Having taken the foundation & intermediate exams a few years ago, here are some pointers.
Have a look at the RSGB website, in particular, here for the full details of what is the various exams entail and links to training & exam resources.
There are RSGB publications for each exam, though if not buying direct from the RSGB make sure that you have the latest version & don’t waste your money on the exam secrets book for the beginner or intermediate exams.
The next time myself or Nathan are at the SHM. we’ll try to bring the books that we used for you to see the content of the exams, though I suspect they have now been superseded by now.
The easiest way is to contact a local HAM radio club (see RSGB website for details) and sign up for a course with them, though the foundation exam is extremely easy and it should only take a weekend at most to absorb the syllabus. Myself and my 2 sons signed up for courses with the HDARC Horndean and District Amateur Radio Club not having any background in Ham Radio. There are pros & cons with self-learning and classroom based learning, however the foundation course is so easy that with hindsight we didn’t need to do this as the RSGB book was sufficient with a few on-line practice exams.
The intermediate is slightly different in that it has a practical elements that need to signed off before you take the theory exam, so you will need to get in touch with a club for this part but again the theory exam part is not particularly taxing and believe that you would have no trouble just reading the RSGB book and neither is the practical section (though those that have never soldered before might find it a little tricky). All that is needed for the soldering section is to build a rudimentary circuit (i.e. tone generator kit) using some of the components you learned about on the course, I hadn’t soldered for over 30 yrs and that was self-taught as a teenager so I decided to make my life difficult by building the RSGB Centenary PSK31 Receiver which might still be available on the RSGB shop (though there might be issues obtaining the crystals) which worked after a short was located.
There is usually an annual Bath Buildathon at the beginning of the year (contact Steve Hartley, G0FUW by e-mail: G0FUW at tiscali.co.uk), this might be the ideal opportunity for you, however I think that you need to have passed the foundation exam before you can get signed off for the Intermediate practical assessment, though I could be wrong. Also looking at last year’s Bath Buildathon kit for this would have an ideal starter into SDR for you.
I have one very important hint:
Do NOT read ahead on the training books, i.e. only look at the foundation exam until after you have passed the foundation exam then and only then open the intermediate book. The reason is that the questions on the foundation exams are directly geared to the foundation book.
I have not looked at the full licence, though I have heard that there is a significant step up in knowledge required for the full licence exam, however it does seem quite common for people to complete all 3 in a 12mth window even for people with no or very limited electronics or radio background.