Licensed to Thrill

Exam Levels

Ham radio operators are licensed in Canada by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. You need to be licensed to operate on the Amateur bands. To become licensed, you must pass the Amateur Radio exam. In the Canadian system there 2 main exam levels: Basic and Advanced.


The Basic exam consists of 100 Multiple choice questions (out of approximately 1000) and has 2 qualification levels:

  • Pass - 70% The Basic level gives you operating privileges on ham frequencies above 30MHz.
  • Honors - 80% Basic with Honors lets you operate on all the amateur frequencies. Morse Code, though no longer a requirement for licensing, can elevate you to Honours status as well, if you can demonstrate the ability to send and receive at 5 Words Per Minute.
ISED Canada publishes the entire question bank on their website. It consists of 8 areas:
  • B-001-Regulations and Policies
  • B-002-Operating and Procedures
  • B-003-Station Assembly, Practice and Safety
  • B-004-Circuit Components
  • B-005-Basic Electronics Theory
  • B-006-Feedlines and Antenna Systems
  • B-007-Radio Wave Propagation
  • B-008-Interference and Suppression


The Advanced qualification is added to your Basic with Honours qualification. This level allows for greater privileges, including building and operating transmitters, running higher power output, owning and operating your own repeater, sponsoring club stations, etc. To obtain Advanced, you need to pass a 50 multiple choice question exam on radio theory. Likewise, ISED also publishes the Advanced level question bank on the following 7 categories:

  • A-001-Advanced Theory
  • A-002-Advanced Components and Circuits
  • A-003-Measurements
  • A-004-Power Supplies
  • A-005-Transmitters, Modulation and Processing
  • A-006-Receivers
  • A-007-Feedlines - Matching and Antenna Systems
Our club is blessed to have 2 vetted course instructors, one of whom (VE5TRF) is an accredited examiner (one of only ten in the Province!). We run courses as needed to help get you on the air.

Getting Started

There are many resources and study guides available to help you pass and take part in the hobby. The most direct approach is to get the Canadian Amateur Radio Basic Qualification Guide book. It goes over all the course material and is generally considered "mandatory" reading for passing the exam. You can check out VE5REV's Study Notes on the book, and the additional resources page has further study helps.

Be sure to checkout the Radio Amateurs of Canada Website on Getting Started.