Review of Amateur Radio Exam Questions

As a result of its response to a Request for Proposals from Industry Canada, Radio Amateurs of Canada has been awarded a $20,000 contract by Industry Canada to review the questions used for examinations to qualify radio amateurs in Canada.

The work began on 28 January 2013 and the final product will be delivered to Industry Canada on 17 April 2013. Radio Amateurs du Quebec Inc. (RAQI) is working with RAC on the French language component.

More than 3000 questions are being reviewed: 965 questions in English and in French for the Basic qualification and 545 in English and in French for the Advanced qualification. Some current questions were revised in 2007 but many questions date from much earlier. The present work will be the first comprehensive review in more than a decade.

The objective of the review is to identify questions and answers no longer relevant as well as those requiring modifications to correct grammatical errors or improve clarity. The review should also lead to new questions on aspects of amateur radio that have changed in recent years. The curriculum for the qualifications (Basic and Advanced) is not changing so while individual questions may be changed the main areas of knowledge required for certification will not change.

Both RAC and Industry Canada have recognized for some time that a thorough review of the questions was required. Last summer a RAC bulletin invited radio amateurs to provide comments and suggestions on the current questions by the end of August. Responses highlighted some incorrect questions and pointed out several others that were vague or confusing. These comments provided a good starting point for the current review.

RAC is pleased to have RAQI working on this project. The team conducting the review has experience not only in conducting amateur radio exams but also in designing and delivering amateur radio courses in both official languages. It is well qualified to deal with technical issues and assess clarity and grammar of the questions inboth official languages.

Industry Canada is responsible for the amateur radio certification and will make the final decision changes to the questions. The project led by Radio Amateurs of Canada with the assistance of RAQI will ensure that the experience of active radio amateurs will guide recommendations to improve the questions that will be used for amateur radio certification in the future.

For more information contact Glenn MacDonell, Project Manager, Question Bank Update Project and Deputy Director Ontario North East, (