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Author Topic: What is the best way to prepare for the Extra...?  (Read 5277 times)
WA2EHV
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« on: July 25, 2016, 12:49:27 PM »

Dear Friends,

What is the best way to prepare for the Extra exam when

1) you do NOT want to memorize answers, but actually learn something;
2) you do NOT want to use one of the online programs; and
3) you do not have an electronics background?
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K7MEM
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 01:33:14 PM »

Get a book, like the ARRL Extra Class License Manual.

However, there is noting wrong with reading through the question pool and using the on-line tests, available at QRZ.com or other places. It's all part of preparing for the test and the question pool has been available for over 30 years. There is no stigma to obtaining a copy and reading it. One of the worst things you can do is go into the test with a case of the nerves, second guessing all of your choices.

The on-line tests give you an indication of whether you have any hope of passing the Extra test. When you get some wrong answers in the on-line test, look them up. When you are scoring 80% or better, each test, go for the real test. You may still not know everything, but the real learning comes after you get the license.

I did have a background in electronics when I tested for Extra. I just read through the Advanced and Extra question pools once, and then took the test. And, no, I could not possibly memorize all of the questions. I can't even memorize my own phone number. I just knew the material. If you read them carefully, they usually make sense and the wrong answers are relatively obvious. I wasn't really worried about the the written part of the test, but I passed the Extra any way.
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K6CPO
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2016, 05:02:01 PM »

Get a book, like the ARRL Extra Class License Manual.

However, there is noting wrong with reading through the question pool and using the on-line tests, available at QRZ.com or other places. It's all part of preparing for the test and the question pool has been available for over 30 years. There is no stigma to obtaining a copy and reading it. One of the worst things you can do is go into the test with a case of the nerves, second guessing all of your choices.

The on-line tests give you an indication of whether you have any hope of passing the Extra test. When you get some wrong answers in the on-line test, look them up. When you are scoring 80% or better, each test, go for the real test. You may still not know everything, but the real learning comes after you get the license.

I did have a background in electronics when I tested for Extra. I just read through the Advanced and Extra question pools once, and then took the test. And, no, I could not possibly memorize all of the questions. I can't even memorize my own phone number. I just knew the material. If you read them carefully, they usually make sense and the wrong answers are relatively obvious. I wasn't really worried about the the written part of the test, but I passed the Extra any way.


No, the Extra question pool HAS NOT been available for 30 years. It has been available for 25 days.  The question pools for the three classes of US amateur radio license—Technician, General and Amateur Extra—change every four years.  The Extra pool changed July 1, 2016 and is the last one in the current cycle.  The current Technician pool will change in 2018, the current General pool changes in 2019 and the next change for the Extra pool will be in 2020.
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WA2EHV
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 08:24:22 PM »

Thanks for the advice.  I had the old license manual as well as the Q & A book, and used them up until the pool changed a few weeks ago.  Then, once the pool changed on July 1st, I bought just the Q & A book since it was $10 cheaper, but now I wish I had sprung for the license manual instead.  I'll take the test for the 4th time on August 8th, and if I'm not successful, I'll get a new license manual.
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K7MEM
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« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2016, 04:53:28 AM »

No, the Extra question pool HAS NOT been available for 30 years. It has been available for 25 days.  The question pools for the three classes of US amateur radio license—Technician, General and Amateur Extra—change every four years.  The Extra pool changed July 1, 2016 and is the last one in the current cycle.  The current Technician pool will change in 2018, the current General pool changes in 2019 and the next change for the Extra pool will be in 2020.

No, the "current" Extra question pool HAS BEEN available for 25 days. However, release of all the question pools started in the early 80's. When the VE program was instituted in 1984, the question pools were made available via the FOIA.
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W8JX
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« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2016, 07:15:58 AM »

No, the Extra question pool HAS NOT been available for 30 years.

Indeed it has been available. They refresh it every several years but questions are still pretty much the same. It is not a all new pool with all new unrelated questions. Each revision seems to make it easier yet.  It is very easy to get a extra today as shown by those that have them now.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2016, 11:03:32 AM by W8JX » Logged

--------------------------------------
Ham since 1969....  Old School 20 WPM Extra
W9RND
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2016, 01:45:13 AM »

 It is very easy to get a extra today as shown by those that have them now.

exactly.  case in point: myself and JX
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WA2EHV
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« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2016, 06:12:45 AM »

I'm glad to hear it's easy to pass the Extra, as I get ready to take it for the 4th time.
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KENNETH
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2016, 08:17:35 AM »

Scroll down to "all videos"
http://dcasler.com/ham-radio/extra/
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W9RND
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2016, 10:19:59 AM »

I'm glad to hear it's easy to pass the Extra, as I get ready to take it for the 4th time.

i know you said you dont want to use online programs -- but if you want to learn the material you need to know to pass quickly and easily (but you'll have to put in some study)
just take a look at: www.hamtestonline.com
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WA2EHV
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« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2016, 12:49:18 PM »

tnx, RND, I will.  73, Greg WA2EHV
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K7MEM
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2016, 03:03:59 PM »

I'm glad to hear it's easy to pass the Extra, as I get ready to take it for the 4th time.

Yea, I guess "easy" is a subjective thing with the Extra test. What some find it easy, other find it difficult.

Some believe that the tests (Advanced and Extra) were more difficult, back in the day. Maybe they were because you were dealing with two tests and two question pools. But now you are only dealing with one test and one question pool. I took, and passed, the Advanced and Extra in a single sitting. So that argument may not hold up.

However, technology has changed and there are new questions covering new areas, that were not there when I took the tests (1999). So if you haven't kept up with the changes in technology, you might be at a disadvantage.

IMHO, it's all preparation. I didn't have problems with the written tests. But that could be because I was already a design engineer for 20 years. I guess that was 20 years of preparation. But, the CW test was different. I have been casually using CW since 1965. But I didn't use it every day, and never worried about speed. So I had to be prepared. So I studied until I could copy at 25 WPM. Then, the 20 WPM test was a breeze. I'm sure you can relate to that.

Use the practice tests on "http://www.qrz.com/hamtest/", or any other site you might like. Be prepared and good luck on your test.
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