Exam Sessions

The Horseshoe Amateur Radio club offers in-person testing sessions six times per year, approximately every other month.

Our exam sessions are affiliated with the Laurel VEC (Volunteer Exam Coordinator). As such, there is no fee to take the exam. When you pass the exam to get a new license, you will receive an email from the Federal Communications Commission (fcc) (typicaly within 2 business days) with instructions on how to pay their license fee (currently $35 for ten years.) This fee is only applicable for new licenses or when you need to renew your license, but is not required when upgrading an existing license. The first test you must pass is the Technician test. It is a 35-question multiple-choice test made up questions about radio operation, regulations, and radio theory. There is no morse code requirement on any of the exams. If you pass this test, the examiners will offer you to take the next level test, the General exam. (If you don't pass your technian test, but were close to passing, the exmainers may offer to let you take the test again.) The General exam is also 35 multiple-choice questions. If you pass the General test, again the examiners will offer for you to take the next test, Amateur Extra. This test is a bit more challenging at 50 multiple-choice questions. There is no penalty for not passing a test, so you may as well go ahead and give it a try!

How do I prepare for the test?

There are numerous books, web sites, and apps that you can download to your phone or tablet that will help you study to pass the exams. Some of the web sites and apps are free, others cost. There are also many YouTube videos talking about how to pass the test - some offer full classes.

What do I need to bring with me to take the exam?

See ARRL's What to Bring to an Exam Session page.

Where can I take my test?

HARC offers in-person testing sessions in the Altoona area approximately every other month. To register for any of these sessions, contact officers@horseshoeradio.com.

Date Time Exam Fee Location
April 6, 2024 9:00am None Grandview Firehall
June 8, 2024 9:00am None Grandview Firehall
August 10, 2024 9:00am None Grandview Firehall
October 12, 2024 9:00am None Grandview Firehall
December 14, 2024 9:00am None Grandview Firehall


To register for any of the sessions above, please send an email to officers@horseshoeradio.com. Include: Name, Call Sign if you have one or FRN if you don't, Test Date you're interested in, Phone Number, eMail Address, and which elements you're testing For (tech/general/extra). Any changes to name, address, etc. not on file with the FCC should be provided when registering.

New hams need to supply an FRN number. hamradioprep.com has an excellent article on How to Register for Your FRN.