General Exam, Logistics, and Scoring Questions
1. When is the next exam scheduled for?
ANSWER: The current testing dates are posted on the Program page.
2. If you miss the next testing window, how long do you have to wait for the next one?
ANSWER: Two testing windows are planned each year: one in the Spring (2nd Quarter of the year) and one in the Fall (4th Quarter of the year). Examination dates are posted online and can be viewed on the Program page.
3. Where do I go to take the IEEE WCET™ exam?
ANSWER: Pearson VUE testing centers are located around the world. Candidates can find the testing center closest to them by visiting the WCET Pearson VUE web page.
4. Will I get preliminary test results before I leave the testing center?
ANSWER: Preliminary test results are not available to candidates before they leave the testing center. An official score report will be available approximately three to four weeks after the close of the testing window. You will be notified by email with your official score report.
5. How many questions need to be answered correctly to pass the exam?
ANSWER: The passing point, or the number of items that must be answered correctly, is set using a criterion-referenced methodology. Passing points can be either relative (i.e. norm-referenced) or absolute (i.e. criterion-referenced). A relative standard, more commonly referred to as norm-referenced, involves setting the passing point relative to obtained test statistics. This method depends on comparisons among candidates. A major disadvantage of this method is that passing or failing the examination depends on the relative ability of the examinees with whom an individual is tested.
Using a criterion-referenced procedure, the percentage of candidates passing the examination is not determined prior to the test administration. A major advantage of criterion-referenced passing point methods is that it sets an absolute standard that is independent of other examinees’ scores. Criterion-referenced passing scores are typically determined based on content specialist’s judgments regarding the expected test performance of candidates who are minimally competent to practice at entry-level within the profession.
Like most other certification programs, IEEE-WCET does not divulge the number of items that must be answered correctly to pass the exam.
6. Will the questions on the exam be adaptive? For example, will the difficulty of the next question depend on how the current question was answered?
ANSWER: No. This is not an adaptive exam. Each question is independent of other questions; difficulty level does not increase as the exam progresses. Exam items are scrambled differently for every candidate.
7. How many chances are given to pass the exam?
ANSWER: Each candidate has one chance to pass the exam in a given testing window. Candidates who do not pass the exam are welcome to sit for it again in the following testing window. Candidates who do not pass the exam will need to pay to take the exam again. There is a reduced fee for those taking the exam as a second attempt to pass and for every time subsequent after that. There is no limit on how many times a candidate can sit for the exam.
8. What do you mean by "web-based calculator"? Is the exam conducted through the Internet and not on paper?
ANSWER: The exam is administered by Pearson VUE at testing centers located throughout the world. It is a computer-based multiple-choice test that is not written on paper. A calculator will be available online for use during the exam.
9. How long is the WCET Certification good for? Is there a renewal required for recertification?
ANSWER: The WCET Certification is good for three years. Recertification will be required after three years.
10. What happens if one area covered on the exam is entirely not answered correctly?
ANSWER: The WCET exam is scored using a compensatory model. All questions on the exam are graded equally. Candidates may do poorly in any one area and make up for it in another. Candidates get credit for questions answered correctly, but do not get penalized for guessing. For the most part, it is unlikely that a candidate will pass the exam if all the questions in one area are answered incorrectly.
11. Will the certification help in securing a career in the wireless field?
ANSWER: It is believed that an extra credential from an organization such as the IEEE whose mission is to foster technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity should help an individual in their professional growth.
12. Are there discounts for companies looking to get their employees certified?
ANSWER: We have recently introduced a new corporate program where we can offer discounts and packages to companies who want to offer their employees the opportunity to sit for the WCET certification exam. Anyone interested in learning more about the corporate program can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request it.
13. Does academic experience in a university (such as a research assistant position) count towards the 3+ years experience noted for potential candidates?
ANSWER: Yes, it counts. For more specifics, review the Eligibility Recommendations.
