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eHam Forums => Licensing => Topic started by: WB9JRS on March 09, 2014, 06:44:47 PM



Title: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: WB9JRS on March 09, 2014, 06:44:47 PM
Regardless of price is there a amateur extra study guide that is considered "the best"?
Thanks,
J


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: K2YO on March 10, 2014, 07:26:35 AM
In my opinion, it's the Gordon West with their test software also. That's what I used, so that's what I consider, hahaha. You will get a number of answers in all different directions.

If you want to talk about test preparation, your best solution is to take the test once a day. Note the question you missed and restudy those sections. If you have completely read your study materials at least once, and follows this test once a day for 30 days, most people will be able to pass the exam.

Yes this causes memorization rather than learning, but licensing is about permission, not acknowledge of knowledge.

Good luck; if you get started now, you will be an extra in time for Dayton or Field Day.

Bernie


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: WB9JRS on March 10, 2014, 07:39:38 AM
Thanks.
I would prefer to learn the material rather than just cram for the test.
In my flying days there were many weekend seminars for taking the private pilot and instrument written tests.
I think those did a disservice as the information never made it to the long term memory. People took the class and then were tested the next day. A week later they forgot 80% of the material.
I was never one for memorization. I would rather learn the theory and then I could always work out the answer.
I will check out your suggestion.
Much appreciate.
Jim
WB9JRS


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: N9KX on March 10, 2014, 10:28:41 AM
Regardless of price is there a amateur extra study guide that is considered "the best"?
Thanks,
J

www.hamtestonline.com (http://www.hamtestonline.com) is the best.  You learn the material.  fast.  it knows when you are ready to pass and by how much.

a trial subscription is free, but you will want to purchase a subscription and save your money on the license manuals in so doing.

if you do this, success is virtually assured and you will learn, not merely memorize, the material.    did i mention it's fast?  ;)  



Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: K2YO on March 10, 2014, 10:56:29 AM
I would prefer to learn the material rather than just cram for the test.

In that case, get the ARRL Amatuer Extra book;
http://www.arrl.org/extra-class-license-manual

Do keep in mind that to really understand some theory you will need some third semester calculus and some good electronics understanding, hahaha, just teasing, but also serious. Good luck in your studies and report back if you hand any questions. They guys here are pretty smart and can explain most of the theorys.

Bernie


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: KC9YTJ on March 10, 2014, 12:28:19 PM
www.hamtestonline.com (http://www.hamtestonline.com) is the best.  You learn the material.  fast.  it knows when you are ready to pass and by how much.

a trial subscription is free, but you will want to purchase a subscription and save your money on the license manuals in so doing.

if you do this, success is virtually assured and you will learn, not merely memorize, the material.    did i mention it's fast?  ;)  

I have to agree with this post.  I was getting exactly nowhere studying for the Extra via the ARRL book, and about two weeks with HTO was all I needed.  They really do make you learn it.


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: WB9JRS on March 10, 2014, 12:48:58 PM
I subscribed to hamtestonline.
Not sure the study materials are sufficient to actually answer some of the questions.
The first topic was Solar Cells and just pointed me to a Wikipedia page.
The second question on the topic asked about a voltmeter reading on a solar cell but the topic was not covered in the wikipedia article.
From prior experience I was able to answer the question but not based on the study materials.
To be a self contained teaching tool I think all the information to answer a question should be available in the tool.
Perhaps I need to poke around more.
J


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: NZ9C on March 10, 2014, 12:52:41 PM
I used the ARRL manual and software. If you're looking to learn the material, it's pretty good. The practice exams are questions from the test pool, and when you get them wrong, you can look at a detailed answer. I also used the practice exams linked to from this site.


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: WB9JRS on March 10, 2014, 12:57:58 PM
I ordered the ARRL Test Book from Amazon.
Should be on my doorstep soon.
J


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: N9KX on March 10, 2014, 05:41:49 PM
I subscribed to hamtestonline.
Not sure the study materials are sufficient to actually answer some of the questions.
The first topic was Solar Cells and just pointed me to a Wikipedia page.
The second question on the topic asked about a voltmeter reading on a solar cell but the topic was not covered in the wikipedia article.
From prior experience I was able to answer the question but not based on the study materials.

 ???
I am confused by your answer.  Ham testonline is set up to have you go through a study session then take questions on the material just studied. then if you don't get the questions right it teaches you the material (not the answer).  that is www.hamtestonline.com

you may need to take the Extra exam there first so it gets a baseline on what study sessions to have you go through... ???


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: WB9JRS on March 10, 2014, 06:39:00 PM
I am not seeing this.
Many questions being presented to me are not covered in the study materials.
I'm a fairly intelligent person and for the life of me the site is not working as I
had hoped.
J


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: N9KX on March 10, 2014, 08:20:35 PM
I am not seeing this.
Many questions being presented to me are not covered in the study materials.
I'm a fairly intelligent person and for the life of me the site is not working as I
had hoped.
J

If I remember correctly, it tests you and assesses which portions of the Extra material you need tutoring on.  It then gives you a tutor session in a given area and then tests you again.  Depending on how well you do, it recovers the subject matter with you to help you master what you are not doing well with, and then tests you again.  After your first test it should show how far away you are from mastering the material.  Did you purchase the Extra subscription?

check out the reviews here on eham -- it has a perfect 5.0 rating with 383 reviews completed:

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/3412 (http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/3412)

and if it still is not working right definitely contact the company



Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: N9KX on March 11, 2014, 02:32:37 AM

Many questions being presented to me are not covered in the study materials.


The program does throw new questions at you once you have mastered a given area to see where you need to study in sections of the Extra exam it has yet to cover with you.  But it should then give you study material that covers all of the questions you aren't able to correctly answer.  It never sent me to another sight or source.  It acted as my textbook(s), and presented the new material to me like a virtual teacher.  And the questions it asks are from the actual Extra exam pool.


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: WB9JRS on March 11, 2014, 04:35:43 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.
J


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: KC9YTJ on March 11, 2014, 10:04:57 AM
I don't think it ever sends you to an offsite source.  It offers you links to offsite sources for more information about the subject.  But I don't think I ever used those links (or if I did, it was only a few times).  My feeling about HTO was that everything I needed was there.


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: N9KX 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.
J


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 hamtestonline.com 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 -- www.hamtestonline.com is a great program


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: W7HBP on March 17, 2014, 05:45:53 PM
hamtestonline.com. 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.


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: KV4BL 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!


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: KB4QAA 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.

http://www.tubebooks.org/technical_books_online.htm
Many excellent technical books and electronics courses.


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: K5UNX 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 hamstudy.org.


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: WI4P on April 02, 2014, 12:35:31 PM
I second all those who recommended hamtestonline.com.  Be sure to thoroughly read their instructions, use study mode and save the practice exams until you've covered all the material.


Title: RE: Generally accepted best amateur extra study guide?
Post by: ND8K 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.