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VE Exam Maker Software

VEC Software Information

ARRL VEC’s Exam Maker test generating software will no longer be supported after December 2020. Adobe Flash player is being discontinued at the end of this year which is our software’s installation platform.

An already downloaded and installed copy of Exam Maker should continue to work on computers. The program runs in its own environment on the computer, whereas the Flash Player problem is in web browsers during download. Even though the program will continue to function, we will not be able to push out any important updates to the software, question pools, or questions after December.

We recommend that anyone using Exam Maker re-initialize their databases at some point before the end of the year. We’ve made a few changes to the pool files and this will help ensure that everyone has updated their local databases and has the most current versions of the pools.

Current users that already have the ARRL VE Exam Maker installed on a computer should follow the instructions in the section "Update Question Pools". In the Exam Maker program from the menu bar, select “Update” and then “Initialize database”.  This will reload the complete set of exam question pools.  The software does not need to be re-installed.

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The ARRL VE Exam Maker software package is a program for Windows® and Mac® to generate printed exams.  This software is capable of updating question pools, specifications and software updates directly online, easing the difficulties of staying up-to-date with changes as they occur.

The page requires Adobe Flash Player. You may be prompted to upgrade the installed version of Flash Player if you do not have a recent version installed.

Internet Explorer is the Recommended browser.
The installer WILL NOT work in Firefox.

Mac users will need to access the link below using Safari.
Exam_Maker.JPG

Detailed instructions are shown below.


INSTALL ARRL VE EXAM MAKER PROGRAM


Software Instructions

  • Instructions for using the ARRL VE Exam Maker Software.

    The VE Exam Maker Software can only be downloaded by VEs that are
    accredited and registered with ARRL VEC. Choose the method that's right for you.
    The latest Exam Maker version is V 1.51.
     

  • Download and Install (new users) --- NO LONGER AVAILABLE

    The software requires Adobe Flash Player and Adobe AIR runtime.

    Adobe Flash player is being discontinued at the end of 2020 which is our software’s installation platform. A new install may work on an older operating system but we will not be able to push out any important updates to the software, question pools, or questions after December.

    ======================================================

    Internet Explorer is the Recommended browser.
    The installer WILL NOT work in Firefox.
    IMPORTANT: You must have a recent version of Adobe Flash Player installed and enabled in your Web browser.

    To enable Flash content in the web browser, please refer to these help links:

    Internet Explorer help (do not use Edge): https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/flash-player-issues-windows-10-ie.html

    Chrome help: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/6258784?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop  
    (if Chrome does not allow the download use Internet Explorer)  

                  ========================================

    DOWNLOAD and INSTALL INSTRUCTIONS - NEW USERS

    Current users that already have the ARRL VE Exam Maker installed on a computer should refer to the section "Update Question Pools" for instructions on adding new question pools or updating question pool versions.

    1.  Go to the
    install ARRL VE Exam Maker web page to download the current version of Exam Maker software.

    2.  Click "Install Now".  Choose “open” and then “install” to install the program on your
    computer or “save” to install the program at a later date. Some operating systems

    will not offer a choice and will immediately install the program on your computer.

    3.  Once installed, the new version of ARRL VE Exam Maker should open automatically.  When it opens, you will need to “Initialize the Exam Database” to download the current Amateur Radio question pools and specifications. 
    Type your callsign in the “ARRL/VEC Username” box AND in the “Password” box.

    Then click the “Execute” button.  It will take several minutes for all the question pools to download. When completed, the screen will read “Exam Database Initialized“. (If not prompted automatically by the program, select "Update,” and then "Initialize Database" on the menu bar.  You must download the question pools database to initialize the exam database.)

    4.  VE teams who plan to use our blue overlay grading templates must also “download” the template files.
    The template database must be downloaded to utilize the template designs with the exam database. 
    From the menu bar,  select “Update” and then “Initialize Templates”. Then click the “ok” button.  Again, type your callsign in the “ARRL/VEC Username” box AND in the “Password” box.  Then click the “Execute” button.  It will only take several seconds for all the template files to download.  When completed, the screen will read “Loaded 36 ARRL/VEC templates“. 

