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  • Stu WØSTU

New General License Course 2023-2027

Ham Radio School's new General License Course 2023-2027 offers many updates and improvements over the previous edition. In this article we highlight some of those improvements and provide a little behind-the-scenes insight on Ham Radio School's developments and plans.

The New General Question Pool: The new 2023-2027 NCVEC General License Question Pool goes into effect for exams issued July 1, 2023 or later. The committee made a significant change to the question pool, reducing the number of questions from 454 to 429. Several new question topics were added to the pool, including questions related to:

  • FT8 and other popular digital modes

  • The concepts of link budget and link margin

  • Good amateur practices

  • Propagation assessment with automated receiving stations

  • Impedance definition

  • Station lightning grounding and protection

  • RF exposure evaluations

  • And more

Many other question topics were deleted, and numerous question tweaks and shifts of specific questions on legacy topics were also made, rounding out a substantially updated new General question pool.

table of contents
General License Course 2023-2027 Table of Contents

Improved Chapter & Section Structure: The new General License Course 2023-2027 explains each of the 429 questions in the new pool with the proven Ham Radio School method. Using our keep-it-simple explanations, high-quality explanatory graphics, and a logical building block approach to concepts, the course provides the background and conceptual support necessary to understand each question and its correct response. The new question pool drove some restructuring of the book chapters and sections, and other structural updates were accomplished for improved sequencing and more concise presentation. Most notably:

  • Old Chapter 2, Operating Your Radio, was parsed into two chapters. The digital modes content of this chapter were combined with new digital mode question pool concepts to form a new Chapter 3, Digital Modes. The digital modes content was completely rewritten for improved presentation and sequencing of concepts in the new Chapter 3.

  • Old Chapter 4, How Radio Works, was completely restructured, rewritten, and renamed Chapter 5, Processing Signals. These updates are more consistent with our Technician and Extra License Course approaches and resulted in a more concise and logical treatment of the topics.

  • Multiple individual sections within chapters were rewritten or substantially edited to improve topic presentation sequences, to improve the narrative, and to provide more concise treatment of topics.

New & Improved Instructional Graphics: Overall, the new General License Course book includes more than 150 instructional and informative graphics. Many graphics have been improved, and many new graphics have been incorporated. A few older graphics have been retired, particularly where related to questions deleted from the pool. Here are just a few examples of the many new or improved graphics:

Time and frequency domain 3D view.
Time & frequency domain views of a signal band.
Layers of the ionosphere
The Ionosphere, illustrating layers D, E, F1 and F2 over the day-night cycle.
The gamma match used with Yagi antennas for feed point impedance matching.
Rolled electrolytic capacitor structure.
Electrolytic capacitor structure.

You can see more of the revised book and new graphics with our online Try Before You Buy preview.

New Online Support Materials: In addition to new and updated content in the General License Course book, we have revised and added to the online support materials for the course. The supplemental General Learning Media have been updated with many new items, section by section with the book. These include video, audio, articles, and links that provide greater depth and detail on the topics covered in each section.

Of course, we have updated our online Section Quizzes that provide the full question pool items in an interactive quiz of all the items explained within a book section. These quizzes are bite-sized review opportunities for each section that help prepare for the exam with a topical focus and comprehension.

In addition to the section quizzes, we have provided a set of full 35-question practice exams that cover the entire question pool in interactive review. Each exam is properly weighted by question pool sub-element composition so that each is representative of the question topic mix found in the real exams. These exams help to gauge readiness for the real thing.

New Instructor Resources: For our registered instructors, we have totally overhauled our General License Course Instructor Resources. The revisions represent a big step up in the quality of our classroom instructional materials, and include:

  • Content restructuring consistent with the new book structure

  • Numerous new and improved full-color graphics

  • Updated branding to our new logo, colors, and stylistics

  • Updated classroom presentation quizzes, section by section

  • Imbedded video and animations for enhanced presentation

  • And more

What's Next? We are planning the development of a video edition of the General License Course with a release date in the latter half of 2023. Modeled after our popular Technician License Course Video Edition, the video lesson course will be instructed by Stu WØSTU and will follow the same sequence as the General License Course book version. There may even be some cameo appearances of Bob KØNR! Look for our announcement about this video edition in the coming months.

Wrap Up: Our new Ham Radio School General License Course is a significant improvement over the predecessor. We're very proud to offer it to our patrons with a fresh stamp of quality assurance and superb exam preparation, second to none in the ham radio world! You can order yours today, directly from us: General License Course 2023-2027.

I hope you'll give it a try for your upgrade or for your license class offering. Drop us a note if we can answer any questions for you.


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