Handicapped Exam Prep System

The Handicapped Exam Prep System (HEPS) is designed to help amateur radio mentors,  family members, and volunteers  assist handicapped candidates prepare for amateur radio license exams.   HEPS can be used to provide assistance locally or remotely.

If a handicapped candidate is sighted, has the use if his/her hands, and is capable of using the Internet — they should be encouraged to use the license exam self-study programs located at the links below.  The programs have the capability to Email test/exam results to a mentor.

technician self-study program

general self-study program

amateur extra self-study program

NOTE:  If a mentor is not available from a local amateur radio club and the candidate’s family cannot provide the necessary assistance,  the Courage Kenny Handiham Program maintains a network of volunteers.  Contact them to see if assistance can be provided.

Courage Kenny Handiham Program

Preferred telephone: 1-612-775-2291

Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442)

BROWSER ACCESSIBILITY EXTENSIONS

There are a number of free browser accessibility extensions available that can help dyslectic candidates as well as candidates with diminished vision prepare for license exams. Check the information provided for each browser.

POWERTALK

If you are assisting sight impaired candidates prepare for a license exam, Powertalk is a free software tool that converts the contents of Powerpoint slides (text-to-speech) into audio. Powertalk enables you to use existing instructional Powerpoint slide sets, as well as, question/answer slide sets to help a candidate prepare for an exam.

TYPE FONTS FOR DYSLECTICS

Research has shown that specially developed type fonts can help certain types of dyslectics with their license exam preparation.  The special fonts make it easier for candidates to retain more of what they read.  Some of the fonts are free for personal use.  For more information, take a look at the links below.

http://www.dyslexiefont.com/

http://www.k-type.com/fonts/lexia-readable/

NUANCE VOICE ACCESSIBILITY SOLUTIONS

If a candidate is unsighted or severely limited in sight, take a look at the voice command accessibility products from Nuance.  These products can be configured to use voice commands to instruct a computer to perform nearly everything that a sighted person with full use of their hands can do.

HEPS SETUP

Option 1.  Download the zipped subelement audio files (MP3) for the appropriate license from the links below.  Unzip the subelement audio files and transfer them to a device that plays MP3 files.  This approach may provide portability and does not require Internet access after the files have been transferred.  The audio files are organized by subelement (0-9) and cover all the questions in the NCVEC exam question pools.   Modern tablets and smartphones have interactive voice commands that can be configured to facilitate listening to the audio files.

ZIPPED SUBELEMENT AUDIO FILES

technician questions & correct answers

general questions & correct answers

amateur extra questions & correct answers

Option 2.  Use the online subelement audio file listening facility at the link below.  A browser that has the capability to play MP3 files is required.

online subelement audio file listening facility (Internet access required)

SUPPORT for PRINTED TESTS and SAMPLE EXAMS

If printed tests and sample exams are going to be used, install the free CutePDF writer to facilitate printing. CutePDF writer can be selected as a printer and will create and store printable PDF files on a hard drive.

CANDIDATE PROGRESS RECORD

A candidate progress record is available in PDF format at the link below. The record can be used to track the progress of Technician, General, and Amateur Extra license candidates.  Print as many copies as needed.

If testing is done at the topic level, put a check mark beside a topic when the candidate is consistently scoring 85 or higher on the tests for that topic.  When all topics for the subelement have been completed, put a check mark beside the subelement.

If testing is done at the subelement level, put a check mark beside the subelement when the candidate is consistently scoring 85 or higher on the tests for that subelement.

Put a check mark in the sample exam block, when the candidate is consistently scoring 85 or higher on the sample exams for the target license.

candidate progress record

  STUDY PROGRAM

Start with subelement 0 (zero) and have the candidate listen to the subelement questions and correct answer choices until ready to be tested then select one of the testing approaches described below.

TOPIC TESTS

Although the audio files are organized by subelement, computer-based testing is available at the topic level.  Each subelement is sub-divided into topics.  Topics consist of a small number of questions and this will make testing easier on the candidate.   Use the link below to administer topic tests.  Be sure the figures option is unchecked for visually handicapped candidates.  Enter the candidate’s name for identification purposes. Read each question to the candidate.  Click the radio buttons for the answer choices supplied by the candidate.  Topic tests will be automatically graded and incorrectly answered questions will be listed after the test summary.  An option will be provided to test the candidate on missed questions.  Repeat testing until the candidate correctly answers all the questions.  Continue topic testing until all the topics in a subelement have been covered.  Then proceed to the next subelement and repeat the topic testing process until all 10 subelements have been covered then start administering sample exams.

computer monitor displayed topic tests (Internet access required)

SUBELEMENT TESTS

If subelement testing is selected instead of the topic testing approach described above, there are two options available.

Option 1:  Use the link below to generate subelement tests. Enter the candidate’s name for identification purposes. Read each question to the candidate. Be sure the figures option is unchecked for visually handicapped candidates.  Click the radio buttons for the answer choices supplied by the candidate.  The subelement test will be automatically graded and incorrectly answered questions will be listed after the test summary.  If questions are missed, an option will be provided to test the candidate on the missed questions.  Repeat testing until the candidate correctly answers all the questions.

computer monitor displayed subelement tests (Internet access required)

Option 2.  In some situations printed subelement tests may be the only practical option.  Use the link below to generate printed subelement tests. Enter the candidate’s name for identification purposes. Be sure the figures option is unchecked for visually handicapped candidates.   Read the questions and put check marks by the candidate’s answer choices.  The correct answers are highlighted in green to facilitate grading.  Test the candidate on missed test questions.  Read the missed questions from the original test.  Use a different color pen to mark each retest.  Repeat testing until the candidate correctly answers all the questions.

printed subelement tests   Print a different test(s) for each testing session.

IMPORTANT: Do not let the candidate start the next subelement until test scores of 85 or higher are  consistently attained on the subelement under study.   Repeat the process until all 10 subelements have been completed. 

When all 10 subelements have been completed, select one of the options provided below to generate and administer sample license exams.

SAMPLE LICENSE EXAMS

Option 1:  Use the link below to generate sample license exams.  Enter the candidate’s name for identification purposes.   Be sure the figures option is unchecked for visually handicapped candidatesRead each question to the candidate.  Click the radio buttons for the answer choices supplied by the candidate.  The sample exam will be automatically graded and incorrectly answered questions will be listed after the test summary.  If questions are missed, an option will be provided to test the candidate on the missed questions.  Repeat testing until the candidate correctly answers all the questions.

computer monitor displayed sample license exams (Internet access required)

Option 2.  In some situations printed sample license exams may be the only practical option.  Use the link below to generate printed sample exams. Enter the candidate’s name for identification purposes.  Be sure the figures option is unchecked for visually handicapped candidates.  Read the questions and put a check mark by the candidate’s answer choices.  The correct answers are highlighted in green to facilitate grading.  Test the candidate on missed test questions.  Read the missed questions from the original test.  Use a different color pen to mark each retest.  Repeat testing until the candidate correctly answers all the questions.

printed sample license exams   Print a different exam(s) for each testing session.

The candidate is ready to take the license exam when scores of 85 or higher are consistently attained on sample exams.

LICENSE EXAM

Notify the VE team leader ahead of the license exam session that the candidate is handicapped and provide sufficient details so the appropriate accommodations can be arranged.  Most likely, the exam will be read to the candidate and a VE team member will record the answers verbally selected by the candidate.

NOTE:  ARRL VE teams have access to a software exam maker that can generate printed license exams without figures.  The generated exams can be administered using ARRL supplied answer sheets and graded with ARRL supplied grading templates.

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