Getting your Technician License is very easy and inexpensive, even free depending on how you choose to study! The Technician License exam is a 35 question test drawn from a pool of 426 questions. The question pool is divided into 10 subelements which are then divided into topic groups. The test will consist of one random question from each of the 35 topic groups. While there are several methods to study they are all similar in that you will study the exact questions the way they will appear on your test. The multiple choice answers for these questions will be scrambled but the question will be presented exactly the same.
We recommend reading through the question pool at least once and then taking practice tests until you are passing by a good margin. The process to obtain your Technician License begins now!
Step 1 – Exam Study & Practice Tests
There are several methods to study for your test. We’ll explore each one below:
Paperback Study Guide – Purchase a specialized study guide. We recommend Gordon West’s Technician Class Study Guide found on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2rLa1IK. The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual is also another great choice also on Amazon at http://amzn.to/2EdtJzo. This is usually the most preferred method because it gives you a physical book that not only shows you the correct answers but explains why the answer is correct. Both of these books do a great job of explaining things to someone totally new to the Ham Radio world. In addition to using this method you will still want to use one of the following methods to take Practice Tests.
Smartphone/Tablet – Apps are available for both iPhone/iPad and Android to help you study directly on your device. These apps also allow you to take Practice Tests which is the best way to prepare for the real test once you’ve read through the questions at least once.
- (Apple) Ham Radio Exam Tech – https://apple.co/2GlnfPh
- (Android) Ham Test Prep – http://bit.ly/2ndtZXK
HamStudy.org Website – HamStudy.org is a great website that allows you to learn and also take practice tests. If you create a free account it will also keep track of questions you’ve struggled with and bring them up more often to help you learn. The site will also track your progress through Practice Tests and give you a good idea on when you are ready to take the real test. https://hamstudy.org/
Print the Question Pool – You can print the full question pool with answers however this method provides no explanation on why an answer is correct or not. This is a great combination with HamStudy.org above to provide you with an offline way to study when away from a computer.
- 2014-2018 Technician Class Question Pool – PDF
- 2014-2018 Technician Class Question Pool – DOC
- 2014-2018 Technician Class Question Pool – TXT
- Graphics needed for some questions – PDF
Step 2 – Get Ready to Test
Once you have taken several practice tests and are passing each time you’re ready for the real test! You will need to bring a photo ID when you take your test along with your FCC Registration Number (FRN). Your FCC FRN is a 10-digit number assigned to all businesses or individuals that are registered with the FCC. You’ll use this number in place of your SSN for any transactions with the FCC. To register for your FCC FRN simply follow the instructions here: http://bit.ly/FCCFRN
Step 3 – Test Time
Now that you’ve studied and have your FCC FRN it’s time to schedule your test! We are able to administer the test at club meetings or ARES meetings (http://jcar.us/meetings/) as long as the VE Team is in attendance. Please contact our VE Coordinator below if you’d like to test at a scheduled meeting or need a different date and time, we’ll work with you!
Brad Arnold, K4NHA
(256) 472-2045 (Phone/SMS)
Step 4 – Get On the Air!
Once your callsign shows up in the FCC Database you are officially a HAM and ready to get on the air. Don’t worry, our VE Team will be watching the database closely and will notify you the instant your callsign appears! If you need assistance with picking your first radio just ask a Ham at one of our meetings or if you already have equipment you can now start using any of our local repeaters and check in to any of the Nets.
The FCC License Database can be found here: http://bit.ly/FCCsearch
We look forward to talking to you on the air!