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How would testing be done on Zoom? Or would testing be pushed off until after COVID-19?

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Online testing has been done in the past and is currently being done, but there are issues and only a few VE teams are currently doing remote tests.

The first issue is to prevent cheating on the exam. Previously during remote exams, examiners would require another HAM to sit the person being tested to act as a proctor. Some examiners today are requiring several cameras so they can view the entire room the person is in. Other require you to have a movable camera and will periodically ask you to sweep the room.

In addition most will not let you have a cell phone in room, no notes, books, or documents of any type. Basically they want you in an empty room, just you and the PC. You can have only 1 PC with a single monitor and you must be using software with a remote desktop feature that allow them to control your PC.

Each team seems to to be using different software to fill out the forms and actually conduct the test.

It is very time consuming as each 3 person team can only monitor a single person testing.

I know many think online testing will the way of future, but I know most VE teams will not be able to do online testing. I hope many VE teams will be able to conduct in person testing sessions in the near future. The VE team I am part of is currently not able to conduct test sessions because our meeting place was a fire station and currently no one from outside the fire department is allowed in the station. So far we have not been able to find an alternative location.

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On April 30, 2020, the FCC issued a Public Notice, "WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU CONFIRMS THAT AMATEUR RADIO SERVICE OPERATOR LICENSE EXAMINATIONS MAY BE HELD REMOTELY." According to the ARRL Letter for May 7, 2020,

The FCC opened the door to remotely administered examinations in a June 5, 2014, FCC Report and Order, noting that, since the VE system was established, "remote testing methods have been developed, including audio and video links, either hard-wired to a site or available through internet or satellite technologies, which would allow a VE team to observe an examinee from afar." The FCC ruled that allowing VEs and VECs the option of administering examinations remotely was warranted. The FCC declined to incorporate any specific requirements or conditions for remote testing into the rules, and made it clear that VECs and VEs were not required to offer remote testing.

You may be able to find an examiner who can remotely administer a test. Groups like HamStudy may also be able to help. Searching the internet for "remote ham radio examination" turns up a variety of responses, from "Yes, we can!" to "We're developing plans" to "Sorry, we're closed."

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  • $\begingroup$ Do you have to be remotely tested by an examiner specifically in your state? $\endgroup$ – hopefulhacker-Reinstate Monica May 8 at 14:01
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There is not a universal answer for this. Each VE testing group is handling it differently. Some groups are suspending operations. You would need to search for a group doing virtual testing to determine how it works. ARRL and FCC have only stated that nothing prevents virtual testing, and have not given specific guidance on how to do it.

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