If you’ve been waiting to take a license exam but couldn’t because in-person exams have all shut down, here’s an option for you through HamStudy.org. I’ve helped with a few of these as an examiner, and they work pretty well. For the applicant, it’s barely any different than the online practice tests you’ve already been banging through, since the question pool is exactly the same. For examiners, it’s super easy, because all the paperwork is generated automatically by the ExamTools system. This is here, now, and available for you to get your license super quickly. Since there’s no physical paperwork involved we’re seeing new callsigns appear in the FCC database literally the day after the test.
Justin, KJ1H, has been learning the ropes of this system from an examiner point of view under the Columbia University Amateur Radio Club and Alan, N2YGK, who heads them up. Justin is one of his regular online VEs now. Alan has also become a liaison between the ExamTools product and the ARRL VEC, who ultimately grants the individual groups permission to test online. (It’s on a case-by-case basis right now.) Ultimately we’d love to have enough VEs among our group that we can run our very own W1RLY exam sessions. That would require three or more other VEs of General class or higher. Since a Technician license is all you need to do rally, we’d be perfectly happy accepting General VEs and not offering the General or Extra tests, at least unless/until we have enough Extra class VEs among us.