In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates Amateur Radio. There are three license classes: Technician (the entry-level license), General, and Amateur Extra. Obtaining a Technician license involves passing a 35-question exam on topics such as basic radio theory, regulations, and safety. Licenses are good for ten years before renewal. More information on Amateur Radio can be found on the website of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL).
For book learners, the ARRL publishes license study guides and other materials, which can be obtained from their website or Amazon. Another popular series are the books by Gordon West, WB6NOA, published by the W5YI Group. “No-nonsense” guides by Dan Romanchik, KB6NU, can be found here.
License exams are given by Volunteer Examiners (VEs). BARC’s VE team holds exam sessions four times a year; the next session can be found on the Calendar page. Some general information about these test sessions can be found here. You must make a reservation; we cannot handle walk-ins.
Other nearby test sessions include those offered on the penultimate Wednesday of each month by the MIT Exam Team. A reservation is not required for these tests. You can search for test sessions on the ARRL website.