Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Email from someone sitting the exam for the second time

I've just received this email from Michael, who sat the exam in June and who didn't quite make it over the line:

Hi Anthony, been looking at your blog in preparation for the radio exam in October. I did the exam in June but sadly I failed.

It was my first try at it. I came close to passing, with no help or classes.

SECTION A: 42% 15/35 FAIL
SECTION B: 60% 9/15 PASS
SECTION C: 50% 5/10 FAIL

I was one correct question away from passing section C, and about 5 or 6 questions away from passing section A.
I found section A to be the hardest as its 35 questions covering quite a few topics.
I'm gonna resit the exam in October, and I hope to pass this time around, fingers crossed.
I had trouble with circuit diagrams. If I had known them I think I would have passed.
I find it hard to work out formulas etc.

I have no help or anything as I'm in Kilkenny and there's no classes etc around here, so it's kinda tough.
I wonder if I could get some help from you, I mean if you could share the stuff that you're studying with me and see how it goes?.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Regards, Michael.

I would start by saying fair play Michael, congrats for giving the test a go. Then I would add that you have ten weeks today to get your act together and fill in the knowledge blanks. I have never sit the exam and I have it all ahead of me so I'm not entirely sure if I can help you, but I will be keeping the blog up to date with everything I learn, so certainly keep checking every day.

I would advise you to download the QADV program (QADV link), a lot of which is similar and relevant to the Irish test. I have been told that answering these questions repeatedly will eventually put the right answer into your head.

Get a couple of books - from your local library or from a radio club (our club in Dundalk has lots of them and I have borrowed them) and start studying the things you are weakest on.

I've been told that repeatedly drawing the circuit diagrams helps to put them in your head.

On the subject of formulae, I was never any good at maths at school. A friend who passed the exam was even worse, so don't worry too much. Is there anyone who can help you with these - perhaps a friend who is good at maths, a teacher, or another ham operator?

I have to say I admire you for taking the exam and for having the guts to sit it again. If you can get this far without help or classes, you are doing very well. Fortunately for me I will have the help of two licencees, but will still have to do a lot of the work on my own.

The most important thing for you to do now is study hard on the areas you are weak on. Start with section A. Look at the syllabus and the sample paper and then do the QADV questions. Split it into subjects. I studied "receivers" on its own for a few days and by the end of it I was getting 90% plus on the QADV test.

Hope I have been of some help and encouragement. See you on October 6th! (I hope!)

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