This audio course is for the Amateur Radio Extra Class license in the United States. The question pool we are working from is effective from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2012.
Welcome to the Courage Handiham University Extra Class lecture series. Your teacher will be me, Patrick Tice, WA0TDA, Handiham manager. Our lectures will be in audio format. Each lecture will be presented in streaming audio with an option to download each MP3 file if streaming audio does not work for you. Please read this entire page before continuing.
If you have not already e-mailed us, please do so immediately and let us know that you want to register for this course. You may e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. (I like to know who may students are!)
You will not receive any course e-mail, so please let us know when you want to get started so we can make sure you are on our student list.
You may proceed through the course at your own pace, taking charge of your own learning plan. This gives you the power to study what you want when you want to. Be sure to listen several times to a particular lecture if you find the material difficult. You may also send us e-mail if you have a question or cannot understand a concept.
Here are some things to think about as you begin your Extra Class studies.
Planning your study:
The Extra Class exam is a 50-question multiple choice test. It is only available to holders of General or Advanced licenses here in the United States. While 50 questions may not seem like a lot, remember that they are drawn from a pool of over 800 questions and answers, many of which contain lengthy, complicated text and/or mathematics. If you are blind, you should know that some of the questions refer to "figures". You can request that the VE team provide a test for you that contains no figures. That means that when you plan your studies, you can skip the questions that refer to figures. However, there will be other questions related to the same topics that do not refer to figures and you will be asked some of those instead, so you will still get the full exam. One question I often hear is whether or not a blind person is responsible for questions that refer to mathematical formulas. The answer is, in a word, yes! As you go through your studies, you will need a calculator. If you are blind, you should go shopping for a talking calculator. Please learn how to use it before you go in to the VE session! In fact, as you study, try to use your calculator on a regular basis so that you are very familiar with its functions and will not have to worry about how to use it at the time of the examination.
Find a nice, quiet place to study. Study every day. Rather than immediately firing off a question when you don't understand something, instead try to go over the material again to see if to see if there is something you missed that will help you understand. Although Handiham staff will be as helpful as they can during this study process, our time is limited and I will tell you right up front that we expect our "top hams" who are studying for Extra, should be capable of going through this material without asking hundreds of questions simply to avoid looking up the answers on their own.
Refer to the question pool often. I recommend the following text version, which has been specially modified
for use with screenreaders or DAISY book production software. It has all four
possible answers after each question, then states which answer is correct:
Don't push yourself beyond your capabilities when you are tired. Too much study can be worse than not enough. If you try to study too much material in too short a time your memory retention rate will go down, and you will have to repeat your studies of that material more often. Instead, it is better to plan your study for a given time each day when possible, then sticking to the time you have allotted yourself. When study time is over, go do something else until it is time to study again. That way you will not become discouraged and studying for the exam will be more effective. If you have to travel or if you commute to work on a bus or train, you may want to consider studying via audio cassettes or MP3 player so you can make use of what would otherwise be wasted time.
There is no radio club that we know of that offers Extra Class licensing courses, since most amateurs capable of Extra Class are expected to study on their own anyway. However, there may be someone in your local radio club who will want to give you a helping hand by answering some of your questions in more detail, helping you learn how to work your calculator, or giving you a hands-on experience with antennas or radio/test equipment that you cannot get by taking this online course. Remember, part of earning the highest class of amateur radio license is experience. That means experience on the air, solving problems for yourself, perhaps making your own antennas and some of your own equipment, being able to troubleshoot, and taking leadership roles in your radio club. While you are studying, you should also be participating on the air and at your local radio club.
Practice exams are available online, and we encourage you to use them after you have already done considerable study toward your goal of the Extra Class. We will provide links later on in the course. Now is the time to study, not to take practice exams unless you have been studying already for quite some time.
To take this online course, you will need a computer that is capable of running multimedia applications, an Internet connection, media player software, and an e-mail address.
Please do not hesitate to let me know if something does not work for you. I will do my best to figure it out and e-mail you the answer. Did you notice that I said e-mail and not telephone? Good! Again, my e-mail address is: email@example.com. By the time you are studying for the top license, we think that you will know how to operate your own computer and how to use your screen reading software if you are blind. I will not have the resources to teach you basic computing skills or how to use your screen reading software. But I can answer questions related to the functioning of the CHU web site.
Well, those are some tips and tricks for getting started with your Extra Class. I want to wish you the best of luck with your studies and we hope to hear you on the air soon. It is a lot of work, but you will find it well worth the effort!
Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Courage Kenny Handiham