I did all my license testing before they started dropping the Morse requirements. I tried several different methods, but none seemed to be working. I tried the Farnsworth and Koch methods, but they weren't much help.
How did you go about trying the Koch method back then ?justlearnmorsecode.com
I don't understand your question.
You're dismissing Koch's method because you tried it during your license training and it didn't help.
You got your Extra license in 1999 (?), so you must have done your license training earlier than that. If you didn't pass General and Extra at the same time, you must have practiced Morse code even earlier.
So I am curious about how you tried Koch's method.justlearnmorsecode.com
I have had a ham license since 1965. I mostly used Morse code, but was always a little light on some of the characters. But I didn't really get seriously into the upgrade path until late in 1998. I thought that using the Koch method might be the key for me to getting a better handle on the characters that I had problems with. I also worked with computers since around 1970, so the method was a pretty easy program to implement. It worked fine at first but then I hit a speed wall, and was still having problems with the same characters. So I looked around for other methods.
But then I thought about the actual testing. The testing was done with simulated QSOs, not letter groups. While letter groups might help for contesting, but I never had any interest in contests. However, I already had experience with QSOs, but at slow speed. So I thought that studying for the test might be better. I happened across a piece of software called Morse Academy. It did exactly what I wanted, so I didn't have to write anything myself. What Morse Academy did was create a series of simulated QSOs at varying speeds. So I started with a slow speed, 10 WPM, and copied the sound files on to cassette tape. I would listen to the tape three times a day for about 15 minutes, each time. When I was copying 90% of the QSOs I would generate new tests at 2 WPM faster. It was a big difference for me, but after a couple of days I was again up to the 90% copy.
I simply followed that method until I was copying 90% of the QSOs at a 15 WPM rate. That was January or February of 1999. I went to the testing station and took the Technician and General written tests and finished with the 13 WPM Morse test. I walked out a General. Overall, it only took me about a month to get ready for that test.
But getting ready for the 20 WPM Morse test took a bit longer. I spent much more time on certain speeds than others. But I was going for 25 WPM copy, not just 20 WPM. Plus, I had to fit in my studying between work and family. Guess which came first.
But I did progress and by June of 1999 I was ready. I don't remember what came up, but I had to postpone my testing for a month. So in July 1999 I again went to the testing station and sat for the Advanced and Extra written tests, and then the 20 WPM Morse test (100% copy). Again, I passed all of them and walked out an Extra. And best of all, I reached a personal goal and it only cost me $8.45.
I hope that explains things better. I was just trying to get across the point that, while all the methods are good, the best one is the one that works for you.