Recently we finally hunkered down, studied really hard and passed our HAM technician license test.
I’ve been wanting my HAM license for over a decade. When I was first looking into getting it, they were requiring people to learn morse code. Morse code isn’t easy to learn so I just kept putting it off and putting it off.
My husband and I have been wanting it for years, but just never took the time to sit down and study.
First, we set a goal for ourselves. We looked up exam sessions, picked a date and set it. We put it in the calendar that we were going to take the test that day and that was final! There was no turning back.
And it worked, once we set that goal, we really followed through by studying and getting ready to take the test on that specific day.
We downloaded an iPhone app called, “HAM Exam Prep” and used that to study. It had all the answers to all the possible questions that would be on the test. It also had practice tests. The test only consists of 35 questions, but there are 100s of possible questions.
The very best way that we found to study, was to first read up on the questions and learn the answers. We would reference our HAM book if we didn’t understand something. There are a lot of technical questions, especially about frequencies and can be frustrating at first, but the more you study, the more you understand it all.
We took practice tests in the app constantly. We failed a lot in the beginning, which was frustrating, but we persevered and eventually we started passing one test after the other.
The app that we downloaded is technically free, however the free version only has so many questions available. If you pay for the full version, it unlocks all the questions. For us, the app was just easier to study from. I could study whenever and wherever I wanted with the smartphone app. It was just more convenient for us.
We studied for a solid week, for a few hours each night. I was very nervous going into the exam, even though I was passing my practice tests, this was the real deal!
However, we both passed with flying colors. They’ll ask you if you want to take the General and you’re more than welcome to if you think you’ll be ready. But just know that the General gets a lot more technical. We decided to go home and study for our General before taking the test.
Trust me when I say that you will feel overwhelmed and frustrated with a lot of the information at first. It’s kind of daunting, at least it was for me. My husband understood some of it better than I did at first, but it was even frustrating for him, too.
Once you feel that you’re ready to pass the test, you can find a local exam session near you at this website: http://www.arrl.org/find-an-amateur-radio-license-exam-session/
Side note: Per FCC guidelines, examiners can only charge up to $15 for the test.
One last thing, while we did most of our studying in the app, it was helpful to have the book handy to reference and to better understand everything. You’ll want to consider picking up the ARRL Ham Radio License Manual.
Good luck! When you get your HAM, message me so I can congratulate you personally.