Testing Information

License Testing Dates and Location
If the BARS testing sessions listed below do not meet your needs, you can search for additional testing sessions on the ARRL web site.
Dates: For 2023, we will provide Amateur Radio ​testing at 11:00 AM on the following dates:

  • January 7
  • February 4
  • March 4
  • April 1
  • May 6
  • June 3
  • August 5
  • October 7
  • November 4

(Dates are the first Saturday of the month)
​Location: 401 Pauls Drive, Brandon, FL 33511
                (Map to the testing location)
NOTE: Until further notice, preregistration is required.
Contact: Karen, K4KZF

What Will I Need Before the Exam?

When you present for your examination, there are certain requirements that must be met that day. We ask you to please be prepared to meet these requirements otherwise your exam date may have to be re-scheduled.

You are required to bring the following items with you to the examination location on examination day:

  1. The appropriate and exact amount of money to cover the examination fee. Payment must be in US Dollars, in the form of cash or a bank draft (check). Bank drafts must be made out to: “ARRL VEC.” We do not accept other forms of payment. We can't provide change so you must bring the exact dollar amount. Verify the specific dollar amount with Karen K4KZF before the day of the examination.
  2. A valid government issued photo ID that is current (has not expired). Photocopies, digital copies on a cell phone or other digital device, or reference links to a website will not be accepted. If a government issued photo ID is not available, we will accept a valid Student ID with a photo.
  3. Your current email address must appear on your examination paperwork.
  4. Your FRN (FCC Registration Number) must appear on your examination paperwork. You must bring the actual number with you.  Before the day of the exam, please visit this website for instructions (with a video) to assist you in obtaining your FRN:
  5. A hard-(paper)-copy of your current or last radio operator license must be included with your examination paperwork. Photocopies are acceptable provided they are clearly legible. This requirement is not necessary if you are taking the Technician Exam. This requirement is also not necessary for an individual who takes and passes the Technician Exam and then takes the General Exam during the same exam session. This requirement is only necessary if you are taking the examination to upgrade your license (for example, from Technician to General or from General to Amateur Extra).

If you are unable to provide all of the above at the exam location on examination day, your examination may be re-scheduled. Please pardon our insistence on these items. We are obliged to follow ARRL and FCC guidelines in the total process of administering Radio Licensing Examinations.

How can I prepare for the radio licensing exam?
We recommend taking a training class augmented by using a study guide.

There are many study guides available. Perhaps some of the more user friendly texts are published by the ARRL (American Radio Relay League). Be sure to buy the most recent edition.  https://home.arrl.org/action/Shop/Store (click on “Licensing” in the far left column to see all the options of study guides available). Many of these are also available from Amazon. The study guides entitled: “ARRL Ham Radio License Manuals” (Technician, General, and Extra) all contain detailed information about how the exam is structured, the number of exam questions, the passing requirements, as well as a fairly easy-to-read explanation of important topics. These ARRL manuals list all the possible questions (with answers) in the exam pool from which exam questions on your exam will be randomly selected. If you enroll in a training class, many times the class will require a specific study guide. Be sure to check before you buy. Some training classes will provide a study guide as a part of the class fee.

Training classes are held periodically in our area and are presented by the Hillsborough County ARES RACES organization. To see a schedule of radio training classes as well as classes on on many other topics (including dates, fees, and other details), please see: https://hillsboroughares.org/events/

Practice exams are also available on-line for free: http://arrlexamreview.appspot.com/

It's a good idea to take practice exams to build confidence and to make sure you are ready to take the actual examination. It's possible to use these examinations to track your progress as you study. Generally, in most cases, if you're consistently scoring over 85% correct on multiple practice exams, you could reasonably expect to pass the actual exam.

Are there any other testing date options?
For a searchable listing of exam locations, dates and contacts in the United States, check out the ARRL website:

BARS offers radio licensing exam sessions in the Brandon Area usually the first Saturday of each month (see the list at the top of this page).

For specifics, contact Karen K4KZF.

Can you accommodate license Grandfathering or other special test session needs (dates, ADA, other)?

- Please contact Karen K4KZF to discuss options as they apply on an individual basis.