General Class Amateur Radio License Exam Cram - Friday-Saturday, October 26-27, 2018, 6pm-9pm (Fri), 8am-2pm (Sat.)

This free intensive General Class Amateur Radio Exam Cram course is designed for Portland NET members, but is also open to the public for ages 12+. Scheduled to take place at PCC Cascade in PSEB 100, the class will concentrate on the value of amateur radio for emergency disaster communications, but will also cover some of the other aspects of amateur radio as a hobby.  IF YOU HAVE NOT YET PASSED THE TECHNICIAN CLASS license, you must do that first.  Register for the Technician Class Exam Cram, which is held at the same time and location.

The course is based on Gordon West's General Class License Preparation manual.  This is a guided self-study course.  If you work steadily at it, you may find that you will be well enough prepared to take the exam without having to attend the Exam Cram.  The purpose of the exam cram is to answer any questions you still haven't found clear answers for, and to help you "connect the dots" between what you have been memorizing and the actual concepts behind the material.

Free class, but donations to the Piedmont NET are very helpful

Though the course is free, a donation ($5-$10) to cover the cost of emergency response supplies for the Piedmont NET would be greatly appreciated. You can use the PayPal Donate button in the right sidebar on this page.

What's not free  The exam fee is $15.  If you are already a licensed Technician Class ham, then you probably have an idea of what it will cost to fully use all the new privileges and frequencies that will be available to you as a General Class amateur radio operator.  In general (no pun intended), you can expect a new HF multi-mode transceiver to cost between $600-$1400, but used equipment is available on eBay for much less.  One thing to keep in mind is not buying more radio than you really need.  There are so many aspects of the hobby to be explored that you may find it best to start with a basic entry-level transceiver, rather than one with lots of "bells and whistles."  If you need advice and counsel on what equipment to buy, please contact Michael Colvin W6CUJ (

Here's how to prepare for the exam:

  1. Register for the class at the bottom of this page. 
  2. Study on your own (6-10 hours) using the Gordon West book or your own choice of study manual, and download the other materials found at
  3. Watch the Dave Casler General Class video series on YouTube
  4. Take online practice tests a few times to monitor how you are doing and to gain confidence for the actual exam. One online practice test site is at
  5. After taking the practice exams, you may feel confident enough to go ahead and take the real test, If yes, skip to step 7.  If not, go to step 6. 
  6. Attend the class at PCC Cascade with others who are studying for the exam. Using analogies and memory reinforcement strategies, we will go over all of the questions to help you "connect the dots" between memorization of the material and actually understanding the concepts.  The class will consist of PowerPoint instruction and some demos of some equipment. Register for the Exam Cram below.
  7. Finally, take the test that afternoon from 3pm to 6pm next door in  PCC Cascade PSEB 103.  Be sure to register for the exam using the link below.
  8. We will keep you informed of other possible testing opportunities.
  9. When you pass the exam, please let us know.  We keep data on the number of successful license candidates.  It helps the Portland Bureeau of Emergency Management with its emergency communications and funding.

Register for the October 26-27, 2018 Exam Cram here!

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