The Missouri S&T Amateur Radio Club strives to make it easy to get your amateur radio license and get on the air! This an overview of the process required to get your license, with resources provided for each step.
The amateur radio license exam is a closed-book exam, however you are permitted to use a calculator. There are 35 questions on the Technician and General exams, and 50 questions on the Amateur Extra exams, each drawn at random from their respective question pools. There is no time limit. The FCC publishes all of the possible questions and answers in each pool, which makes it easy to prepare for the exam. You must score at least 74% to pass an exam (26 correct out of 35 for Technician and General, and 37 out of 50 for Amateur Extra).
We plan to offer a Technician class license course some time in the fall of 2023, but the details are not yet finalized. Please join our Discord server to be notified when the details become available.
For other exam elements, or if you wish to study independently, we recommend using hamstudy.org, which presents the exam questions as flash cards, displays statistics as you work your way through the question pools, and offers practice exams so you can gauge your level of preparedness for the exam. This website is free to use, or they offer a mobile app for purchase if you wish to study without internet access.
Before attempting an official exam, it is recommended that you study until you are consistently achieving 90% or better on practice exams.
Before taking an official exam, the FCC requires that each candidate have a valid FRN (FCC Registration Number). This serves as your login to the FCC ULS (Universal Licensing System), the web portal for managing FCC-issued licenses. Registering for an FRN is a simple process and is done entirely online. This FCC Knowledge Base article and YouTube video walkthrough explain the registration process.
If you are unsure if you have an FRN, or if you have forgotten your FRN: You can look up your FRN using your last name with the FCC CORES FRN Search. (Please note: some browsers encounter issues with the FRN search. We typically have good results with Google Chrome. You may need to clear your cookies if you encounter error messages.)
If you already have any FCC-issued license, it is likely that you already have an FRN. These are publicly listed on your license; you can look up your license with the ULS Search.
Your official exam will need to be administered by a team of at least three accredited Volunteer Examiners affiliated with one of the four Volunteer Examiner Coordinators. The Missouri S&T VE Team is affiliated with Laurel VEC, and offers exams for free to students and community members. More information can be found on the VE Testing Page. If you choose to take your exam elsewhere, please be advised that many other VE teams charge a small fee (usually less than $15) per exam. Exam sessions offered by other VE teams may be found on the hamstudy.org exam sessions calendar.
Once you complete your exam, you will be issued a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE).
You must bring the following to your exam:
VEs will grade your exam as soon you complete it. If you received a passing score, congratulations! Your application will be submitted to the VEC, who will then review it and submit it to the FCC. You will receive an email from the FCC a few days after the completion of your exam, at which point you will need to pay a $35 application fee. Once this fee is paid, you will generally receive your callsign within the next couple days. However, process can encounter some delays, so it may take up to two weeks. You typically receive an email when your callsign is issued, but it is recommended to check the ULS daily using the License Search (search by FRN for best results).
If you did not pass your exam, the VEs may allow you to make another attempt at the same session. Otherwise, you will need to study the exam material some more and take the exam again at a later session.
If you have questions regarding the licensing process, please contact the volunteer testing coordinator at email@example.com.