New Amateur Extra Question Pool Puts Greater Emphasis on Digital, SDRs, Propagation
The new Amateur Extra class license examination question pool, effective from July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2020, now is available at the National Conference of Volunteer Coordinators (NCVEC) website. The latest revision contains a few minor corrections that had been released in a February 5 errata of the initial January 8 release. NCVEC Question Pool Committee Chair Rol Anders, K3RA, said the new pool represents a fairly significant change relative to the current question pool, which expires on June 30.
“The primary change is modernization of the pool to place more emphasis on digital communications, digital test equipment, software defined radios, and propagation/space weather,” he said. “Also, a number of other topics were added, including questions on some additional antenna types commonly used by radio amateurs.” Anders said that room to cover the new topics was made in the question pool by dropping some questions that had been in the expiring pool.
“Many of the questions removed were on topics which were felt to be of less importance to the current amateur population,” he said. “However, there was also some ‘evening out’ of difficulty in the removal of a number of questions felt to be inappropriately easy or difficult relative to the rest of the pool.” As a result, he said, the net number of questions grew from 700 to 712 questions.
All questions in the expiring pool were re-evaluated for possible clarification or improvement, and approximately 60 questions were slightly modified.
“All in all, the Question Pool Committee has worked to keep the Amateur Extra class exam up to date, to provide a high-quality examination, and to ensure that the incoming Extra class amateurs are well-qualified to be leaders in the hobby,” Anders said.