The Morse Test

Morse Code table

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The lowest speed for which the Certificate is issued is 5wpm. This has been chosen as the threshold to encourage learning the Code, to provide early confidence and to encourage moving forward to higher speeds. It is specifically designed for those who are most comfortable with this rate of progress.

There is, however, no barrier to those who wish to enter the scheme at the higher level of 12wpm.

The initial 5wpm Certificate of Competency Morse test will:

  • be at a speed of 5wpm
  • require the receiving and sending of text, including some punctuation, for 3 minutes with no more than three uncorrected errors; and
  • require the receiving and sending of numbers in five figure groups.

Success in this test will merit issuing the Certificate of Competency, after which further certificates can be obtained at 12, 15, 20, 25, and 30wpm. Tests at these higher speeds will also require the receiving and sending of a basic rubber-stamp type QSO.

A requirement of every test taken (regardless of speed) will be that all sending must be pre-recorded, or generated by suitable computer software/application/keyer, at guaranteed speeds to ensure integrity of the testing process and thus prevent appeals in this regard.

Sending tests may be taken using equipment chosen by the candidate and appropriate for the speed being examined including straight keys, paddles, bugs and semi-automatic keys, etc. Keyboard-generated Morse is not acceptable for sending tests.

The structure will be that:

  • tests will be conducted under the auspices of any RSGB Approved Morse Assessor.
  • when a candidate is ready to be tested, an application should be made (by the candidate) to the Regional Manager stating the speed at which they wish to be tested.
  • the test will be conducted by an Approved Morse Assessor for the speed of test to be conducted (see Approved Assessors). The test will be adjudicated by either the Regional Manager, Deputy Regional Manager, any other elected RSGB volunteer, or an elected member of the club committee.
  • a successful test will be confirmed using a form that can be downloaded from the RSGB website and will be signed by the Approved Assessor and Adjudicator. This form will be retained by the Regional Manager for checking and audit purposes
  • on completion of a successful test, the Regional Manager will issue a formal Certificate of Competency.

When a test is requested, it will become the Regional Manager’s responsibility to contact an appropriate Approved Assessor. It is for the Approved Assessor and the candidate to make arrangements for the test to take place at a mutually convenient time and place for the candidate, Approved Assessor and an Adjudicator. It should be noted that The RSGB will not pay any expenses incurred in connection with undertaking a Morse test.

If any of this causes any difficulties, please contact the Chair of the Training & Education Committee via

updated 2015-02-13 G5FM