    Reminder: The blue plastic overlay grading templates, used to grade exams at test sessions, should never be thrown away or destroyed when new exam versions are introduced. We specifically designed the plastic templates so that they will always be useful, no matter what exams are created. They will never become obsolete.

    5.  Exam software is ready to use! 
    Please note: The exam answer key does not appear on screen when an exam is generated. The answer key will print out as the last page of the exam. Remember to keep all answer keys secure.
     
    Exam Maker will automatically prompt users to check for Software updates.
    Question pools updates must be done manually.

    Additional information, notes and instructions are located in the Help section. 

    ARRL VEC exam session forms are available from the Resources for VEs support page.  Download or print individual forms as needed.  All ARRL VEC forms, except for the Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) form, may be duplicated.  Contact the ARRL VEC for a supply of CSCE forms.

    Questions or concerns should be directed to the VEC Department by phone on the toll-free VEC number 1-800-927-7583 or by email.
     

  • Update Question Pools (current users)

    Update question pools, specifications and software in the “Update” section of the program. Current users will "initilize database" to download the newer pool versions. The software does not need to be re-installed. 

    Internet Explorer is the Recommended browser.
    The installer WILL NOT work in Firefox.
    IMPORTANT: You must already have a recent version of Adobe Flash Player installed and enabled in your Web browser.

    To enable Flash content in the web browser, please refer to these help links:

    Internet Explorer help (do not use Edge): https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/flash-player-issues-windows-10-ie.html

    Chrome help: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/6258784?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop  
    (if Chrome does not allow the download use Internet Explorer)  

                  ========================================

    UPDATE QUESTION POOLS INSTRUCTIONS

    To upload new Question Pools or update existing question pools that have been modified, users must manually update the Exam Data database. 

    Question pool updates must be done manually.

         
    • In Exam Maker from the menu bar, select “Update” and then
            “Initialize database”.  This will reload the complete set of exam
            question pools. Click "YES" to continue. A log-in area will
            appear on screen.
          • Next type your call sign in the “ARRL/VEC Username” box AND
            in the “Password” box.
          • Then click the “Execute” button.  It will only take several seconds
            for all the question pool files to download.
         
    The screen must read “Exam Database Initialized” when the task is
            complete for the question pools to be revised to the most up-to-date
            pools for exam generation.

          • If the user’s question pool database contains the current information
            or if there are no recent pool changes, the screen will read “Exam
            Database is up-to-date”.


    Additional information, notes and instructions are located in the Help section. 

    ARRL VEC exam session forms are available from the Resources for VEs support page.  Download or print individual forms as needed.  All ARRL VEC forms, except for the Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) form, may be duplicated.  Contact the ARRL VEC for a supply of CSCE forms.

    Questions or concerns should be directed to the VEC Department by phone on the toll-free VEC number 1-800-927-7583 or by email.


  • Generating Exams

    After installing the ARRL VE Exam Maker Software and downloading the question pools (and template designs if needed), exams can be created.

    Click the “Generate” button.

    The “Exam Specification” box will appear.

          • Identification # – Leave this space blank when creating new exams.
            This feature may not be available on some computers.
            If available, it will allow you to enter the identification number of a
            previously printed exam. It could be used to recreate and reprint
            a previously made test design.        
         • Exam Type – choose one exam element: Technician, General or Extra.
         • Template – For VE teams using the blue overlay grading templates,
            choose one of the 36 template designs.
         • Braille mode (no graphics) – locks out questions with graphics.
         • Answers not scrambled – each question’s answer and three
            distracters (wrong answers) will be positioned on the exam in the
            exact order as shown in the pool.

    After choosing the exam specifications, click the “OK” button.
    The generated exam will display in the ARRL VE Exam Maker window, where you can review it. To highlight the correct answers, check the “Show Answers” box. This feature will highlight the correct answers in the display window not on the printed exam.

