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Journey to My Technician License: Part 1

Journey to My Technician License: Part 1

Journey to My Technician License Part 1 - Read Blog

So I’ve decided to get my Technician License. Actually, I take that back, our whole department has decided to pursue our Technician License! It’s something that we’ve wanted to do for awhile and our test date is approaching in a little less than a month. It’s only our first week of getting into the material and preparing for the test, but I figured it would be fun to follow along our journey to see the progress we make and the steps you can take if you too are thinking about getting yours. 
A test like this always brings a few butterflies to my stomach, but it’s a ways away, and I figure If I can do it, anyone can. Here’s some tips and a recap from my first week studying for my tech license.

One of the first steps you will need to take is locating an exam site or online test. The easiest way to do this is by heading to ARRL.org. ARRL is the National Association for Amateur Radio and they are the authority in amateur radio. have so much great information and resources just on their home page. With a quick scroll through their website, you can locate 'Find an Exam Site' on their main page.

find an exam on ARRL.org. It is located in the bottom right corner of their home page

Clicking 'Find an Exam Site' will lead you to the next page that has further instructions on finding an amateur radio license in your area. You have the option to either search for online exam sessions here, or can search for an in-person exam by using your zip code.

Search for Online Exam sessions or search for in-person exam sessions on arrl's find an amateur license exam session

I chose to search for an in-person exam with my zip code and was given a list of exam session dates as well as locations and contact information. If you find an exam you want to take, just click on 'Learn more' and you should be presented with contact information. We recached out to our exam session contact, and they gave us more information so we could properly get registered. He gave us the next few steps we needed to take, and also gave us a few forms to print off so we could get it scheduled. 

These forms included a written element answer sheet, a certificate of successful completion of the exam (to be filled out if you pass), an information for new ham sheet, as well as form 605, which is an application for an amateur operator station license.

So at this point, we at least have the forms we need to fill out for the test and we have our testing location picked out (or are taking it online). Now comes the fun part, studying!

As you might know, there are TONS of study resources out there. We've already broken down multiple study resources you can use with our other blog post 'Technician License Study Resource', so check that out if you want a variety of options to choose from for study materials.

The two study resources that we've used the most so far are called HamExam, and HamStudy. Just remember there are books, websites, and other guides you can find as well online, so make sure you find something you're comfortable with.

Ham Exam is a bit more straightforward. Question and answer flash cards, practice tests, and question pools. The interface looks like this and the questions you study are exactly what's on the test.

Ham Exam Main Screen Interface

Ham Study interface look like the image below.

Ham Study Interface

Hamstudy gives you option to use study mode, read questions, or take a practice test. I think my favorite feature so far has been 'Study Mode' which presents the questions on the exam as flash cards. When in study mode, you are also able to flip the questions over to see the explanation on why your answer was right or wrong. This feature has been super valuable and is one of the reasons I've been heavily using Hamstudy.

Both sites are absolutely amazing resources as I continue to learn more and more about the industry, and take steps to obtain my technician license.

I never thought I would get to answer questions like 'Which of the following components can consist of three layers of semiconductor material?', but now I'm starting to learn the answers more, and I'm actually getting pretty excited about my new knowledge. I know I've got so much to study and so much to learn, but I've taken the first couple steps, and you can too!

For anyone on the fence about taking their exam, this is your chance to dive in. You now have study materials, tons of resources, and a great guide to get started, so you'll never be alone when you start your journey! 

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Getting started is easy. Call Us at 816-532-8451 and ask about our Plug & Play Package or the 878UVII Plus radio and we'll either program it for you, or teach you exactly how to use it so get can get right on the air after you pass your test. 

Click here for Part 2.

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