Remote Online VE Testing
About Online Exams
Maple Grove Radio Club (K0LTC.org), and Minnesota Youth Amateur Radio Council (MNYARC.org) have received permission of the ARRL VEC and the FCC to conduct completely online video-supervised testing with strict rules and protocols for maintaining the integrity of the testing environment.
You must sign up to be on the appointment list, but you may not sign up for an exam without going through the queue and being invited to do so.
We will give priority in this order:
Anyone who has been enrolled in one of our radio courses,
Candidates within Minnesota, North and South Dakota,
Each exam session will be able to test no more than five candidates.
The ONLINE system is much more complicated and time consuming than a regular in person exam. You MUST read and follow all the protocol on this page. Exams require a minimum of three volunteer examiners per session and only one candidate can be tested by them at a time. To be sure no one can cheat, you will be asked to scan all around the room, and verify the integrity of the exam environment. If you are not comfortable with this, please consider taking the exam in person at a future date.
Practice for your exam: It is your responsibility to be fully prepared since you will be taking the time of volunteers and a time slot from a long list of candidates. Be sure you are consistently scoring well above the passing grade before you schedule an exam.
HamStudy.org, a free site with lots of tips. It has an inexpensive companion phone app you can use on the go.
ARRL Exam Review for Ham Radio™, http://arrlexamreview.appspot.com/ a free site from the national group that you may want to join and use for referencing a wealth of information
You are REQUIRED to register in the FCC CORES system and receive a FCC Registration Number (FRN) before registering for an exam session. Candidates can go directly to the FCC CORES User Account and Registration page: https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do Click Here for FCC CORES Tutorial Videos.
If the candidate is under the age of 18 please visit the ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program Information website.
Sign up for the candidate appointment list by pressing the button at the bottom of the page including your first and second choice for an exam session . You will be assigned to a 30-minute slot starting somewhere between the indicated start time and up to two hours later. All times are in Central Daylight Time (CDT). Actual times may vary depending on prior candidates' progress, so plan accordingly. We may "seat" you up to 15 minutes early or quite a bit later. You'll need to hang out in a Zoom waiting room during this time.
We will contact you with a few session choices when we reach your name. You will then receive a link to sign up for your specific exam session. Please do this as soon as you receive the link. Your application will generate a 4-digit access code you need to take the test later. We will then invoice you through Paypal for the $15 test fee.
After you have registered and paid your fee we will send you a link for a Zoom meeting and an approximate time slot within the exam session about a day before the session. Make sure that you have the current version of Zoom installed on your computer.
Prepare your exam room and computer
Prepare your exam room: The VE Team must ensure the integrity of the test environment. Be sure you can take the exam uninterrupted. Follow ALL these steps BEFORE the exam starts.
Clear the room of all non-exam materials, notes, books, posters, computer screens, or anything that could aid in taking the exam. Some people just use a bathroom, and that simplifies everything.
Clear your exam table and floor of ALL items within reach or view that would raise suspicion, such as papers, sticky notes, electronic items, calculators, headphones, drink containers, waste baskets, and anything unnecessary for the exam.
Clear the room of any distracting things that could take your attention off of the exam.
Warn family members not to enter the room during the exam.
You must not have in the exam room any other people or pets other than a registered service dog.
Have a fully charged cell phone ready to link to the same Zoom meeting to use to scan the room for the VE team and to be placed to observe you during the exam
Prepare your computer and cell phone camera
The VE Team must ensure the integrity of the test delivery system. Be sure your computer and phone can handle these parameters. Follow ALL these steps BEFORE the exam starts.
You must have a working computer with web cam, microphone, and cell phone camera with audio muted.
Your computer and phone must be connected to the Internet with reliable service.
The preferred browser is Google Chrome. Other browsers have not been fully tested.
You must download the most recent version of Zoom and test-run on both computer and phone.
Temporarily disable any chat, alerts, blue tooth connections, virtual screens, or popup apps.
Remove all audio devices, headphones, earbuds, smartwatches, hats, or anything that could be considered suspicious and unnecessary for the exam.
Close ALL applications except Zoom and optional calculator app.
Be sure the computer and phone are plugged in or fully charged.
You must have only one display screen running on the computer. Remove any additional monitors, or take a single laptop into a different room. Disable any virtual screens. The VE team may end the exam immediately for non-compliance.
You may optionally have a computer calculator app on your screen during the exam. Load it in advance if you need it. No other applications or browser windows are permitted to be open.
