Nikhil Gupta

Digital Marketer, Growth Hacker, Tech Blogger and Crypto Writer

How to Get Your Ham Radio License


Ham Radios are a popular way to connect technology, people, and communication. Ham radios gives an opportunity to communicate through different modes including voice, and Morse code and access to different frequencies.
But before getting on-air, you will need to clear the written test. Also, you must know about the rules to legally operate a Ham radio. Getting a Ham radio license is an easy task to do. There is much information that you must know before taking the first certification exam.
Thus, I am here presenting the essential five steps and tricks to get a Ham Radio License.

Five steps to get a Ham radio license

The ambitious amateur radio operators will need to participate and clear two radio classes- Technician and General.
Technician class allows broadcasting at the local level, including some parts of North America or limited international communication. This class is easy, as you need to get at least 26 correct answers. The questions are randomly selected out of 400 questions based on regulations, fundamental theories, and operating practices. 
The general class allows for worldwide communication privileges. The exam consists of 35 questions, out of which you will need to give 26 correct answers.
Let’s start with the easy steps to get a license without any hurdle.

Step-1: Get the required information about the technician exam

Technician exam is not a difficult exam to crack. You can select any time zone when you will be fully prepared to participate in the examination. As stated earlier, this exam consists of 35 questions, and you will need to prepare only 400 questions. It means you already know about the questions. So it will be easy to study.
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The Ham Radio license exam is based on four main topics: Operating Procedures, Rules and Regulations, Simple Amateur Radio Theory, and Basic Electronics. Further, there are ten subcategories from which the questions have pulled from:
  • Station equipment and basic troubleshooting
  • Modulation modes and operating activities
  • FCC Rules and station license responsibilities
  • Amateur radio practices and station setup
  • Electrical and electronic principles
  • Operating Procedures
  • Radio wave characteristics
  • Electrical components
  • Antennas and feed lines
  • Electrical safety
The purpose of the examination is to test your knowledge of operating amateur radio equipment. It also examines if you have a necessary foundation to begin enjoying Dual Band Mobile Ham Radio. The topics may be looking confusing to the newcomers, but do not worry. There are many resources available to help you out in this situation. 

Step-2: Find study resources

The second step for preparing the examination is to get resources. Well, memorizing the question pool is not an efficient form of learning and clearing the exam. Books and other tools are available for your aid. If you love to read books, then it is the best option.
You can search for the best books online. Apart from this option, you can opt for videos and other online tools.
The exam material is free of cost on many websites. Also, the clubs offer free Ham classes or study sessions. Well, connecting with the clubs is the right choice as it benefits you in communicating with experienced hams who will guide you in the learning process. You will find all kinds of exam material based on your learning style.

Step-3: Set a date for the examination

The examination is conducted by a local ham radio club every month. The club will provide you details of the cost of the test and date of exam sessions in your state. You can select one of the preferable time for you. It is evident if you now the deadline, then you can prepare for the test conveniently. Possible, you will get the radio license in 4-6 weeks. Find the exam session in your locality and register for it.

Step-4: Master the practice test

After getting enough resources and studying for the examination, you must take the sample exam online. Regular practice improves the scores. There are many websites providing sample test questions in flashcard style. A simulated test is also available and preferred by the experts. It generates 35 questions and gives you a realistic experience of giving the examination. In my personal experience, I have found that attaining 80-90% marks in sample test indicates that you will pass the actual exam.

Step-5: Sit for the actual exam

After practicing, it is time to take the examination. Volunteers administer the Amateur radio license exam. They professionally conduct the test, but they also cheer for you. At the time of examination, You will need to take an identity card issued by the government, such as Driver’s license, passport, or other forms. The testing fee is about $15, so you must pay this fee. The organizers will provide the exam material.
You can bring a calculator but make sure that you do not have any memory in it. After clearing the technician exam, you will be given a chance to crack the general class exam. However, only 20% of the pass-outs select the general level. I recommend you to choose this option to get a glimpse of what is need for the next level.
Once you have passed out the test, the license will be issued in your name within one week.

Last Words

Communication is essential at the time of emergency. Ham or Amateur radio licensee will be helpful for you in giving up to date information during this situation.
I have listed the essential steps for getting the ham radio license. What are your thoughts about this article? If you have participated in the exam and passed it, then please share your experience.

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