It would not be sensible for those with normal dial-up access, or those paying by the minute for Internet access to attempt to do this course via the web site. A copy of the latest CD course is therefore provided on the front page for you to download and 'burn' at home. Free copies of the course on CD are also hoped to be made available, from several sources.
You should expect to spend at least 75 to 150 hours in careful study of the course, just as you would be expected to do at college. The point of this course is that it can be done as and when time allows, and at your own individual pace of learning. It can of course be also be used to supplement a formal course at a club or college, and is proving to be an invaluable resource for those teaching the course.
The layout of this course generally follows that of the George Benbow 'Radio Amateur Examination Manual' 14th Edition which is no longer in publication. That greatly modified book forms the backbone of this CD course, which has been greatly enhanced with many useful additions to ease its use for unassisted home study. Some of the many enhancements include photographs, additional explanations, animated diagrams, revision sections, and a carefully simulated City and Guilds examination. You may also find it beneficial to also obtain a copy of the latest RAE Manual (currently 16th edition) and other books, which are available from the RSGB
The course is split into thirteen main chapters, each covering a general topic (see the Main Index). The chapters are further divided into a number of sections of a single page each, which cover a single more specialised topic. A Main Index lists and gives direct access to the individual index for each chapter, the 'Chapter Index's'. Four appendices, again linked to from the Main Index, follow the thirteen chapters. The appendices contain useful reference information, additional maths tuition including some worked examples, and some older (but still useful) type RAE papers.
It is suggested a copy of the essential document BR68 be requested from the Radiocommunications Agency (RA) www.radio.gov.uk, as soon as you start this course. This can be downloaded in Acrobat pdf format, via this link download. It is revised from time to time, so ensure you are working with the latest version.
It is suggested that as a first step on the course, to create a separate section of bookmarks in your browser and then create a bookmark within this for the Main Index, and each individual Chapter Index page along with the Appendix.
The 'forward' and 'back' buttons on the actual pages take you to the next and the previous page in the course, not back to the previous page you visited, as your browser does. The 'Index' button, takes you to the index for the chapter you are currently working in.
A careful note should be kept of how far you got within the course (Chapter and section) at the end of each study session. Each page has a page number at the bottom similar to 'c9-1-5.htm', and this is reflected in the full URL at the top of the page. c9 means Chapter 9, the 5 means section 5. Replace the 5 with a 0 and you will find yourself at the index for Chapter 9. All chapter index pages are 0, c5-1-0 is the index page of Chapter 5.
Revision is the key to most exams.... Ample opportunities are provided to revise and and self assess both within the course using the revision buttons, using the sample RAE papers in Appendix 4, and finally there is the QRAE software.
On the index page of many of the chapters you will find a 'Revision' button for the previous chapter. This will take you to a separate Q&A (question and answer) revision section. This should be attempted after each chapter is completed, to ensure you have absorbed the preceding chapter. Each question is followed by four possible answers and four buttons. Hitting the correct button takes you onto the next question. You should be aware that the revision associated with Chapter 2 (Chapter 3 Index page) is extremely long, consisting of 12 sections and around 100 questions. Its length reflects the complex theoretical nature of Chapter 2.
After completing the course and as a final assessment of your readiness for the actual examination, we have provided a copy of QRAE on the Main Index page. This will self install and run from your hard disk. QRAE can be used in two ways:-
1. The 'none simulated exam mode', where it simply puts questions to you, and you answer in your own time, ending in an indication of whether the question was answered correctly or not. A score is kept during each session that this is run.
2. The 'simulated City and Guilds examination mode', intended to as closely as possible put you under the strain of an actual examination. The correct number of questions (80) are asked, in the correct proportions for each subject, you have a limited time in which to complete the exam (135 minutes), and you will only find out the result at the very end. Just like the real exam, you can skip questions and go back to them, and go back and review your answer.
It is suggested you should visit the toilet before starting this exam, unplug the phone and lock the door, to be free of interruptions. Put all your reference books away, you are allowed use of a simple (non-programmable) calculator a copy of BR68, plus paper and a pencil.
Both of the above methods of utilising QRAE make use of the same question base, offer a question with four possible answers (a, b, c, and d). You simply choose the one you think is the correct one. The questions are very similar to those you should expect in the exam, they are however NOT the same. Although the question base is large, it is not infinite. Make too much use of QRAE, and you may find yourself becoming over familiar with the answers, able to answer them without having to reason them out, and its use will be greatly devalued.
Due to legal issues, Microsoft do not currently offer a Java VM download, and one is not curently bundled with Windows XP. We recommend the Sun Java VM which can be found by clicking the link below.
The entire team involved in this project, wish you every success with your eventual examination...