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 steps to book an online Foundation exam 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 for the exam, stable Internet connection and a webcam – as per the specifications listed here
  • Book your online exam via the RSG’s website: RSGB Book an Exam and make payment of the exam fee (£27.50)
  • About a week before the exam, the RSGB will be in touch re. 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), although note that they are very busy at the moment

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 (14)

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

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up47
Thumbs Down0

The steps to book an online Foundation exam 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 for the exam, stable Internet connection and a webcam – as per the specifications listed here
  • Book your online exam via the RSG’s website: RSGB Book an Exam and make payment of the exam fee (£27.50)
  • About a week before the exam, the RSGB will be in touch re. 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), although note that they are very busy at the moment

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up34
Thumbs Down0

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.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up38
Thumbs Down0

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:

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up14
Thumbs Down0

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)
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up18
Thumbs Down1

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
Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up22
Thumbs Down0

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.

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up30
Thumbs Down0

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

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up12
Thumbs Down0

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

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

 

 

 

Any more questions? See our Course & Exam FAQ

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up15
Thumbs Down0

For exams taken at home, you need a webcam. This is so that the invigilator can monitor you during the exam to check that you’re not cheating. You’ll also need a microphone and speakers, so that the examiner can hear you and speak to you. Many webcams have a built-in microphone.

If you have a webcam that’s built-in to your laptop, this should be fine. You can also use a USB webcam.

Note that the invigilator will ask you to move your webcam around, asking you to point the camera around the room, so they can check out the entire room. For this reason, a fixed, non-movable webcam (like a wall-mounted webcam) is not ideal.

RSGB will arrange a text video call before the exam, where you get a chance to test your webcam before the exam.

Basic WebcamNot got a moveable webcam? A 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

Exam Video

The following video explains how the exam works:

Any more questions? See our Course & Exam FAQ

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up11
Thumbs Down0

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

 

 

Any more questions? See our Course & Exam FAQ

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up10
Thumbs Down2

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

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up19
Thumbs Down0

No

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up27
Thumbs Down0

Yes. See our guide to Amateur Radio & Dyslexia

Did you find this FAQ helpful?
Thumbs Up7
Thumbs Down1

Load More

Got a question we’ve not answered? Please ask in the comments section below…

Related links

30 Comments

  1. Ioannis V. 2 April 2020 Reply
    • HamTrain Pete HamTrain PeteAuthor 2 April 2020 Reply
  2. Adam Raybould 2 April 2020 Reply
  3. Windymiller 2 April 2020 Reply
    • HamTrain Pete HamTrain PeteAuthor 2 April 2020 Reply
      • Radek 2 April 2020 Reply
        • HamTrain Pete HamTrain PeteAuthor 2 April 2020 Reply
    • Adam Raybould 2 April 2020 Reply
    • Steve 3 April 2020 Reply
      • HamTrain Pete HamTrain PeteAuthor 3 April 2020 Reply
  4. Adam Raybould 2 April 2020 Reply
  5. Bob Farley 2 April 2020 Reply
    • HamTrain Pete HamTrain PeteAuthor 2 April 2020 Reply
  6. Don Mason 3 April 2020 Reply
    • HamTrain Pete HamTrain PeteAuthor 3 April 2020 Reply
      • Don Mason 5 April 2020 Reply
      • Sue 3 August 2020 Reply
  7. Radek 3 April 2020 Reply
  8. William 3 April 2020 Reply
  9. windymiller 4 April 2020 Reply
  10. James M 7 April 2020 Reply
  11. GARY ARNOLD 8 April 2020 Reply
    • HamTrain Pete HamTrain PeteAuthor 8 April 2020 Reply
  12. Richard Pike 16 April 2020 Reply
  13. Kamilla Sperl 18 April 2020 Reply
    • HamTrain Pete HamTrain PeteAuthor 18 April 2020 Reply
  14. Nodd 2 August 2020 Reply

Leave a Reply to Sue Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *