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Preparing for Amateur Radio Exams

There are a large number of books, websites, apps, videos, and audiobooks that you can use to prepare for taking the exams and getting your amateur radio license. Everyone will claim that their method or resources are the best ones to use, but really any of them will be fine… It just comes down to how you learn best.

Practice Exams is a website, phone, and tablet app where you can practice exam questions for the US and Canada amateur radio exams. The website is free, but the mobile apps do have a low cost.

Benefits include:

  • Practicing specific topic areas
  • Full practice exam simulations
  • Ability to mark questions as “I don't know” to avoid guessing it correctly (would artificially think you know the topic)
  • Info button after answering a question, to see tips and information about the correct answer


HamTestOnline is a website-only application where you can practice exam questions and do practice exams. HamTestOnline has a subscription option for gaining extra features, but the base application is free.

Benefits include:

  • Practicing specific topic areas
  • Full practice exam simulation with the ability (for paid subscription users) to solely focus on your weaknesses
  • Tips after each question about how to remember the answer
  • A “skip” button if you are unsure about the answer

Study Books

“Fast Track” Series

Geared specifically towards learning the minimum amount of information necessary to understand an exam question, the “Fast Track” series of books comes in traditional, ebook, and audiobook formats. It includes some explanation of the why on topics, and also includes humor and tricks to remembering the answers.

In a rush to pass an exam? Play the audiobook at 1.25x and follow along in the actual book.

Fast Track website
Technician-level book
General-level book
Extra-level book

“The Easy Way” Series

For the most concise, and fairly terse, way of preparing for the exams, “The Easy Way” series of books provides virtually nothing other than the question, correct answer, and a sentence or two about why or how to remember that answer. It's similar in concept to websites like, focused on memorizing answers to pass the exams.

The Easy Way website
Technician-level book
General-level book
Extra-level book

ARRL License Manuals

For the most comprehensive single volume books to actually study the topics in each exam, not just focusing on passing the exams, ARRL provides a manual for each exam. While some people may feel that much of the material in the books is irrelevant to passing an exam, the manuals do provide more complete summaries of each topic area.

Studying for Technician?
Much of the material in the Technician and General books is the same. It may be cheaper to start with the General manual for study, but use the Tech pool for practice exams.

ARRL Licensing and Education store
Technician Manual
General Manual
Extra Manual

Audio & Video Study Materials

David Casler

David Casler YouTube channel covers a variety of topics related to amateur radio. At the moment, his Extra class questions are not up-to-date, however his General and Tech questions are current. While often more in-depth than necessary just for passing the exam, these videos are effectively a free exam prep class, and are similar in depth to the ARRL License Manuals.

Technician exam playlist
General exam playlist

preparing_for_amateur_radio_exams.txt · Last modified: 2021/08/08 22:11 by Andre Robitaille, WT9X