The Morse test

Morse operatorTaking the test is a simple three-stage process

Step 1 – When a candidate is ready to be tested, they should click the button below to complete the application form.

The application form includes the option for a candidate to express a preference for either a face-to-face or an online test.

Step 2The Morse Test Coordinator will contact an Approved Assessor and email contact details to the candidate who can then get in touch with the assessor and arrange the test.

Step 3Following a successful test, the assessor will notify the Morse Test Coordinator who will email a Certificate of Competency to the candidate.

Test structure

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 a higher speed.

Tests are available for 10, 12, 15, 20, 25 and 30 wpm.

The Certificate of Competency Morse test will:

  • Require the receiving and sending of plain language*, for three minutes with no more than four uncorrected errors and;
  • Require the receiving and sending of numbers, in five figure groups, for one minute with no more than three uncorrected errors.

*The plain language section of the test will include some numbers as well as the more commonly used punctuation marks such as oblique stroke and question mark.

Success in this test will merit issuing the Certificate of Competency, after which further certificates can be obtained for a successful test at a higher speed.

A requirement of every test taken—regardless of speed—will be that all sending by the assessor must be prerecorded, or generated by suitable computer software, application or 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 process of taking the test online is as follows:

  • This will be via an online sound and video program such as Skype or similar
  • The candidate and assessor must ensure that the video cameras are sited so that the assessor and candidate have a clear view of each other—in particular the assessor must be able to watch the candidate keying during the sending part of the test
  • In the event of a failure of video during the test, it may continue using sound only, at the discretion of the assessor
  • On completion of a successful test, the assessor will email confirmation to the Morse Test Coordinator who will email a Certificate of Competency to the candidate

It should be noted that The RSGB will not pay any expenses incurred by the candidate in connection with undertaking a Morse test.

If any of this causes any difficulties, please contact the Morse Test Coordinator via