First and foremost: There is nothing to be ashamed of. Disappointed, sure, but ashamed? Heck no!
The FCC examination given at the end of a HamCram is not an IQ test and failing does not diminish your worth as a person. Or even or the chances you will get a ham radio license. It is not, for certain, the end of the world.
On average, about 10 percent of attendees fail their HamCram exams. The reasons are many:
1. There are people for whom the “HamCram method” simply doesn’t work. Often, this is because of a diagnosed or undiagnosed learning disability such as Attention-Deficit Disorder (that’s me!), Dyslexia or something else. Having these is not a guarantee of failure, indeed many have passed with these conditions, but some won’t.
2. You did not get enough rest the night before the HamCram.
3. You cannot accept the HamCram method. It can be very hard for “good students” to turn off their thinking caps can just let the questions and answers wash over them. If you actually think about the questions and answers, most people are well down the road to failure. Except, of course, for those who pass regardless. This may be why teens sometimes have problems with HamCrams.
4. Something else that I’ve missed.
Anyway, for whatever reason, you did not leave HamCram with the white paper that says your license will be on the way. Now what?
1. You can attend the next HamCram and hope to do better. This often works.
2. You can do a HamCram on your own at home and we will test you that day at some convenient location.
3. You can take practice examinations online, over and over, until you start passing. When you start routinely passing, we will test you.
Practice tests are available, for free, at a number of web sites including AA9PW’s site and QRZ.com. Our favorite site for people who want to study on their own and especially for those wanting to upgrade to Extra Class is HamTestOnline. It costs $24.95 but comes with a money-back guarantee. Highly recommended.
4. You can read a ham radio study guide or textbook and then take practice tests. When you are routinely passing the practice tests, we will test you for real.
To inquire about our “testing on-demand” program, please contact me via email.
No one who has ever failed at a HamCram that sincerely wanted a license has failed to eventually succeed. Usually pretty quickly. So, stop feeling sad and start studying.