, frustrated. I can work oh0/ but not WV or DE.
  2. K1MVP

    K1MVP Guest

    Hi Charlie,
    I agree with your comments, BUT I really believe as
    I stated the, "powers that be",(ARRL, NCVEC,W5YI)
    started this "slide" when the FCC handed over the
    testing and to the "civilian sector".IMO    
    I still believe that had the FCC retained "control" of
    testing, there would still be credibility in acquiring
    a ham ticket, especially now with the proposal to
    eliminate cw altogether.

    My experience has been,--in speaking with some at
    the ARRL that "they" actually believe the written tests
    are even more "difficult" than the exams of years ago.
    They will tell you that OT`s just have the "perception"
    that it was more difficult,--and this is what they are
    actually "promoting" to the masses.

    They will tell you because the present license manuals
    have "more pages", that there is actually MORE to
    What they refuse to acknowledge, is the fact that the
    ANSWERS are being taught.
    They actually claim that the "old way" of learning the
    "concepts" is EASIER than memorizing, AND they
    actually appear to believe this.(amazing)

    I have yet to believe that learning the REAL basics
    of electronics can be done in a weekend "cram" course.
    if that was the case,--the military,--back years ago
    must have been wasting its time teaching the "basics",
    as most electronics courses(in the service) were
    usually 6 months to a year long.
    And the ARRL, and others STILL claim the tests are
    "harder"?--Does NOT compute, IMO.

                             73, Rene, K1MVP

     P.S., They,--the ARRL, will say that a ticket is not
             a "diploma",--and while I would agree to some
             extent, that a new ham does not "know it all",
             it should mean something as far as a "basic"
             knowledge of electronics.(AC, DC, reactive
             circuits,etc, etc.)
  3. AB0WR

    AB0WR Ham Member QRZ Page

    It used to be a "diploma".

    I know for a fact that the local phone companies as late as the early 80's used to consider a ham license as a plus for a newly hired technician. You could put them on-line quicker and expect more from them. I was there. Some of those new hires were for groups I was managing.

    Today? Not so. Most of the managers of technical groups put hams in the same category as CB'ers. There IS a reason for that!

    Of course there are exceptions today. BUT, and this is a big BUT, perceptions of a group are determined by the overall capability of the group. If the group as a whole is seen as not being technically proficient then ALL of the individuals of the group will be seen in the same light.

    If the ARRL thinks the test is "harder" than it used to be they are sadly, terribly misguided and self-delusional. That is why I will NEVER, EVER vote for an incumbent again in the ARRL heirarchy.

    Think about it. Do they publish the answers to the SAT and ACT tests? Why not?

    If you truly want to measure knowledge you do NOT publish the answers ahead of time!

    tim ab0wr
  4. N0KLU

    N0KLU Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas, USA.
    It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley
    Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS, and reprinted by the Salina

    8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS -1895

    Grammar (Time, one hour)

    1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.

    2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.

    3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph.

    4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of "lie,"
    "play" and "run."

    5. Define case; Illustrate each case.

    6. What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.

    7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you
    understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.


    Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

    1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.

    2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels
    of wheat will it hold?

    3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at ! 50cts/bushel,
    deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?

    4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to
    carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for

    5. Find the cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.

    6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.

    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per

    8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.

    9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which
    is 640 rods?

    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.


    U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

    1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.

    2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.

    3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary! War.

    4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.

    5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.

    6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.

    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn and

    8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849,


    Orthography (Time, one hour) (WHAT IS THIS ANYHOW?)

    1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography,
    etymology, syllabication?

    2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?

    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals,
    diphthong, cognate letters, linguals

    4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.' (HUH?)

    5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions
    under each rule.

    6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.

    7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis,
    mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.

    8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the
    sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise,
    blood, fare, last.

    9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain,
    feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.

    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by
    use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.


    Geography (Time, one hour)

    1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?

    2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?

    3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?

    4. Describe the mountains of North America.

    5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba,
    Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.

    6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.

    7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.

    8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?

    9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the
    sources of rivers.

    10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.


    Notice that the exam took SIX HOURS to complete.

    The "Dumming Down" has been ongoing since before all our time.
  5. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    That 8th grade test sounds quite similar to what I've had in education. Although some of the history lessons there I may not have had until the 9th or 10th grade, I've had other topics in years previous.

    I've also learned other topics not on that test by eighth grade. Topics like chemistry, physics, biology, keyboarding, computer programming, astronomy, literature, and, since I went to private schools, religion.

    I've seen people point things like this out before. Just because you cannot successfully complete the test now does not mean that 8th graders in 1895 were better educated than us. It just means we've forgotten much of what was taught to us since it has little application to our daily lives.

