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I've had my general class license for 20 years. I never progressed farther. This was back when you had to learn morse code at 13 WPM for General.

I'm just curious what the procedures are to upgrade to extra now. I think advanced is gone, right?

And what are the best study guides and tools these days?

Thank you Monroe Mann N1JZS

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I’m taking my Extra test this weekend. I’ve been using the spiral-bound ARRL study guide and HamStudy.org (mostly their app). The latter is good for drill-style study mode, which focuses on your weak areas as you study. It has explainers for each question too.

I have no affiliation with either (except being an ARRL member), but I’m consistently testing in the 90% range on practice tests (which HamStudy tracks and plots), so I’m confident I won’t drive an hour only to fail.

All that to say there are lots of great (and often free) study tools out there, but I'd definitely start with one of the study guides (ARRL isn't the only good set) and use a website or app (the latter is often cheap but not free) to study and take practice tests and you'll be fine.

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  • $\begingroup$ I passed, missing only 2, so definitely an endorsement for HamStudy.org. $\endgroup$ – Joshua Nozzi May 12 at 0:41
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The procedure is: find a testing session and take the test (have your FRN handy, and tell them that you're going for your Extra). When you pass the test, you should immediately get a Certificate of Successful Completion of Examination. That entitles you to operate using Extra privileges with a "/AE" callsign suffix right away. Once the examiner submits the test results to the FCC and the FCC processes it (usually within a few days), they'll issue your new license, and you can drop the /AE suffix. As you said, there's no practical test anymore, just the written, so that's all there is to it.

As for study materials, I can also recommend HamStudy. It's a good and principled resource, and their practice tests are really a good way to gauge how ready you are, and which areas you need to study more.

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I think advanced is gone, right?

Right. Although some of us older hams still hold Advanced class licenses (and can renew them), it is no longer possible to obtain a new one. You'll have to take the Extra exam to upgrade.

Some previous questions and answers about Advanced licenses

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  • $\begingroup$ Some people hold onto their Advanced-class licenses with pride, and have no plans to upgrade to Extra, because an Advanced-class license proves that the holder passed a 20 WPM Morse code test. $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 May 11 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ @rclocher3 Nope! I'm an Advanced, and I only had to take a 13 WPM test. (I failed the 20 WPM Extra code test.) But you're right about some Advanced ticket holders not upgrading, for one reason or another. In my case, I flunked. ;-) $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters May 12 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ 13 WPM, I stand corrected. Were you allowed a typewriter during the 20 WPM test? I think I'd have trouble with a 20 WPM test if I had to print the letters with a pencil. $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 May 12 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ @rclocher3 I forget the details of the code tests. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters May 12 at 15:26
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https://www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/ https://hamstudy.org/

I used these while studying for my extra exam, highly recommended.

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I did well using HamStudy.org practice tests and an Anki flash card deck (religiously doing my daily reviews). The Anki desktop app is free (have to pay for the mobile one so I stuck with desktop): https://ankiweb.net/shared/info/1701037970

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I used HamTestOnline to upgrade from Advanced to Extra. There is about a $35 charge for six months of access to the computer training. The thing that I liked most about it was that the program keeps working on new questions from the FCC question bank while continually going back to the questions you have missed. Very good supporting documentation for each question.

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    $\begingroup$ Hello and welcome to ham.stackexchange.com! $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 May 11 at 21:14

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