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.
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 'Foundation Licence Now' 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.
One of our assessors will update your record sheet with each topic covered.
Some information on the practical assessment is covered here
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
     

INTERMEDIATE LICENCE

This is the next level licence and allows operators to use 50 watts on most of the amateur bands. There are currently several privileges for this licence (NOV [Notice of Variations] which allow some limited additions to the license, such as internet connected stations).

1

Buy a copy of 'Intermediate Licence' 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. While discussing and working through such topics we will introduce you to the practical assessment. which is very similar to the foundation with the addition of a simple construction project (i.e. simple morse sounder, interface, amplifier module, etc.) this is to demonstrate that the candidate can solder successfully.
One of our assessors will update your record sheet with each topic covered.
some information on the practical assessment is covered here

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.
Candidates must remember to present their completed practical assessment sheet at 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
     

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 '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
     
 

ADDITIONAL NOTES

 

 

You can download the syllabus for any of the 3 exams 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:
adminQRM@wmrc.org.uk
(remember to remove the interference)