So you want to become a ham radio operator…

How do I get my license?

In order to get your Ham Radio license, you will need to pass 35-question multiple-choice test, which costs $15. Please note that the FCC will charge an additional $35 license application fee after you have successfully passed the exam.

We offer free licensing preparation classes twice a year.  These classes involve about 14 hours of classroom instruction and about 4 hours of self-study and practice exams. We offer an in-person exam at the end of each class.

If you would like to be notified when we schedule our next class & exam, please fill out the form on this page:

There are many other ways to study for the exam. See details, below.

Where do I take the exam?

You can take the exam in-person at the end of one of our classes, or you can take the exam online almost any day of the year.

To find an online exam session, so you can get your license without leaving the house, go to 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.

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.

Websites: You will need to create a free account.

The ARRL Practice Exam Website. You will need to create a free account.

Android apps:

Free app: Ham Test Prep

Paid app: Hamstudy Android App

iPhone apps:

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 Saturday of each month. Time 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.