Charles Martin Reid - General

From charlesreid1

Study Guide

Chapter 2 Study Guide

Chapter 2 is heavy on questions but light on technical content.

General/Chapter 2 Study Guide

Chapter 3 Study Guide

Chapter 3 requires you to memorize lots of frequencies - learn your privileges!

General/Chapter 3 Study Guide

also see Mnemonics/General Class License

Chapter 4 Study Guide

Chapter 4 is super beefy, since it covers the essential components of electronic circuits:

General/Chapter 4 Study Guide

Chapter 5 Study Guide

Chapter 5 is about RF signals:

General/Chapter 5 Study Guide

Chapter 6 Study Guide

Chapter 6 is about digital modes:

General/Chapter 6 Study Guide

Chapter 7 Study Guide

Chapter 7 is about antennas:

General/Chapter 7 Study Guide

Chapter 8 Study Guide

Chapter 8 is about propagation:

General/Chapter 8 Study Guide

Chapter 9 Study Guide

Chapter 9 is about electrical and RF safety:

General/Chapter 9 Study Guide

Study Strategy

My strategy for studying for the exam looks something like this.

It's currently mid-May, and I am planning on taking the exam in mid-August. That gives me 3 months to get to know the material, learn it, memorize it, and know it backwards and forwards. My goal is to ace the exam.

Phase 1: Read

The first phase is to get familiar with the ham exam information by reading it.

  • Read through the entire study book, once.
  • Don't worry about taking notes, or highlighting, or exam questions - just read.
  • There is much more material than you can absorb in one reading, so if you don't understand everything, don't get hung up.
  • Reading through the book once gives the big picture concepts a chance to sink in.

This may take several days - give yourself enough time.

Phase 2: Make Notes

The second phase is a more active form of studying - it is your chance to repeat the information by writing or speaking it.

  • Go back to the beginning of the book and re-read each section carefully, working out what it is saying.
  • If you don't understand a section, this is the time to figure it out - spend enough time to feel comfortable with the material.
  • In a notebook, write down the important information. (Important means, it shows up in a question, or it helps you understand and remember the concepts.)
  • At the end of each section or chapter, the book should give a list of exam questions that the section or chapter covered. Review each exam question and write down the fact that question asked about on a summary page.
  • Digest the notes into flashcards and mnemonic devices for memorization.

When you make your notes, try to work on a pattern. Here's the pattern I settled into:

  • I worked one chapter at a time.
  • For each chapter, I went through one section at a time. I made notes of anything in any sections that I felt would help me understand and remember the material.
  • When I was done with a section, I would make a new "Summary" section. In this section, I went through each exam question one-by-one and wrote out the statement that exam question asked about.
  • Each section had its own set of notes and its own summary. (This is harder to do up front because the first two chapters are too short to make any of this necessary.)

Phase 3: Further Condense

Further condense the notes into the essentials, and make a cheat sheet - great to review daily in the leadup to the exam, in addition to flashcards and other studying.

Some nice cheat sheets:

A little old, so ignore the first few chapters on the old/incorrect rules.

This step is definitely key - once you're able to digest the information, you can start to compartmentalize it. Creating summary sheets helps to enumerate the compartments. Pretty soon, what initially felt like an overwhelming, massive amount of information becomes manageable and contained.

Phase 4: Review and Practice

Once all the material has been digested and notes have been made and the pile of flashcards is tall and you know every single one, you can start to take practice exams.

Phase N: Take the Exam

Last step is to nail the exam.


Passed

I passed my General class exam on Friday, August 5, 2016, with a score of 33/35.

My gaol was to get a perfect score, but I missed two questions. The first question I missed was on quad antennas - it was asking to match horizontal and vertical polarization of waves with the feed of the quad antenna being connected in the middle or the edge of the quad shape. (Before my General exam I was reviewing my notes, but I was only able to review the material up to, but not including, antennas.) The other was a confusingly-worded question on third-party international traffic rules - ironically, the very question that friends and I had discussed, as Internet-oblivious and yet illustrative of the fundamental nature of the communication method. (The question was not actually in the study book, or the answers I was reviewing, so I don't know how that question snuck past me in my studying.)

References

Nice summary and study pages:

Mnemonics

Mnemonics/General


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