Today I wrote the Basic Amateur Radio examination and scored high enough to qualify for the Basic+ Certification.

Ernie Jury (VE3EJJ) was kind enough to allow me to write my examination at the OVMRC club station (VE3JW) at the Museum of Science and Technology during his usual Sunday afternoon volunteer session. There I sat at 2:30 amidst the chaos of excited young minds exploring the exciting world of technology. I thought it quite a fitting setting actually, a nice juxtaposition of old and new technology, housed in a giant old bakery we now call the Museum of Science and Tech.

Passing with a mark => 80% allows a new (Basic) Amateur operator the privilege of operating on HF frequencies. The other method of legally gaining access to the HF bands is to pass a Morse Code exam at either 5 or 12 W.P.M. I have no immediate plan of taking the Morse exam, however, it is my intent to obtain that qualification as well.

Having done so well on the Basic exam, Ernie asked me if I would like to write the Advanced Exam as well, and being that there is no negative repercussions for trying, I figured that I would give it a go. I had tried the practice Advanced exam once or twice before and never achieved more than 64% so I was dubious that I would pass. None the less, Ernie reassured me that I should at least give it a shot.

Well. I certainly learned a few new things after finishing that exam! You see, I have always felt that one of the most important aspects of learning is discovering what you thought you knew, and what you don’t know. As it turns out, I learned approximately 18 new things that day, one of them being that I need to slow down!

I missed it by 3 marks. And you know what? Had I taken my time, I know that I could have passed the exam! Well, I suppose that everyone says that … but I truly believe it!

Having passed the Basic exam with flying colours, I left with a sense of pride and fulfillment. I also left with a burning desire to ace the next exam I write. Now to celebrate with my loving fiancee Julie over some St. Hubert’s!

Later in the evening, I took a practice Advanced exam via the IC exam software and passed with 74%. Figures. I have began compiling a list of the concepts that I need to learn in order to pass (in other words, the missing 26% from the exam).

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