Classes and Exams for Amateur Radio Enthusiasts

There are various classes for different levels of expertise. You can take classes and pass tests at the speed that works for you. The more classes you take and the more tests you pass, the more frequencies you will be able to use.

Specific test levels are called elements. Once you pass a test, you have a permanent credit for it. Your license is valid for ten years, but you do not need to take a test again to renew it.

Various organizations publish both study guides and manuals that help you prepare for the tests and provide you with necessary information. You may be able to find some of the guides at your local library.

Nearly every licensing process starts with getting a technician-level license.

If you pass a 5-word-per-minute Morse typing test, you will also receive additional transmitting privileges. You can take the test at the same time that you are taking your written exam or at a different date.

Amateur radio operation at frequencies below 30MHz requires the knowledge of Morse code because of an international agreement that countries signed many years ago. At the time the bulk of radio communications were conducted using the code. The code was a standard skill a radio operator needed to possess in order to be able to operate a radio station. Even today the code plays an important role in amateur operations, from passing messages to rag chewing.

After starting with an entry-level technician license, most people move on to getting licensed at the General class level. When you obtain a license for this class, you’ll have full privileges for almost all amateur radio service frequencies with only small portions of radio waves being off limits.

The lower parts of several HF bands are reserved only for those who get the Extra class license. These radio waves are where expert operators spend their time and communicate.

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