Dissecting Your Technician Exam 2022-2026
While you certainly don’t have to understand how your Technician examination is created or structured in order to pass it, insight into its construction from the question pool can help you focus your studies a bit and perhaps alleviate a little of the anxiety we all feel leading up to a test of our knowledge. The first thing to understand is that the 35 questions on your exam are not a true random selection from among the 411 questions in the 2022-2026 Technician question pool, but rather a weighted random selection from that pool. Let’s take a look at just how a VE examination is derived, beginning with the structure of the question pool itself.
Who makes and maintains the question pool? The Technician level (AKA “Element 2”) question pool is created by a committee of FCC certified Volunteer Examiners (VEs). The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC) maintains each question pool for all the US examinations. The question pools are revised every four years, and the new pools are typically released to the public about six months in advance of the date on which they become effective for examinations. This article is based on the question pool for Technician exams effective July 1, 2022 to June 30, 2026.
How is the question pool structured? By FCC Part 97 regulations a question pool must contain at least ten times as many questions as appears on an exam. The entire Technician question pool is parsed into 10 topics, or subelements, designated T1 through T0 (T10). Each of the Technician subelements is comprised of up to 6 groups of questions designated ‘A’ to ‘F.’ Each group contains a set of questions numbered 01, 02, 03… and so on, with each group containing 10 to 14 questions. Each question is identified using this format, designating subelement, group, and question number. For example, the first subelement’s (T1) first group’s (A) first question (01) is designated T1A01. The last question in that group is T1A11, since that group contains 11 total questions in the 2022-2026 pool.
These question identifiers are placed throughout the Ham Radio School Technician License Course study guide book in the outer margins next to bold print that provides the question and correct answer in objective statement form. The question pool items are organized topically within the book for ease of learning and comprehension, and not organized in strict accordance with the subelements or groups created by the NCVEC. A page index for all such identifiers and the associated print that provides direct answers to every question is included at the end of the book for your convenience. But, to summarize this organization…
How are questions selected from the pool for an exam? In total, there are 35 groups among the ten subelements. While the FCC rules require only that the number of questions drawn from any subelement equate to the number of groups within that subelement, in practice the exams are generated with one question selected randomly from each group. So, one question from each of the 35 groups produces a 35 question exam.
What are the question topics for each subelement and each group? The table that follows details the topics for each subelement and group, it indicates the number of questions in the pool for each, and it specifies the number of exam questions that are selected from each. The table will help you determine the number of different topic questions you will see on your exam, and it may influence how you focus your studies depending upon your comfort and background with the various topics. Remember, you must correctly answer 26 of the 35 multiple choice questions on the exam to earn your license.
If you're not so keen on the mathematics questions, rest easy in the knowledge provided by group T5B: Only one question is possible on the exam about decibels, and maybe none at all depending on the exam you draw. And math prefixes? Well, you may encounter just one of those decimal conversion problems in questions, also from group T5B. Having trouble recalling all those band plan frequencies and limits? Well, you'll see only one question from subelement T1B that embodies those topics.
On the other hand, subelement T1 has six groups, indicating no less than six “rules & regs” questions. Some similar topics may be coded under T2’s three groups and the three exam questions you will see on “Operating Procedures,” and a couple more on amateur radio practices from subelement T4. You will see eight questions on electrical and electronic topics, thanks to the four groups each of subelements T6 and T7.
Skim through the table and you’ll begin to see the method to the VE exam madness.
What now? Of course, the best study goal is actual learning and comprehension, and that's what Ham Radio School help you to achieve. When you understand the question and the reasoning behind the correct response, the exam becomes trivially easy! Try our Technician License Course study guide and the supporting media, quizzes and materials on our website. You'll come away well prepared for your exam, and with the confidence and competence to quickly get on the air.
Good luck in your studies and on your Technician exam!
*Note: This table is valid for 2022 – 2026 question pool organization. Some minor changes may occur for subsequent updates of the question pool.