Question Pools

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A revised Element 3 General class question pool will go into effect on July 1, 2019.

All questions and answers used on amateur radio license exams must be taken from an authorized collection or pool of questions.  The total number of questions on each examination and the number of questions within each topic category is specified by FCC rules.  The specific questions, however, are developed and selected by the amateur radio community.

ncveclogo-new.gif 92 x 106The questions, correct answers, and even the distracters (incorrect answers) are prepared by the Question Pool Committee (QPC) of the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC).   The QPC is composed of licensed hams representing each of the Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VEC).  Generally, each question pool consists of 10 possible questions for each question that will appear on the exam.  Thus, a 35-question exam is drawn from a pool containing 350 possible questions, and a pool of 500 questions is used for a 50-question examination.

The three written exam question pools are reviewed and revised cyclically, usually one question pool every year.  (In 2000, license restructuring necessitated immediate revisions to all of the question pools in a single year.)  The questions are normally valid for three years.  However, starting with the new Amateur Extra (Element 4) question pool which went into effect July 1, 2002, revised question pools will be valid for a period of four years.  As mandated by FCC rules, each of the question pools is available for public review.

Morse code testing ended on Feb. 23, 2007.

The passing score for all exams is 70%, as required by FCC rules.

The amateur radio question pools for all license classes are available for viewing or downloading from the ARRL/VEC question pool web page.


of Exam
1 Morse Code 6 10 7/1/01 2/22/07
2 Technician 5 35 7/1/18 6/30/22
3 General 5 35 7/1/15 6/30/19
4 Amateur Extra 5 50 7/1/16 6/30/20