Study Tips for Aspiring Ham Radio Operators

Commonly known as “ham radio,” amateur radio was a popular niche hobby before the turn of the century. These days, forums and social media outlets are most people’s preferred avenues for connecting with new friends, but before the advent of the Worldwide Web, ham radio enabled people to forge similar connections. Despite the all-encompassing popularity of the Internet, ham radio continues to maintain a small but fiercely loyal user base throughout much of the world. However, before you can fire up your console and connect with other operators, you’ll need to obtain an amateur radio license by passing an exam. In the lead-up to your test, the following study tips are sure to come in handy.

Acquire Up-to-Date Study Materials


As is the case when preparing for any exam, you’ll need to arm yourself with the proper study aids. For starters, you’ll need the latest edition of the ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications. If it isn’t available at your local bookseller, this informative manual can easily be acquired online. In addition, you’ll need a fully-functional console to serve as a visual aid, preferably one with a good RF combiner.

Consistency is Key

Once you’ve set a test date, you’ll need to set aside a little bit of time each day for studying. Whether you’re aiming for an Amateur, General or Technician class license, consistent studying can hold the key to your success. This isn’t to say that you’ll need to dedicate every second of your leisure to exam preparation – 30 minutes a night should be more than enough to ensure your success. While these tests may be somewhat challenging, none of them are exceedingly difficult – and most well-prepared examinees should not have no trouble passing on their first try.

Don’t Stress Over Math

While it’s true that each amateur radio test features a small selection of math questions, there’s no need to fret if math isn’t your strong suit. Even on the off-chance that you get every math question wrong, answering almost every other question correctly should result in you passing. It certainly can’t hurt to brush up on your math skills in preparation for your amateur radio exam, but this shouldn’t be the primary focus of your studies.

Obtaining an amateur radio license is neither difficult nor time-consuming – particularly if you’re armed with the right study tips. To ensure that you get your license on the first try, remember to load up on relevant study aids, devote a little bit of time to studying each time and avoid getting hung upon math.