WB9ZPH VE team - Requirements for online exams (updated 7/20/2021)

The WB9ZPH VE team has received permission of the ARRL VEC to conduct completely online video-supervised testing with strict rules and protocols for maintaining the integrity of the testing environment.

The ONLINE system is 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 3 volunteer examiners per session and only 1 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. You and your exam session will be recorded. 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 above an 85% on practice tests before you schedule an exam. Here are a couple places you can get free practice tests:

Prepare the following before your online exam session:

  • Exam Fee Payment: You must pay the $15 exam fee in advance electronically through Zelle, Paypal, Venmo, or Apple Pay. Payment instructions will be emailed to you a week before your exam. If you do not receive this, please check your SPAM or JUNK email folder. If you still can't find it, please contact Janet WB9PH at wb9zph@gmail.com!

  • PHOTO ID: A government 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.

  • Parental Consent Form: For children under age 13, a parent must complete a COPPA Consent Form and follow directions for sending it.

  • FCC Registration Number (FRN): You will require an FRN for your license. You will be able to register for one when you register for your exam at http://hamstudy.org/wb9zph, or if you are upgrading, it's on your current license.

Note: if you have prepared to take a second (or third) exam after passing the first level, and you feel well prepared for it, just let us know. You can take them one after another as long as you pass.

ROOM ENVIRONS: Prepare your exam room BEFORE the exam:

  • Clear the room of all non-exam materials, notes, books, posters, computer screens, or anything that could aid in taking the exam or distracting you. Many 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, monitors, 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 other people in the exam room If you are under 18, a parent or guardian can be there during all the preliminaries to verify identity, etc, but must leave when the exam actually starts.

COMPUTER: This is the main system where you will take your test:

  • You must have a working laptop computer (not Chromebook) with built-in web cam, microphone, and reliable Internet service.

  • Be sure the computer is fully charged or plugged in.

  • Remove all audio devices, headphones, earbuds, smartwatches, hats, and anything that could be considered suspicious and unnecessary for the exam.

  • Download Zoom and TEST it. Make sure both audio and video work

  • You may optionally have a computer calculator app on your screen during the exam.

  • Close ALL applications except Zoom and optional calculator app.

  • You must have only one display screen running on the computer. Disable any virtual screens. The VE team may end the exam immediately for non-compliance.

CELL PHONE: (You will use the camera to scan the room, the computer, and your hands for security compliance, then use the camera to observe you during the session.)

  • This can be a cell phone, tablet, or computer. It must have a built-in camera.

  • Be sure the cell phone is fully charged or plugged in.

  • Download Zoom and TEST it. Make sure both video works (we won't be using audio here)

  • Learn how to reverse the video from “selfie” mode to room view and how to hold the camera in horizontal (Landscape) orientation.

  • Find a way to prop the phone up to see your hands and keyboard from a side view during the exam.

  • Join with audio on the computer in Zoom, but not the cell phone. Mute the cell phone so it won’t cause feedback.