    Print the exam by clicking the “Print” button.
    Please note: The exam answer key does not appear on screen when an exam is generated. The answer key will print out as the last page of the exam. Remember to keep all answer keys secure.

    In the “Exam” section of the program, choosing “Batch” will generate and print multiple test design versions of one chosen exam type.

    Exam Maker will automatically prompt users to check for Software updates.
    Question pools updates must be done manually.

    ARRL VEC exam session forms are available from the Resources for VEs support page.  Download or print individual forms as needed.  All ARRL VEC forms, except for the Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) form, may be duplicated.  Contact the ARRL VEC for a supply of CSCE forms.

    Questions or concerns should be directed to the VEC Department by phone on the toll-free VEC number 1-800-927-7583 or by email.

  • Locked Out Questions List

    ARRL volunteer examiners using Exam Maker Software can update the "Locked Out" list to include withdrawn questions.

    To lock out or block questions from being used on your Exam Maker generated exams, please use the following INTERACTIVE instructions:
    1.  Open the Exam Maker program.
    2.  From the menu bar select "Update" and then select "Update Exam Data"
         on the pull-down menu.

    3.  Log in using your username (usually your current call sign) and password
         and by clicking on the “execute” button to execute the update exam database
         command.  A message will read:  “Updating exam database.  Please wait.”
    4.  After the update is completed, a message will read ” Exam Database Initialized”. 
         The program will now be ready to generate exams with the new locked-out list
         for all the Pools.

    Pool questions may also be moved MANUALLY to the "Locked Out" list.
    1.  Open the Exam Maker program.
    2.  From the menu bar select "File" and then select "Preferences" on
         the pull-down menu. 
    3.  An “Options” box will appear.  Click on the “Pools” tab and choose
         the required pool from the drop down box. 
    4.  In the “Questions” list scroll down to locate the question you would
         like to move.  Highlight the question number then click on the “arrow”
         button to move the question over to the “Locked Out” list. 
    5.  You must click on the “Save” button to complete the update.  
    6.  Follow the same instructions for questions in other pools that
          you would like to remove from use. 
    7.  After the update is completed, click “Ok”.  The program is now ready
         to generate exams with the new locked-out list for the Pools.

    The current ARRL VE Exam Maker Software version is V 1.4.  VEs using previous software versions will have to update the software before accessing some features and to make sure the current exams are in use.
    If the software update does not work, the program will have to be uninstalled and then reinstalled on the computer.  (For most users this is via the Control Panel and the “Add/Remove Programs” feature.)
    Uninstall (remove) the VE Exam Maker program manually and then download and install the current version in order to have the most up to date program and
    before the locked-out file can be updated.

     

    Exam Maker will automatically prompt users to check for Software updates.
    Question pools updates must be done manually.

    ARRL VEC exam session forms are available from the Resources for VEs support page.  Download or print individual forms as needed.  All ARRL VEC forms, except for the Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) form, may be duplicated.  Contact the ARRL VEC for a supply of CSCE forms.

    Questions or concerns should be directed to the VEC Department by phone on the toll-free VEC number 1-800-927-7583 or by email.

  • Large Font for Sight Impaired Candidates


    1.  Create an exam following the "Generating Exams" instructions.

    2.  You will have to print the exam at the normal size font to get the
          exam answer key to print out properly.

    3.  Click on the tab "FILE" then "PAGE SET UP".
          This opens the "Exam Specifications" box.

    4.  Change the font size to a much larger size to accommodate
          visually impaired candidates.
          If you change the size to 20, it will print out two question per page.
          If you change the size to 25, it will print out one question per page.

    5.  When done with large print exams, change the font size back to 11
          (normal font setting).
     

  • Support and Exam Session Forms

    Exam Maker will automatically prompt users to check for Software updates.

    Question pools updates must be done manually.

