[AMRadio] Dumbing Down (was I'll vote for 7190)

D. Chester k4kyv at charter.net
Tue Nov 25 10:26:13 EST 2008

> Excuse me for being only 8 years old in 1958.
> However, I've NOT contributed to this "dumbing down" approach to the
> hobby. I did NOT ask for multiple choice questions. I can assure you
> that my code was 100% copy, BUT - the stupid test wasn't random 5
> character groups.
> So whom do people hold responsible? The FCC? The ARRL? Or is it
> manufacturer's whom want to sell products?
> Bob - N0DGN

>>     True, the General test today covers more than the General test of
>>     1973 when I took it for the second time. I took it originally in
>>     1956 and the content was about what is on today's test.
>>     Jim/W5JO
>  In 1958 the test was not multiple guess!
>  There were essay questions, math questions (you had to do the math on the
> test), and you had to draw diagrams.
>  Bob Macklin
>  K5MYJ

When I took my General exam in 1959, I recall multiple choice questions, 
drawing of block diagrams and drawing of schematic diagrams.  I don't recall 
any essay questions, but old timers of that era would say that they had 
essay questions on their tests before WW2.

There were no verbatim Q-A pools in publication.  There was the ARRL Licence 
Manual, which had sample questions, very similar to the actual FCC exam 
questions, each followed by a brief explanation of the correct choice, and 
references for further study.  There were some mathematical calculations 

One question on every exam gave that you had a crystal with a given 
frequency/temperature coefficient and a given frequency tolerance.  You had 
to calculate how closely the nominal frequency could safely come to the band 
edge without the risk of out-of-band operation.  There were some Ohm's law 
questions, and some capacitive reactance, inductive reactance and resonant 
frequency questions.

When I took my Extra in 1963, the Q-A format was still the same.  I had just 
taken the 1st Class Radiotelephone exam, and to sit for the Extra was an 
afterthought, on-the-spot decision. I was amazed at the similarity between 
those two tests, with some of the Q-A's verbatim word-for-word.

Don k4kyv 

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