The highest level of amateur radio license is Amateur Extra Class.
Extra Class opens up the “VIP rooms” of the HF bands, the amateur radio frequencies reserved only for holders of Extra Class licenses. The Extra Class frequencies are less crowded, and propagation conditions are often better on those frequencies.
The Extra Class license also opens up new ways to be of service to the ham community and the general public, whether through the Volunteer Examiner program or the amateur radio emergency services.
The Extra Class exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions, chosen from a standard pool of just over 600 questions.
It’s probably fair to say that most people experience the exam as quite challenging, since it covers some 50 different topics in considerable depth.
Here’s a sample question:
A CW receiver with the AGC off has an equivalent input noise power density of -174 dBm/Hz. What would be the level of an unmodulated carrier input to this receiver that would yield an audio output SNR of 0 dB in a 400 Hz noise bandwidth?
A. -174 dBm
B. -164 dBm
C. -155 dBm
D. -148 dBm
The Fast Track to Your Extra Class Ham Radio License translates that question into plain English and shows you step-by-step how to solve for the answer. It does the same for each of the other 712 questions in the question pool.
The fast track to your Extra license is a fast ride, but not necessarily a brief one. Getting your Extra Class ticket represents a serious commitment to learning a considerable amount of material. It is not an overnight proposition, nor a one-week one. We’ve known people to take as little as a month to prepare, but recommend you count on two months of regular study.
Of course, to make maximum use of your free time, we recommend you get one of the print editions, either the paperback or Kindle edition, as well as the audio program, which contains over 20 hours of instruction. We do not recommend getting only the audio program, since the books contain over 220 explanatory illustrations and formulas.