Exam Specifications – Syllabus 2019

Recent changes to the Amateur Radio Licence, which require radio amateurs to demonstrate compliance with Ofcom guidelines for minimising the exposure of the general public to electromagnetic fields (EMF) from their station, have made necessary urgent changes to the examination syllabus. These are to ensure that people coming into the hobby are aware of the licence conditions and guidance on EMF and know the meaning of the essential technical terms, e.g. eirp.

These changes are included in the new release: Syllabus 2019 version 1.5. The adoption date for this version is 1 September 2022, meaning that after that date the examinations will include questions on the new EMF-related material at all levels.

The added learning points associated with the EMF material are balanced by the removal of some learning points in other areas. Otherwise, the syllabus is largely the same as the current version, v1.4, except for a few formatting changes and correction of minor typographical errors. The significant differences between v1.5 and v1.4 are summarised in the Change Log file, published with the syllabus.

The Learning Team and book authors have had sight of the syllabus changes and have been working on some supplementary learning materials for use by tutors and candidates. These will be made available, along with updated mock exam papers, on the RSGB web pages well ahead of the adoption date.

The examinations team at the RSGB look forward to supporting and working with you to make the adoption of the new syllabus as smooth a process as possible.

Tony Kent, G8PBH
Examinations Standards Committee Chair


Exam Specifications v1.5

Changes from the previous version

The following document shows all of the changes from the previous version of the syllabus (v1.4) to readily allow tutors to identify what is new and what has gone.


NEW Direct to Full


Exam overview

Summary of exam questions; pass mark, percentage and time

Exam  Questions   Passmark   Percentage     Time (mins)
Foundation  26  19  73  60
Intermediate      46  28  61  90
Full   58  35  60  120
Direct to Full  Part 1 – 18
  Part 2 – 57
  Part 1 – 14
  Part 2 – 36
  Part 1 – 77.7
  Part 2 – 63.2