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Author Topic: How are questions picked for the tests?  (Read 1119 times)
N2POT
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« on: January 22, 2009, 12:00:22 AM »

Hi, are tests created by picking one question from each of the groups (35 for Tech/General, 50 for Extra)?

tia, Patrick
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N2EY
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2009, 03:25:13 AM »

I'm not sure what you're asking.

Here's how the system works:

For each written exam, there's a set of approved questions and answers called a "pool". FCC rules require that the pool for each test be a certain size; the existing pools are larger than the rules require. Each level of testing has its own pool. While different pools may have similar questions, no question is shared between pools.

To make up a test for a given license class, the VEs simply pick the required number of questions from that class's question pool. For, say, Technician, the VEs pick 35 questions from the Technician question pool.

73 de Jim, N2EY
 
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N2POT
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2009, 08:01:20 AM »

Yes, I know what the pool is.

My point is, the pool is broken down into subelements.  These subelements are broken down into groups.  In total, the number of groups in each pool equals the number of questions on the test.

This would suggest that, in order to fully test one's range of knowledge, one question is picked from each group.

Can a VE confirm this?

Thanks, Patrick
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KB3LSR
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2009, 09:31:21 AM »

The pool provides the questions that can be asked.  Inside the pool there are groups of questions.  I don't know offhand how many questions from each group are on each of the exams, but there are certain numbers of questions from each group on the exam.  I think there were only 1 or 2 groups with one question, and that was on Element 2.

You can view the Element 2 question pool at: http://www.ncvec.org/downloads/2006tech.pdf

If you scroll down to the 4th page, you will see subelement T1 has 4 exam questions from 4 groups.  Therefore you will get at least one T1A* question, one T1B* question, one T1C question, and one T1D* question.

The rest of the question pools can be found at: http://www.ncvec.org/page.php?id=338

The ARRL and W5YI also list how many questions from each group (or subelement) are going to be on the exam.

I hope this answered your question.

73 de AB3HJ
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KB3LSR
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2009, 09:37:05 AM »

I just looked at the Extra and General question pools.  It does seem that each subelement has 1 question from each group.  These questions are chosen at random.  Sorry for the last posting, I just needed a little more time to look it up.  You are right, 1 question from each group of each subelement.
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N5LRZ
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2009, 04:17:26 AM »

N2EY and original poster..

N2EY first, in so far as the ARRL VEC is concerned your statements are both right and wrong, at least for my particular area.  

You were entirely right in your statement of a certin number of questions for each testing segment.  Our little corner of the world does the same thing.



The ARRL VEC, of which I am one of their long time VEs, prepares several official/standard testing versions of each class license as well as an official testing answer checker sheet to their VE teams.  The VE teams do not themselves select any of the questions presented in so far as they only pass out a preprepared Official ARRL VEC test and check the answers using their supplied correct answer device as provided reporting the results to the ARRL VEC.

So while you are correct in that each segment of question has a certain representation on the test the VEs, at least for the ARRL in my particular area (other areas ?), the selection of questions is left strictly to the Official ARRL VEC.  We do not prepare or select any questions and or tests ourselves but rather use only provided testing materials.  Everything is pretty well much pre-published  standardized testing.  

Indivualized test questions for 35 or more people, hamfests etc, is pretty well much out of the question ;-).


As to the original question stated in the original post.  As stated in previous posts, a certain number of questions are in a pool of questions for each question area.  A certain amount of questions are selected from each topic as required.   As I mentioned above, sometimes the VEC itself selects the questions to be used, I imagine.  Perhaps other VECs do tell their VE Teams, YOU select the questions--as stated by EY in his above posting.  And it should be noted that as long as certain conditions are met, such VE Team question selections are just as valid as the standardized tests.

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W3HF
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2009, 05:04:35 AM »

LRZ: ARRL VEC has software that allows its VEs to prepare exams locally, and not use the "stock" versions of tests. The current version is called "ARRL VE Exam Maker." It was issued in September 2008, and replaced ExamWin. You can read about it at

http://www.arrl.org/arrlvec/examwin/

Technically it's the software that "picks the questions" from the pool, not the VEs themselves. Whether or not your VE team uses the software is a local decision, not the ARRL VEC's. But Jim's comments are valid, at least for some ARRL VE teams (and I'm sure for VEs affiliated with certain other VECs).
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N5LRZ
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2009, 12:40:19 PM »

Re HF...

From N5LRZ...

I am aware of software you mentioned.  We do not use it except on the very very rare odd occasion.  Only once in the past 5 years have we used it.

99.9999% of all tests we issue out are are stock tests of already prepared versions issued by the ARRL VEC and kept on hand in secure places by key testing persons.



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N5LRZ
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2009, 12:52:02 PM »

Re HF

Please REREAD my post.  I did not specificly state in specific and very exact wording his reply was in error now did I?  I am a very very blunt person who says what he means and means what he says.  You can take it from me that when I BBQ someones butt they know they have been BBQed.  

I merely stated the fact that in 'my area' we do not do it that way taking the option of standard tests over individual prepared tests in virtually all testing that I have been a tester.  If there were individualized tests prepared I was never there to participate, and I can assure you that I participate in all the major testings--I make it my business to be there.  I replied Yes and NO meaning Yes perhaps in some areas BUT a definate 'no' for my general geographic vicinity.





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N5LRZ
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2009, 02:29:21 PM »

Re POT...

In re to your statement and question...

"This would suggest that, in order to fully test one's range of knowledge, one question is picked from each group.

Can a VE confirm this? "

This is another yes and no answer because the world is not a perfect place and people (a large number of people it seems) sometimes do not do what they are supposed to do preferring to take the shortcut by going directly to the questions and answers section without even bothering to even read the study material.

You can confirm this for yourself.  Just look up a few basic items of information in the study guide of say the Techie Manual and see how many times someone asks for this information here.  Do not trust my read, check it out for yourself.

IF people were to in actually "Study" the material in the beginning of the license manuals so that they could grasp basic concepts and put them into their long term memory before they took the test then you would be absolutely right.  The test would be a test to check out skills and abilities as you have stated.



However, I have seen too many questions both here and on other amateur boards that require that I have to view many of the current crop of amateurs as ill prepared for the amateur service in re to basic radio skills.

So in general reply to your statement I have to agree with the theory of what you stated but unfortunately disagree (do not get mad just read on) as to its implementation.  I agree in that in theory the selection no matter how it is done or who does it or whatever will check a somewhat broad knoledge of any particular class of license thus I agree.  Disagree in that ( and quite unfortunately I might add ) I have see in a hell of a lot of posts here a "real world" philosophy of today seen all to often--never do it right the first time/take the shortcut/worry about the aftermath later.
 
Bottom Line, I guess the world is what the world is.
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K5WLR
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« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2009, 12:56:49 PM »

I have been a ham for almost 35 years and a former VE. I don't seem to recall at any time any questions on how to solder a PL259 at the end of a piece of coax. The exams tested the knowledge needed to attain the class of license I sought. I am now an Amateur Extra ham.

As I progressed through my ham career, I had a series of "elmers" help me to grasp the "know-how" needed to be a successful ham. This seems to be a forgotten tradition. As a matter of fact, I will need to be "elmered" regarding APRS and the new digital voice modes.

Being an Amateur Extra class does not make me a "know-it-all" regarding ham radio. I still want to continue to learn and hope to find some friendly "elmers" to help me with the new knowledge.

So, instead of complaining about how the newbies don't know anything, be open to being an "elmer" to someone who needs and asks for help.

'nuff said!

Will Rogers
W4WLR
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