Study Guides????

Discussion in 'Becoming an Amateur Radio Operator/Upgrading Privi' started by KF7NWI, Dec 16, 2012.

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  1. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    IMHO, there is nothing wrong with using the actual exam questions to study for the test. They publish the exam questions, and answers, so you have a good idea what the test is all about. I'm pretty sure they really don't want lots of failures. That wouldn't be very beneficial to the Amateur Radio community.

    The exam questions have a pretty wide scope. It would be a difficult task to find books on all the varied subjects and then study them all. I used the exams on to study for the Tech, General, Advanced, and Extra. I had a bit of an advantage as I had studied electronics since about 1965 and was already an engineer. But you don't need an Engineering degree to be a ham. In the early days of 2 Meter AM operations (1966-1970) I use to talk regularly to a ham that was a Baker. He had his 2 Meter rig in his Bakery and made contacts while he was waiting for the bread to rise. So, the "Butcher, Baker, Candle Stick Maker", can all be ham operators.

    I found that, much to my chagrin, I didn't know everything. So any question I didn't quite understand, or simply got wrong, I looked it up. This didn't always give me a full understanding of the subject. But some time later, maybe weeks or months, I would connect all the "dots" and have a better understanding of the subject(s). In the end, I only had to take each exam once.

    Think of the tests as a starting point, not and end point.

    Martin - K7MEM
  2. N7STK

    N7STK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used the Powerpoint materials on the link previously posted on this thread. I studied for 7 days and passed both Technician and General on the same day. I think those Powerpoints are the BEST, especially when used in tandem with the online practice exams which draw from the actual exam questions pools. I am using the same study materials (powerpoint) for the Extra exam now and passed the second practice test (first was 66%) the same day after going through the entire study package once. And I am NOT an electrical type person.

  3. BILKO1

    BILKO1 QRZ Member

    Why do I have to learn how to make repairs to a radio?
    When all I want to do is talk, I can take a broken radio to a shop and have it repaired.
  4. K7MEM

    K7MEM Ham Member QRZ Page

    All of my radios are "boat anchors". If I didn't learn how to repair a radio, none of them would work and there is no shop to repair them.
    But, what makes you think you need to learn how to make repairs to a radio, to get a ham license?

    Amateur radio is a hobby. To some, a passion. But a hobby is usually something you like to do. If there is a part of the hobby that you don't want to do, don't do it. It's really that simple.

    You certainly can learn to repair a radio, if you want to, but there is no requirement to do so. IMHO, radio and electronic theory is part of the exam so that you better understand your radio, and operate it properly on the air. With a ham license, you would be licensed to own and operate kilowatt level equipment. That's in the realm of dangerous. So it's nice to know that your equipment is working correctly.

    We all just "talk" on the radio, but we do it using a variety of modes. Mostly, I talk using morse code. It's not another language, it's just english words translated to different sounds. While others prefer to use PSK31, RTTY, SSB, etc.. You can still use AM, on some parts of the band. But, each one of those mode has certain band restrictions and recommendations.

    You can get your license and buy a nice new rig with all the buttons and frills, plug it into an antenna and "talk" away. Boy, I wish I could afford one. If it breaks, put it back in the box and send it to the manufacturer. In that case, the manufacturer would prefer that you didn't go poking around in it. They see far too many returns that have been operated on by operators with limited skills. But a warranty only covers it for so long. After that, it may cost a lot to have it fixed. And, while your waiting a couple of months for your rig to come back from the shop, you can finally get around to reading that 200 page manual that came with it. :)
  5. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Just curious: Think there is a Dummies guide for ham radio. Has anyone seen it? Does it lead you to the test?

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  6. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    You won't be learning how to make repairs to a radio. You're learning just about enough theory to keep you from immolating yourself or others. Indeed, the theory on the technician test was largely covered in my daughter's 7th grade science class. You also need to understand enough theory to understand the rules. About you really need to know is what the most common radio parts are, and what they vaguely do. You also need to know how to calculate voltages, currents, and power - largely to keep you from causing electrical fires, but also so you understand the rules. Finally, you need to know the formulas to make 2 different kinds of antennas.

    Like it or not, this is a technical hobby. If you have no interest in, or desire to do anything technical, there are other radio services out there that might be better for you. If you don't understand the theory, you will likely find some way to violate the rules, or you will find some Internet Wizard, who will convince you that what you want to do is illegal, even if it isn't.
  7. KJ6OJL

    KJ6OJL Ham Member QRZ Page

    I will be following this thread as well, Want to take my general this year.
    As for my Tech level I did a lot of online practice tests and the No Nonsense study guide.
    a lot of listening and some I already knew.
    General should be a interesting one, I really have bad memory issues, thanks sleep apnea!
  8. AC2EV

    AC2EV XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Don't forget to check your local library. Chances are your local radio club has donated study guides to the library.
  9. K7BRY

    K7BRY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was at my local library this week, and I check the "ham radio" part of the shelf to see what is new. I was pleased when I saw that someone had donated an Extra Study Guide to the library and it was on the shelf. (Yes, I already have a few!) I was less pleased when I picked it up, though, and noticed that it was the one for the old set of test questions. So.... check that out if you find one.

    And..... maybe someone will find the book and get excited about ham radio -- despite the outdated material.
  10. KK6DCT

    KK6DCT Ham Member QRZ Page

    The ARRL study guides worked great for me, together with the exam tests here on QRZ. I also took written notes to summarize key points and stuck them on post-its inside the covers of the book. Once I'd been through the study guide once I started taking the practice online tests (I also used a practice test app on my phone), and then taking a note of the questions I got wrong, and went back to the book to check the correct answer. Repeated this process until I started getting 90%+ on the practice tests. I think everyone has an approach that works for them. I tried the hamtestonline site for studying and didn't find that the info was sticking for me.

    I got 100% on my technician exam a month ago, and this Saturday I just passed General too (forgot to ask what % I got, I think I was just happy I passed!)

    I think I read somewhere a while back that there have been studies that have shown most people retain more information the more different ways you ingest the material... just reading it is one way, but if you read aloud the material you're trying to remember, so you hear it, as well as writing it out by hand (or typing it), then you're using multiple senses and more likely to remember the info. Not sure if that's true or not, but some combination of these approaches works well for me.

    Good luck,
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