Online UK Amateur Radio Foundation Exam – Latest News

From the 6th of April 2020, it’s now possible to take your Foundation Amateur Radio Exam online at home, without the need to visit a club to complete practicals or to visit an Exam Centre. This is a temporary change due to the UK travel and social distancing changes arising from the Coronavirus. Here is the latest information we have on taking your online exam:

Can I take my Foundation exam online at home?

Yes! It is currently possible to apply for an online exam – you’ll be able to take the exam from home using your Windows or Mac computer. You’ll be using special exam software, and an RSGB invigilator will supervise you using your webcam and microphone, to ensure that you don’t cheat.

There’s more information below, or in the RSGB’s Online Exam FAQ

What about the practicals?

As a result of the UK lockdown, RSGB has agreed to suspend the need for practicals to be completed until further notice.

How do I book my exam?

The recommended steps, are:

  • Make sure you’ve properly studied. The pass mark is 19/26, and we’d encourage those taking our free Foundation Online course to make sure you get at least 19 in our end-of-course mock.
  • Check that you have a suitable Windows or Mac computer, stable Internet connection and a webcam – as per the specifications listed above
  • Fill in the application form – RSGB Form EX-200 (Also available from RSGB Exam Forms) – Leave the date blank, then either:
    1. If you are training with the help of an amateur radio club, contact your club’s exam secretary so that they can arrange an exam date (you can find details for your local club on the RSGB Club Finder), or
    2. You can apply direct to RSGB for an exam. Email the EX-200 form to the RSGB.
  • You will be contacted by either the RSGB or your Exam Secretary to arrange an exam date
  • Once you have an exam date, you will be required to make payment online to the RSGB (£27.50) via the RSGB’s online shop
  • Then, RSGB will advise on the next steps, which include installing the special exam software and a pre-exam video call with RSGB

If you need to call the RSGB Exam team, the number is 01234-832700 (8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday)

VIDEO: Taking Your Amateur Radio Exam at Home

What hardware do I need?

According to the RSGB’s Online Exam FAQ, you’ll need:

  • A Windows (Windows 7+) or Mac (Mac OS 10.8+) desktop or laptop with either 2GB or 4GB of RAM (no tablets, smartphones or Linux)
  • A stable Internet connection with at least 512kbps per candidate
  • A working webcam, microphone and speakers (Headphones are optional)

How can I study for my exam?

There are several options – You can study from the RSGB’s Foundation Manual, get help from your local club’s training team, or study online

Our free revision course isn’t affected by the lockdown, and many are choosing to study with us. Our course offers online lessons, videos and mock tests – If you want to sign up, please complete our course application form.

Normally, courses start at the beginning of each month, but we may offer more frequent courses during the lockdown. We also offer a “Fast Track” course if you have an imminent exam and can’t wait for the next course.

For a flavour of what the course is, and how it works, please watch the following video:

 

Online Exam FAQ

Questions about taking the exam (13)

Yes. During the UK Coronavirus ‘lockdown’, you can take the exam online from home without the need to visit a club

Normally, you’ll need to take the Foundation Practicals in front of a registered assessor, then sit the exam at an RSGB-recognised exam centre. During the COVID-19 Lockdown, practicals are suspended and it’s possible to take exams online from home – See Exams and COVID-19

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The recommended steps are as follows:

  • Make sure you’ve properly studied. The pass mark is 19/26, and we’d encourage those taking our free Foundation Online course to make sure you get at least 19 in our end-of-course mock.
  • Check that you have a suitable Windows or Mac computer, stable Internet connection and a webcam – as per the specifications listed here
  • Fill in the application form – RSGB Form EX-200 (Also available from RSGB Exam Forms) – Put the venue as “Online” and leave the date blank. Then either:
    1. If you are training with the help of an amateur radio club, send the form to your club’s exam secretary so that they can arrange an exam date (you can find details for your local club on the RSGB Club Finder), or
    2. You can apply direct to RSGB for an exam. Email the EX-200 form to the RSGB ([email protected]).
  • You will be contacted by either the RSGB or your Exam Secretary to arrange an exam date. Note that the RSGB are very busy with applications due to high levels of demand.
  • Once you have an exam date, you will be required to make payment online to the RSGB (£27.50) via the RSGB’s online shop
  • Then, RSGB will advise on the next steps, which include installing the special exam software and a pre-exam video call with RSGB

If you need to call the RSGB Exam team, the number is 01234-832700 (8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday)

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One of our most common questions, and the answer is really up to you.

At the time of writing (mid-April 2020) there is a lot of demand for online exams, with a lead time of around 3-4 weeks – some are lucky enough to get cancellation slots, and some are waiting longer.

When you book the exam is up to you. The sensible answer is to suggest that you only book when you’re comfortable you’ve done enough study. The pass mark is 19/26 and when you’re comfy that you’ll be able to get this mark in the exam, that’s a sign that you should be ready for the exam itself.

We’d encourage those taking our free Foundation Online course to make sure you get at least 19 in our end-of-course mock. As our course contains numerous online tests, this will prepare you for the actual online test, so is great preparation.

Alternatively, you could book now to get the first available place, and hope you’ll be prepared enough in time – some are better at studying than others, and some like the pressure. The worst that could happen is that you find you’re struggling with the material, you start getting stressed by the approaching exam, or worst-case, you take the exam before you’re ready, and fail. If that happens – simply take it again (note you need to pay RSGB £27.50 per exam attempt).

For answers to other common questions, see the HamTrain FAQ.

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There are several options – You can study from the RSGB’s Foundation Manual, get help from your local club’s training team, or study online

Our free revision course isn’t affected, and many are choosing to study with us during lockdown. Our course offers online lessons, videos and mock tests – If you want to sign up, please complete our course application form.

Courses start at the beginning of each month. We also offer a “Fast Track” course if you have an imminent exam and can’t wait for the next course.

For a flavour of what the course is, and how it works, please watch the following video:

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According to the RSGB’s Online Exam FAQ, you’ll need:

  • A Windows (Windows 7+) or Mac (Mac OS 10.8+) desktop or laptop with either 2GB or 4GB of RAM (no tablets, smartphones or Linux)
  • A stable Internet connection with at least 512kbps per candidate
  • A working webcam, microphone and speakers (Headphones are optional)
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You’ll need to complete five basic practical exercises – they’re straightforward and don’t take long. See our Foundation Practicals Information page for full details, and some videos showing what’s involved.

Update: During the COVID-19 Lockdown, practicals are suspended and it’s possible to take exams online from home – See Exams and COVID-19
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Not at present. During the UK Coronavirus ‘lockdown’, all practicals for Foundation have been suspended. This means that you can take the multiple-choice exam online from home without the need to visit a club, or to do any of the normal Foundation practicals.

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No – The exam is managed by the RSGB, the Radio Society of Great Britain

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Yes – as long as it’s silent, and non-programmable

See our dedicated page on this subject: Amateur radio exams and calculators

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Basic WebcamA basic webcam costs around £15. These typically plug into a free USB port on your Windows / Mac computer. If you don’t have a webcam, buy yourself a cheap one online (or in larger supermarkets), or borrow one for the exam.

Want to buy one online? See: Webcams on Amazon or Webcams on e-Bay

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Yes. See our guide to Amateur Radio & Dyslexia

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No!

There is no requirement to be a member of a club to take your exam. If you wish, you can book your exam direct with the RSGB. See how to book my exam

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No

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