    ARRL VEC exam session forms are available from the Resources for VEs support page.  Download or print individual forms as needed.  All ARRL VEC forms, except for the Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE) form, may be duplicated.  Contact the ARRL VEC for a supply of CSCE forms.

    Questions or concerns should be directed to the VEC Department by phone on the toll-free VEC number 1-800-927-7583 or by email.

  • Troubleshooting

    APPLICATION ERROR:  If you get an error after installing the Exam Maker when it is first run, your anti-virus software may be interfering with the application.  Most AV clients have the option to set an exception for specific programs.  For a default installation, the program that needs the exception is at: "C:\Program Files (x86)\ARRL VE Exam Maker\ARRL VE Exam Maker.exe"  Please refer to the help information for your specific anti-virus tool.

             ========================================

    INSTALL ERROR:  The software requires Adobe Flash Player and Adobe
    AIR runtime. You may be prompted to upgrade Flash Player if you do not have a
    recent version. It's safe, and doesn't interrupt the installation process.

    IMPORTANTYou must have a recent version of Adobe Flash Player installed and enabled in your Web browser. The installer WILL NOT work in Firefox.

    To enable Flash content in the web browser, please refer to these help links:

    Chrome help: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/6258784?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop

    Internet Explorer help: https://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/flash-player-issues-windows-10-ie.html
     

  • Blue Overlay Grading Templates

    VE teams who plan to use our blue overlay grading templates must also “download” the template files. The template database must be downloaded to utilize the template designs with the exam database. 

    From the menu bar,  select “Update” and then “Initialize Templates”. Then click the “ok” button.  Again, type your callsign in the “ARRL/VEC Username” box AND in the “Password” box.  Then click the “Execute” button.  It will only take several seconds for all the template files to download.  When completed, the screen will read “Loaded 36 ARRL/VEC templates“. 


    In the generate exam specification box, pick which Template design version you would like the exam to match by choosing the desired template number in the template dropdown menu.

    Reminder: The blue plastic overlay grading templates, used to grade exams at test sessions, should never be thrown away or destroyed when new exam versions are introduced. We specifically designed the plastic templates so that they will always be useful, no matter what exams are created. They will never become obsolete.
     

Software Updates

  • Recent Changes

    Check for recent changes to or updates for the software.

  • December 2020 - END OF SERVICE

    ARRL VEC’s Exam Maker test generating software will no longer be supported after December 2020.


  • June 2020 Extra Exams

    Exam Maker version 1.51 updated and released.

    The VE Exam Maker - exam generating software contains the NEW Extra class pool that must be in use for exam sessions starting Sunday July 1st, 2020.

    Current users that already have the ARRL VE Exam Maker installed on a computer should refer to the section "Update Question Pools" for instructions on adding new question pools or updating question pool versions. The update can be done in the program and should not need to be re-installed.

     

  • June 2019 General Exams

    Exam Maker version 1.4 updated and released!

    For ARRL VE teams who are using our VE Exam Maker - exam generating software, the updated version was released Thursday June 27, 2019 and is available on the ARRL VEC's install VE Exam Maker web page.  Exam Maker 1.4 contains the NEW General class pool that must be in use for exam sessions starting Sunday July 1st, 2019.

    Current users that already have the ARRL VE Exam Maker installed on a computer should refer to the section "Update Question Pools" for instructions on adding new question pools or updating question pool versions. The update can be done in the program and should not need to be re-installed.

  • June 2018 Tech Exams

    Exam Maker version 1.4 updated and released!

    For ARRL VE teams who are using our VE Exam Maker - exam generating software, the updated version was released Wednesday June 27, 2018 and is available on the ARRL VEC's install VE Exam Maker web page.  Exam Maker 1.4 contains the NEW Technician class pool that must be in use for exam sessions starting Sunday July 1st, 2018.

    Current users that already have the ARRL VE Exam Maker installed on a computer should refer to the section "Update Question Pools" for instructions on adding new question pools or updating question pool versions. The update can be done in the program and should not need to be re-installed.