By: Jeremy Neisser
In this article, I will provide you with information on how to take an online ham radio test. As technology advances, it is now possible to take the ham radio license test completely online. This is a great option for those who are unable to attend an in-person exam or prefer to take the exam from the comfort of their own home.
In the following paragraphs, I will explain how online ham radio testing works and provide you with a list of top clubs that offer ham radio license testing online. Additionally, I will answer some frequently asked questions about online ham radio testing to help you determine if it is the right option for you.
Ham Radio License Test Online Key Takeaways
Online ham radio testing is a convenient option for those who are unable to attend an in-person exam or prefer to take the exam from home.
Top clubs that offer ham radio license testing online include Anchorage Alaska VEC and ARRL.
Before deciding to take the exam online, it is important to consider factors such as internet reliability and test security.
Yes, You Can Take an Online Ham Radio Test
As of April 30, 2020, the FCC has confirmed that it is possible to take the ham radio license exam remotely. This means that aspiring ham radio operators can take the test from the comfort of their own homes.
Some VECs, such as the Anchorage Alaska Amateur Radio Club, offer completely online testing. Other VECs may offer online testing as an option alongside in-person testing. Regardless of the VEC, taking the ham radio license test online is now a viable option for those interested in becoming licensed operators.
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How it works
To obtain a ham radio license, you must pass an exam administered by a Volunteer Exam Coordinator (VEC) approved by the FCC. While some VECs offer remote testing, others do not. If you opt for remote testing, you will need to set up a webcam, a Zoom meeting, and potentially a qualified proctor. The specific requirements and instructions for each VEC will vary.
Before contacting a VEC to schedule your exam, it is essential to study and ensure that you can score the 74% required to pass. With preparation and a bit of planning, you can successfully earn your ham radio license through remote testing.
Ham Radio License Test Online: Top clubs that offer ham radio license testing online:
PARC VE Testing
PARC Radio & Technology has been offering ham radio license testing for many years. When the pandemic hit, they quickly adapted to offer online exams and were one of the pioneers in gaining approval from the ARRL for online testing.
They have provided over six thousand exams within the first year of online exams and continue to offer exams throughout the week with more exam times than any other team.
Their VE’s are located across the United States and are some of the most experienced radio operators you will meet. They aim to provide an online experience that is as seamless as possible. To get started with PARC, click here.
Greater Los Angeles Amateur Radio Group VEC (GLAARG)
GLAARG is now offering successful remote tests. Some students have reported successful results and a good experience with the GLAARG team. To get started with GLAARG, click here.
Last Frontier VEC
The Last Frontier Volunteer Examiner Club is based in Fairbanks, Alaska, and is fully governed by Alaskans. They have examiners in the Lower 48 as well. Currently offering exams twice per week, they aim to provide the best service to anyone, anywhere. To get started with Last Frontier VEC, click here.
New England Amateur Radio (NEAR)
New England Amateur Radio (NEAR) has recently gained attention from students who have had a positive testing experience with them. They do not require a proctor and follow a process similar to GLAARG. Before getting started, make sure to check out their rules and protocols. To sign up for an exam with NEAR, click here.
Anchorage Alaska VEC
The Anchorage Alaska Amateur Radio Club is the VEC that has offered the ham radio test completely online for the longest amount of time. In addition to their exam software and logistics, they also work hard to maintain the integrity of the testing system. To apply for a remote exam with Anchorage Alaska VEC, click here.
Aurora Amateur Radio Group (AARG)
The Aurora Amateur Radio Group offers remote examinations to anyone in an environment where a group of dedicated volunteers are proud to serve. They aim to serve America’s underserved through compassion, leadership, professionalism, and integration of 21st-century technological innovation. To get started with AARG, click here.
These top clubs offer online ham radio license testing, making it easier for anyone to get their license from the comfort of their own home.
Should You Consider Taking the Exam In-Person?
Taking the ham radio license exam in-person may be worth considering. Although taking the exam 100% online and remotely is possible, it requires a lot of setup. Additionally, taking the exam in-person provides a great opportunity to meet local club members and make contacts on the local repeater. To find a local club, you can search with ARRL using your zip code for best results.
After finding a club, get in touch with them to see if they can accommodate your situation. Remember, meeting in-person may be a more convenient and beneficial option for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some recommended study guides for the Ham Radio license test?
There are several study guides available for the Ham Radio license test. Some popular options include the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual, Gordon West's Technician Class Study Guide, and the HamRadioPrep study guide. These guides cover all the necessary material for the exam and include practice questions and explanations.
What is the difference between the Technician and General Ham Radio license tests?
The Technician license test is the entry-level exam and grants the licensee the ability to operate on VHF and UHF frequencies. The General license test allows the licensee to operate on additional frequencies, including HF bands. The General license also requires a more extensive knowledge of radio theory and regulations.
Can I take the Ham Radio license test online?
Yes, the FCC has released a public notice confirming that Ham Radio license tests may be held remotely. Several Volunteer Examiner Coordinators (VECs) offer online testing, including ARRL, Laurel VEC, and W5YI VEC.
What are the requirements to take the Ham Radio license test?
To take the Ham Radio license test, you must first obtain a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Registration Number (FRN). You can obtain an FRN for free on the FCC's website. You must also find a Volunteer Examiner (VE) team to administer the exam. The VE team will check your photo ID and monitor your session to prevent cheating.
How long does it take to get a Ham Radio license?
The time it takes to get a Ham Radio license varies depending on the individual's study habits and the availability of exam sessions. Some people may be able to pass the exam and obtain their license within a few weeks, while others may take several months. However, with the availability of online testing, it is now easier than ever to schedule an exam and obtain a license quickly.
What are some common mistakes to avoid when taking the Ham Radio license test?
One common mistake is not studying enough. It is important to thoroughly review all the material covered on the exam and practice with sample questions. Another mistake is not reading the questions carefully. Make sure to read each question and all the answer choices before selecting an answer. Finally, it is important to remain calm and focused during the exam to avoid making careless errors.
Hi & Welcome!
My name is Jeremy and I have been an avid car nut for many year. My first car was an 1987 Honda CRX. I put in my first Kenwood stereo, amp, 2 10" JLs and a CB Radio in it and have been an avid user of CBs and car radios for years. I'll do my best to share my tips, information and thoughts to help you with whatever question you might have, ABOUT ME