Getting Started

Getting Licensed

Currently, there are 3 levels of license you can examine for – Technician class, General class, and the Amateur Extra class.  Morse code is no longer required for any class of ham radio license.  The entry level license is the Technician class license.  The next level up license is the General class license, which gives you more privileges.  The top level license is the Amateur Extra class license, which gives you all Amateur Radio privileges.
Learn more about these license classes by clicking on the above link.

 

Online Training

Don’t forget to look for a phone app for training. There are several FREE phone apps available for Android and iOS. Search YouTube too!

 

Find a Class

Unfortunately, not all classes are listed on the ARRL’s website. We also recommend asking at your local Amateur Radio Club(s), and by doing a Google search.

 

Get a Study Guide

If you are taking a class, it is recommended that you get the Study Guide recommended by the instructor.  If you are studying on your own, or if the instructor does not have a preference, here are a few study guides to choose from.
Don’t forget to try a Google search.  New Technician Study Guides are being added all the time, and some of them are free.

 

Get an FRN

The FCC has indicated VECs/VE teams should no longer be accepting social security numbers at exam sessions.  Examinees should register in the FCC CORES registration system and receive an FRN (FCC Registration Number) before exam day.

To register and receive your FRN, click on the following link, and click on the REGISTER button.

FCC CORES User Account and Registration: https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do

 

Take Practice Exams

We recommend that you use multiple websites when taking online practice exams.  Not all websites seem to pick questions as randomly as what appears on the actual exams.  All exams should use questions from the official Question Pools as determined by the NCVEC (National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinators). Don’t forget to look for a phone app for practice exams. There are several FREE phone apps available for Android and iOS.

 

Question Pools

The question pools are normally valid for 4 years, and each license class question pool is normally revised in separate years from each other.

 

Find an Exam Session

When you are ready to take your exam, click here to find an exam session near you.  We highly recommend that you contact the VE Team representative to confirm that they will be having an exam session on the date and time you found.  Exam sessions change all the time, and you don’t want to make the trip for nothing.
Unfortunately, not all Ham Radio Exam Teams list their exam sessions on the ARRL’s website. We recommend asking at your local Amateur Radio Club(s), checking the National Conference of Volunteer Examiner Coordinator’s (NCVEC) website and check some of the VEC groups listed for your area, and by doing a Google search.

 

605 Form

Save time by printing out a filled out 605 form before you go.  Download the NCVEC 605 Form by clicking on this link, fill it out, and print.  It will not only save you time once you get to your exam session, but it can avoid data entry mistakes of your information made due to poor penmanship.

 

Take the Exam

Grab your lucky pen and pencil, some cash, the 605 form (don’t worry if you didn’t print one – they will have 605 forms for you to fill out there), and your government issued photo ID (like a driver’s license), and bring them with you to the exam session.