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October 31, 2014
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NRE : Your Resource for Commercial Radio
LEARN ABOUT COMMERCIAL RADIO
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National Radio Examiners administers commercial radio operator license examinations throughout the United States.

New GROL+RADAR Book / Software Available
Orders now being accepted for the new products
GROL+RADAR book (GROL) suggested retail $49.95
GROL+RADAR book & software pkg. (GRSP) suggested retail $79.95

On June 25th, the FCC announced the adoption of new question pools for Commercial Elements 1, 3, and 8. These 3 question pools cover basic radio law and operating practice; electronic fundamentals and techniques required to adjust, repair and maintain radio transmitters and receivers; and ship radar techniques. 

“These new pools use an entirely new approach to the examinations,” notes Gordon West, WB6NOA, author of GROL+RADAR, the study guide designed for examination preparation.  “The new pools use Key Topics to make sure that every exam covers all of the important areas with which a license applicant should be familiar.”  West says that the revised GROL+ RADAR book that will contain the new question pools, along with answer explanations that will help students understand the theory and practice underlying the correct answer to each question. 

The new Element 1 question pool contains 24 Key Topics, with 6 exam questions in each area.  This pool contains 144 questions, with one question taken from each Key Topic to make up an exam with 24 questions.  The current exam also contains 24 questions, taken from a pool of 170 questions. The new Element 3 question pool contains 100 Key Topics, each with 6 exam questions.  There are a total of 600 questions in the new pool, and the new exam will contain 100 questions, up from the current 76 taken from a pool of 916 questions. The new Element 8 question pool contains 50 Key Topics, each with 6 exam questions.  There is a total of 300 questions in this new pool, and the new exam will contain 50 questions, the same as the current exam, which is taken from a pool with 321 questions in it.

“The new GROL+ RADAR Study Manual reflect all of the current changes to commercial radio operation, technology, and maintenance,” he adds.  “This will make an applicant's study more relevant to current practice and more useful in measuring the qualifications of license applicants.”

  In the FCC Public Notice, a 6-month transition period is allowed for COLEMs (Commercial Operator License Examination Managers) to move from the current pools to the new pools.  This means that it is possible for an examination manager to use the new pools immediately, but they also can continue to give valid examinations using the current pools during the transition period. “These new question pools are substantially different than the old pools,” says Larry Pollock, Manager of the National Radio Examiners COLEM.  “As one of the largest of the FCC COLEMs, National Radio Examiners provides examinations across the nation. It is our intention to continue giving exams from the existing pools until well after new study materials are available.  This will allow applicants to have adequate time to properly prepare for the new examinations. “COLEMs must begin using only the new question pools effective December 26, 2009,” Pollock adds.  “Until then, NRE will be using the current pools for the examinations that we give applicants.”

The W5YI Group through its commercial radio operator licensing division, National Radio Examiners administers all commercial radio operator license examinations. It is the only organization that administers both the amateur and commercial radio operator examinations.

NRE has approximately 300 examination sites located across the United States. A list of the National Radio Examiners testing locations can be found here or you can call (toll free) to 1-800-669-9594 to reach our NRE Office during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Central time), Monday through Friday.

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