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The iNARTE Informer – November 2010

CRITERIA FOR CERTIFICATION

Last month we featured the first two Elements, Education and Experience, of the four “Es” that are required to achieve iNARTE Certification in any of the following disciplines:

This month we will cover the requirements and makeup of the remaining Elements, Examination and Endorsement.

- Partner Content -

A Dash of Maxwell’s: A Maxwell’s Equations Primer – Part One

Solving Maxwell’s Equations for real-life situations, like predicting the RF emissions from a cell tower, requires more mathematical horsepower than any individual mind can muster. These equations don’t give the scientist or engineer just insight, they are literally the answer to everything RF.

ELEMENT 3 – EXAMINATION

The examination consists of two papers, each of which contains 48 multiple choice questions. Candidates are required to answer no more than 40 of the 48 questions, but should answer no less than 40 in order to have the best chance of success. Four hours are allowed for completion of each exam paper and a candidate must attempt both papers on the same day when they first take the examination.

Paper 1 in the morning contains many questions covering the mathematics, physics and fundamentals of the subject. Paper 2 in the afternoon contains many questions about industry standards, metrology practices and principles of mitigating engineering.

To pass the examination, a candidate must achieve an average of 70% correct answers between the two papers. There is no minimum requirement for any one paper, so it is possible to pass the exam with 40 correct answers on one paper, (i.e. 100%), and only 16 correct on the other, (i.e. 40%).

Any candidate who achieves less than a 70% average will be allowed to retake either one or both papers as many times as they wish. The restrictions on retaking exam papers are that there must be a 90 day waiting time between attempts and candidates must take no longer than three years to match their best two scores to achieve the 70% average.

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Examination credits are awarded for extra work experience. As discussed in earlier articles, iNARTE requires engineers to demonstrate 9 years of experience, including post secondary education. Technicians must demonstrate at least 6 years of experience. Candidates with more than these minimum requirements will be awarded a 0.5% examination credit for each additional year of experience. In other words, an engineer with 12 years experience will be awarded 1.5% examination credits and can therefore pass the exam with an average score of 68.5%. Experience credits are capped at 10%, so candidates must achieve at least 60% on the examination regardless of their total years of experience.

iNARTE examinations are open book. Notes, reference books, calculators and laptop computers are allowed in the room. We cannot guarantee that all test locations will have power or internet access available, so be sure that batteries are fully charged and wireless communications devices are brought to the exam, if required. Access to the internet, if available, must not be used to communicate with another person. It is recommended to keep reference materials to a minimum; there is not enough time to research any question too extensively. Generally speaking your first choice is the result of your internal search engine giving you the most likelihood of being correct.

There are many different test taking techniques that candidates could employ, but we recommend the following practices as offering a good chance for success:

  1. First read through all 48 questions on the paper and check off those that you are least confident to answer. You should try to limit this elimination process to no more than eight questions.
  2. Next, go through the paper again and answer those questions that you are most confident about and that can be answered relatively quickly. Circle the correct answer directly on the question paper.
  3. Go back through the paper again and answer the questions that require more time to calculate or to look up in reference materials.
  4. Check the clock against the number of questions answered. You should be comfortable with having about 30 correct answers within the first 3 hours. You only need 28 correct answers to be on track for a 70% average score.
  5. Use the last hour to figure out a few more answers and then to complete a maximum of 40 answers, even if a few are purely guesswork.
  6. Leave about 10 minutes at the end to transfer answers from the paper to the Scantron card using a No. 2 pencil. And do not forget to fill in your name date and the exam number on the card.

At the end of each paper, the Scantron card and the exam paper must be returned to the proctor. Candidates will receive a new Scantron card with each paper.

No candidate is allowed to take question papers from the examination room, nor may they copy questions from the papers to be reviewed after the examination.

The examination proctor will not answer any technical questions during the examination. If there are questions that a candidate feels are incorrectly phrased, not representative of current technology, or not able to be answered from the choices given, those question can be challenged by making a notation about the problem on the examination paper itself and writing the question number on the front cover. Challenged questions will be reviewed by an expert committee, and if the challenge is upheld, all candidates for that examination session will be credited with 2.5% points on that paper, (i.e. 1.25% points when averaged between two papers).

