SSRA Amateur Radio Testing

WELCOME TO A RAPIDLY GROWING METHOD TO TEST FOR YOUR AMATEUR RADIO LICENSE!

  • Rob (W2RY) and his VE TEAM, administer completely online video-supervised testing in a friendly positive environment. The process employs strict rules and protocols for maintaining the integrity of the testing environment. Following these instructions closely will ensure that your test will be efficient and successful.
  • Hamstudy.org will give you a current list of sessions. Look for testing sessions with seating still available. 
  • If a child 13 years or under is testing, please email w2ry@wf7s.net and request a COPPA form. This is to be in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act
  • To request special exam session dates or specific accommodations for an exam, please email w2ry@wf7s.net

Prepare the following before your online exam session:

❏ Exam Fee Payment: Use the PayPal link below and promptly pay your $14 exam fee. **Payment must be received WITH your registrationPlease enter into the PayPal notes field, your name exactly as you did when registering for your exam. You can use your PayPal account or a credit/debit card without a PayPal account.

Without payment, you registration and test position will be canceled**  Zoom meeting information will be emailed approximately 5 minutes before your exam start time. A “NO-SHOW” for your exam will result in forfeiture of your exam fee.   

PayPal.me/W2RY

❏ PHOTO ID: A photo ID must be shown on camera to the VE Team. For online sessions the VE Team will only accept driver’s license, passport for adults or any government issued ID.
Under-18 students may show either of the above items, or student shows a school ID or report card and a legal guardian presents a photo ID. 

❏ Federal Registration Number (FRN): This must be submitted on the exam application. No FRN number? You will register for one when you register for the exam at Hamstudy.org.

❏ Exam Application: When registering for the exam you will generate a NCVEC 605 application and will receive a link to your specific exam session. Your application will generate a 4-digit PIN code which identifies you for the test session.

❏ License Upgrading: If you plan to take the General or Amateur Extra exam, you must have an copy of your current amateur radio license or any Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) you may hold from previous exam sessions.  Your name on the registration must exactly match the name on your FCC license.  A change of name requires separate documentation to be submitted to the FCC.

❏ Prepare your computer and cell phone camera: The VE Team will ensure the integrity of the test delivery system. Be sure your computer and phone can handle these parameters.

You may optionally have a computer calculator app on your screen during the exam.
  • Android devices such as Chromebooks are allowed, with the following provision. A second device such as a tablet or cellphone with zoom application/video that you can also connect to the meeting.
  • You must have a working computer with web cam, microphone, speaker (NO HEADESETS) and cell phone camera with audio muted. MacOS requires that you unlock Zoom before the screen can be shared. 
  • Your computer and phone must be connected with reliable service.
  • You must download and test-run Zoom on computer and phone well in advance of your test session. You will receive your Zoom meeting invitation by email just prior to your exam. Watch for your email invitation minutes before your test!
  • Temporarily disable any applications relating to chatting, alerts, Bluetooth devices, virtual screens, TeamViewer, Remote Desktops, VPN’s or pop-up apps. Only a web browser and calculator may be active. Be prepared to display System Tray programs.
  • Verify your computer and phone are plugged/fully charged.
  • You are allowed only one screen or monitor on the computer. Remove any additional monitors or take a single laptop into a different room. Your VE team may end the exam immediately for non-compliance.
  • You will sign exam documents electronically following your exam.

❏ Prepare your exam room: The VE Team must ensure the integrity of the test environment. Be sure you can take the exam uninterrupted.

  • No additional people or pets in the exam room, other than a registered service dog.
  • Clear your room of all non-exam materials, notes, books, posters, computer screens, or items that could aid in testing.
  • Clear your exam table and floor of ALL items within reach or view that would raise suspicion, such as papers, sticky notes, electronic items, headphones, waste baskets, and anything unnecessary for the exam.
  • Clear your room of distracting items that might take your attention off of the exam.
  • Advise other family members not to enter the room during the exam.
  • Have a fully charged cell phone ready to link to the same Zoom meeting. This device will be used to scan the test environment for your VE team. Following 360 degree view, place device to observe you during the exam.
  • Be sure the phone audio is off and computer speaker audio is on.

❏ Practice for your exam: It is your responsibility to be fully prepared, as the time of three or more volunteers have been reserved for you.. Use an online practice site to practice all topics and to take randomly selected practice exams. Be sure you are consistently scoring well above the passing grade before you schedule an exam. Some recommended sites:
–– HamStudy.org, a free site with lots of tips. It has an inexpensive companion phone app you can use on the go.
–– ARRL Exam Review for Ham Radio™, a free site from the national group that you may want to join and use for referencing a wealth of information.

Know the Rules for ONLINE Exams:

❏ Test Sessions: If you do not pass an exam and want to re-test for the same element, you must pay another $14 fee, typically you will reenter the Queue for testing after other have completed their exams.

❏ Certificate of Successful Completion of Exam (CSCE):  When exam element is passed, your VE team will email you your CSCE. Retain this document for your records.

❏ Protocol for Online Exams: (Read this now. The VE manager will read it to you again at the start of the exam.)

  1. Test must be completed without any interruptions that would raise suspicion about the integrity of the testing environment.
  2. You are asked to complete the exam within your assigned time block, which is more than enough time for most candidates.
  3. You agree to keep attention on your computer screen at all times. Eyes may not wander to other parts of the room. You may not leave the view of your webcam during the exam session.
  4. You agree to use a single-screen computer or laptop. No other screens may to be attached or near your computer.
  5. You may not have visitors in the room. Family and pets must be kept out for the duration of the exam.
  6. If requested you will use your cell phone camera connected to Zoom to scan the entire room and exam area to show that there are no materials or people that could aid in taking the exam.
  7. If requested you will place your cell phone so that it views a larger area around your test environment.
  8. You may load a calculator application on your device.
  9. You will NOT be able to use scrap paper, writing utensils, manual calculators, or any other kinds of assistance during the online exam.
  10. You must agree to share your entire screen with the VE team, not just the browser.
  11. You must consent that the exam session will be recorded and stored for a period of time.
  12. You must agree that if the VE team suspects a possibility of cheating, the exam may be terminated and the exam fee forfeited, barring you from taking online exams in the future.

At this point the VE Team will follow this procedure:

  • Display photo ID, in the camera so all examiners can verify your identity.
  • Please use your phone camera for 360 degree room scan, including ceiling, floor, under table and chair, closeup of the computer, keyboard.
  • If requested, please leave the phone on and propped up at a distance aimed toward the computer, so that it can view you and the computer.
  • Please share via Zoom your full desktop, not just a browser window.
  • Please load and arrange a browser window and optionally position a calculator app next to it, demonstrating the calculator memory is clear.
  • Only ONE tab may be open in your preferred web browser.
  • You will join the test session with the session call sign W2RY and your 4 digit PIN you were given at registration.
  • When you finish the exam, you may review/change your answers.
  • When you finish, press the grade button.
  • Your score will be displayed, however there are no provisions to explore which specific questions you missed.
  • If you are finished you will then be asked to review the NCVEC 605, CSCE and use your mouse to sign to documents. Once signed you are done!
  • You are free to close your screen share and browser.
  • The VE Team will sign your NCVEC 605 and CSCE to submit to the VEC. Your CSCE will be emailed promptly to you. Retain for your records.
  • We will share the timing for uploading your exam and when your license will appear in the ULS.
  • Your VE Testing team will explain how to reach out for any questions and encourage you to join the ARRL and your local radio club for further learning opportunities.
  • You’re examination is complete. Congratulations, and thank you for testing with the Spout Springs Repeater Association!