Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Licensing Examinations

Exemplar Global has been a contracted Commercial Operator License Examination Manager (COLEM) since July 2013. As an FCC designated COLEM, Exemplar Global administers FCC licensing examinations at over 190 locations worldwide.

We can help you find out which FCC Commercial License you need and schedule your FCC license test.

Click the License type below to learn more about the required exams:

Marine Radio Operator Permit
  • Element 1 – Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 18 out of 24 questions.
  • Learn more about the Marine Radio Operator Permit at fcc.gov.
General Radiotelephone Operator License (PG)
  • Element 1 – Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 18 out of 24 questions.
  • Element 3 – General Radiotelephone. Electronic fundamentals and techniques required to adjust, repair, and maintain radio transmitters and receivers. The exam consists of questions from the following categories: operating procedures, radio wave propagation, radio practice, electrical principles, circuit components, practical circuits, signals and emissions, and antennas and feed lines. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 75 out of 100 questions.
  • Learn more about the General Radiotelephone Operator License (PG) at fcc.gov
GMDSS Radio Operator’s License (DO)
  • Element 1 – Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 18 out of 24 questions.
  • Element 7 – GMDSS Radio Operating Practices. GMDSS radio operating procedures and practices sufficient to show detailed practical knowledge of the operation of all GMDSS sub-systems and equipment. The exam consists of questions from the following categories: general information, narrow band direct printing, INMARSAT, NAVTEX, digital selective calling, and survival craft. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 75 out of 100 questions.
  • Learn more about the GMDSS Radio Operator’s License (DO) at fcc.gov
GMDSS Radio Maintainer’s License (DM)
  • Element 1 – Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 18 out of 24 questions.
  • Element 3 – General Radiotelephone. Electronic fundamentals and techniques required to adjust, repair, and maintain radio transmitters and receivers. The exam consists of questions from the following categories: operating procedures, radio wave propagation, radio practice, electrical principles, circuit components, practical circuits, signals and emissions, and antennas and feed lines. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 57 out of 76 questions.
  • Element 9 – GMDSS Radio Maintenance Practices and Procedures. Requirements set forth in IMO Assembly on Training for Radio Personnel (GMDSS), Annex 5 and IMO Assembly on Radio Maintenance Guidelines for the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System related to Sea Areas A3 and A4. The exam consists of questions from the following categories: radio system theory, amplifiers, power sources, troubleshooting, digital theory, and GMDSS equipment and regulations. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 38 out of 50 questions.
  • Learn more about the GMDSS Radio Maintainer’s License (DM) at fcc.gov
Ship Radar Endorsement
  • Element 8 – Ship Radar Techniques. Specialized theory and practice applicable to the proper installation, servicing, and maintenance of ship radar equipment in general use for marine navigation purposes. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 38 out of 50 questions.
  • Learn more about the Ship Radar Endorsement at fcc.gov
Radiotelegraph Operator License
  • Element 1 – Basic radio law and operating practice with which every maritime radio operator should be familiar. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 18 out of 24 questions.
  • Element 6 – Advanced Radiotelegraph. Technical, legal, and other matters applicable to the operation of all classes of radiotelegraph stations. To pass, an examinee must correctly answer at least 75 out of 100 questions.
  • In addition, the Telegraphy Elements 1 and 2, not offered by Exemplar Global, are required.
  • Learn more about the Radiotelegraph Operator License at fcc.gov

Locate a testing center near you   Register for your Element Exams

FCC Element Exam Fees
Fee Type Description Computer Delivered Exam Paper Based Exam
Examination fee Fee is for a four (4) hour exam appointment, in which up to three (3) element exams may be taken $50 $65
Reschedule fee* Fee to reschedule confirmed exam appointments $30 $40
Retake examination fee Fee to schedule a retake examination for any examinations not passed $50 $65
Proctor fee This fee paid directly to the test center or proctor for providing the proctoring service. Exemplar Global posts these fees on the test center list. Examinees are encouraged to contact the test center or proctor directly to learn more about the proctor fee payment.

* The reschedule fees above are applicable when the exam appointment is rescheduled 5 business days prior to confirmed exam appointment.  When rescheduled later than 5 business days prior, or when the confirmed exam appointment is cancelled or there is a no show, a full examination fee must be paid to reschedule the exam unless the extenuating circumstances can be shown.

Preparing for FCC Commercial Operator License Exams
Study materials to help you prepare for the required exams for your GROL or PG license are available for purchase through www.amazon.com
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BEFORE THE FCC EXAM
  1. Preparation
    Study, study, study!
  2. Choose your testing time and location
    Find your location in the Test Center Listing
  3. Register with Exemplar Global 
    Register for the examinations on the On-line Registration Form and pay the examination fee(s).
  4. Coordinate your examination appointment with the Exemplar Global Exam Administrator
    The Exam Administrator will contact the test center or proctor you chose in your registration for to identify if the dates or period of time selection is open. The Exam Administrator will be in contact with you to finalize the date and time. A formal confirmation of your exam appointment will be sent to you by mail.
  5. Take your FCC examination
    The examination fee is non-refundable. Once an exam appointment is confirmed, should an examinee need to reschedule their appointment, a reschedule fee may apply. Examinees who do not show for their exam appointment at the confirmed date and time will be required to pay a full examination fee before the exam is rescheduled. Examinees must reschedule or cancel their exam appointment by contacting the Exemplar Global Exam Administrator. If an exam appointment must be cancelled or rescheduled due to undue hardship or extenuating circumstances beyond your control, Exemplar Global may waive the rescheduling fees.
  6. Good luck on your examination!
DURING THE FCC EXAM
  1. Bring two forms of personal identification, one of which must be a government issued Identification Card with your photo (driver’s license or passport)
  2. Bring a No. 2 pencil to complete the Scantron Card.
  3. Arrive for your exam promptly. Your appointment time and directions will be provided in your confirmation letter from Exemplar Global. If you have questions or need directions, contact Exemplar Global or the test center or proctor directly.
  4. Items allowed at your exam. You may bring a non-programmable calculator into the exam room. NO programmable or printing calculators, books or other reference material, radios or cameras are allowed in the exam room. For paper-based examinations, you may write in your test booklet or use clean scratch paper. For computer-based examinations, you may use clean scratch paper.
  5. Time limit. Each FCC exam session is 4 (four) hours and up to three (3) element exams may be taken during this 4 hour period. All three exams must be completed in 4 hours.
AFTER THE FCC EXAM
  1. You will receive your exam results immediately after completing the exam for computer-delivered examination. For paper-based examinations, you will be notified via email of your test results within 3 days of Exemplar Global receiving your paper exam.
  2. If you pass your exam(s), Exemplar Global files your FCC exam results on your behalf. Expect the FCC to issue your license within 15 business days of this submittal. If you choose to submit your exam results and apply for your license directly with FCC, you may use the proof of Passing Certificate issued to you by Exemplar Global.
  3. If you pass your exam(s), you will receive your Proof of Passing certificate from the Proctor if taking a computer-delivered exam; a paper Proof of Passing Certificate will be issued via the mail if taking a paper-based exam.
  4. If you do not pass all the required exams, Exemplar Global will advise you with follow-on instructions for future testing. Note: you receive credit for each exam Element passed. For example: if you pass Element 1, but not Element 3, you need to retest only for Element 3.
  5. Need to examine again? There is no mandatory waiting period before you can re-test. As soon as you are ready to test again, contact Exemplar Global to register.

Visit the FCC site

To find out if you need a Commercial Operator License, visit the FCC site for information and requirements

Visit the FCC site

For more information:

Contact us at our Americas office