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Author Topic: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?  (Read 25181 times)

Posts: 2101

« Reply #15 on: March 11, 2014, 11:07:38 AM »

Thank you.
I sent them an email expressing my questions/concerns are received an very nice reply.
Basically I need to throw out my preconceived notions.
I figured I wouldn't need to guess answers but this is not true.
They present questions not (yet) covered so as to determine how much one already might know.
This makes sense once you understand their methodology.

Yes, definitely give it a chance.  In 1977 I learned all I could and then used license manuals to pass the General & Advanced.  I was 15 then and learning came easy (or I had less pre-conceptions about the difficulties thereof). In 2012 when DX in Extra CW segments were calling to me like Sirens calling Ulysses, I decided to study and quickly became dismayed by the amount of material (all the old Advanced info was dumped into the Extra exam and would require re-taking). Then I found and greatly enjoyed the study process. A month later, I was an Extra.  It was far easier and more informative than using license manuals, and the questions are actual test pool questions.

The beauty of it is that it only drills you on the stuff you are weak on. It then gets you to master it section by section and focuses on what you have yet to master.   It also keeps a chart of your progress and shows very accurately how close you are to acing the exam. 

73 and enjoy it -- is a great program

Posts: 177

« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2014, 05:45:53 PM » From the time I signed up till I passed the test was 33 days.  I certainly could of done it sooner, but that was the next test session date for the area I used.

My 11 yr old grandson went from no license to general in 5 weeks. He is working on his extra now at age 12.

hamtestonline makes it so easy.

ARRL Life Member|QRZ Life Member

Posts: 80

« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2014, 02:13:43 AM »

I can't recommend the Gordon West study guides enough.  Gordo has a knack for breaking down the most difficult items and making them understandable.  He does this with all of his study guides from Tech thru Extra.   His help got me through Tech Plus (used his code tapes, too) through Advanced and Extra.  His materials rock!

Posts: 3289

« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2014, 10:48:30 AM »

No single source will both cover the exam AND teach you all the theory and background.

Ideally, I recommend having both exam study guides and building a personal technical library with books such as from ARRL, college texts, The Art of Electronics, and older texts and courses available online. 

I use a mix of techniques, but in the end use the exam book as 'study guide'. 

-Read the questions, cover the answers.  If I get the answer wrong, then refer to other books for more knowledge until I understand the material.  I highlight the answers, mark up the questions and answers with notes, make a master list of formulas, and make flash cards as I work along.
Many excellent technical books and electronics courses.

Posts: 788


« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2014, 11:17:30 AM »

Depends on the definition of best . .  I passed the Extra test this weekend having studied with Gordon West's study guide and flash cards on


Posts: 75

« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2014, 12:35:31 PM »

I second all those who recommended  Be sure to thoroughly read their instructions, use study mode and save the practice exams until you've covered all the material.

Posts: 48

« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2014, 10:36:20 AM »

I passed the Extra last weekend (and the General two weeks ago and the Tech four weeks ago).   All of the online testing sites are good. For the math, though, I spent $1 and downloaded the

 "W5JCK Math Guide for Amateur Radio Extra Class Exam 2012-2016"

It contains every math problem worked out.  

I also assembled a "no nonsense" guide to the Extra from the author's blog posts.

Finally, I did much of what hamtestonline does, only I did not pay. That is, as I took tests I kept a record of the areas that I was missing on most... and studied those areas. Kept at it for a couple of weeks and was ready to go last Saturday (even though I spent all night bailing someone out of jail and had absolutely NO study time for over a day before the test).  As I said in another post:  I have a background in electronics and math.   It was all of the OTHER stuff that took most of my time learning.

p.s.  As many other blogs have noted, you could miss nearly ALL of the math related problems on the test and still pass if everything else was 100%.  If you will get the W5JCK  study guide mentioned and commit to working it with a calculator for a few hours one night, you WILL get 100% on any of those 70 (or so) questions that may appear on your exam. Since Math is appx 10% of the test, the math for the Extra suddenly becomes:  not getting more than 13 out of the remaining 43-45 questions wrong.  This is actually easier than the General or the Tech  IF you will be willing to really work the math and get it down pat.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2014, 10:38:40 AM by KK4ZJZ » Logged
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