Get your Amateur Radio License !   It’s the smart thing to do!

It’s and Interesting and Diverse hobby and quite addictive, I must warn you!

Tips to pass your SA RAE Exam.

Before

Join a Club- Most clubs run RAE classes one or twice a year. The course takes around 3 months and has some very important hands on practical sessions and you will,at some stage need to demonstrate your proficiency at setting up a radio and making an initial contact.From personal experience, I can Recommend Hammies  for the younger set and or the West Rand Amateur Radio Club for all ages but there is almost certainly a great club near to your home. Absolute beginners are most welcome!

Which Class License should I write? Class A (ZS, ZR): An international recognised license with full rights and privileges as set out in the South African Radio Regulations. Any person can write this examination, there is no age restriction.Class B (ZU): Entry level license for persons under the age of 25. You are allowed to write the Class B examination up to the age of 20.  A holder of a Class B novice licence should write and pass the Class A examination before his/her 25th birthday after which the Class B novice licence will be cancelled.

  1. First, Download the latest curriculum from the SARL Website. Sometimes a written explanation of a topic will clear up confusion and help you to understand it. You will need these notes to follow your Lectures anyway.
  2. With regard to basic electronics and component functionality. There is a host of material available in short lecture format on U-Tube. Also-Download or read through the Class B study guide for an excellent compact and simplified overview of the basics of Ham Radio.- highly recommended for the novice or those less technical.
  3. Once you have completed about the first 6 chapters of your SARL notes or the first 3 or 4 lectures , take the on-line practise tests in HAM STUDY/TEST INDEX. I can’t stress this enough. Try to do at least one test or two a day. Don’t get discouraged by low scores when you start. Keep at it and very quickly you’ll see your scores improve as you remember the correct answers.
  4. The harmonised Class A -RAE exam consists of 90 questions and you are required to get 65% aggregate  n order to pass. There are actually two parts to the exam:
    1. Regulation & Procedures -30 Questions
    2. Radio Technical- 60 Questions

For most, the 2nd part of the Exam is the more difficult part and includes mathematical questions- but don't stress.

Each part is evaluated separately and you require 50% to achieve a pass in each separate section. This a key and it is generally a smart idea to attempt a maximum score on the Regulations & Procedures section in order to achieve the overall required aggregate of 65% with the minimum score on the TECHNICAL part (30 correct answers).So by deduction you need to achieve 29-30 correct answers in the Regulations & Procedures section to make it easy on yourself.That leaves you with a target of 30-31 points to be achieved  in  the TECHNICAL exam.

But keep in mind that our goal here is to Pass That Test... so, if a particular topic is giving you trouble, don't spend too much time on it. Go on to areas that you'll do better in.

 

In the Exam

The test question pools are arranged in “groups” of questions on related topics. In all cases, there will only be one or two question from each group/chapter on your exam. So if there is a topic that you just can’t grasp, concentrate on areas where you are stronger. Of course, when you come to that question on your exam, take a guess. There are no penalties for wrong answers, so give it a shot.

  1. For the Exam, in particular, where there are formulas and math involved,concentrate on a few of the formulas that you understand well.The Formulas themselves are supplied to you on as part of the exam- so you don't have to know them in detail.
  2. As noted above, there will only be a few questions from each group, so if a particular equation gives you trouble, skip it and move on.
  3. In the exam itself and where you are not sure about the answer, delete all of the wrong answers, and you are left with just the question and correct
  4. Answer every question on your Exam. Start by answering the questions you know for certain. Go through the questions again, and answer the ones you're reasonably sure of. If there are still a few that you just don't know, take an educated guess. In many cases, you can eliminate one or two of the choices as obviously wrong. That will greatly increase your odds of a correct guess. Again, there is no penalty for a wrong answer. Finally, go through the test once more and make certain that every question is answered, and that you filled in the answer that you intended to.
  5. Don't over think your answers. If you're not sure, go with your first guess -- it's most likely to be correct.
  6. Get a good night’s sleep before your Exam. Don’t stay up all night cramming. Tiredness leads to careless mistakes. In the very unlikely event that you don’t pass, even after using these tips, there will be another test session. But if you’ve prepared, YOU WILL PASS!!

Disclaimer:
I do not claim any official endorsement from the SARL or any Amateur Radio Club or Authority. Some  may complain that my approach teaches vey little and its only purpose lies in memorising answers in order to pass the test. My answer is “you are largely correct”. I view the important  step of passing your Exam as the just  the FIRST step in a life long learning process..



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