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Studying for my Extra

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 1:31 pm
Good morning SKCC.

I've decided that I'm going to start studying for my Extra through the fall/early winter, and take my exam either late winter or Spring (depending on how ready I think I am or not.)

I've purchased the ARRL Extra License Manual, as I found the Tech and General to be very beneficial.

What has me extremely nervous is the advanced math/formulas. By nature, I am NOT great with the math/electrical areas. I've studied hard to get where I am today, but it's still a challenge. I know some of you probably think "then why the heck are you in this hobby?", and all I can say is...I enjoy radio, and I enjoy communicating.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone had any advice for studying for this license level that you've found to be beneficial besides studying the ARRL manual. I know there are practice tests out there, and I DO plan on taking those as well. But any tricks of the trade to try and remember formulas or anything?

Thanks in advance!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 3:31 pm
by NT9K
There are several online test websites. A quick check on google brought up several. Here is one that looked ok:

Take the online tests and keep track of the questions you miss, then use the study manual to learn the parts that hang you up. I used the Gordon West manual, but as long as they have the question pool and explainations, you will be ok. The study manual should explain the formulas, so that they make sense to you.

There are 2 types of people that pass, those who know and understand the questions and those who memorize the question pool. Of course we would all like to completely understand everything. It's a personal decision you have to make. Having the internet at your fingertips will be a big help to you too. I wish you luck with your journey!

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2010 4:06 pm
Thanks Bill. I have a feeling my results may be a mix of the two. I'm going to seek to study and LEARN the material that I can... and the concepts that I just have trouble with, try to memorize what is correct. I have to be honest with myself. But, I will try to actually understand all the material that I can. I managed it on the General, maybe i'll be able to take it a step further with the Extra with some hard study and discipline. But I'll still never "get it" as well as the engineer types in our hobby. We all have different gifts and strengths...

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:07 am
by W5ALT
Well, most of the rules just have to be memorized, no way around that. Most of the rest is being familiar with the nomenclature.

As far as math, I don't recall that there was much at all on the Extra exam I took a few years back. The Advanced I took in 1978 or so was heavy with math, but the new Extra didn't seem to be.

What part of the math are you having trouble with? I'm sure some of us would be more than happy to try and explain, etc.

Walt, W5ALT

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 1:15 pm
Well...I managed to comprehend the General level...let me dig into the manual and see what the Extra holds for me in terms if the math and then I'll repost here.

Memorizing rules is nit an issue for me. Not worried about that part.


PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:17 pm
Hello Craig,
My name is Mike and I'm about 62 miles S-E of you in Galion. I too have the ARRL Extra manual. But I must confess I have not cracked that book lately. Busy busy as usual.

Here is my method: I read the section then answer the questions. Then I go back and find the answers in the text and highlight them while fresh in my mind. Later when I review the chapters the relevant stuff highlighted in yellow jumps right out. I'll get back into it this winter once the outside stuff is done.

Welcome to ham radio and of course the SKCC. The best group out there I think.

73 Mike 4877C

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 3:20 pm
Wow...I forgot I had posted this! (Sorry all!)

Just an update: I took the Extra Exam on April 9, 2011.

I passed! I earned a 94%

Other updates: Earned my WAS (mixed) and have now bought my first key (previous key I was using was borrowed.) I will now be trying to concentrate on CW and working Satellites.

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 5:19 pm
by N6WK
Congratulations on the Extra License


PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 6:05 pm
Thank you very much Gordon! I appreciate it!

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 7:31 pm
by kb4qqj
Well done and congratulations! Any luck with the Satellites?


PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2011 9:20 pm
Hello Randy!

Unfortunately, no luck with any satellites yet. I just got home from the Hamvention late yesterday (Sunday), and spent time with my XYL and 6 year old harmonic. And then I had to go back to work today. Glad to have a job, but MAN can it mess with having some fun with new toys! ;) Hi hi.

Will try to post here more, especially as I try to work more CW.

study for Extra.

PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:14 pm
by k8jd
I got my Extra back in 74 and I recall some math questions but I have not really been on the Extra bands ( bottom 25 Khz) very often.
I guess the extra fone bands can be good if you are only interested in rare DX.
My thing has always been CW and rag chewing and for the last 5 years pretty much only interested in SKCC. Not using the Extra segments for any of that activity !
I am not sure if we actually had a QS) yet, hope to find you on 80 or 40M sometime. I am usually on 3550 , 7055, 7114 or 7120 evenings and weekends.
In the winter months I am on 1820 in the evenings.

Re: Studying for my Extra

PostPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 7:36 pm

I am a "new" ham who has his General license and will soon be studying to earn the Extra license. There are a number of esoteric topics and formulas which take a bit of time to learn. It is a mix of learning the material and memorizing the answers. I was told by one local ham - that the idea is to jump into it feet first - It is a lifelong journey of learning. I have an electronics background, but some of the stuff I know is not applicable.

I wanted to be a "ham" back in 1970 when in Boy Scouts. I passed the Novice written exam but failed the CW portion :( . I made the mistake of trying to learn the code visually, rather than aurally. Well I have since rectified that mistake and can now send and copy at 18-20 WPM. I am slowly building my shack. I have home-brewed several tube regenerative receivers and have two tube based transmitters under way using the forgiving 6AG7 and one using a 6V6 tube. I also have a Lysco 600 tube transmitter that I like as it has a VFO, so I am not stuck with crystals. The home-brewed xmtrs will be crystal controlled. My major battle is trying to acquire crystals - The 6V6 needs Ft-243 xtals, while I think I can use HC-6 xtals with a 6AG7.

Anyway, I hope to be on the air soon with the Lysco and my home-brews and my J-37 straight key.

Roger KK6IVD SKCC #11845

Re: Studying for my Extra

PostPosted: Sat Feb 15, 2014 8:07 pm
by k8jd
congrats to roger and have fun on CW.
I took my Extra exam over 20 years ago (20 WPM CW exam included) and when I look over the new Extra questions I have trouble answering the questions in the RF exposure topic.
Some of it is common sense but the exposure level vs freq etc.. Just can't keep the numbers from the charts straight in my memory. Some of it just has to be memorized. Also I can never quite get the 12 M band limits right. That's one band I never got on.