SCARS Amateur Radio License Exams

When does SCARS hold test sessions?

The South Canadian Amateur Radio Society Exam Team conducts examinations for Amateur Radio licenses on the first Thursday of each month in the Training Center at Norman Fire Department Station 7 in Norman, Oklahoma. The exam session begins at 1830 CT. Candidates cannot be accepted after 1900 CT except by prior arrangement.  

Pre-registration is requested so that we can be ready when candidates arrive.

If you are not yet licensed, you must obtain an FCC Registration Number (“FRN”) from the FCC CORES site prior to registering.  SCARS volunteer examiners are accredited by the Laurel Amateur Radio Club VEC (LARC-VEC).

Upcoming Exam Dates and Past Results
Register for a regular test session
Date Elements Passed New Hams Upgrades Days to
issue license
January 3 8
Held at the Red Cross in Norman
4 3 1 23
(Gov’t Shutdown)
January 26
Winter Field Day
Held at the Red Cross in Norman
4 3 0 5
(Gov’t Shutdown)
February 7 3 2 1 1
March 7 3 1 2 1
April 4 19 10 6 *
May 2 8 5 3 *
June 6 7 4 3 *
June 22
Field Day Exam Session
Held at the Red Cross in Norman
7 2 5 2
July 11
First session with 2019-2023 Element 3 General Q&A Pool
4 3 0 *
July 27
Ham Holiday exam session
13 8 3 2
August 1 2 1 1 *
September 5 5 5 0 1
October 3 4 1 3 *
November 7        
December 5        
Totals 83 48 28 3 (Average
last 12 sessions)
“*” in Days To Issue License column indicates same day issuance
Previous Years: 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018

Where is the test site located?

Norman Fire Department Fire Station 7
2207 Goddard Ave
Norman OK 73069-8412

Testing sessions are conducted in the Norman Fire Department Training Center, part of Fire Station 7. Squad 7’s quarters are located on the grounds of OU’s Max Westheimer Airport near the intersection of Goddard Ave, W Rock Creek Rd, and N Flood Ave (formerly US-77).

This event is not sponsored by or endorsed by the City of Norman or the Norman Fire Department.

  • Google Map to the Fire Station.
  • From OKC and points north: I-35 south to Exit 113 (US-77 S – caution: left-hand exit). US-77 becomes N Flood Ave. Continue on N Flood Ave until the W Rock Creek Rd/Goddard Ave traffic signal. Turn right on Goddard Ave. The firehouse is about 1/4 mile ahead on the left.
  • From Purcell and points south: I-35 north to Exit 110 (Robinson St). Turn left at the end of the ramp onto W Robinson St and head east. At the 3rd signal (N Berry Rd), turn left and head north. At the end of Berry, turn left and head west on Westheimer Dr. Westheimer Dr turns into Goddard Ave near the Airport terminal. The firehouse is about 1/4 mile ahead on the right.

Do I need to register in advance?

Yes, please!  Registering in advance speeds the testing process.  Please use our online form to register and thanks! If you are not yet licensed, you must obtain an FCC Registration Number (“FRN”) from the FCC CORES site prior to registering. Current licensees should have their FRN printed on their license if they have a printed copy or PDF; if not, FRNs can be determined by visiting the FCC’s ULS.

What do I need to bring with me to the test?

Identification A legal photo ID will be needed. A driver’s license or Federal Common Access Card or US Military ID is ideal. If photo ID is not available, two forms of identification must be presented (birth certificate, report card, library card, Social Security card, utility bill, bank statement, non-photo ID/driver’s license, etc). Students may bring a school ID card, minor’s work permit, school report card, library card and/or a written note from a legal guardian.
CSCE, or other proof of exam credit If you have a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination (CSCE – also original and copy) for upgrades not yet reflected on your license.  The CSCE can be from any VEC (ARRL-VEC, W5YI-VEC, LARC-VEC, etc).
Fee The LARC-VEC does not charge a fee for administering exams. Incidental program costs such as printing, postage, et cetera, are generously covered by the membership of SCARS.
Pencil or pen Tests are multiple choice and hand graded, so pencil or pen are permitted. Please note that all forms (Form 605, CSCE) must be signed in ink. The team has a supply of pens and pencils but candidates are encouraged to bring their own. Note: Please do not write in the exam booklet – use the back of the answer sheet as scratch paper.
Calculator We have a few simple electronic calculators for candidates’ use. Sorry, no PDAs, Smart Phones, or any other network-connected devices!
Form 605 The Form 605 application will be generated on-site.

Note: The FCC requires licensees to obtain an FRN (“FCC Registration Number”) from the FCC’s CORES system prior to doing business with them.  This is a one-time task that can be done at any time (now, for example) and relieves the exam team and VEC from having to safeguard a candidate’s Social Security Account Number.

Current licensees should have their FRN printed on their license if they have a printed copy or PDF; if not, FRNs can be determined by visiting the FCC’s ULS.

Am I ready for the exam?

If you’ve studied the ARRL or other license manuals and are comfortable with the questions in the question pool, then you are probably ready to take the test.

The Question and Answer Pools are in the public domain, per FCC regulation, but these provide no background material to help future hams actually understand the answers. There are many study guides available that do provide this background and the team has made some recommendations below.

