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Author Topic: Preference of studying for Extra Class  (Read 24986 times)
N2LWE
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Posts: 112




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« on: December 01, 2009, 01:56:12 AM »

Does anyone have a preference in study material for the Extra Class license? ARRL study material or Gordon West W5YI study material? Its been along time since I studied back when I went for my General Class around 1990. Back then I used Gordon Wests cassettes for code and the book for theory. Has anyone used his new material? I'm interested in the program that comes with 6 CD's and the theory book that costs $59.95. I've never used the ARRL material so I can't comment on that. Any thoughts?
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WV4L
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2009, 06:01:37 PM »

Joe,
I used the ARRL book to study. I made copies of the questions in the back to use like a chapter test whenever I finished a section. I have never used the Gordan West materials so I can't make a comparison. I did of course spend time taking the online tests and making note of where my weaknesses were so that I could go back and re-read those areas. The online tests were a real help by mixing items up and giving me a chance to focus on test my taking skills.Some of the math I had to get help with, but that was easy since I work in a High School and the math teachers were very willing to help me reacquire some of my lost math skills.  Good luck on your preparation, I'm sure you'll do just fine.

73

Wayne C.
WV4L
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2009, 06:23:09 PM »

I used the ARRL manual and their Extra Q&A book to study for my ticket.  I have used the flashcards for technician classes I have taught so I have to assume that the Extra flash cards would also be useful.
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KB3LSR
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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2009, 06:23:20 PM »

I used both ARRL and W5YI for extra.  I liked the ARRL materials better because they actually teach the materials.  The problem with W5YI is that they pretty much print the question pool and bold the correct answer with a simple explanation of why that answer is right.  The CD's from W5YI are good, but they can be a little "dry" listening to.

Each person learns differently, but you can pass with the ARRL materials alone.

Best of luck studying and passing your Extra!

73 de AB3HJ
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K2YO
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Posts: 436




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« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2009, 09:06:30 PM »

I read the ARRL book and listened to Gordon's CDs. ARRL give good theory teaching and Gordon gives good strategy on test taking. I also used the testing software that comes with Gordon's CDs.

Bernie
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N2LWE
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Posts: 112




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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2009, 02:46:57 AM »

Thanks for all the feedback. Looks like the consensus is leaning to the ARRL. I have heard that the ARRL material does give good explanations. I might consider both. The ARRL book and the W5YI CD's. Thanks again I appreciate all of your input.
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W4TF
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2009, 08:43:19 AM »

I found that www.HamTestOnline.com helped me the most.  I was able to understand the material the best the way it was explained on this website.  They also test you as you go along the course to make sure you are actually learning what you are reading before you proceed to the next section.  If they find a question you are weak on, they keep bringing that question(s) up to help you remember that subject area.  I think it was about $20-30 but they have a money-back guarantee if you don't pass, so you have nothing to loose.  I will tell you, I studied with them for 2 weeks and passed my extra with only 2 questions wrong.


Good luck and 73,
Singh, K4VKS
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WP4NYL
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2009, 08:08:01 AM »

Ham Test on line is the way to go!!! I passed the first time the three tests!!!
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NH7L
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Posts: 31




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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2009, 01:27:53 PM »

Yes, you need to learn a lot about electronics, radio and FCC regulations. You also need to pass a licensing exam.

But these are two different things. You didn't learn to drive by passing the license test. You learned by driving, ideally with the guidance of someone who knew more than you do. Same with amateur radio. The sit-down test preparation supplements the hands-on, real-world, experiential learning, not the other way around.

The ham licensing test, in common with those for drivers, airline pilots, ship captains and others, is a mostly a test of your multiple-choice skills, less of a test of your expertise in the subject matter. Therefore, consider studying in a way that helps you distinguish between right and wrong answers rather than worrying whether test prep really prepares you to go on the air. It does, some. But the goal of test prep is a license, not an education.

The ARRL book is a good way to learn stuff and is a reference you'll want to always have in your shack. But to pass the exams, the Gordon West Q&A books are the better way, or at least they were for me.
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K9SPD
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Posts: 2




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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2009, 10:28:25 PM »

What ever happened to the "Bash Books", and before all of you old hams flame me, just look where amateur radio has gone...no more 5 wpm for novice or 13 wpm for general and god forbid 20 wpm for extra.
I along with 95% of all old as well as new hams will never build or work on their equipment short of a coax connector or something simple.
The point I'm trying to make is from what I hear on the radio, especially 75 meters we need to know the rules, regulations and most of all radio etiquette and just a little bit of radio theory.
I for one was and still am against getting rid of CW just to get some new hams, but if we are going to do that lets have an Extra test that is passable without having to be a professor to do it.
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N3DF
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2009, 03:13:54 PM »

A motivated high school student should readily pass the test with a few weekends of study.
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Neil N3DF
KF6QEX
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Posts: 645




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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2010, 09:42:20 PM »

Wait!!! ...I thought once the CW requirement was removed the test has become so "easy" that has brought in all the "CB rif-raf" along with other insubordinate undesirables .

So which is it?
Is the test now easy because of no CW?
Or is it hard because the theory is so hard that you have to be a professor to pass it ?
I am now very confused.


...as for answering the original question:
another vote for the ARRL study books.
In addition, have a couple of the ARRL handbooks around.
Any one from the 80's or the 90's or the 20xx will be better than none at all.
Another good one to have is "Art of Electronics" by Horowitz and Hill.  


Dimitri
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W7ETA
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Posts: 2527




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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2010, 12:22:43 AM »

Yup.  You're confused.
Try any study guide and you won't have to worry about not taking a CW test.

In essence, dropping the CW test didn't change the question pool. So, it didn't effect the written tests at all.

Best of luck with your upgrade.
73
Bob
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K5BDH
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Posts: 30




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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2010, 11:51:07 AM »

I put in my vote for Hamtestonline. It sure makes understanding and actually getting to stuff down much quicker. I bought the ARRL book and the gordon west, and while good for what they are. It was still much easier on hamtestonline by continously hitting you on the questions and theory you have the most problem with. I belive the cost for a 1yr subscription for the extra class was 35$. Once you make your initial run through it you can select any subelements that give you the most difficulty and focus on nothing but them if you want. Just a simple box check. It also seemed as though the formulas were easier to remember on hamtest than the arrl book, at least for me.
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KT6G
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Posts: 8




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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2010, 06:49:31 PM »

Sent you an Email Joe and good luck.
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