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Easy and quick way to go Extra

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by K1LA, Nov 16, 2011.

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  1. K1LA

    K1LA Ham Member QRZ Page

    A few hams have recently asked me how best to study for their extra test, I figured I'd put it here so you guys would have it for reference

    Credit is due not to me but to Dan Romanchik KB6NU & Mike Zydiak W2MJZ (I found this on Dan's site & the posting was by Mike)....

    I got the general concept HERE . The article is insanely long so if you don't feel like reading it thats fine, I'll recap what to do below. The one very very important concept discussed in the article is to AVOID the wrong answers at all costs! What that means is that during the course of your studying you want to not look at the wrong answers, don't dwell on them etc.*

    Here's what you do.....(this is a streamlined version of the article that I've modified based on my studying. I was able to spend about an hour a day for a week and ace the thing).

    1-You'll need to grab the Gordon West extra class study guide and the extra class flash & pass index cards from HRO...

    2-After that you go through gordons book in its entirety and highlight each correct answer, don't read the wrong ones, just read the question and skip to the answer. WHILE you're doing this (and this is the hard but VERY important part) you need to re-arrange the Flash and Pass cards into the same order as Gordon West's book. For example, each question has a specific number EA71054 bla bla so just find the card as you go through each question in his book so that your cards mirror the order of gordon's book verbatim.

    3-Separate your sorting into chapters so you end up with 16(i think) piles of index cards (its good to wrap them with colored rubber bands to help keep track of what is what) After that you just start tackling the piles one by one.

    4-Starting with chapter one you go through the cards and place any you get wrong in a review pile to re-read and review.... Once you can do the whole chapter without missing a single card then move on to the next chapter. The best part is you don't HAVE to do the chapters themselves in chronological order (for example feedlines and safety are close to last but MUCH easier than polar coordinates)... Every day at least once review ALL of the completed chapters (this will take you longer every day because you'll have more to review). For those particular troublesome cards (the ones you don't stop missing) mark them in a way where you can have them in a "really really hard" pile or whatever, those ones you'll just simply have memorized by the end since you'll be reviewing them every day. If you take an hour a day then within a week or two tops you'll be going through all 700+ questions (it takes about and hour or two to run the whole set) and will probably only be missing a few cards TOTAL.*
    You'll pass with ease. I took my test in 15 minutes with zero questions wrong.*

    Hope this helps

    p.s- important!! if you read the whole article above (good on you! I thought I was the only one) you can and should skip the whole part about re-ordering AND reading Jack's syllabus. While I liked the concept of what he did when it comes actually getting ready to nail the test in a short time I actually I found reading and re-ordering the syllabus to be useless and time wasting(I spent a full day on it and never used it).
  2. AB2T

    AB2T Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think this is a good idea after one has read the theory and has a better understanding of the math and theory behind the questions.

    The ham tests contain useful information that can be applied every day. Some of the questions, such as the ones testing formula proficiency, are repetitive. Still, it's good to know the theory behind the equations. Some of the questions, such as the EME and satellite questions on the Extra, may not be relevant to everyone. However, circuit theory and math never goes out of style. Flashcarding to a pass might not be the best way to learn concepts for many people. Flashcards are a good way to reinforce what has been learned.

    73, Jordan
  3. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    You could just download the question pool and memorize all 700 or so questions. Takes about 2-3 days.
  4. N4ERZ

    N4ERZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Keep in mind that I am a moron, but I am going on several months, even with attempting to learn the electronic theory, and I still don't have it.

    I should be trying to learn another foreign language, it has always been easier.
  5. AD1E

    AD1E Ham Member QRZ Page

    Or try this I passed my Tech and General with just 30 hours of study in while traveling 3 1/2 weeks a month. Took about 1.5 months total due to my work travels.

    I am using it now to study for the Extra, but since I have most of the HF bands now there it no hurry.
  6. AB2T

    AB2T Ham Member QRZ Page

    Which is more of a problem for you? The theoretical concepts or the math?

    I suggest as well. Just try to get a basic idea of what's happening before drilling. Online programs can also review by section. I found that helpful when studying for the Canadian exams (no such thing as internet exam prep first time around.)

    73, Jordan
  7. N4ERZ

    N4ERZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Hi Jordan -

    The terminology and concepts (that require retaining the terminology) are what is killing me. It really is like a foreign language to me. Antenna and transmission lines, rules and regs etc... are no problem but electrical principles and circuitry are my demise.

    I am using a combination of , the gordon west books and the arrl guide at the moment. The math is more than doable....if I knew what each pc. meant.

  8. ND6M

    ND6M Ham Member QRZ Page

    how long does it take to memorize the answers?
  9. AC2EV

    AC2EV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    How about contacting your local club to see if they run classes? Sometimes going through it in a classroom environment can make it easier. No one said you have to do it alone.
  10. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    This is probably best, as your mentors / elmers can tailor the explanation of problem questions to your learning needs. I find sometimes comparing theories and concepts to things people already know is the best way. Was visiting a general class the other day and the question about hearing SSB emissions on your TV / phone came up. Everyone looked puzzled trying to imagine what the possible answers would actually sound like. I told them it sounded like Charlie Brown's mom -- the light went on.
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