    I don't see this as any proof of the dumbing down of society.
  6. N0KLU

    N0KLU Ham Member QRZ Page

    It wasn't posted as proof of anything. Just a trend that started long before most of us were born. There are things that are no longer relevant to today's needs, Not that it isn't good or useful, just not as relevant today as they were once upon a time.
  7. K1MVP

    K1MVP Guest

    Problem today as many of us OT`s see it IS that the
    "basics" of electronics are no longer relavant,--i.e.,
    ohms law, kirchoff`s law, AC and DC and reactive
    circuits, antenna theory, principles of receivers, and
    transmitters, and the "list" goes on.
    With the "new way"--its "get em in the door boys"
    and with a "cram" course, and IF they want to really
    learn the basics, "let the OF`s mentor em".
                              73, K1MVP
  8. WA4DOU

    WA4DOU Ham Member QRZ Page

    How about, "let 'em teach theirselves" which is the way it worked for most of the OF's.
  9. N0KLU

    N0KLU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I understand both sides of the argument. The ones that make the "ruling" that something is less relevant than other things are indifferent to our way of life. In some areas of life this is good, in others it is lousy. But who is it that makes these stupid relevancy changes anyway. We keep barking at the wrong folks. The Pro-Code folks kick at the No-Coders and visa-versa, when we should be after the ones who are setting the relevancy bar lower. BTW it isn't the FCC. I don't know who, yet. But it is some group that makes these determinations that such-n-such no longer is relevant today whether it is code or reading, writing, arithmetic, is is a society thing. Once upon a time schools taught something, now they don't, Why? Now we see kids graduating high school that cannot read. The Code issue is only a symptom not the cause. it is bigger than the code issue. It is NOT some kind of conspiracy thing ether. Once upon a time we could buy 45rpm records (I still have several hundred of them) but who sells them any more? Change is the only constant, whether we like it or not. Somewhere some group of folks makes the decisions as to what is relevant today. Scream at them.
  10. K1MVP

    K1MVP Guest

    Somewhere along the way,--a "balance" has to be
    established as far as where the "mentoring" should
    "kick in".
    I still maintain most OT`s ARE willing to help a sincere
    newcomer,--that is wlling to try to help himself also
    in the process of learning.
    Problem,--is now it`s becoming harder to find "sincere"
                             73, K1MVP

    P.S, someone said the FCC is not at fault,--I might
         agree to some extent, BUT I do not believe they
         helped when they turned the testing process over
         to the VEC.IMO
  11. AB0WR

    AB0WR Ham Member QRZ Page


    Exactly what do you see in that test that is not relevant today?

    While grain is no longer hauled in wagons it is just as important to know how much capacity your grain truck has. And contamination by unwanted material such as shattercane, weeds, etc is still deducted, just like in 1865.

    It is just as important to know how to read, write, and spell today as it was in 1865 if you want to get ahead in anything but rap music and videos. While history has certainly progressed, there is no reason why someone shouldn't be able to address exactly the same historical questions.

    Most of this IS taught if the kids are willing to take advantage of it, including grammar and orthography.

    There is certainly no dumbing down in what is taught in our schools. There IS a dumbing down of expectations of what is to be learned. For all the problems that it has, the "No Child Left Behind" initiative has at least made people start to take notice of how many kids our schools were passing along regardless of whether they knew the material or not.

    This is totally different than the amateur testing. Not only have the expectations been lowered for what you need to know in order to get a license but the actual testing material has been lowered as far as it can go without just eliminating the tests.

    tim ab0wr
  12. N0KLU

    N0KLU Ham Member QRZ Page

    What I personally se as non-relevant is of no consequence. but somewhere there is a group of people that make those determinations. We have very little to do with those decisions, so to kick at each other is useless. How they make those decisions is beyond you or me, whether we agree or not is immaterial and beside the point.

    The things that are changed are in the "eye of the beholder" as to whether they are good or not. A farmer who use a wagon might disagree with you on the wagon/truck issue. These things are relative to the group of people in any particular group. A farmer vs. a chemical engineer will use things differently, yes similar but in differing context.

    The idea that expectations have lowered is measured by what? by what do we compare things what is the standard that doesn't change? One generation thinks the next is missing certain teachings, where their grandparents thought the same things and we think the same things towards our children. Government programs are good to a degree but if we rely too much on them we all will be stupid. I agree with you on the "No Child Left Behind" initiative. We have a long way to go.

    I haven't been involved with ARS long enough to make any determinations of it's status. So I'll leave that to those who have been in the service longer than I. I however have little choice as to what exams to take. If they are "Dummed Down" then we should advocate the "Smarting Up" of the exams. We should come up with an "Improved" question pool (I doubt we would get them NOT to release the answers though) So maybe we should create such a large pool as to make it impossible to memorize for each class. Whether it would be 1000 for Technician, 5000 for General and 10000 for extra and a test of 100 questions for Technician and general and say 150-200 questions for Extra. To have the questions to be "Smart" rather than stupid or idiotic. Just an idea for improvement.

    All I know is that slandering and mocking the Low-Code/No-Code people who have no real Bering on any test they took, is not the way to get positive changes, it is however a great way to destroy the ARS. Let us a group stop the infighting and try to figure out how to make the service great again.
  13. AB0WR

    AB0WR Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is a good idea. Want to bet the VEC organization won't even consider it?

    tim ab0wr
  14. K4JF

    K4JF Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  15. N0KLU

    N0KLU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bet if a group of Extra's would get together and fomulate the new pool for each of them and a petition of say 100,000 signatures it would make a difference. Then hand it to the VEC for consideration. On thier own, I don't see them doing anything.
    If Generals or Technicians get involved it would be turned down, so It would need to be Extra's that need to do the re-write.
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