10 NEW QUESTIONS

As a second phase of the examination process, candidates are also required to submit ten (10) original multiple choice questions with correct answers and supporting references. It is recommended that candidates complete this phase after attempting the examination so that they have a good understanding of the type and format of the question structure. Questions which relate to real world workplace engineering or technical/testing situations are preferred. Questions must conform to the format outlined on the iNARTE question form, which is part of the Application form document.

All new questions must be presented in electronic format, including all formulae, supporting calculations and explanatory figures. “Word” documents are preferred, but other formats are acceptable if they can be copied and pasted into the iNARTE data pools without transposition errors.

All new questions will be presented to a committee of experts for review. Unsuitable or incorrect questions will be returned to the candidate for correction.

FAQ:    Can I take the examination on line?
ANS:    Unfortunately the iNARTE examinations are not available on line. All candidates must attend an iNARTE Authorized Test Center.

FAQ:    How do I find a Test Center?
ANS:    All Authorized Test Centers are listed on the iNARTE web site. There are approximately 200 Centers and individual proctors listed there, and they are situated across the United States and overseas.

FAQ:    What if there is no Test Center near me?
ANS:    This can sometimes happen and iNARTE will then arrange testing at your place of work, at a local Community College, a library, or a similar facility where a suitable proctor can be found.

FAQ:    If I have already passed the Engineer (or Technician) exam and I am interested in getting the other certification, do I have to re-examine?
ANS:    Yes you do. We regard these two disciplines as being sufficiently different that they have to be run as completely separate programs. In fact, even if you use the same referees to endorse you, they do need to attest to your skills in each specific area.

FAQ:    What if I fail the examination?

ANS:    Depending upon your score in each paper, you can retake one or both papers many times over, and we will match your best scores in each paper to get your best average. You have to wait at least 90 days between attempts and your best score has to be achieved within a three year window.

 

ELEMENT 4 – ENDORSEMENT
We recommend that once a candidate starts the application process, they also initiate action with those individuals who will serve as referees. Candidates can use the reference form provided in the iNARTE application package, or any other reference format that provides a similar endorsement. The selected referees must attest to the applicant’s competency at the certification level requested and also serve as character references. One reference must be from a supervisor and two other references should be from peers. Referees should have known the candidate for at least one year during the last two years. Reference forms should be sent directly to iNARTE for inclusion in the applicants file.

FAQ:    I am self employed and do not have a supervisor or peer group.
ANS:    iNARTE is happy to accept references from clients and customers who are familiar with your work and character.

FAQ:    I have just changed jobs and I am not sure if my old supervisor will be responsive to my request.
ANS:    You will be surprised. In most cases and regardless of circumstances, your old supervisor will usually come through for you. At least you should give them the chance. Your old peer group should be responsive and by all means send us a reference from your new supervisor, even if you are of brief acquaintance.

Next month the iNARTE Informer will provide details of our new Associate Certification Programs that are designed for engineers and technicians just embarking on a career in one of our supported disciplines.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Below is a table of upcoming iNARTE events.

WHEN WHAT WHERE iNARTE/PARTNER/PRESENTER
Nov. 17th-18th Workshop on High Power Electromagnetic (HPEM) Threats
http://www.narte.org/h/HPEM.asp
NASA, Johnson Space Center
Clear Lake, Houston, TX
Dr. William Radasky, IEEE Fellow, EMP Fellow, Chairman of IEC SC 77C, and President of Metatech Corporation.

 

Several other workshops are in the pipeline, so be sure to visit the iNARTE web site regularly to be sure not to miss those in your region or field of interest.

EMC QUESTION OF THE MONTH

The answer to last month’s question is: A). 1.0 mH

This month’s question is:

You are irradiating an avionic bay using an antenna with its horizontal beam width (for the polarization being irradiated) varying from 45o at 1GHz to 25o at 18GHz. Its vertical beam width is 50o at 1GHz and 35o at 18GHz. The bay is 2 m long by 1 m high.

 

1011_iNARTE_fig1

What should the minimum distance be between the antenna and the bay to make an LLSF measurement over this frequency range to measure both polarizations without changing the position of the antenna (select the nearest):

A) 1m
B) 3m
C) 5m
D) 8.4m

 

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