How do I upgrade to a GENERAL CLASS license?
In order to get your Amateur General license, you will need to pass 35-question multiple-choice test, which costs a nominal fee of less than $20, much like when you took your first licensing test.
We are considering offering an Amateur General exam class.
If you would like to be notified when we schedule our next class, please fill out the form on this page: https://forms.gle/AfS9WrWvgBd3aC1g8
There are many other ways to study for the exam. See details, below.
Where do I take the exam?
To find an online exam session, so you can get your license without leaving the house, go to https://hamstudy.org/sessions. Give yourself two to four weeks to study for the exam.
How do I study?
Try one or two of the methods below and see what you like. A combination of methods may work best for you. There are other good options out there. These are some that we have used or sampled and found to be helpful.
- There is a very good $10 PDF book that helps you study for the exam. It does not include in-depth information about Ham radio, just what you need to know to pass the exam. Go to https://www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/ and scroll down to “The No-Nonsense General-Class License Study Guide.” Make sure you get the one for the General Class license. You can also buy a hard copy or an audio book there, if you prefer either of those formats.
- Here is good series, based on ARRL Tech License Manual. Dave Casler is involved. They have links so you can download the slide decks as PDFs, and MP3 audio files of the videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrqSFjV30g0
- Ham Radio Technician Class Presentation given by the Hurst (Texas) Amateur Radio Club, W5HRC, for those interested in getting their first Ham Radio License. The first few minutes of each video include an introduction by Jason, KC5HWB, host of Ham Radio 2.0, followed by the teacher’s presentation of the course material: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wwnOPaF1qI&list=PLs_Ab58w9LI_jgoIv6SShsLACgOIly0np&index=1
- There is an audio book available on Audible. It has very good reviews. If you’re a fan of audio books, this could be a great option! https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Fast-Track-to-Your-General-Class-Ham-Radio-License-Audiobook/B07SBK6Y31?qid=1636236799&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=83218cca-c308-412f-bfcf-90198b687a2f&pf_rd_r=96NNKWMV22WZT44KRFH9
- There is a pay website, Hamtestonline, that has done a great job of organizing and presenting the material. Many people find this to be the most effortless way to pass the exam. It costs about twenty five dollars and comes with a money-back guarantee if you don’t pass the exam.
- The ARRL General Class License Manual is too in-depth to be considered a study guide, but it is a great resource on really understanding the material on the exam. We recommend the spiral-bound edition: https://www.amazon.com/ARRL-General-Class-License-Manual/dp/162595106X/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=arrl+general+class+license+manual&qid=1636236862&sr=8-3
- There are 423 questions in the question pool. These are publicly available. 35 of them are selected for your exam. If you study and take practice tests, there will not be any questions on the exam you haven’t seen already.
How do I know I’m ready for the exam?
There are practice exams available online, which use real questions from the actual exam. Start taking practice tests early on in your studies, and keep taking them. When you are consistently scoring 90% or higher, you are ready to take the exam. You only need 74% (26 out of 35) correct to pass and earn your license!
For taking practice exams, we recommend the websites/apps below, but you are welcome to use any site or app you prefer. We also recommend using the option to practice on specific sections, so you are not frustrated by covering areas that you have not studied yet. Each of the three systems below offers that option.
Hamexam.org. You will need to create a free account.
The ARRL Practice Exam Website. You will need to create a free account.
Free app: Ham Test Prep
Paid app: Hamstudy Android App
Free app: Ham Radio Exam – Tech
Paid app: Hamstudy iPhone App
Where else can I find information about ham radio?
The Bainbridge Island Emergency Auxiliary Radio Service (BEARS) has monthly informational presentations on ham radio related topics, which are open to everyone. These are on the third Sunday of each month. Time, topic, and Zoom link are on the club calendar.
We also have volunteers who enjoy working with new hams to help you through your first steps and get you on the air.
Let us know if you have any questions. We love to talk about this stuff! Leave a note here and someone from the club will get back to you.