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How do I get a Full licence?

A question from a possible newcomer to ham radio:

“I am interested in taking the full licence,and would like some general information regarding the process. I have been advised by full licence operators that I should take a full licence test so I can become an amateur radio operator. Can you steer me in the right direction?”

There are two routes to getting a Full licence:

  1. Sit the Foundation exam, then the Intermediate exam, then finally the Full exam, or
  2. Sit the “Direct to Full” exam. This is aimed at those with a solid knowledge of electronics and/or RF theory, who don’t require the 3-step approach, which is aimed at beginners

How you study is up to you: self-study, online course or in-person training by a tutor or club.

The exams can be taken in 3 ways:

  1. Online from home monitored via webcam
  2. At a local exam centre on a computer, or
  3. At a local exam centre, on paper

Of course, you don’t have to go all the way to a Full licence if you don’t want to. You can get started on-air with a Foundation licence – many people are happy to stay at this level without upgrading to a higher licence. Some are happy to stay at Intermediate.

Hopefully that’s a high-level summary of the process.

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