Please log on to Zoom 10 minutes before your assigned time. We often run ahead of schedule and can start early. Also log in with your cell phone and "join without audio". We will leave you in the waiting room until the previous candidate is done.
How To Prepare For A Remote Online Exam
Exam Fee Payment: You must pay the $15 exam fee in advance electronically through Maple Grove Radio Club via Paypal. We will invoice you and you may pay this any time before your exam but needs to be done at least 24 hours before your test session.
PHOTO ID: A legal photo ID will need to be shown on camera to the VE Team. For online sessions the VE Team will only accept US or state-issued driver’s license, non driver state ID, or passport for adults.
Under-18 students may show either of the above items, or student shows a school ID or report card and a legal guardian presents a photo ID.
Federal Registration Number (FRN): This must be submitted on the exam application. If you do not have an FRN number, you will be able to register for one at the web site link we send you for the exam application. (The VE Team will send you a link to a registration page on https://hamstudy.org/sessions) Or, you can also do it yourself by visiting the FCC’s Registration page at https://apps.fcc.gov/coresWeb/publicHome.do and clicking “Register for an FRN.”
Know the Rules for ONLINE Exams
Protocol for Online Exams: (Read this now. The VE manager will read it to you again at the start of the exam.)
You must complete the test without any interruptions that would raise suspicion about the integrity of the testing environment.
You are asked to complete the exam within your assigned 30 minute time block (40 for Extra), which is more than enough time for most candidates.
You agree to keep attention on your computer screen at all times. Eyes may not wander to other parts of the room and you may not leave your chair during the exam session.
You agree to use a single-screen computer or laptop.
You may not have visitors in the room. Family and pets must be kept out for the duration of the exam.
You will use your cell phone camera to scan the entire room to show that there are no materials or people that could aid in taking the exam.
You will place your cell phone so it views a larger area around you, including your keyboard and hands.
You will NOT be able to use scrap paper, writing utensils, manual calculators, or any other kinds of assistance.
You may optionally pre-load on your screen a calculator app. Do you need to load a calculator app?
You must agree to share your entire screen with the VE team, not just the browser. Do you agree?
You must agree that the exam session will be recorded and stored for up to 30 days in case of any question about a possible breach of exam protocol. Do you agree to be recorded?
You must agree that if the VE team suspects that there is a possibility of cheating, the exam may be terminated and the exam fee forfeited, and you would be barred from any taking future online exams. Do you agree?
At this point the VE Team will lead you through this procedure:
Please show your picture ID, front and back, in the camera until every VE can verify your identity.
The VE Manager will now turn on the recorder to record your screen, your web cam, and your phone camera view.
Please use your phone camera to scan the room, all around, including ceiling and floor, under table and chair, under laptop and keyboard, with a closeup of the computer, keyboard, hands, and arms.
Please leave the phone on and propped up at a distance aimed toward the computer, so that it can view you and the computer.
If we are running breakout rooms, you will be transferred to a breakout room with 3 examiners to finish the exam at this point. Be sure to join the breakout room with your phone too.
Please share via Zoom your full desktop, not just a browser window.
Please load and arrange a browser window and optionally position a calculator app next to it, and show that the calculator memory is clear.
Please open your “Display Settings” to verify that there is only one video session running.
Please type in the browser address field “exam.tools” to load the exam engine.
Enter the session ID "N0ZRD" and your four digit candidate ID.
The VE Manager will authorize the exam and let you in.
When you finish the exam, you may check over your answers and then press the "GRADE EXAM" button.
Please keep your attention on the screen and keep your microphone on.
All VE Team members now mute microphones and disable their video.
When you finish, press the "GRADE EXAM" button and the VE Manager will put in credentials to access your score.
You will see your score, but there is no way to find out which specific questions you missed.
You will then be asked to sign your Form 605. This is a very important step that can not be missed.
You are free to close your screen share and browser.
The VE Manager will now turn OFF the recorder.
The VE Team will email you the CSCE to keep for yourself.
The VE Manager will explain the time frame for uploading your exam and when your license will appear in the FCC database.
The VE Manager will explain how to reach out for any questions and encourage you to join ARRL and a local radio club for further learning opportunities.
You are now free to leave the session.
If you are successful and earn a new license grant you will receive notice from the FCC that you will need to pay a $35 fee. They will provide you instructions and you have a ten day window in which to pay the fee. For more information: https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/support/knowledge-base/universal-licensing-system-uls-resources/payment-process-uls