EXAMS & EDUCATION
For those wishing to become a Radio Amateur, the process is much less daunting in the modern era. West Manchester Radio Club is an RSGB approved examination center and we welcome potential new amateurs

The examination structure changed in 2019 and changed further over the Covid period with the introduction of remote online exams. Also direct access to the advanced (full licence) will be available from January 2023.

While radio clubs have been unable to offer face to face training due to Covid concerns, online assistance such as Essex Ham or GM6DX have helped many prepare for the Foundation exam. For more info on these 

You can come and visit us at the club on Thursday evenings and enjoy a chat (licensed bar, coffee, snacks) If you wish to get started straight away you can follow our simple guide below.

FOUNDATION LICENCE

This is the entry level licence which allows you to operate 10 watts on most of the amateur frequencies, including: short wave (HF), VHF and UHF

1

The first thing to do is buy a copy of 'The Foundation Licence Manual', (this supersedes the old Foundation Now handbook).This book contains everything you will need to study for your foundation licence. It can be obtained from the RSGB via the online store, or purchased from online sellers such as, Amazon or Ebay.
This is an invaluable tool and fairly easy to work through.
The RSGB website also has helpful information here.
After you have familiarised yourself with the book you will find there are several online resources to help you, there are also mock online exams to help you decide if you are ready to take the exam.
Any amendments to the regulations that differ from the book are listed here
Also see additional notes here

Foundation licence now book
     
2

After a surprisingly short time you will be ready to move to the next stage.
Introduce yourself at the club, you may wish to advise us in advance to be sure that a member of the education team is there to greet you (contact details at the foot of the page). Here you can discuss any topics you find difficult and we can introduce you to the practical assessment (not anywhere near as scary as it sounds). At this stage you get to use our fully equipped radio shack to learn how to correctly set up a radio and make contacts.
There is no longer a practical assessment necessary.
During this process the candidate is permitted to use the club equipment to make QSOs (under supervision).

Training
     
3

Now comes the exam. We try to maintain a relaxed atmosphere during the exam. It is likely you will be taking the exam either alone or with one or two other candidates. This will take place at the clubs premises under the supervision of the exam secretary and at least one other invigilator. The exam is multiple choice and lasts 55mins, we find even the most unsure candidates finish well within this period.
The candidate must then leave the room and the two invigilators will then mark the paper and almost immediately give the candidate the result. The candidate must have 19 correct answers out of 26 questions.
The papers are then posted to RSGB headquarters to be verified and the results will be updated onto the ofcom website.
It is not uncommon for candidates to have their callsign around one week after the exam.
Candidates must remember to present their completed practical assessment sheet at the exam.
The exam costs £27.50 and can be paid online here (preferred) or to the radio club. [Important note: Please do not book an examination date without consulting the education officer at the radio club, as incomplete documentation or non availability of the club or its officers may result in you losing the payment and having to reapply]

Exam
  Candidates wishing to use the new remote online invigilation system click here  
     

INTERMEDIATE LICENCE

This is the next level licence and allows operators to use 50 watts on most of the amateur bands.

1

Buy a copy of 'Intermediate Licence Manual' This book contains everything you will need to study for your intermediate licence. It can be obtained from the RSGB via the online store, or purchased from online sellers such as, Amazon or Ebay.
This builds on the information in the foundation book and is also fairly easy to work through.
The RSGB website also has helpful information here.
As with the intermediate, once you have familiarised yourself with the book you will find there are several online resources to help you, there are also mock online exams to help you decide if you are ready to take the exam. Also see additional notes here

intermediate course book
     
2

By now you will probably be an active member of the club and soon ready to move to the next stage. You may wish to discuss some of the topics of the intermediate with the education officer and senior members of the club who will be only too glad to assist you. There is no longer a practical assessment.

soldering at workbench
     
3

Now comes the exam, again not as daunting as many think. We try to maintain a relaxed atmosphere during the exam. It is likely you will be taking the exam either alone or with one or two other candidates. This will take place at the clubs premises under the supervision of the exam secretary and at least one other invigilator. The exam is multiple choice and lasts 1hr 25mins, which we find more than ample.
The candidate must then leave the room and the two invigilators will them mark the paper and almost immediately give the candidate the result. The candidate must have at least 27 correct answers out of 45 questions.
The papers are then posted to RSGB headquarters to be verified and the results will be updated onto the ofcom website.
It is not uncommon for candidates to have their callsign around one week after the exam.
The exam cost £32.50 and can be paid online here (preferred) or to the radio club. [Important note: Please do not book an examination date without consulting the education officer at the radio club, as incomplete documentation or non availability of the club or its officers may result in you loosing the payment and having to reapply]

Exam
  Candidates wishing to use the new remote online invigilation system click here  
     

ADVANCED (FULL) LICENCE

This is the top level licence and allows operators to use 400 watts on most of the amateur bands. Full privileges apply for this licence (NOV [Notice of Variations] are required for additional activities, such as, internet gateways, special events, etc.).

1

Buy a copy of 'The Full Licence' (This replaces the old 'Advance!') This book contains everything you will need to study for your Full licence. It can be obtained from the RSGB via the online store, or purchased from online sellers such as, Amazon or Ebay.
This further builds on the information in the intermediate book.
The RSGB website also has helpful information here.
As with the intermediate, once you have familiarised yourself with the book you will find there are several online resources to help you, there are also mock online exams to help you decide if you are ready to take the exam. Also see additional notes here

Advanced course book
     
2

The advanced exam is more complex and will require more study time. There is no practical assessment for the advanced exam, so our 'stage 2' procedure for you will be additional studies. You will almost certainly need to discuss some of the topics of the advanced with the education officer and senior members of the club who will be only too glad to assist you.

Study
     
3

The exam will take place at the clubs premises under the supervision of the exam secretary and at least one other invigilator. The exam is multiple choice and lasts 2hrs.
Unlike the foundation and intermediate exam papers are not marked locally and are sent directly to the RSGB. The candidate must have at least 37 correct answers out of 62 questions.
Results will be notified 6 days later and updated onto the ofcom website.
The exam cost £37.50 and can be paid online here (preferred) or to the radio club. [Important note: Similar to the foundation and intermediate exams, please do not book an examination date without consulting the education officer at the radio club, as incomplete documentation or non availability of the club or its officers may result in you loosing the payment and having to re-apply]

Exam
  Candidates wishing to use the new remote online invigilation system click here  
     

ADDITIONAL NOTES

 

You can find information for students here
Mock examinations here

Please note: Exams can be booked at a time of mutual convenience. The RSGB requires 2 weeks notice to supply exam papers, allowing for your request to us, the minimum time possible is 3 weeks from application (subject to the club premises and club officers being available on the selected dates)

For further information contact us on:
admin@wmrc.org.uk

*Note: Since 2019 and Covid exam structure and examination conditions have been changed and simplified and the practical content removed. Remote examinations are possible. This page will be updated soon to include all new information.