Congrats on the new ticket and welcome to this fine hobby. Something is fundamentally wrong! Some things to check out - easy ones first.
1) the FT-897 has two antenna connections. Make sure that the X50 is connected to the 144/430 antenna jack (pg 18 of manual).
2) Make sure you are on the correct band/frequency (pg. 13) 146.520 is the national calling frequency and a good one to use.
3) make sure you are in the correct mode (pg.13) FM.
Try it. BRIEFLY!
If still HSWR, it is probably a bad coax connector, bad coax, or a faulty antenna. At this point, web help will be difficult, but a local Elmer becomes very helpful. The club where you took your test should have lots of people willing and able to help.
There is a yahoo user's group you might want to check out at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FT897/
If this isn't clear, feel free to email me at mycall at comcast.net. The FT897 is a great rig. You'll love it. And again, Congrats and Welcome!
de AI4LG - Rick