New General Question Pool Released, Effective July 1, 2023



The National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (NCVEC<>) Question Pool Committee (QPC<>) has released the 2023 – 2027 General Class FCC Element 3 Question Pool & Syllabus<> into the public domain. It’s available as a Word document or PDF. The graphic required for the new General question pool is available within the documents, or separately as PDF or JPG files.

The new pool incorporates some significant changes compared to the 2019 – 2023 pool. Its 432 questions were modified slightly to improve wording or to replace distractors; 51 new questions were generated, and 73 questions were eliminated. This resulted in a reduction of 22 questions, bringing the total number of questions in the pool from 454 to 432. The difficulty level of the questions is now more balanced, and the techniques and practices addressed have been updated.

The new 2023 – 2027 question pool is effective July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2027, and must be used for General-class license exams administered on or after July 1, 2023. – Information provided by the NCVEC Question Pool Committee. Committee members: Chairman, Roland Anders, K3RA, of Anchorage VEC and members Maria Somma, AB1FM of ARRL VEC and Larry Pollock, NB5X, of W5YI-VEC.

New General Examinations will take effect for exam sessions on July 1, 2023

The newly revised general pool must be used starting July 1, 2023. VECs and VEs will have new test designs available starting on that date. Previously supplied versions of ARRL VEC General-class exam booklets (2019 series) and computer-generated General-class exams from the 2019 question pool are valid until midnight on June 30, 2023. The ARRL VEC will supply its officially appointed, field-stocked VE teams with new General exam booklet designs around mid-June.


From Amateur Radio Newsline:

 In the United States, the Federal
Communications Commission has finally put a piracy
enforcement resource online that the agency says
is late because of delays in funding. 

A database and map displaying pirate radio
enforcement actions taken by the FCC has gone live
as part of an overall response to the Pirate Act
passed by Congress.

The database shows the agency’s actions over the
past three years following the act’s passage and
includes consent decrees, landlord notice letters
and the $10,000 forfeiture associated with pirate
operations. The FCC said that it was delayed until
now in implementing the Pirate Act because of
funding delays and challeges posed by the
pandemic. The funding covers the cost of other
actions, including enforcement sweeps and
in-person investigations. To comply with that
mandate, the agency needs to hire additional field
agents and buy a half-dozen mobile
direction-finding vehicles . Although the FCC has
already posted openings for five agents and a
field counsel, its purchase of six
mobile-direction-finding vehicles has been
delayed, because much of the funding remains

Implementation of the Pirate Act was expected to
cost $11-million, according to the Congressional
Budget Office. Funds were not provided until last
March and only $5-million was available to the FCC
at the time. The Pirate Act mandates enforcement
sweeps in the top five markets. The act also
strengthened the agency’s enforcement abillity,
permitting it to take action against those
landlords and managers who permit pirate
operations on their properties.

FCC Map Database:

FCC $35 Amateur Application Fee Effective Date will be April 19


The FCC released a Public Notice<> on March 23, 2022, stating that the amateur radio application fees, including those associated with Form 605 application filings, would become effective on April 19, 2022. The Federal Communications Commission’s authority to impose and collect fees is mandated by Congress.

The $35 application fee, when it becomes effective on April 19, will apply to new, modification (upgrade and sequential call sign change), renewal, and vanity call sign applications. The fee will be per application.

Administrative updates, such as a change of name, mailing or email address, will be exempt from fees.

VECs and Volunteer Examiner (VE) teams will not have to collect the $35 fee at exam sessions.
Once the FCC application fee takes effect, new and upgrade applicants will pay the $15 exam session fee to the ARRL VE team as usual and pay the $35 application fee directly to the FCC by using the CORES FRN Registration system (CORES – Login<>). VEC and VE team licensing procedures will not change.

When the FCC receives the examination information from the VEC, it will email a link with payment instructions to each successful candidate. The candidate will have 10 calendar days, from the date of the application file number being issued, to pay. After the fee is paid, and the FCC has processed an application, examinees will receive a second email from the FCC with a link to their official license. The link will be good for 30 days.

Per usual procedures, examinees that pass multiple exams at one session, will have one application transmitted to the FCC reflecting the highest level license class earned. Again, our procedures will not change. The candidates will have an extra step before the license is issued. VE teams can point candidates to our FCC Application Fee webpage<>. Our new ARRL VEC CSCEs also include information about the application fee and points candidates to the webpage.

For VE teams holding exam sessions the weekend before April 19, the FCC stated if these applications are not submitted to the FCC before April 19, they will be subjected to the fee if received on or after April 19.


Additionally, the FCC stated that applications processed and dismissed will not be entitled to a refund. This includes vanity requests where the applicant does not receive the requested call sign. However, returned applications that are missing information will not require an additional fee, if the missing information is given to the FCC within the proper amount of time.

Youth Licensing Grant Program
Anticipating the implementation of the fee in 2022, the ARRL Board of Directors, at its July 2021 meeting, approved the “ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program<>.” Under the program, ARRL will cover a one-time $35 application fee for license candidates younger than 18 years old for tests administered under the auspices of the ARRL Volunteer Examiner Coordinator (ARRL VEC). Qualified candidates also would pay a reduced exam session fee of $5 to the ARRL VEC. ARRL is finalizing details for administering the program.

Further news and instructions will follow as the FCC releases them. Details for the ARRL Youth Licensing Grant Program will be similarly posted, when available.

ARRL VEC Application Fees webpage: (ARRL website is getting a new look and will be unavailable from Friday March 25, 2022 until Tuesday March 29, 2022)

ARRL News Story: (ARRL website is getting a new look and will be unavailable from Friday March 25, 2022 until Tuesday March 29, 2022)

FCC CORES Video Tutorials:

FCC Registration Help: