Frequently Asked Questions

♦  Who needs a FCC Commercial License to operate a radio?
♦  Who needs a FCC Commercial License to repair a radio?
♦  Why should I subscribe when you give the test away on your sample test page?
♦  Tell me about your testing methodology.
♦  Why don't you recommend additional study material?
♦  I don't see a correct answer when I take the tests?
♦  How do I apply for my money back guarantee?
♦  Are you using the latest question pool?


   Why should I subscribe when you give the test away on your sample test page?

The sample test page is one test from the question pool.  Consider these tidbits when creating the tests under the rules:

  • Element 1 requires 6 tests to cover every question in the pool.
  • Element 3 requires 6 tests to cover every question in the pool.
  • Element 8 requires 6 tests to cover every question in the pool.
  • Element 7 requires 6 tests to cover every question in the pool.
  • Element 7R requires 6 tests to cover every question in the pool.
  • Element 9 requires 6 tests to cover every question in the pool.

The problem you encounter while using the Sample Tests Page is you do not see all the questions in the pool. Why decrease your chance at success?

Back when I took my FCC License test, three of us drove 288 miles to take the test. One of us prepared for three months and that one [me] scored in the 90s. Preparation is the key. One of the three decided to study when I drove. That same one also wanted to study the night before the test and the day of the test. If you don't know the material by the day before or the day of the test, all is lost.

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 Tell me about your testing a methodology.

The element tests are presented strickly by the COLEM Rules.  The subtopics are presented as random questions.  The tests ensure you see every question in the pool.

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 Why don't you recommend additional study material?

I don't recommend additional study material because I don't know your current experience in electronics. I will let those who write the testimonials recommend whatever they used to prepare for the exam. There are a lot of books out there dedicated to the FCC Commercial Licenses.

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 I don't see a correct answer when I take the tests?

The  correct answer only appears after you have viewed every question and having pressed the Submit button.  You need not answer the question to see the correct answers.  There is rarely more than 60 questions on the practice tests as I typically allot one minute per answer to ensure I read the question properly and can identify the correct answer and dedicate only an hour per session of test taking.  There are no timed tests here.

Here is the legend for all the tests.


test results legend

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  How do I apply for my money back guarantee?

Send a copy of your COLEM issued certificate of not passing to:

Include your email address and once it has been verified that you complied with the recommendation of taking the tests till you scored consistently in the 90s, I will send you a check refunding your full subscription.

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  Are you using the latest question pool?

Yes.  From time to time, the FCC may change the number of questions to be included in the examination for a particular element and/or the number of answers needed to pass the examination. The FCC will issue a public notice or take other actions to inform the public of any such change.

Testing Element Date Approved Public Notice
Element 1 6/25/2009 DA 09-1417
Element 3 6/25/2009 DA 09-1417
Element 7 12/10/2012 DA 12-1988
Element 7R 12/10/2012 DA 12-1988
Element 8 6/25/2009 DA 09-1417
Element 9 4/3/2013 DA-13-597

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 Radio Operations

You need a commercial radio operator license to operate the following:

  • Ship radio stations if: ◦ the vessel carries more than six passengers for hire; or
  • the radio operates on medium frequencies (MF) or high frequencies (HF); or
  • the ship sails to foreign ports; or
  • the ship station transmits radiotelegraphy; or
  • the ship is larger than 300 gross tons and is required by law to carry a radio station for safety purposes.
  • Aircraft radio stations, except those which operate only on very high frequencies (VHF) and do not make foreign flights.

You do NOT need a commercial operator license to operate the following:

  • Ship stations operating only on VHF frequencies that do not travel to foreign ports or make international communications (unless the vessel carries more than six passengers for hire, or the ship is larger than 300 gross tons and is required by law to carry a radio station for safety purposes).
  • Shore radar, shore radiolocation, maritime support or shore radionavigation stations.
  • Survival craft stations or EPIRBs.
  • Ship radar stations, if (a) the radar frequency is determined by a nontunable, pulse type magnetron or other fixed tune device, and (b) the radar is capable of being operated exclusively by external controls.
  • Coast stations.
  • Aircraft stations which operate only on VHF frequencies and do not make foreign flights.
  • Aircraft radar sets, radio altimeters, transponders or other aircraft automatic radionavigation transmitters.
  • ELTs or aviation survival craft stations used solely for survival purposes (testing only).

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 Radio Maintenance and Repair

You need a commercial operator license to repair and maintain the following:

  • All ship radio and radar stations.
  • All coast stations.
  • All hand-carried units used to communicate with ships and coast stations on marine frequencies.
  • All aircraft stations and aeronautical ground stations (including hand-carried portable units) used to communicate with aircraft.

You do NOT need a commercial radio operator license to operate, repair, or maintain any of the following types of stations:

  • Two-way land mobile radio equipment, such as that used by police and fire departments, taxicabs and truckers, businesses and industries, ambulances and rescue squads, and local, state, and federal government agencies.
  • Personal radio equipment used in the Citizens Band (CB), Radio Control (R/C), and General Mobile Radio Services (GMRS).
  • Auxiliary broadcast stations, such as remote pickup stations.
  • Domestic public fixed and mobile radio systems, such as mobile telephone systems, cellular systems, rural radio systems, point-to-point microwave systems, multipoint distribution systems, etc.
  • Stations that operate in the Cable Television Relay Service.
  • Satellite stations, both uplink and downlink of all types.

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page updated 11/10/2016