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Thread: Obtain copy of actual exam?

  1. #1

    Default Obtain copy of actual exam?

    Is it possible to obtain a copy of the actual exam that you took to get your license?

  2. #2

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    In a word, no.

    In my VEC each exam will be used a minimum of ten times and that same exam may be generated again sometime in the four year period of the exam question pool. We don't even tell people the specific questions they got wrong. All we tell them is the total number of questions they got wrong and their final score.

    My answer is based on the assumption you are in the US.
    Last edited by K6CPO; Thu 19th Jul 2018 at 19:35.

  3. #3

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    Strange rule? Are not examinations in the US (I mean proper ones, with nationally accepted and quantified outcomes) subject to scrutiny? How would somebody appeal against inaccurate marking, or perhaps as we had in one exam subject here - a wrong answer being considered right?

    In the UK, not telling people what they got wrong so they can improve is normal. Exams should not be secret? There would be scope for an examiner down marking somebody because they didn't like them. How quaint your system is.

  4. #4

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    Well in the US it is an exam team, not an examiner. I have not done any VE work in 15 years, but when I used to give the exams there were 3 of us who checked each exam.

  5. #5

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    oh by the way, the questions themselves are no secret. There is an exam question pool and that is published. Each participant has a copy of the actual questions that their questions will come from.

  6. #6

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    In the USA, when you complete any level of exam, they give you a certificate of successful completion, this tells everyone that you passed that element of exam.

    No where on your license does it say you got 31 right and 4 wrong.

    There is no emphasis on what your score was, just that you showed that you put forth a good effort and tried to learn something or do the bare minimum to pass that exam.

    Had someone given out the test, there would always be those that would gamble, thinking that they could sell the questions / answers to that examination, hoping to cheat others into the hobby, by only making them learn the answers to just 35 questions instead of 350!

    If that was the case, then W5YI shouldn't have gotten in trouble when they just sold licenses without even having to take an exam..

    My guess is that the USA exam is much easier than the exam administered in Canada or England, since there was people that desired to take the American Version of the exam, especially when the code was dropped..

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obed View Post
    Well in the US it is an exam team, not an examiner. I have not done any VE work in 15 years, but when I used to give the exams there were 3 of us who checked each exam.
    It's still that way. It takes a minimum of three VEs to administer examinations. And the signatures of three VEs on the CSCE and Form 605.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sixmeters View Post
    In the USA, when you complete any level of exam, they give you a certificate of successful completion, this tells everyone that you passed that element of exam.

    No where on your license does it say you got 31 right and 4 wrong.

    There is no emphasis on what your score was, just that you showed that you put forth a good effort and tried to learn something or do the bare minimum to pass that exam.

    Had someone given out the test, there would always be those that would gamble, thinking that they could sell the questions / answers to that examination, hoping to cheat others into the hobby, by only making them learn the answers to just 35 questions instead of 350!

    If that was the case, then W5YI shouldn't have gotten in trouble when they just sold licenses without even having to take an exam..

    My guess is that the USA exam is much easier than the exam administered in Canada or England, since there was people that desired to take the American Version of the exam, especially when the code was dropped..
    We tell people what score they got and when we test an entire class, we write the score on the back of the CSCE. If we were to sit down and tell each person which specific questions they got wrong, it would turn a test session for maybe ten people into an all day affair. This morning we tested nine people and some took more than one exam and we were done in two hours.

  8. #8

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    From a teaching point of view, it's always useful for both teacher and student to know what question(s) they got wrong, so that more work can be done in that area. I teach music, and the feedback you get from the examiners in music exams is vital. In a practical music exam, the examiners' comments are useful pointers for extra work (and sometimes the source of much amusement when the examiners themselves get it wrong and I have to get it corrected on appeal!). In a music theory exam, which is set and marked much more like the radio exams under discussion, you still get a breakdown of the marks so you can see where a student has done badly on a question, even if there's no clue as to what was actually done wrongly. I had one young student who didn't know whether to be delighted or infuriated with her 99% mark, as she had no idea what went wrong on that particular question! We both would have loved to have known that.

    I don't think there should be any need for an 'all day affair' for three examiners testing ten people. Just a few minutes taken after the exam with a student to tell them that they needed to work on a particular area would be beneficial to all, it wouldn't take a long discussion, and should help them with the next level exam.

    In a way it boils down to this. Do we simply want people to pass exams (even if they scrape through) or do we want them to really know their subjects so that they can be, in my case, better musicians or, in this case, better and more knowledgeable members of the ham radio community? In teaching, I always choose the latter path, and it's reflected in the standards that my students achieve.

    Just my 2 pence worth, others may disagree. Discuss, as they say in exams........
    Current radios: VHF/UHF: 2 x Baofeng 2/70 Handhelds. VHF: Kenwood TR9130 2m multimode. HF: Kenwood TS930S-AT
    Home antennas planned: G5RV / G7FEK / end fed wire. 1/2 wave vertical for 10m. 6 element beam for 2m. Vertical collinear for 2/70
    Website for the 'day job': www.andrew-gilbert.com

  9. #9

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    The VE system in the US operates much differently than any exam system I have ever encountered. Through many years of college attendance, earning two associate degrees and almost completing my bachelor's did I ever encounter an exam situation where everyone one in the class didn't take the same test. Even US Navy Advancement exams (to the best of my knowledge) were all the same.

    When the US Technician (Element 2) question pool changed July 1st, I was given a stack of 50 new exams to use. No two of these exams were identical. There are reasons for this:
    1. It prevents the possibility of cheating, especially when testing a large class.
    2. Because we allow an immediate retake if the candidate fails by three questions or less, it gives them a completely different examination. In a lot of cases this is enough for them to pass.
    3. Each examination is designed to be used ten times before it is destroyed. If we were to review specific questions with the candidate, it would compromise the exam and make it useless.


    I just can't imagine some college professor, who might be teaching several different classes, preparing a 500 question pool for their exams and then creating 30 or so different exams from that pool...

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