I know some will disagree with this but, memorize the answers, take the test. There is always time for more in depth learning once you pass the exam(s). I have learned a great deal with many hams now that I am an Extra and enjoying life on HF. But if I had to KNOW the material for the General and Extra I would probably still be trying to pass the Extra. I don't think it makes me any less of an operator. As for CW (Morse code), you could look into the computer programs, like CW Get and CW Type, this is all code sent by a computer. I use MRP40 to help receive and I use my logbook program AC Log 3 to send macros which I use during contests since all the responses are the same information. This is just another way to learn CW and get using it. Of course there is something about using your brain to decode the dits and dahs and a key to send. You can find all sorts of info on QRZ about that. IC718 was my first rig, loved it! It was a real workhorse for the digital modes when I got started too. Good luck!