Ham Radio Practice Test 2023 (Technician and General): Download printable sample questions and answers pdf for the Ham Radio license test for American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
The ARRL Ham Radio License Manual will guide you as you get started in the hobby–as you select your equipment, set up your first station, and make your first contact.
Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is the use of the radio frequency spectrum for purposes of non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, private recreation, radiosport, contesting, and emergency communication.
Ham Radio Practice Test 2023
In the United States, amateur radio licensing is governed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under strict federal regulations. Applicants as young as five years old have passed examinations and were granted licenses.
Operator licenses are divided into different classes, each of which corresponds to an increasing degree of knowledge and corresponding privileges. Licenses currently remain valid for 10 years from the date of issuance or renewal. Renewal can be done online.
- The entry-level license, known as Technician Class, is awarded after an applicant successfully completes a 35-question multiple-choice written examination. The license grants full operating privileges on all amateur bands above 30 MHz and limited privileges in portions of the high-frequency (HF) bands.
- The middle level, known as General Class, requires passage of the Technician test, as well as a 35-question multiple-choice General exam. General class licensees are granted privileges on portions of all amateur bands and have access to over 83% of all amateur HF bandwidth. However, some band segments often used for long-distance contacts are not included.
- The top US license class is Amateur Extra Class. This license requires the same tests as General plus a 50-question multiple-choice theory exam. Those with Amateur Extra licenses are granted all privileges on all US amateur bands.
Ham Radio Test Prep
The General test takes from 30 minutes to an hour. You will be given a question booklet and an answer sheet. Be sure to read the instructions, fill in all the necessary information and sign your name wherever it’s required. Check to be sure your booklet has all the questions and be sure to mark the answer in the correct space for each question.
You don’t have to answer the questions in order — skip the hard ones and go back to them. If you read the answers carefully, you’ll probably find that you can eliminate one or more “distracters.” Of the remaining answers, only one will be the best. If you can’t decide which is the correct answer, go ahead and make your best guess. There is no additional penalty for an incorrect guess. When you’re done, go back and check your answers and double-check your arithmetic — there’s no rush!
Once you’ve answered all 35 questions, the Volunteer Examiners (VEs) will grade and verify your test results. Assuming you’ve passed (congratulations!) you’ll fill out a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE). The exam organizers will submit your results to the FCC while you keep the CSCE as evidence that you’ve passed your General test.
If you are licensed and already have a call sign, you can begin using your new privileges immediately. When you give your call sign, append “/AG” (on CW or digital modes) or “slash AG” (on phone). As soon as your name and call sign appear in the FCC’s database of licensees, typically a week to 10 days later, you can stop adding the suffix. The CSCE is good for 365 days in case there’s a delay or problem with license processing or you decide to upgrade to Amateur Extra before receiving your paper license.
If you don’t pass, don’t be discouraged! You might be able to make another version of the test right then and there if the session organizers can accommodate you. Even if you decide to try again later, you now know just how the test session feels — you’ll be more relaxed and ready next time. The bands are full of hams who took their General test more than once before passing. You’ll be in good company!
How do I get my ham radio certified?
After you pass your exam, the examiners will file all of the necessary paperwork so that your license will be granted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Soon you will be able to see your new call sign in the FCC’s database via the ARRL’s website and later you’ll receive a paper license by mail.
When you passed your Technician exam, you may have applied for your FCC Federal Registration Number (FRN). This allows you to access the information for any FCC licenses you may have and to request modifications to them.
These functions are available via the FCC’s Universal Licensing System website (wireless.fcc.gov/uls) and complete instructions for using the site are available at www.arrl.org/universal-licensing-system.
Ham Radio Study Guide 2023
There are significant differences between the order of topics in the Question Pool subelements and the arrangement of material in the text. An alternate arrangement of the questions that follow the text more closely is available on this book’s website at www.arrl.org/general-class-license-manual. Follow the Study Guide link to download the material as a PDF file you can print or view.