Remote Testing Update – September 6th, 2020
The Anchorage ARC VEC offers two options for remote testing. We strongly encourage you to carefully read this entire page before submitting an application.
Option 1 – Fully Remote Testing
Remote testing without a Proctor shall be available for those who have the technological knowledge to setup a testing environment that optimizes a required configuration. To be eligible for a fully remote examination, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- A reliable internet connection, suitable to adequately run two video feeds and one audio feed.
- One computer with the Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome web browser with a web camera that allows us to view the Examinee’s head, face and shoulders clearly, to be seen at all times during the examination. This same computer must have a microphone that allows the VE team can hear all sounds within the testing environment.
- Another computer with a web camera, a smart phone with a web camera, or a second web camera attached to their main computer. This camera must be positioned in such a way to allow the VE team to see the examinee’s hands, work space, work (on scratch paper and/or calculator) and the computer monitor that is being used to display the examination.
- A current installation of Google Meet, Skype or Zoom.
- A quiet room to complete the exam, free from distractions or interruptions. The Examinee MUST be the only person in the room during the exam. No one is permitted to enter the room while the examination is in progress.
Important Information on Fully Remote Testing
Before scheduling an examination session, we want to make sure the applicant understands and is capable to actually configure their camera to meet our specifications. They MUST have a minimum of two cameras. One must allow their head, face and shoulders to be in plain sight and the second must be viewing their work area, screen displaying the examination and hands.
This test will be done by setting up a short video conference via Google Meet, Skype or Zoom. We will initiate a short video call with the applicant to ensure they have sufficient bandwidth to support the video streaming requirements. We will make sure their cameras can be setup properly to maintain compliance with §97.509(c) regarding our ability to adequately monitor an Examinee throughout the entire examination. If we are not satisfied of their configuration, we will instruct the applicant to find a proctor. More information on our proctor requirements can be found below under “Option 2”.
Process Overview on Fully Remote Testing
- Examinee must be at a table/desk with their computer. Only one display/monitor can be connected during the examination.
- The Examinee must be alone in the room for the duration of the examination. Ensure the Examinee understands no one can enter the room while the examination is taking place.
- The Examinee may not leave the room until their examination is complete.
- Once connected to the video conference and prior to the start of the examination, the Examinee must swing the second camera around the entire room (360 degrees), must show the floor in the vicinity of the testing area, and must show the ceiling above the examination area.
- The Examinee must present the identification document that was uploaded with their Docusign package.
- The Examinee will be sent a link via email to access their examination. They will be instructed to click and open the link.
- The Examinee may not wear a smart watch or headphones, or use a smartphone, computer, tablet, or similar device during the examination. They may only use a smartphone as a second camera.
- If the applicant is using a calculator, they must clear the memory and show the VE team the keystrokes on camera. The VE team must be satisfied this requirement has been met or the calculator may not be used.
- During the examination, the cameras must clearly show:
- The Examinee’s head and shoulders;
- Examinee’s monitor/laptop screen; and
- The Examinee’s work area, hands, keyboard and mouse.
- Just before the examination starts, the VE team will instruct the examinee to remain in full view of the cameras for the duration of the examination. The examination can not be voluntarily stopped and restarted.
- The VE team will ensure the Examinee understands if they are found to be looking around at another part of their room and away from their work space, the examination will be immediately terminated and rendered void.
- The VE team will instruct the Examinee that if their internet connection video connection drops, they must remain seated until the VE team resolves the issue at hand. The same shall apply if their examination somehow has an issue and suddenly stops. Should the Examinee’s internet connection not be restored, the Lead VE will immediately establish a telephone connection with the Examinee. The Lead VE will verbally read the remaining questions aloud as if the Examinee was visually impaired and each answer will be recorded by the Lead VE as dictated by the Examinee.
Option 2 – Remote Testing with an approved Proctor
Hardware and Technology Requirements – Proctored Examinations
EXAMINEES need a computer with an internet connection, web camera, and microphone (laptops are best). No ipads, tablets, or smartphones. You MUST use Google Chrome as your web browser. You must be prepared to receive an e-mail at test time. You may use a simple calculator, but NOT the calculator on your telephone or computer. You take your examination on our computer-based testing platform you access with Google Chrome. The testing platform ALSO captures video and audio of you, the examinee, for the entire session. You are watched “live” by our VE team; however, the video/audio component is also recorded and is part of the testing record.
PROCTORS need a telephone with speaker capability. Cellular telephones are best because it’s typically pretty easy to turn the “speaker” on and off.
COVID-19 Safety – Proctored Examinations
We know that many communities have “hunker down orders” or other restrictions in place relative to gatherings of various sorts. We ask that you abide by these restrictions when it comes to participating in an amateur radio examination session that requires a proctor. Do not violate the orders that are in place for your local area! If we need to reschedule or cancel your examination session, we can and will. We must rely on you for this information.
Important Note on Proctors
While individuals not holding amateur radio licenses may be proctors, individuals with a Novice or Technician class amateur class amateur radio license are NOT eligible to be proctors. If the potential proctor holds a General, Advanced or Amateur Extra class license, they can be proctors, but need to provide us with a signed copy of their OFFICIAL license. This can be attached to the electronic proctor application. Submitting a CSCE proving your class of license will NOT be accepted! Please know that we do check the Universal Licensing System to see if a proctor applicant is also a licensed amateur.
Eligible Individuals to serve as a Proctor
- Primary or Secondary Education Teachers
- College or University Faculty or Adjunct Faculty
- Sworn Law Enforcement Officers (Federal, State, or Local)
- Fireman and emergency response personnel (personnel who respond to emergency situations, typically dispatched from a fire station…those who ride in fire trucks, ambulances, and similar response equipment)
- Judges or Magistrates
- Active Duty, Active Reserve, or Active National Guard Military Commissioned Officers, Warrant Officers and Senior NCOs (E7 – E9) (Retirees and inactive reserve are not authorized)
- Civilian federal employees in the grade of GS-7 or above
- Elected government officials such as mayors, city council members, city assembly members, senators, congressmen, etc.
- State, municipal, city, borough, township, or other similar government subdivision employees in a management or supervisory position.
- An amateur Extra, Advanced*, or General Class** license holders. They must provide us with a signed copy of their OFFICIAL license.
- Note * – May only proctor for Technician and General Class license examinations
- Note ** – May only proctor for Technician Class license examinations
Further, proctors MAY NOT proctor examinations for his or her spouse, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, brothers, sisters, stepbrothers, stepsisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and in-laws.
Cost to take your exam
The cost for a remote examination session is $15.00. After you pay for your session, we then schedule your fully remote examination or start vetting your proctor if you select a proctored examination.
NOTE: There are no refunds for remote examinations. NO EXCEPTIONS