Exams – candidates FAQ

COVID-19: Government restrictions in response to the pandemic meant that clubs haven’t been able to hold exams. As of 4 October 2021 clubs are able to book online examinations (all three licence levels) with paper exams being available from 1 November 2021. The RSGB is still providing remote invigilation exams at each licence level. For further details, see our candidate information.

The fee for each exam is as follows—
  • Foundation £27.50
  • Intermediate £32.50
  • Full £37.50
For more information, see Paying for your Exam.
Use our UK Club Finder to find amateur radio clubs in your area.
Use our UK Course and Exam Finder to find courses and examinations in your area.
A new combined amateur radio examination syllabus came into effect on 1 September 2019 and can be found at rsgb.org/syllabus2019.
The sample exam papers for Foundation, Intermediate and Full examinations can be found under Resources for Trainers and Students
Yes.
A reduced fee is also now available to any one taking two or all three examinations at the same time. Please note however, that if you do not pass the lower exam(s) you will not be able to take the higher exam(s) and you will forfeit the higher exam fee(s).
Online exams give you your mark immediately; whereas with paper exams you will need to wait for the indicative mark. There is a two mark leeway with indicative marking just in case there is a local marking error.

Because the Full exam is part of a three-tier progressive system, on its own it does not cover all aspects of the Harmonised Amateur Radio Education Certificate (HAREC) (24-page/182KB PDF).

We are developing a new 'Direct-to-Full' exam that covers all the required aspects, but that is not available at present.
We do, the Foundation level exam. The idea appliance operators sit a different exam to gain Full Licence privileges is unlikely to find favour with Ofcom who are keen to see more people progress to the Full Licence. We are required to meet all aspects of the Harmonised Amateur Radio Education Certificate (HAREC) (24-page/182KB PDF) and have detected no demand for removing the technical content from within the international amateur radio community.
A number of exam centres are against local marking for the Full level on the grounds that the time taken for the exam, plus marking, would take them over their room hire time limits. Turn around time for HQ marking of paper exams is about seven days from the exam. Results for the online Full exam are available immediately.
The time allows for appeals or irregularities to be reported. It would be unfair to issue results before a candidate had time to register an appeal as, once issued, exam results cannot be changed. Appeals have to be registered within five days of the exam, and so papers are not processed until the sixth working day after being received at HQ.
The RSGB processes examination papers six working days after receiving them and the result is sent to Ofcom. You will then receive a pass certificate in the post containing your candidate number that you need when you apply to Ofcom for a call sign. Ofcom work to ensure that you can apply for a licence as soon as possible after they receive notification from the RSGB, but this can take up to five working days.
Your call sign will be issued with your amateur radio licence. To apply for your licence go to Ofcom Online Licensing Services and create a user account. Login to your new account and follow the Apply for a Licence link. You will need your RSGB candidate number which can be found on your pass certificate. Alternatively, download Ofcom form OF346 (7-page/646KB PDF) to apply for an Amateur Radio licence. Note that applying for a licence online is free but if you send in a paper application a processing fee is incurred. If you apply online you can print your licence and start using your Foundation call sign straight away. If you send in a paper application, you need to wait for your licence to be delivered through the mail.
Yes. Please contact the RSGB Examinations Department on 01234 832 717 before your examination secretary applies for the exam. Contact us at least three weeks before the exam so we have time to find out how we can best help the candidate.
No. Existing qualifications cannot be used to gain a licence, even if they are in a related subject.

The Air Cadet Foundation examination is however an alternative route for cadets.
You can request feedback from the RSGB Examinations Department. The feedback report shows you where did well, not so well, and how far off the pass mark you were. Based on this you can decide whether to book a quick resit after some targeted revision, or whether to consider a resit after a longer period of further study. . If you sit an online exam your results are immediately available and can be saved to the computer you used for the examination
An allegation of an irregularity in the examination process must be made in writing to the RSGB Examinations Department within five working days of the examination, and signed by the person making the allegation. The process that will be followed can be found in The Handling of Irregularities and Appeals (12-page/297KB PDF).