Commercial Element 8

Passing the Element 8 exam is a requirement to obtain the FCC Ship Radar Endorsement.  You must hold one of the following licenses to qualify for the endorsement — General Radiotelephone Operator (PG),  GMDSS Radio Maintainer (DM), GMDSS Radio Operator/Maintainer (DB) or Radiotelegraph Operator License (T).  The FCC does not administer commercial operator license examinations. To obtain a new or upgraded FCC commercial operator license, you must pass an examination or examinations administered by a Commercial Operator License Examination Manager (COLEM).

To pass Element 8,  you must correctly answer at least 38 questions on the 50-question exam.  The exam is made up of questions drawn from a  pool of 300 questions. Do NOT attempt to memorize the questions and answers as they appear in the FCC Element 8 question pool.  The questions and associated answer choices may be shuffled on the exam.

Display the entire element 8 question pool using the links below.

correct answer choices
all answer choices

    Element 8 Exam Structure   

The following table shows the number of questions in each sublement and the number of exam questions that will be taken from each subelement.

element8-exam-structure

Element 8 Exam Structure Table

Principles of Radar

If you need to brush up on the principles of radar, use the free reference at the link below.

introduction to radar

Element 8 Self-Study Program

This is  how the self-study program works.  You study the subelement flashcards starting with category A.  Then you test yourself on subelement A until you are consistently scoring 85 or higher.   Repeat the process until you cover all the subelements.  Then test yourself with sample element 8 exams until you are consistently scoring 85 or higher.

Question Review Facility

Use the exam question review facility to help you with questions you miss.  Create question review files using a text editor.  Enter one question number per line.  Save the files with names like E8A.txt for category A.  Save the sample exam question review file with a name like Element8.txt.  When you are ready to review questions, open a review file, copy the question numbers and paste them into the form provided with the exam question review facility.  Using the exam question review facility will significantly improve your license exam score.

1.   Study online subelement flashcards at the link below one subelement at a time until you are ready to test yourself then proceed to Step 2.  Use full-screen mode in your browser for improved flashcard viewing.

element 8 subelement flashcards

2.  Test yourself on subelements using the link provided below until you are consistently scoring 85 or higher.  Repeat Steps 1–2 until you have covered all subelements then proceed to Step 3. 

element 8 subelement tests

NOTE:  If questions are missed on a subelement test, a link will be provided at the end of the results summary for you to test yourself on the missed questions.  Repeat testing until you correctly answer all the questions.

3.  Use the link provided below to test yourself on sample element 8 exams until you are consistently scoring 85 or higher.

sample element 8 exams

NOTE:  If questions are missed on a sample exam, a link will be provided at the end of the results summary for you to test yourself on the missed questions.  Repeat testing until you correctly answer all the questions.

4.   When your are consistently scoring 85 or higher on every sample exam attempted, you are ready to take the Element 8 exam.  Use the link provided below to locate a COLEM or certified exam proctor in your area. 

locate a COLEM in your area

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