FCC assigns a group of individuals (“amateur radio operators”, colloquially “hams”) privileges on the airways at frequencies within certain frequency bands (see bottom of page for ARRL frequency chart). To obtain these privileges, individuals must take an exam to prove their knowledge of the rules, regulations, basic electronics theory, and common practices.
By taking the FCC amateur radio service exam, you will be assigned a callsign, a personal station identifier issued by the FCC (W8UM, KB6NU are examples of callsigns). The actual combination of letters and numbers are determined randomly, with certain restrictions placed on the format. Those details will not be discussed here.
The University of Michigan Amateur Radio Club offers a 1-day technician license class and a testing session through Dan, KB6NU‘s efforts. KB6NU hosts this class for free for current high school or university students, and usually occurs in one of the 1st floor EECS rooms. The class usually runs early in the morning into mid-afternoon, then after a short break, the exam sessions runs. For more details and up-to-date times and dates of the testing sessions, see https://www.kb6nu.com/
Taking KB6NU‘s the class is optional. You can go directly to the exam session. Make sure to bring an ID, your FCC FRN number, and the licensing fee. The fee goes towards mailing the test materials and results to and from ARRL, and for ARRL to get everything sorted out with the FCC. Everyone running the exam session are volunteer examiners, and do not get any part of the licensing fee you bring.
Last edited 1/14/2020 KN