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Author Topic: SHOULD THE TEST BE HARD  (Read 2011 times)
K7MEM
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Posts: 494


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« Reply #45 on: October 16, 2018, 08:03:24 AM »

You only put Then give the license away with a 25 dollar fee.  The text below is ...

Again, I only quote a small portion of your post. If anyone wants to read the rest, your original post is still there. Plus, you seem to be pretty good a re-posting your own material.

I didn't post on the"OO" stuff because, for me, it is just hearsay and rumor.
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Martin - K7MEM
http://www.k7mem.com
JAZZMAN
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Posts: 293




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« Reply #46 on: October 17, 2018, 04:38:44 PM »

Well you all made some really great points and it certainly made me think and I appreciate that thank you.  I think maybe the best thing is to keep everything like it is and maybe open up some space for the Techs at least.  Thanks again.   
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N2EY
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Posts: 4961




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« Reply #47 on: November 10, 2018, 02:44:47 PM »

The tests were never "hard" if someone knew the material.

Look back to any period in US amateur radio history, and you'll find middle-schoolers and younger with full-privilege or near-full-privilege licenses.

73 de Jim, N2EY
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KM1H
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Posts: 4608




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« Reply #48 on: November 10, 2018, 02:58:44 PM »

Young minds often did very well on those type of tests with some help from a mentor.

In the 50'-60's it was common for 12-15 year olds to become a Novice without any help/prodding from non ham parents and many schools had a ham club with a licensed teacher to help. The parochial HS I went to in Brooklyn and the public one out on Long Island both had established clubs with decent stations and antennas.

Younger hams featured in QST, etc often had immediate family that were hams but finding same age peers were not common. That makes me wonder what percentage made it to General?

Carl
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N2EY
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Posts: 4961




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« Reply #49 on: November 10, 2018, 03:49:45 PM »

The tests were never "hard" if someone knew the material.

Look back to any period in US amateur radio history, and you'll find middle-schoolers and younger with full-privilege or near-full-privilege licenses.

Here's proof:

1) In 1948, W3OVV (SK) earned her Class B license - FCC examiner, 13 wpm sending and receiving, "blue book" written test, the works.....at the age of 9. There was no Novice then; that license would not appear until 1951.

2) In the late 1990s, KB0VVT upgraded to Extra - at the age of 8, while in the thrid grade. Had passed all 5 written tests then in use, plus all three code tests (5, 13 and 20 wpm.

3) In 1967, yours truly earned the Novice license at the age of 13.

Less than a year later, age 14, I upgraded to Technician and then Advanced. (I was at the FCC office for the General, but the examiner suggested I try Advanced, so I did - and passed, even though I hadn't studied for it.) A few weeks later I started high school.

Two years later, almost to the day, I earned the Extra. Would have done it sooner but back then there was a 2 year experience requirement for Extra, and time as a Novice or Technician didn't count. That was the summer between 10th and 11th grade.

I didn't find any of the tests to be particularly "hard" - because I knew the material. Some folks claim to have "aced" the exams, and maybe they did, but back then, in the Philadelphia FCC office, all they told you was whether you passed or failed.

Nobody in my family was a ham. None of my neighbors was, either. Nor did anyone know any local hams. The parental units could not understand my fascination with Radio and did not support it at all.

There was a local radio club but they were mostly interested in 6 meter AM, and not so much in helping a newcomer.

I did get some help, though. The first ham I ever met was Sam, K3RTR (SK) who I located by the vertical in his side yard. He was big into Navy MARS RTTY, but pointed me to Jim, K3NYT, who gave me the Novice tests.

I write this not to say that I was anything special....many others did what I did, or more - and many today do as well. I simply give these examples (there are many more) which show that the tests were not all that "hard" in the past.

What has changed, though, is this: In the bad old days, the tests covered only a few subjects, but covered them in some depth. Over time, that has evolved into covering many subjects, but not in very much depth.

I have the old License Manuals from 1948, 1954, 1962 and 1971. They're not the actual tests, but they show what was and wasn't on the actual tests. If someone knew the material presented in the License Manual study guides, they could pass the tests easily - because it only took a 74 grade to pass.

The study guide for the 1962 General written test consists of 108 questions and answers, which take up only 14 pages of the License Manual. Some have diagrams, a few have calculations.

The questions are almost entirely about transmitters, power supplies and filters of various kinds, and regulations. The only modes involved are AM voice and CW radiotelegraphy. (There is exactly one sentence about SSB, and all it says is that an SSB signal is about half the bandwidth of the equivalent AM signal). Everything is tubes, even though transistors had been around for at least 14 years in 1962.

There were no - ZERO! - questions at all about receivers, transceivers, repeaters, satellites, RTTY or any data mode, SSTV or any image mode, solid state of any kind, frequency synthesizers, VHF/UHF, RF exposure, pi-networks, SWR, or antenna tuners. There was exactly one question involving transmission lines and antennas - it was part of a draw-a-diagram question, and all that was involved was showing a two-wire balanced line feeding a Hertzian dipole.

Out of those 108 questions and answers, exactly 4 require the use of a formula - three of them involve figuring out frequency accuracy, and one is an Ohm's Law problem. There is no trigonometry at all - no sines, cosines, phase angles, etc. There are some questions asking for a formula, but they don't require that you actually solve any problems with it.

In fact, much if not most of the material is pure memorization - diagrams, formulas, regulations, Q signals, band edges, power limits, definitions, etc. Also some basic concepts, such as why a triode RF amplifier needs to be neutralized.

And in 1962, the General had full privileges!

Some say that young people are best adapted for learning - maybe they are. But I think what happens to many people as they get older is that they get out of the habit of learning new things, and so it becomes more difficult for them.

73 de Jim, N2EY

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