Friday, August 7, 2009

Sample paper attempted - not a bad result - plus a warning

Countdown timer: 8 weeks 4 days to go

Right, I gave the IRTS exam Sample Paper a go last night, even with my limited study and lack of knowledge. I had to guess some answers (I guessed right in more than 50% of cases) and I had to leave some blank. I only answered four out of 12 questions in the electronics and circuitry section because I haven't studied most of that yet. I was surprised at my results, which were as follows:

Section A - 20 questions right out of 35 - 57% - Nearly a pass
(In fact, when I guessed another question I got it right, putting me over the 60%)
Section B - 12 questions out of 15 correct - 80 % - Pass

Section C - Only four questions attempted out of 10, but got them right. 40%. Not enough for a pass yet!

Remember that you have to get at least 60% in ALL THREE sections in order to pass the exam. Right now it looks like I need to concentrate most on sections A and C.

Just something to note - BEWARE THE PITFALLS - there are some tricky questions. For instance, I came upon this question:

42. The maximum power output permitted from a
radio experimenter’s station is:
A [ ] Specified in the schedule attached to
the radio experimenter’s licence
B [ ] 400 watts
C [ ] 600 watts
D [ ] The minimum needed to enable the
experimenter to be heard

I was damn certain, 100% sure, that B was the right answer, because no radio amateur is allowed to exceed 400 watts power output. However, the correct answer is A - and that is because your power output depends on the band and mode being worked, and the limits are specified in the schedule attached to your licence. So that was one I thought "I absolutely got right" but which turned out otherwise.

Another question which came up was one I was able to answer based on the Transmitters Basics post I made on Tuesday. Remember that FM has the widest bandwidth, followed by AM, followed by SSB, followed by CW, which is the narrowest. Here's the question:

14. SSB transmissions:
A [ ] Occupy about twice the bandwidth of
AM transmissions
B [ ] Contain more information than AM
C [ ] Occupy the same bandwidth as CW
D [ ] Occupy about half the bandwidth of
AM transmissions

And of course, based on the simple knowledge about Wide to Narrow, FM AM SSB CW, we know that the answer has to be D. And that's the right answer!

Just in case you didn't know, all the correct answers are given at the end of the Sample Paper. But don't look before you give the questions a try !

I am grateful for the assistance of my wife, Ann, who is encouraging me through this process. She helped de-stress the situation last night and we were both surprised and delighted with the results so far.

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