Connecting the dots
There are a lot of little help pages on this site; a lot of information on “how does this help, and how do I do ___.” The purpose of this page is to connect it all together and help you get started running your own test session with Exam Tools.
Sometime before your test session starts, make sure you have read through enough docs that you know what you’re doing. You probably want to have some of your top VEs (you know who I’m talking about; the ones who could practically run things without you) look through it all as well.
You must have an account
In order to use KD7BBC Exam Tools you must have an account set up on the Exam Tools system. You can get an account by contacting Richard Bateman, KD7BBC by email at richard at kd7bbc.org. If you can figure out how to reach him by phone, that’s fine too, but I’m not posting that information on a public website =]
Before your test session starts
Creating the test session
Before any of the applicant workstations can be logged into the test session, the session must be started.
Authorizing the computers that will be testing
Before the applicants can sign into the test session, the applicant workstations must be logged into the test session by a VE.
While the test session is going
There are two sides to what needs to happen during the test session. The first is the applicant sign-in, and the second is the Contact VE’s responsibility of keeping the manifest data up-to-date and submitting applicants online (if applicable.)
There are two general types of applicants: applicants for new licenses, and applicants for upgrades. They both start at the same place, and the process should be sufficiently clear that they won’t need a lot of help, but these tutorials should help you know what to expect:
- See a walk-through for someone applying for their first license
- See a walk-through for someone applying for a license upgrade
Contact VE tasks
The Contact VE could delegate these responsibilities to someone else, of course, but the Contact VE is responsible for ensuring that everything goes smoothly and that the correct information is entered into the system.
Entering Manifest Data
The most important thing for the Contact VE to do is to be the last person to see *all* paperwork (pass or fail), record how many exams the applicant took for each element (Element 2, 3, and 4), and record which of those exams they passed. Manifest data refers simply to the data used to generate the test session manifest, or list of all applicants with information on how many passed or failed.
If you are submitting the applications online, you need to enter the manifest data so that you can submit the results immediately; our experience is that it works best to have the applicant standing over your shoulder to take one last look at the final confirmation page before it is sent.
Editing and reprinting 605 forms
Occasionally someone can’t get their computer to print, or they have made a silly mistake on their form (such as switching their first and last names, or putting the wrong phone number). You can edit that user’s record and then reprint their form from the session data screen.
After the test session is complete
This isn’t something you need to do, but it’s worth knowing that applicants who did not opt out during the sign-in process will receive an email as soon as their callsigns are issues.
Finishing the Manifest
Double check entries
After the test session is complete, you should double check to make sure all of the manifest data is entered correctly. At the Provo, UT test session we use a cover sheet on the applicant’s folder where we can easily mark which tests they have taken and whether or not they passed. We then supplement that with hard copies of the answer sheets inside. This way the Contact VE, NV7V, can look through everything after the test session to make sure things are entered correctly.
Delete Duplicate entries
Usually at least one or two entries somehow get entered twice, either due to computer error or user error. Make sure you delete these entries, but also be certain that they aren’t legitimately two entries with the same name! (for example, a father and son with the same name). The callsign / FRN column of the View Applicant Data page can be a good help with that — if the FRN is the same, it’s a duplicate =]
Print the Manifest
Once all of your applicants and their test results are correct, simply print out the main session manifest page.
That should get you through the session; I hope that it helps. Please remember the work that goes into making all of this stable and smooth. Particularly, though, please remember that there are costs associated with hosting and maintaining the system.
I ask that you send $1.00 per applicant from your test fees to help keep this system running. If you don’t have that much, then please consider sending $0.50 / person. If the cost of running your test session is so great that you can’t afford that either, then consider a lower amount. And, of course, if you find that you have oodles of money left from the fees to play with, you’re welcome to donate a bit more =]
However, if you honestly have nothing left from the test fees that you collect to assist, please do not think that means you can’t use the system; in fact, *please* use it. You’re obviously donating a lot to run your session anyway.
And, as always, if you have comments, questions, suggestions, or concerns, feel free to email them to me using the address at the top of this page.