An Extra Class Course/Net?

At Dayton, I ran into someone who was in my 2005 General Class license course. I mentioned to her that I’d just passed the Extra Class test, and she asked if perhaps I might teach an Extra Class license course in the future. At that time, I said that I didn’t have any plans to do so, and that an Extra Class course would be quite an undertaking.

This afternoon, I received an e-mail from another guy who asked if I could help him pass the Extra test. Apparently, the need is there, so it got me to thinking about how to approach this.

To prepare myself for the Extra test, all I really did was to take a bunch of practice tests. A friend lent me his copy of the Extra Class license manual, but I rarely opened it. After taking 30 or 40 tests, I convinced myself that I could pass the “real” test, and actually did so.

Now, I had several advantages:

  • HamTestOnline gave me a free subscription because I am a registered instructor, so it cost me nothing to do this.
  • I’ve been a ham for 35 years, so have lots of practical experience.
  • I have an electrical engineering degree and have done logic design professionally. Being intimately familiar with logic diagrams made all the digital logic questions a snap.

Even so, taking the practice tests was very valuable. I actually learned quite a bit about stuff I didn’t have any experience with and a lot about some of the more arcane rules and regulations. Thinking about this a bit more, it occurs to me that one way to approach an Extra Class license course would be to have the students take a bunch of practice tests, identify the areas in which they need help, and then have them have them gather on a repeater or via EchoLink once or twice a week to review these particular topics. Furthermore, if we did it this way, I could invite other people–both teachers and students–to participate.

Have any of you tried something like this? If so, was it successful? If not, do you think it could be successful?

If you’re thinking about getting your Extra license, would you participate?


  1. Sign me up I think its a great

  2. Dan KB6NU says:

    Am I signing you up as a teacher or a student? :)

    Dan KB6NU

  3. I’m a general now and working on the EXTRA, I don’t care student or teacher
    73 kb9tbo

  4. Dan,

    This method may work better for some people than others. Admittedly poor at memorizing stuff, it is always easier for me to really learn what I am doing.

    As incredibly left-brained Extra with no engineering degree and limited electronics in high school 35 years previously, I worked my way through all of the questions in the ARRL’s Extra book, which took most of a summer.

    73 – AA8RK

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