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Access requirements

To be able to sit the Advanced examination you MUST have passed the Foundation and Intermediate examinations but you do not need to hold a licence at neither the Foundation nor Intermediate level.

There is therefore APK (ASSUMED PREVIOUS KNOWLEDGE) that you are up to speed with all topics in the Foundation and intermediate levels. Further whilst the Advanced exam questions will be directed at the Advanced syllabus all the topics in the Foundation and Intermediate courses could play a part in enabling you to give the correct answer to a question.

Examination Dates

Consult your tutor as to examination dates or look at the RSGB's Web site. Closing dates for exams are understood to be at least 10 days prior to the exam date.

Cost of Exam

The RSGB charges for the Advanced Radio Communications Examinations Fees is set at £37.50 but subject to change without notice on this site.

Full Licence Holder / Advanced Licence Holder

For exam purposes and in general conversation the terms Full Licence Holder / Advanced Licence Holder mean exactly the same and are completely interchangeable.


The first point to understand is that you do not have to attend a course. Thus if you have the technical knowledge or can learn on your own from the information on this web site, the exam date is really of your choosing, subject to some limitations.

The Advanced Radio Amateur Examination is the final part of a structured suite of three examinations designed to give you full access to the amateur radio bands. This examination enable you to apply for the Amateur Radio (Full) Licence. All  prospective radio amateurs must demonstrate a suitable level of competence and proficiency as a prerequisite to holding the Amateur Radio (Full) Licence.

This syllabus sets out the requirements for the final tier in the 3 tier suite. It assumes that candidates have completed the requirements of the Foundation and Intermediate examinations syllabuses and passed the associated examinations.

Key Features

The exam is part of a progressive system of learning designed to promote an understanding of radio communications science, technology and practice sufficient to allow the licensed operator to work proficiently on the amateur radio bands.

Clear presentation of content for easy reference.

The examination suite as a whole provides a backbone of theoretical knowledge whilst at the same time requiring 'on-air' experience and practical skills.

A Syllabus Guide amplifies syllabus points and assessment procedures.

Can be used within schools to enrich the Science and Technology curriculum.

The Assessment

Assessment is by a written examination paper of 62 multiple choice questions each with 4 possible responses. The examination lasts 2 hours and is available every 2 months. Papers will continue to be marked centrally and results issued by post within 28 days of the scripts being returned from all participating examination centres. The results will also be entered centrally onto the Ofcom licensing database and candidates will use their candidate number and password to make on-line application for their licence. A postal application option will be available.

Prior Learning and Progression

A pass in the Intermediate examination is an entry requirement for the Advanced examination. Training may commence at any time and students progress to the Advanced examination at their own pace. Candidates are encouraged to attend a suitable course but there is no obligation to do so.

As this is the final tier of this three tier suite of examinations, there is no formal route within this suite for further progression. However there are many informal and academic opportunities for advancement and progression both in amateur radio and electronics generally. Possession of a Full Amateur Radio Licence is recognised as an advantage for entry into undergraduate training and many careers.

Candidates with disabilities

Arrangements can be made for candidates with disabilities to sit the examination by whatever means is judged appropriate after consultation with their health professional. This syllabus does not require practical demonstrations and should not therefore represent any disincentive or barrier to students capable of meeting the academic standard required. Applications for special arrangements should be made well in advance of the examination to the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB) and will normally require a medical certificate. Appeals after the examination citing disabilities not previously declared cannot be considered.

The Advanced Syllabus

The overarching aim of the Advanced examination is to test the depth of understanding of the candidate. Since they have already successfully completed the first two tiers of the examination suite, it is judged appropriate at this level to encourage candidates to understand principles rather than simply recall facts.

Where used in the syllabus the term "Recall" indicates a need to memorise a basic fact and apply it fairly directly to a situation or question. Extensive background knowledge and understanding is not expected, although some degree of interpretation may be required in an Advanced examination question.

The term " Understanding" indicates a need to more fully appreciate the origin and implications of a given subject area.

Examination Questions

Questions on the Advanced syllabus will assume the candidate is familiar with basic principles studied at Foundation and Intermediate levels.

For example, in attempting a question on the subject of interference, the candidate may need to be aware of how unwanted frequencies are produced, their potential to cause interference and how they may enter a victim device. This may require an understanding of the principle of mixing, the production of harmonics, and the recall of susceptible frequencies of the victim device.

It will be assumed that the candidate has some familiarity with amateur operating practices and procedures as outlined in all 3 syllabuses. This will include, for example, a broad understanding of such issues as amateur band plans although examination of specific knowledge will be in line with the syllabus.

Some time spent on-air either as a listener or as an amateur operator at Foundation or Intermediate level will be clearly advantageous in understanding the purpose and context of syllabus items and examination questions.


A formula sheet will be provided during the examination. The formulae will not be titled or explained and candidates will be expected to recognise which formula is appropriate and may need to transpose it depending on the parameter to be calculated.

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