14. If someone does not have the four-year degree, is there any combination of training, work experience, or education that would also meet the WCP recommendations?
ANSWER: The original intent was to recommend a four-year degree; however, as we have learned from the industry over the past year, there are many potentially qualified candidates who do not have such a degree but how have extensive experience in the field. For more specifics, review the Eligibility Recommendations.
Studying for the WCET Certification Exam
15. Will the exam go over CDMA and GSM or LTE and WiMAX?
ANSWER: It is recognized that mobile and fixed wireless systems may present many different designs and solutions. However, to be certified as knowledgeable in wireless, it is important to have a broad range of wireless expertise covering many aspects as addressed in Appendix A of the Candidate’s Handbook on IEEE WCET® Examination Specifications. In summary, all of the technologies mentioned including CDMA, GSM, WiMAX, LTE and many others are important wireless technologies and are topics for possible questions. For more specifics on the different areas of expertise that are covered in the IEEE WCET® exam, review the Exam Specifications.
16. Do we have to know all the mathematical formulas for the various computations since this is not an academic examination?
ANSWER: No. A partial list of formulas will be provided. You will, however, need to know which formula to use in order to compute the correct answer.
17. Is there one book that covers everything for taking the exam?
ANSWER: While there is no definitive study guide to help you prepare for the exam, the WEBOK or “A Guide to the Wireless Engineering Body of Knowledge, (WEBOK) 2nd Edition” book published by IEEE Press and John Wiley Publishers, outlines the topics that may be covered on the test and includes numerous references in which detailed wireless communication knowledge can be found. The WEBOK can be ordered from John Wiley Publishers at www.wiley.com.
18. Is reading the WEBOK enough to pass the exam?
ANSWER: Based on an individuals knowledge and work experience it is difficult to assess if reading a book is sufficient preparation to pass the exam. Reading the WEBOK will certainly help, but candidates are encouraged to take a practice exam to assess their areas of strength and weakness and overall readiness to pass the actual certification exam. The results of a practice exam would provide the candidate with an indication of which areas are strong and which are weak. The WEBOK can help guide the candidate to references which could be used to improve performance in the weak area(s). The candidate should be selective when preparing for the exam.
19. Is there anything not covered in the WEBOK that is covered in the exam?
ANSWER: No. All subject areas tested on the exam are covered in the WEBOK. However, the WEBOK covers the material at a relatively high level, so there certainly may be detailed questions on the exam that may not be specifically addressed in the WEBOK.
20. Are there any instructor-led courses available for this certification?
ANSWER: There are courses that can help you prepare to take the exam, but one course has not been developed to teach the exam. Visit ComSoc Training to learn more about specific course topics, dates, and locations. Courses are offered in both online and in-person formats; reading the course descriptions and the agendas will help to identify the best courses for you.
21. How many centers are there for taking a practice exam? How much does it cost?
ANSWER: The practice exam can be purchased by individuals online. An individual who enters their credit card information can take the exam immediately from their computer in the comfort of their own home or office or anywhere they are logged on to the internet. A practice exam costs US$50.00. Learn more about the practice exam.
22. If a practice exam is purchased multiple times, will it always have the same questions or will the questions change from purchase to purchase?
ANSWER: At this time, the 75 questions on the practice exam are fixed and if an individual purchases it multiple times, they will be tested on the same questions.
23. Are there any restrictions when you purchase a practice exam? Is this a timed exam?
ANSWER: Anyone can purchase an online practice exam for US$50.00 which allows them to take it from start to finish one time. When a candidate clicks on "end exam," closes the window, or uses up the allotted time, that counts as taking the exam one time. And yes, the online practice exam is timed. There is an option to take the exam in either 120- or 180-minute mode. The extra 60 minutes is added to accommodate candidates with disabilities.
24. What is the passing point for the practice exam?
ANSWER: In terms of the practice exam, a pass point has not been established. The practice exam is to be used as a diagnostic tool to help a candidate ascertain areas of strength and weakness in preparation for the exam.
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