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Author Topic: test  (Read 1284 times)

Posts: 111

« on: December 04, 2008, 05:54:25 PM »

just out of curiosity, when you had to learn CW to get your licence how was the test given, i mean did they send like 25 random words or something? what was the percent that you had to get correct to be deemed proficient? just want something that i can measure myself against, thanks

Posts: 347

« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2008, 09:21:27 AM »

Hi OM,
The tests were text sent for a period of 5 minutes. Under the rules from the 60s, one had to have one minute of solid copy. Under the VEC program, one could additionally pass by means of answering a series of questions about the material sent. These tests were fill in the blank, in my experience, and 70% was the minimum required score. I'm sure there were other details but that's the story in general. In the states the code speeds were 5 WPM for Novice and Technician, 13 WPM for General, and 20 WPM for Amateur Extra.

Posts: 14

« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2008, 01:28:13 PM »

At the FCC office in Seattle in 1979, the 13 & 20 WPM tests were multiple choice exams, after listening to a machine-generated QSO. They had already done away with the requirement for 1 minute of copy, and there was no sending test.

Vic, KB7GL

Posts: 18

« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2008, 04:42:00 PM »

In 1991 it was a short transmission, like part of a qso, and I had the option of either answering the questions or getting 1 minute of solid copy. I distinctly remember passing the general with the solid copy. It was funny because I really only got a few characters here and there but was able to put 1 minute of copy together from it. The tests were very much the same format as the practice tapes I used at the time. After upgrading I never really did anything with the code again....until just a few minutes ago....made my first cw contact in the 160m contest going on right now. I was so nervous I had trouble writing the stuff into my log. Hopefully I will keep progressing.

Posts: 52

« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2008, 10:26:17 PM »

My 1973 test at the FCC office in San Francisco was a five minute text run at 13 WPM. You had to get 65 characters straight to pass the General/Advanced test, 25 would get you credit for Technician if you didn't have that already.  If you passed the code they gave you the theory test.

Tests were offered once a week, as I recall. No appointments but they had a time, something like 8:30 or 9 AM, when they took you in.  I got up at 5 AM to catch the bus, was at the office in time for the exam.
Between lack of sleep, too much caffeine and being pretty shaky at 10 wpm (let alone 13) I was out of there fast. Of course there was a cast of characters there: some nerdy eleven year old who was joking about how easy it was, his grandpa going for Extra and a bunch of guys who were talking about how many times they'd just missed the 65 characters.  

After another four years as a Tech and a few moves I took the 13 wpm test in front of the visiting FCC man in Phoenix- and passed easily. That one was the sample QSO with the multiple choice test. Helped to be more practiced with a hundred or so QSO's; and a good eight hours sleep the night before!  

Posts: 1146

« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2008, 06:50:30 PM »

I took my Novice CW test, as well as the written test, from a General class license holder in North Bend Oregon in 1966.  I can't remember what was sent as the test but I remember that I had to copy it exactly.  That is, 100 percent accuracy.  I have no idea if this was an FCC requirement or the way this old guy wanted to give the test.  I remember that when reading back the letters I got one wrong.  It was the letter "e".  I am sure I must have just written down the wrong thing.  But, he wanted to test me on the letter "e".  So, he pounded out an "e" and asked me to copy it.  Sure I said, I wrote down the letter "e".  He did it again, he sent the letter "e", at a true five words per minute, and I wrote down the letter "e" (I think at a pace faster then five words a minute).

Every time I think if this incident I laugh to myself.  I actually can't remember if this guy was serious or not.  He was an old-timer back in 1966 and I did not know him very well.  We got connected because he would usually give tests to Novice's.  We were too far away from the nearest FCC testing facility in Portland Oregon.

Posts: 268

« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2008, 09:31:06 AM »

When I took the Amateur Extra test in New York City in the early 1970s, the test material was the same as for commercial radiotelegraph licenses--ship position reports (latitude and longitude readings).  You had to correctly transcribe 100 consecutive characters, counting numbers and procedural signs as two characters each.

Neil N3DF
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