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Originally provided by: William Becher, AA8RW

Last updated:


Attention, students: a copy of the 2008-2012 ARRL "Extra Class License Manual for Ham Radio" is available for overnight checkout at the 2nd floor Reserve desk in the Duderstadt Center (call number PC 8). Although the manual expired on June 30, 2012, the overall content should still be beneficial to those studying for the exam, although you will need to make sure that you study questions in the current question pool, which is found here.


Assuming you haven't arrived at this page by accident, you must be here because

  • You're curious, which is great; your inquisitive mind suggests you have the necessary attributes to be a leader in Ham radio, or
  • You're eager to obtain your Extra Class license, which is even better because now you have your General license, know what Ham radio is all about and are ready to advance to Extra Class
If it's the former, hurry back--just as soon as you have your General license. If the latter, you already know the intricacies of amateur radio. All that's missing is
  • A good study guide.
  • A list of the Extra exam questions
  • And some practice exams
So let's get started. - Return to top

The Exam Questions
The present Extra Class exam questions are valid from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2016. And just like the Technician and General questions, the Extra Class questions are available from several sources, but unlike the others, there are graphics associated with the Extra exam:

Internet (See the link on the right sidebar for a free Adobe pdf Reader.)
  • Valid July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2016
    • You can copy these in various formats from the NCVEC page on the Internet. Be sure to copy the diagrams as well.
    • Questions withdrawn may appear someday. If they do, ignore the withdrawn questions as you prepare for the exam.
KD8APD Extra Class Study Guide
Go to the ARROW website for a listing of many of the Extra class exam quesrions, answers and brief explanations. Studying these may save you time.

Books (that contain the FCC Questions & Answers)
Practice Exams
Once you have studied the questions and believe you are ready to take the exam, it is a good idea to test your understanding on several practice exams. Fortunately, there are numerous resources that provide these. (Make certain the questions are for the year you plan to take the exam.) (The following are valid only through June 30, 2012. Newer versions will be referenced as they become available and are known):
  • Internet (These have only been given a cursory look)
  • Books - Many of the Book Resources listed below contain copies of the questions. A few contain sample exams. Before purchasing be certain to check the contents to see if they are included.
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Book Resources
The latest editions of these books have not been reviewed by UMARC. However, earlier editions have been looked at and, in some cases, used to obtain a license. All are judged to be useful as a study tool. Nevertheless, you should look carefully at the descriptions published on the websites before purchasing to ensure that it satisfies your needs and are valid for the year you plan to take the exam.

ARRL Amateur Radio License Publications

The ARRL Extra Class Radio License Manual (valid through 6/30/16) contains all the information needed to pass the Extra Class license exam: questions, answers and a well written explanation of the principles underlying each question.
The ARRL Extra Q&A (valid through 6/30/16) contains all the exam questions with answers and brief explanations of the answers. It is significantly less expository than the Extra Class License Manual.

W5YI Group Amateur Radio publications

Gordon West's Extra Class Study Manual 2012-2016 (valid through 6/30/16) contains answer explanations with highlighted keywords and "Ham Hints" and hundreds of related website links. Written by Gordon West, WB6NOA, past recipient of the ARRL Instructor of the Year award.
Gordon West's Extra Class Audio Course 2012-2016 (valid through 6/30/16) covers all the questions in a logical topic sequence. A 4 audio CD set provides an explanation of the material needed to get ready for the exam.
Gordon West's Extra Class Software Package 2012-2016. (valid through 6/30/16) All possible license exam questions, answers, schematic diagrams, and explanations of the answers are presented "on screen." W5YI software scores your results and highlights areas that need further study. Printouts of sample tests are available on your PC!
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Some Useful References (for study and after you are licensed)
All of the following are ARRL publications. Detailed descriptions for these, and many other, can be found by going to Store and searching for the topic of interest. All can be purchased directly from ARRL.

Note: Sometimes you can find bargains prices for these references at or Hamfests in the area but be aware, new editions are routinely published as Ham interests change. Although the basic underlying radio theory remains unchanged, the new ideas and examples illustrated in the later editions can be significantly different. Consequently, although you can find out-of-date bargains, you should be careful, doing so may prevent your entry into new and exciting Ham activities. Buy older editions only after thorough research or consulting with more experienced UMARC members or others before doing so.

The FCC Rule Book contains the latest FCC rules as published in Part 97 along with explanations and interpretations. Because it is essential that all radio amateur operators follow all the rules, this book can be a valuable additions to any Ham library.

You will not be in Ham radio long before you realize there are many procedures to learn when operating your equipment. The ARRL Operating Manual is a valuable resource if you hope to hone your skills as a Ham operator. It will introduce you to all the "How to's" of amateur radio operating procedures.

One of the most important parts of successful radio operation is the antenna. Without a good antenna even the best radio will not work well. The ARRL Antenna Book is the tool needed to understand what to do if you desire good transmission and reception. The book not only explains the theory but gives many valuable insights into the construction of antennas. Also included is a CD ROM containing software utilities for modeling a variety of antenna configurations.

The ARRL Handbook, 2011 edition is an updated technical reference that has been used by Hams since 1926. It explains the fundamental theory of all aspects of amateur radio from electricity to digital modes, illustrates many practical do-it-yourself projects and contains valuable reference data. It is a book that all Hams should take a detailed look at and seriously consider including on their bookshelf.
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Note, if you use a text and/or another website to study for this exam, make certain they contain the current questions.

Go Blue!

73 de W8UM

Last updated: 9/17/10

Pick a topic:


Exam Questions

Practice Exams

Book Resources

Some Useful References

Links to questions:

Extra Class (valid thru 2016)

Adobe Reader

Questions Withdrawn

Links to practice exams:


ARRL License publications

ARRL Extra Class License Manual

ARRL Extra Q&A

W5YI Group publications

Extra Class Study Manual

Extra Class Audio Course

Extra Class Software Package

ARRL Technical publications

FCC Rule Book

Operating Manual

Antenna Book

2012 Handbook


Ham Radio Clubs

University (UMARC)
Ann Arbor (ARROW)
National (ARRL)