Go back to the main page.

B. Petersen: Amateur Radio Files: 00-READ-ME-FIRST.html


Shown here is information related to writing an amateur radio examination. You need to pass the basic exam before you can write the advanced exam. The basic exam has two types of content, regulations and theory. The advanced exam has just theory.

Regarding studying, there are two approaches, self study and taking a course.

For the regulations, please look at the Radio Information Circulars (RBRs and RICs) and the appropriate question bank. Emphasize RBR-4, RBR-3, RIC-3, RIC-7, RIC-8, RIC-9, RIC-15, and RIC-22.

Examination Day

For in-person exams, on the examination day, please bring:

Unfortunately, due to an Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) Canada requirement, if you forget your photo ID, you will not be allowed to write the examination. If you want your exam results kept confidential from other candidates, please tell the examiners.

Reference material must not be used during the examination; it is a closed book examination. The use of calculators is permitted provided that the calculator does not have the capability of storing formulas or text. The examiner may forbid the use of calculators that are deemed unacceptable. See

On the basic examination, if 70 to 79 questions are answered correctly, it is a passing grade and grants the candidate privileges on the VHF and UHF bands; if 80 to 100 questions are answered correctly, it is a passing grade, with honours called a basic with honours or basic plus, and grants the candidate privileges on the HF, VHF and UHF bands. On the advanced examination, the passing grade is 70 out of 100.

There is not usually a prescribed duration of the examination; it is often two hours. Morse code is not required to get a basic with honours qualification. Morse code is not required to obtain an advanced qualification. The exams are overseen by the examiners who are accredited with ISED Canada. At this time, there is no fee to write an examination at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), but some non-UNB examiners ask for a fee. If one passes the examination, the certification is normally good for life, free of charge, provided one maintains compliance with the regulations. A burden is that each time one moves, regarding the mailing address change, one must notify ISED Canada.

Claiming A Call Sign

If you pass the examination, then your information from the ISED 2381 form will be entered into the ISED Canada database by an examiner. You will receive an email from ISED Canada with instructions to follow. These instructions will allow you to choose an available call sign. Also, these instructions will allow you to indicate if you want to have your address made public. If all steps went well, after a few business days, you may see your call sign in the ISED Canada database of amateurs at
https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/025.nsf/eng/home and selecting "amateur/club call sign search".

To assist you in completing the ISED 2381 form, note the following. At the web page
https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/025.nsf/eng/h_00004.html you may download the database for all amateur radio operators in Canada. The form requests your first three choices for call signs, but that is likely not useful because you would claim an available call sign online using the ISED Canada process. If your permanent Canadian address is in New Brunswick, your call sign would be of the form VE9ab or VE9abc, where the lowercase "ab" or "abc" are replaced by uppercase letters. If your permanent Canadian address is outside New Brunswick, you should use the prefix for that address, such as: VY2ab or VY2abc for Prince Edward Island, VE1ab or VE1abc for Nova Scotia, or other more distant Canadian addresses which can be checked at
https://apc-cap.ic.gc.ca/pls/apc_anon/query_avail_cs$.startup. Many amateur radio operators, also known as hams, choose their initials or something personally meaningful. My initials were taken, so I just chose a call sign with two letters. Another consideration, that I found after some experience as an amateur radio operator, is that other amateur radio operators informally provide their own words to refer to the letters of a call, instead of using the international radio code words; for example, a call sign such as XX9MM would normally be spoken as x-ray x-ray nine mike mike, but instead operators may say x-ray x-ray nine mickey mouse during informal conversation; in choosing your call sign, you may want to consider positive and negative possibilities.

The ISED Canada regulations may change faster than this web page. If there is a conflict, clearly their regulations prevail.


2018 November ARRL Sweepstakes SSB Radio Contest

The station VE9UNB participated in a radio contest in the years 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

QRZ Page

QRZ is a common international way that amateur radio operators look up information about other amateur radio operators. You need another amateur radio operator to enter your call sign before you claim a free account. Please let someone who already has a QRZ page to add your new call sign to the QRZ database, according to the way they are shown in the ISED Canada database. Some QRZ pages are at:

for UNB, Guida Bendrich, Richard Tervo, and I.

Radio Amateurs of Canada (RAC)

If you pass the examination, consider joining the Radio Amateurs of Canada,
https://www.rac.ca/ which has a publication called The Canadian Amateur This publication has valuable information for newly licenced amateurs and may show your name and call sign in a column about new amateurs. Membership is free during the first year that you obtain a licence.

UNB Amateur Radio Page

At the web page
https://www.unb.ca/initiatives/ar/people/ advise me if you think it would be appropriate to list you in the Affiliates section.


73 <-- That is "ham speak" and means "best regards"

Brent Petersen VE9EX

January 20, 2022

Go back to the main page.
This page was created on January 28, 2013 by Brent Petersen.
This page was updated on March 9, 2022 by Brent Petersen.
© Copyright 2013-2022, Brent Petersen b.petersen@ieee.org UNB Professional Page Disclaimer
Check syntax.