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Getting Your License / New Operators - New to amateur radio and interested in getting your license? This is the forum for you.

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Old 10-28-2017, 12:36 PM
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Question Question about the ARRL sample test questions

I'm able to bang out the practice exams for my Amateur license now, only making the occasional misclick or facepalm error.

However, from what I understand the question pool is ten times larger than required for each level. That'd work out to 350 questions total. That is quite a few questions.

I noticed that the practice exams would occasionally have extremely similar questions but with slightly altered phrasing, rearranged answer choice order, etc. Do these perturbations count as discrete questions?


For the record I have a light electrical engineering education and studied the HAM books and online resources beyond the requirements of the test, however I spent the 90's in elementary school and my generation was taught to study the testing format as much as the subject matter so please humor me, I know this is a nitpicky question. I hate going into a test without knowing the rules it plays by.

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Old 10-28-2017, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Jasphetamine View Post
I noticed that the practice exams would occasionally have extremely similar questions but with slightly altered phrasing, rearranged answer choice order, etc. Do these perturbations count as discrete questions?
Probably yes but I haven't kept up with the VE program and don't know for sure and I don't know if the online practice exams at various web sites use the acutal question pool questions.
You can view/download the question pools that must be used for the exams at:
NCVEC - Amateur Question Pools
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Old 10-28-2017, 1:03 PM
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You don't say what class of license you are preparing for, but basically the question pools are divided into subject areas known as elements. A selection of questions from each element make up the exam. Thus, the question pool for each element contains, say 20 questions, of which four or five will be on any given exam. Within each element the questions will be similar. If you have actually studied the material (as opposed to trying to memorize the answers) you will have no trouble with the exam.

It sounds as though you have spent some time preparing. I think you will not have any trouble. If you are doing well on the practice test, then you will do well on the real thing.

By the way, ham is not an acronym. It is not HAM. It doesn't stand for anything, but is a description of early operators. If you research the history you will learn not to be a lid (another ancient ham term).

Best of luck.
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Old 10-28-2017, 1:04 PM
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Thanks. I had been using the links at Question Pools to print out the full pool. Looks like it bounces to the site you cited, which is good.

I'm off to color code 70 pages of multiple choice questions by category and certainty of correct answer.
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Old 10-28-2017, 1:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ko6jw_2 View Post
You don't say what class of license you are preparing for, but basically the question pools are divided into subject areas known as elements. A selection of questions from each element make up the exam. Thus, the question pool for each element contains, say 20 questions, of which four or five will be on any given exam. Within each element the questions will be similar. If you have actually studied the material (as opposed to trying to memorize the answers) you will have no trouble with the exam.

It sounds as though you have spent some time preparing. I think you will not have any trouble. If you are doing well on the practice test, then you will do well on the real thing.
Thanks, I have studied up to general and depending on how tech goes I'll see if I can test straight up. If tech gets me kerfuffled, I'll do general another time. Thanks for the reassurance, I appreciate it.
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By the way, ham is not an acronym. It is not HAM. It doesn't stand for anything, but is a description of early operators. If you research the history you will learn not to be a lid (another ancient ham term).

Best of luck.
Ham fisted amateur telegraph operators with subpart technique compared to commercial operators and who were especially inferior to the radio operators re-entering civilian life having spent years streaming ENIGMA intercepts to Bletchley or emergency U-boat activity bulletins.

I know lids are clumsy operators who struggle with procedure and smooth communication. I do not the origin of the name. I'd guess a Morse code thing.

Didn't Google it. I promise. Which will be especially obvious if that is incorrect.

Last edited by Jasphetamine; 10-28-2017 at 1:25 PM.. Reason: Typo in Bletchley
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Old 10-28-2017, 3:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ko6jw_2 View Post
You don't say what class of license you are preparing for, but basically the question pools are divided into subject areas known as elements. A selection of questions from each element make up the exam. Thus, the question pool for each element contains, say 20 questions, of which four or five will be on any given exam. Within each element the questions will be similar. If you have actually studied the material (as opposed to trying to memorize the answers) you will have no trouble with the exam.

It sounds as though you have spent some time preparing. I think you will not have any trouble. If you are doing well on the practice test, then you will do well on the real thing.

By the way, ham is not an acronym. It is not HAM. It doesn't stand for anything, but is a description of early operators. If you research the history you will learn not to be a lid (another ancient ham term).

Best of luck.
Actually, each class examination is an "Element." The FCC regulations say you must pass Element 2 to be granted a Technician License, pass Elements 2 and 3 to get a General License and Elements 2, 3 and 4 to obtain an Extra ticket. Element 1 was the Morse Code requirement, which has been dropped.

Each of these elements is divided into sub-elements, usually by topic. The sub-elements are further divided into groups. Usually, the exam will include just a selection of the questions in the sub-element or group. This is how they come up with a 35 or 50 question examination out of a question pool of 426, 462 or 713 questions (for Technician, General or Extra, respectively.) For example, Subelement T1—FCC Rules, descriptions and definitions for the amateur radio service, operator and station license responsibilities has a total of 78 questions in six groups, only 6 of which will appear on any given exam.
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Old 10-28-2017, 5:36 PM
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First off, the ARRL does not write the question pools. The question pools are maintained by the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC). There is a representative from the ARRL on the NCVEC Question Pool Committee (QPC), but that representative is only one of five members of the committee.

The question pools, as written by the NCVEC, can be found here: NCVEC - Amateur Question Pools

K6CPO has accurately described how the number of questions that you will see on the test from each sub-element is determined. For example, the full description of sub-element T1 (from the Technician pool) reads: "SUBELEMENT T1 – FCC Rules, descriptions and definitions for the Amateur Radio
Service, operator and station license responsibilities - [6 Exam Questions - 6 Groups]"

Any organization which presents the question pools either on-line or in printed format should pull from the question pools posted on the NCVEC web site.
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Old 10-28-2017, 7:54 PM
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First off, the ARRL does not write the question pools.

Any organization which presents the question pools either on-line or in printed format should pull from the question pools posted on the NCVEC web site.
I know. They bounce you to the NCVEC site when you click on the link to download the current question pool.


I went through the current Element 2 pool. As I suspected, there are a handful of questions all asking in slightly different ways how fast the speed of light in a vacuum is, a whole lot of questions involving moving decimals this way and that, permutations of EIR WVA type calculations, actual radio operation questions jumbled around, and gimmie questions asking if you should wear eye pro while juggling chainsaws on top of a repeater tower.

I scheduled a slot to sit for the exam Wednesday.

I'll drill Element 2 a few more times -- I think averaging 10 seconds per question with 1 question wrong for the pool will be when I put away the test-practice and can get back to the books for general+extra learning. I love new hobbies.
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There isn't. It's ham radio, not NORAD.
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Old 10-28-2017, 11:36 PM
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The examiners will give you the opportunity to take the General test immediately after you have passed the Technician test at no additional charge. I would take it, you may pass it and not have to go back to take it again, you have nothing to lose.
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