Licensing Exams

In order to become an amateur radio operator in the United States, you must first pass one or more multiple-choice exams to obtain a license from the FCC. These exams cover basic theory of electronics and radio, as well as FCC rules, and are administered by groups of volunteer examiners around the country, including a group here at Carnegie Mellon. We offer exams for Technician, General, and Extra class licenses. You can take any or all of the exams for a single fee. Knowledge of Morse code is no longer required to obtain an amateur radio license in the U.S.

Next Exam Session

Wednesday, March 22 at 7:00pm
Carnegie Mellon University
Wean Hall - Room 6403
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Or search for non-CMU sessions...

What to Bring

Please note that your FCC Registration Number is required by the FCC, and you will not be granted a license if you do not provide one on the application form. If you are not previously licensed, you must request a FRN from the FCC before the exam date. This can be done by visiting the FCC ULS Online System and choosing the "Register" button in the "New Users" section. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding these policies.

Study Materials

The ARRL Store offers many study guides in print and audio format.

Additionally, the actual questions that you will see on the exam are published for anyone to review (granted, there are hundreds of possible questions and only a few dozen will be randomly selected for your exam, so you probably shouldn't try to memorize all the answers).

Many web sites offer practice tests, including QRZ and AA9PW.

Here are some PDFs that you might find helpful:

COVID-19 Protocols

Please read CMU's visitor protocol immediately prior to the exam date for the most up-to-date information on CMU's COVID-19 policies.

Directions to Exam Site

Exams are usually held on the B level of Hamerschlag Hall on the Carnegie Mellon campus. Metered parking, which is free on Sundays, can be found along Frew Street. Free parking is also available on the weekends in the East Campus Parking Garage. Hamerschlag Hall is the building with the turret on top, overlooking Junction Hollow. As of spring 2022, there is a construction site directly between Frew St. and the "Main Entrance" on the anotated map below. Enter Hamerschlag Hall by walking to the grassy area across Baker and Porter Hall and then through either the main or street-level entrance. Once inside, take the stairs or elevator to level B.

campus map