The Technician and General exams are 35-question, multiple-choice exams (the Amateur Extra exam has 50 multiple-choice questions). Questions are drawn from a pool of over 500 questions. The subject breakdown for the Technician exam is covered in the next table.

The SCARS Exam Team recommends the following study guides for people interested in obtaining a Technician-class license:

For candidates studying for the General- and Amateur Extra-class licenses, the team recommends the following ARRL study guides:

As reference material, particularly for the Technician exam, the team recommends the FCC Rules and Regulations for the Amateur Radio Service (an ARRL publication)

For further background, we also recommend ARRL’s Basic Radio and The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications 2019.

Technician Exam Breakdown
Sub Element Subject Number of
Questions on Exam
(Total 35)
T1 FCC Rules 5
T2 Methods of Communication 2
T3 Radio Phenomena 2
T4 Station Licensee Duties 3
T5 Control Operator Duties 3
T6 Good Operating Practices 3
T7 Basic Communications Electronics 3
T8 Good Engineering Practice 6
T9 Special Operations 2
T0 Electrical, Antenna Structure and RF Safety Practices 6

Succesful candidates should be familiar (very familiar) with the following:

  • FCC Amateur Service Rules (47 CFR 97), especially amateur radio frequency allocations (47 CFR 97.301).
  • Basic station operation and RF safety
  • Basic radio wave propagation (D/E/F layers, tropospheric effects, etc)
  • Ohm’s Law and other basic electronics
  • Formulae like “E = I x R”, “468 / f” and “300 / f”

I passed the test, what is my callsign?

Once a candidate has successfully completed an examination for a new license or upgrade, the SCARS Exam Team completes the necessary paperwork and transmits the results to the LARC-VEC electronically (paper documentation is also sent to them by USPS Priority Mail®). The LARC-VEC then verifies the data and uploads it to the FCC. The FCC then updates its master database of Amateur licensees. This normally occurs by the next business day.  Occasionally, it happens the night of the exam.  Once a candidate’s information and callsign appear in the the FCC database, the license has been legally granted and Amateur Radio operations may begin! A variety of databases are available on the net where candidates may check to see if the FCC has acted on their application.

I can’t make it to the SCARS exam session; are there others nearby?

The ARRL maintains a database of upcoming exams.

What the heck is ham radio?

Please visit the ARRL site that explains hamradio. We’ll open the link in a new window or tab so you’ll remember to come back.

Years ago I was a licensed, but I foolishly let it lapse. Can I get it back?

Not quite. If you hold a Technician-class amateur license but once held a higher class license, you can use that expired license to claim exam credit.  An expired General or Advanced license gives credit for the Element 3 exam, qualifying you for General, while an expired Amateur Extra license gives credit for the Element 3 and 4 exams, qualifying you for Amateur Extra.  An expired license showing that the candidate was licensed as a Technician prior to 1987-03-21 can also be used for Element 3 credit.

If you do not currently hold an amateur license, you must take and pass Element 2, the Technician exam, before the credits can be applied.

Proof of Credit

Applicants claiming credit for an exam element must provide the original and copies of all documentation supporting a claim of exam element credit including and limited to the following:

  1. A CSCE that was issued 365 or fewer days prior to the date of the current exam session.
  2. An expired Technician class license granted prior to 1987-03-21 for Element 3 credit.
  3. An expired General class license for Element 3 credit.
  4. An expired Advanced class license for Element 3 credit.
  5. An expired Amateur Extra class license for Element 3 and/or Element 4 credit.
  6. A letter from the FCC indicating the applicant was previously granted a specific class of license and when the license was granted.
  7. A copy of the cover and applicable page from a call sign directory (“Call Book”) showing the date of publication, the applicant’s name, call sign, and class of license.
  8. A copy of the cover and applicable page from the applicable directory available from

I passed the General written test a few years back but never passed the code. Now that Morse is gone, am I automatically a General?

No!  However, if you held a Technician-class license issued prior to 1987-03-21 and you can supply proof of that, you can receive credit for the current Element 3. This is true even if that Technician license has expired.  See above.

Additional Resources

The SCARS Exam Team

 N5UWY - Peter Laws, Team Leader - 18 (213)
 N5HZR - Mark Kleine, Deputy Team Leader - 13
KK5IO - Wayne Dutton, Deputy Team Leader - 12 (16)
WW5DAV - David Clare - 2 (1)
WX5DF - Doug Forsyth (27)
AG5DB - Peter Khor (1)
AG5DV - Ed Hatch - 7
AE5F - Bill Lockett - 17 (54)
 W5HLG - Lea Greenleaf - 1
 W5JA - Jud Ahern - 1 (40)
 N5KUK - Ken Brown - 6 (31)
AG5LB - Jeff Russell - 1 (7)
 K5MAF - Mike Furstenau - 8 (12)
 W5MQC - Michelle Carey - 16 (12)
KZ5OH - Jim Henry - 1 (2)
KG5SSW - Carl Purser - 17 (6)
WG5T - Bill Baker - 17 (169)
NB5U - Phil Miller (6)
KD5UGO - Phil Sinnett - 17 (32)
WB5ULK - Gary Skaggs - 8 (54)
WE5Z - Norbert Suchanek - 1 (15)
KH6AAA - Tom Seale - 9 (43)

Statistics as of 2019-07-31. Numbers are LARC-VEC sessions since the team switched affiliation; number in parentheses are ARRL-VEC sessions.