Benefits to using Exam Tools

Most paperwork, including the form 605, can be done on the computer.  This provides a number of benefits:

For Applicants

  • Applicants can fill out a 605 form by following simple instructions, rather than needing to look over and understand a complicated government form.
  • Applicants do not need to fill out the 605 form by hand
  • Applicants need not provide their social security number to the VEs: part of the sign-in process will help them create a FRN number with the FCC so that the Social Security Number is only sent securely and directly to the FCC.
  • Those upgrading to a higher license class simply enter their current call sign and their Name, FRN, and Address information are all populated from the FCC Universal Licensing System database.
  • Once the Applicant’s information is in the system with their FRN, the system will watch for their call sign to be issued and email it to them within hours of when it appears.

For Contact VEs

  • The main paperwork for each applicant is taken care of on the computer, saving time and improving legibility
  • If a mistake is made on the form, the Contact VE can simply edit the applicant’s information and reprint the form.
  • As applicants finish the test process, the Contact VE can mark which tests they passed or failed; this information is used to generate a complete test session manifest at the end of the test session.
  • Addresses are automatically validated using the Web APIs provided by the US Postal Service.
  • If the Contact VE is authorized by W5YI-VEC to submit applicants online, the Contact VE can submit the applicant to W5YI with the click of a button.
    • Before Exam Tools will allow you to do this, you must fill out manifest data (passes / fails)
    • Exam Tools does *not* bypass the password protection; if you do not have a password from W5YI to access online submission, you must get it from them
    • Exam Tools will only allow applicants who have not previously held a license to submit applications online (because that is W5YI’s policy)
    • Exam Tools submits the data to the verification page — you must then double check everything before you submit directly from the W5YI validation page — you are still responsible to make sure the system didn’t make any mistakes. (if it does, tell us; we’ll fix it)
  • All fields on the 605 form (including information for all 3 VEs) will be filled out by the computer except signatures and indication of which license the applicant should be granted — this doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it saves a lot of writing!  The three VEs simply need to sign the form, mark which license, and be certain that the applicant also signs it.
  • The Contact VE will receive an email when the callsigns of the applicants are issued.

For the VEC Organization

  • All forms are printed rather than hand-written, drastically reducing the number of typos due to bad handwriting.
  • All applicants will already have an FRN number — which means the FCC records already have names, addresses, and social security numbers for each applicant.
  • All addresses are automatically validated using APIs provided by the US Postal Service
  • Automatic generation of the Test Session Manifest means fewer mistakes
  • Built-in failsafes should prevent most common errors with online form submission.