Yes, the tests are still there. That is how I got my HAM license this year. I just studied for the tests and took the exams. It was not that hard and I took one test right after the other – that is, two weeks in between each test. Now that I have my Extra license, I just have to find the time in my busy day to talk on the radio! My husband does most of the talking – voice and digital both. I am planning now to study for the CW (Morse Code) and be able to communicate that way. If push comes to shove, I think CW will be able to be accessed better than voice.
If we all got our licenses, it would be a great idea. A network of prepared people that are HAMs is a good thing.