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Given that the answers are already known to the community, is it helpful to ask questions which are already part of the test pool? How can we get more technical questions going?

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I've wondered the same. If we post the questions in general-purpose terms then they do not need a country tag . That's a good thing.

I'd say that we do not want questions that can be answered simply with the text from the pool.

Example 1

Avoid this: G6A01-2011: Which of the following is an important characteristic for capacitors used to filter the DC output of a switching power supply?

Low equivalent series resistance

Good: When selecting capacitors use to filter the DC output of a switching power supply why is equivalent series resistance important?


Example 2

Given this diagram:

enter image description here

Avoid this: E9B02-2012: In the antenna radiation pattern shown in Figure E9-1, what is the front-to-back ratio?

18 dB

Good: Given an antenna radiation pattern diagram, what process do I go through to find the front-to-back ratio?

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Answers to test questions, which focus on the whys behind them, are definitely on topic.

Answers to test questions that simply ask which of the answers is correct aren't on topic.

We probably don't need more than a single question to answer some families of questions.

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  • $\begingroup$ Agreed. I've seen some really long discussions on the "necessary bandwidth" for CW. It is fairly similar to AM, with sidebands, which surprises some people. $\endgroup$ – Walter Underwood K6WRU Oct 24 '13 at 4:49
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I'd say no. This would fall under commonly known information, or easily google-able information.

But even if that weren't the case I fear we'd get into a problem where people would provide additional answers than the test requires, and if experts weigh in with too much detail and caveats, it can actually confuse those trying simply to pass the test.

If you want to add a "test question" to the site then all you have to do is have the problem the test question answers, and ask that question instead, rather than the rote test question.

Pumping artificial Q&A into the site isn't ideal, and in many ways is a poor choice.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you give an example of what you're talking about? I think in the day and age of multiple choice questions people have probably memorized the answers to lots of questions that they don't understand. $\endgroup$ – dcaswell Oct 23 '13 at 20:59

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