Extra Class Study

I’ve been too burned out the past year for doing any study much for my Extra Class license. But this is a great time for me to study with the current situation. Going to try to put in two hours a day this next week and get the brain cells working. Let me know if any of you are doing the same. Perhaps we can encourage one another.

73, Scott/KI5DJP

1 Like

Scott, That certainly is a fine idea. Right and proper way to keep the mind from excessive worry. I have been mentally exhausted worrying about loved ones far away. This is a perfect time to study for an upgrade of license. There is a pressure and urgency when studying for examination that demands greater focus than just casual learning, it might be just the remedy to quell a worried mind. Good posting for strange days…73

Let’s update each other on progress, Shane.

Yes indeed Scott. I believe I will begin studying by way of the free online resources, for I do not have an Extra Class book. I was able to do very well with the General test by using the online route. Although, the book might help me to handle the math portions in which I will be the weakest. Maybe I will get a book on the way by mail for good measure. I will holler at you by email, if I am able to get some momentum… Cheers and good study wishes from Prairie Creek.

1 Like

Excellent, Shane. I’m going to cover this topic for an upcoming presentation, and I will put together some resources and my study plan to share here for anyone interested.

I’m actually in chapter five in the manual and kinda lost motivation there. For some reason it’s been a hard one for me to move through.

I’ve got an excellent video link that has helped me enormously on the math chapter I’ll share.

A reminder: the question pool changes come July! Extra motivation. LOL

Give me a few days to pull things together.



OK. So here is my study plan. I passed both Tech and General after about six weeks of study. This was my method:

  • Watched the license prep videos by Gary Wise and crew (www.w4eey.com). Videos are posted on his website and on his YouTube channel.

  • I watched many of Dave Casler license prep videos also (https://www.youtube.com/user/davecasler). Dave does a great job on conceptional background for the material. Not essential, but very useful.

  • Worked my way through the appropriate ARRL license manuals a chapter at a time before I watched the video for that chapter

  • Used the online flash cards from https://hamexam.org/ and ARRL prep exams. AA9PW.com also has practice exams where you don’t have to log in to take the practice test. Drill, drill, drill!

  • Also, I downloaded the question pools (in PDF format) from ARRL for each license level. Save these on your computer. They make an excellent index, and I find it helpful to do a quick PDF search for the question and the page location in the manual for quick reference when I need to reread a section. (The indexes in the ARRL manuals are not very good, although the Extra Class index is better, and the numbering system for the questions in the manual is confusing.)

  • I found some chapter material was easy, others I bogged down and just had to dig in and plow through to get through it. The ARRL manuals are notoriously dull, but they do give the “official” version of what you need to know. I’ve found them useful for reference also after I pass the exam. Or donate them to a fellow ham to encourage them.

My plan for passing Extra is the same, although the question pool is about 750 questions, more than twice the questions for both Tech and General exams combined, so I am allowing about 8 weeks of solid study. Limit yourself to a couple of hours a day, or you will burn out.

Dan Ivey (see the Gary Wise videos) has two really great study videos on the math sections for all three levels of exam. Be sure to download and print off his PDF study handouts for the math equations. He does a superb job of teaching you how to actually do the calculations along with some cheat tips for the more difficult ones.

Finally, make it fun! See some humor in the process. Remember, this is a hobby.

Here’s the link to his math video for the Extra Class .

Hope this helps anyone trying to upgrade!



Now that’s a menu for success. Only the book and hamexam was on my agenda. I will follow as best as possible and see what transpires. Dave Casler has been solid entertainment, never watched his test coaching. The other mentions are new to me, looks like plenty of help on the math front. Rules & Regulations tend to come easy, electronics and math will be a challenge for myself. These should be usable resources I can access easily. Top Shelf posting Scott, much appreciated. 73

Just my two cents here, but I really like the content/study material/practice exams HamStudy.org provides. They also have a mobile app for your iPhone/Android but the app costs money. The website is free and it’s awesome.

1 Like

Hey, Jonathan. I wasn’t getting anywhere with my study plan. Took your suggestion and downloaded the HamStudy.Org app. Really enjoying it. I like the brief explanations on the quiz mode. Easy to pick up and study when you have some free time and I use it several times during the day.

Thanks and 73

1 Like

Their flash card style (the brief explanations) really helps me to learn the material in easy to digest bites.

1 Like

Glad you like it! It’s my favorite study tool by far. I need to get back into it for the general exam!

1 Like

After a careful self assessment of my current mental state in relationship to the Extra Class question pool. I am going to continue my study from the new pool of questions that becomes effective soon. The reason is, it became obvious that I need time, my pace is quite slow, my retention of information level demands much repetition to be adequate for testing success. Simply put, I gotta read the same crap over and over for it to stick in my brain. Scott Branyan said, “make it fun, see humor in the process”. So I heed the advice, starting now, slowing down to absorb the knowledge and laugh at the deteriorating cognitive ability of my coconut.

1 Like

Kinda my thinking too, Shane. But stay in “study mode,” whatever that means for each of us. LOL

This is the phrase I’m gonna start using every time my wife asks me to remember something.

OK, so after using the HamStudy.Org app for a while, I like it because on quiz mode it takes you through the question sequentially. The one thing that drives nuts about the ARRL study manual is the out of sequence questions in the chapters. I can see advantages to both, but learning the questions sequentially makes so much more sense to me. At least it’s more satisfying :-).


Well, radio is unplugged for the morning rain moving in. Best time to focus on Extra study any way. Love the HamStudy.Org app, but it takes going through a lot of questions to raise my aptitude score 1%–in my case. LOL. But I am learning to slow down and actually “read” the questions.

1 Like

If you didn’t know already, you can click the upper right corner after answering a question and It’ll give you user provided explanations of the questions.


1 Like

Thanks, Jonathan! Yes, I have found those and some are very good and helpful. My main issue is I have a tendency to glaze over and miss crucial wording in the question and answers, then do a forehead slap when I see the correct answer. There’s a visual for you, LOL. I probably spend too long a time on the app in one sitting.

There’s generally a word clue or two in the question and answers if I read carefully. When I’m tired, I miss it.

1 Like

Well after about a total of six weeks of study, I passed my Extra Class exam yesterday!

I had gone through the first five chapters of the Extra manual in the method I described above over about two week this past winter. Then I used hamstudy.org app for reviewing it and learning the rest of the material over the past month, watching an occasional Dave Casler video. He videos on the antenna section are very good. His visual learning aids will help you remember some of the questions. It was two weeks of tediousness the last half of May, and then it became fun the last two weeks trying to increase my “aptitude” score. It worked. Missed one question. A better score than I received on General.

Thanks for the suggestions guys. If I can do it, y’all can do it. And if you are finding it hard to carve out the study time, use the app. It really is an efficient learning tool.

I’m going to have fun exploring the full band privileges this summer.


Congratulations Scott! That is quite an achievement, and one that won’t be wasted on someone as active as you are.

:beers: cheers on the new ticket!

1 Like