Ham Resources

How to Become a Licensed Amateur Radio Operator

Practice Exams

The links below are sites where you can take practice exams for the Technician, General and Extra class Amateur Radio licenses.


QRZ Ham Exam

AA9PW Ham Exam

Taking The Test

When you’re ready to take the FCC License Exam to get your Amateur Radio license, GEARS can administer the license exams and is one of only fourteen amateur radio clubs in the USA directly authorized by the FCC. If you’re not sure you’re ready, try a free online practice test, links above.

Tests are given at 2:00 PM on the dates indicated below. The exams are given at the Butte County Search & Rescue, 3965 Morrow Lane in Chico.

Call the GEARS VEC, Tom Rider, W6JS; at 1-530-514-9211 or email him at myw6js@gmail.com for further information.

Before going to the test secession you must have an FRN number & a current email address. To obtain an FCC FRN number go to: “FCC Registration–Login”. Fill out the information it is requesting. Bring a copy of your FRN number & your current email address to the test session.

GEARS VEC Test Dates for 2021: December 5th.

Gears VEC Test Dates for 2022.

February 6th, April 3rd, June 5th, August, 7th, October 2nd, December 4th 

The Question Pools.

The question pool for each new license level changes every four years. Be sure to study from the correct ARRL study guide and question pool.

Question Pool Longevity

Technician: July 1st 2018 to June 30th 2022

General: July 1st 2019 to June 30th 2023

Extra: July1st 2020 to June 30th 2024

What to bring to the test session.

The cost of the exam is $15.00. You can take more than one exam for the same cost. Two forms of identification. One must be a photo ID, driver’s license, state ID card, school ID, or passport. A number 2 pencil, and a black ink pen.

You may bring a calculator, however memories must be cleared before the exam session starts. If you have taken the exam previously, bring your Certificate of Successful Completion (CSCE).

If you are upgrading to a higher class of license, bring a photocopy of your current license

After Passing the Test

Tests are checked for a passing score immediately after being completed, and candidates are informed whether they passed or not. If you do not pass, the volunteers will return your application to you, and no record is kept.

After you pass your exam, the Volunteer Exam Coordinator will upload your license application directly to the FCC over the internet. New licenses are usually processed by the FCC within 48 to 72 hours, and you will receive a call from a GEARS volunteer by Tuesday or Wednesday to give you your new call-sign. You will also be given information on how to check your FCC Registration Number (FRN), how to register for the FCC Universal Licensing System (ULS), and how to obtain an official printed copy of your license.

Other Local Volunteer Teams.

Yuba-Sutter Amateur Radio Club: http://ysarc.net/ Contact LeRoy Smith, KJ6DKM landussmith@att.net

Redding VEC: http://www.reddingve.com/