General license study material

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Southbound, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. Southbound

    Southbound Monkey+

    Hi all. I want to get my general license and would like to know if any general licensed hams have any thoughts on what they feel is the best study material. Thanks in advance.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    FWIW, I didn't use anything other than the book. That's not to say it wouldn't have been easier to buy a study guide of some kind, but I'm fundamentally a cheapskate. That said, there are good things said about some of the online courses that pop up on goodle. You might also check here -
    Prepared Ham - Index
    and see what some of those guys recommend.
    73s and good luck.
    chelloveck likes this.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yup, The prepared Ham site, Prepared Ham - Index is dedicated to helping Folks get Licensed, and has a LOT of good ideas on Study Guides and Test Exams that will get you ready for the Tests.... Tech, General, or Extra....
    chelloveck likes this.
  4. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I went on the internet, forgot where. But it's almost better than a book because the site can be set up to quiz you using questions from the actual pool.

    Took a few weeks. Once you get started, it becomes almost addictive so it easy to keep going. When you make very few errors or no errors, you're just about ready for the real McCoy.
    chelloveck likes this.
  5. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    I would suggest you get an app for your phone. I used the Ham General by James Thomas on my iPhone and recommend it. Then when you have a few minutes waiting in the doctors office, or eating alone at lunch, or whenever wherever you have a few minutes, open the app and take some of the test questions. Go through them all 2-4 times and that helps a bunch.

    I took my tech exam one month and decided to go back for the higher licenses. I used the Thomas Ham General and Ham Extra study apps plus a free 30-50 page internet study guide for each license that had the needed equations to compute stuff and went back and solidly passed both tests. The Thomas apps were well worth the couple bucks each that they cost.

    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  6. Flight-ER-Doc

    Flight-ER-Doc Monkey+

    If you have a tech already, just study the tests at Practice Amateur Radio Exams by QRZ.COM There isn't a great deal of difference between the tech test and general test, except for a few rules. In fact, when I do VE tests, anyone who passes the Tech is STRONGLY offered to take the General right then and there, and better than 85% of them pass it. Remember, there is no additional charge to take another test, and if you dont pass the VE's and you are the only ones who know - and we don't care.
  7. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    to actually understand and be able to answer from knowledge, ARRL has books for each license class as well as the annual Handbook and the Antenna book that comes out every few years. I highly recommend these sources to learn what you need AFTER you get licensed.
    To pass the test, take dozens or hundreds of the practice tests at all the various free websites, until you recognize the right answers most of the time. you can shortcut that a little by making some cheat sheets for stuff like formulas, Ohm's law, etc. DON'T take the cheat sheets in with you on paper; take them in your head, then write them out on the scratch paper once you're in the testing session. Nothing wrong with that.
    It's already been 10 years since I got Extra, I just renewed (free). So this current batch of questions is not what I studied. However, I can't imagine it's changed all that much.
    The question pools are freely available. The questions you will get on your test will come from those pools. You will get so many questions from each group. The order of the answers will not necessarily be the same though, so don't memorize "answer B.", the right answer might be moved to a different letter.
    Aside from sites you already got above, here's some more:
    AA9PW FCC Exam Practice » Amateur Radio Exam Practice Ham Radio Practice Exams Free Amateur Radio Practice Tests with Flash Cards
    chelloveck and ghrit like this.
  8. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Right, the question pools are readily available for studying, go thru them, they will change the questions from the pool of questions, save them all to re-study, and research the ones that you didn't understand and got wrong, the circuit questions are simple for anyone who has dabbled in putting electronics together, the winding ratios on audio transformers was and is still a mystery.

    Do not memorize the order of the correct answers for the question, it will be different on the test, the prepared ham lives just across the valley from me, I could identify his location on the picture of the mountain peak that is in MX, that was on his web page.... OPSEC people, OPSEC!!!

    chelloveck likes this.
  9. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Rote memorising the answers to questions in a question pool seems to me, to be a worthless way of gaining an accreditation, other than as a way of getting wall decorations. Understanding how the correct answers are arrived at, is what really matters...and what counts when that knowledge is applied in the field.
    3M-TA3, Motomom34 and Tempstar like this.
  10. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Worthless or (probably) not, the first ticket is a license to learn. Until that paper is in hand, practical matters cannot be experienced or really understood. Were it not for that approach, the hobby would be much less common.
    3M-TA3 and chelloveck like this.
  11. Homer Simpson

    Homer Simpson Monkey+++

    I have been using an app for my phone called "ham test prep" for free. Just by memorizing the test pool I was nailing consistent 100% in less that 20 tests. No reason to spend money for this.

    Now, I need to decide to go take the real test,and have my real name and location entered in to a publicly searchable database. I might, or I might stay in the 11 meter slums as I would never run power, or venture in to the "free band" above and below 11 meters. But that is a topic for another day. As said above OPSEC
  12. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Or... you could use a PO Box. I used my call sign once and some yahoo told me to trim the weeds on my place.

    It was a piece of vacant land I own in Tucson, and the weeds were on the property in front of my 4.6 acres. But I could be found, but all computers and databases will be non-existent if the lights go out in the case of an EMP event, or probably even in case of the fall of society.

    Yard Dart likes this.
  13. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety is what I usually suggest, and it does cost money. However, one comes away knowing why the answer is what it is, not just memorization. I know way too many hams that are "appliance operators" and have no idea how it all works or how to cobble together an antenna in a pinch. Not trying to sound smug at all, but Ham radio is and has generally been classified as a hobby and one we welcome all into with open arms, but learn all you can and I promise you'll get way more enjoyment and way less frustration. There is nothing that beats making a contact half way around the world on an antenna you built from scratch.
    3M-TA3 and chelloveck like this.
  14. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety

    Unless you have been homeless, owned nothing in your name your whole life, have no social security number, and never paid taxes, you already are in a publicly searchable database. "Dropping out" has all but been eliminated in any modern country, especially the US. Having "OPSEC" is easier once "OPSEC" is understood.
    Motomom34, mysterymet and chelloveck like this.
  15. Southbound

    Southbound Monkey+

    Thank you all for the help. I didn't expect so many responses. I think I have a good starting point to get going and study up for the exam.
    Motomom34 and chelloveck like this.
  16. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety

    We hams are a passionate lot, and always eager to help each other advance and grow in the hobby. Good luck on the study and the exam.
  1. Tully Mars
  2. sdr
  3. Southbound
  4. SB21
  5. Bandit99
  6. sdr
  7. Bandit99
  8. DKR
  9. BTPost
  10. DKR
  11. BenP
  12. Hanzo
  13. DKR
  14. Asia-Off-Grid
  15. Asia-Off-Grid
  16. ED GEiN
  17. ED GEiN
  18. Tempstar
  19. Bandit99
  20. Idahoser
survivalmonkey SSL seal warrant canary