What to Expect on Your Ham Radio Licensing Exam

Amateur radio (commonly known as ham radio) is a hobby that’s widely enjoyed by people all over the globe. While it’s true that ham radio is long past its heyday, this unique hobby has continued to attract a dedicated following well into the internet age. Hobbyists who have taken an interest in ham radio should know that a license is required to legally operate an amateur radio broadcast in the United States. Furthermore, these licenses come in three separate varieties: Technician, General and Amateur Extra. However, don’t let the prospect of taking an exam deter you from pursuing ham radio as a hobby. The aforementioned licensing exams can easily be passed on the first try – provided, of course, you know what to expect.

Questions Pertaining to Your Particular License Class

The questions you’ll find on your exam pertain specifically to the class of license you’re trying to earn. This means that when preparing for the exam, you should stick to materials that focus on your desired license class. In addition to studying on a daily basis, it’s recommended that you take a few practice tests online, as this will show you the types of questions you’ll find on the exam. It’s worth noting, however, that the questions featured on practice tests won’t be found on the actual exams.

Multiple Choice Questions

If you’re not a fan of essay questions, you’ll be pleased to learn that every ham radio licensing exam is comprised exclusively of 35 multiple-choice queries. In order to obtain a passing grade, you’ll need to provide correct answers to 75% of the featured questions. As such, it’s in your best interest to have access to a good practice console, preferably one with high-quality directional couplers.

A Little Bit of Math

While it’s true that every ham radio licensing exam contains math questions, there’s no reason for mathematically-challenged individuals to throw in the towel. In actuality, fewer than 10 percent of the questions on any given licensing test constitute math problems. That being the case, it’s technically possible to get every math question wrong and still obtain a passing grade.

With the growing popularity of podcasts and social media outlets, many people believe that amateur radio’s time has come to an end. However, as thousands of ham radio operators can confirm, this is far from the case. If you have an interest in pursuing this hobby, there’s no time like the present to acquire pertinent study materials and start preparing for your licensing exam.


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