I was searching for the best way to study for the exams. I’m usually a hands-on kinda guy so I prefer classroom environments to learn in, but didn’t see any local that were scheduled when I wanted to study. I did buy the ARRL books, but they looked like a LOT to slog though. In my online searching, HamTestOnline kept coming up so I checked them out. The reviews on eham.net were extremely favorable, so I tried out the first module for the technicians exam. Within a week I had bought the other two modules as I knew this was what I was looking for.
Following is my review.
Easy to read/understand
I only spent 64 hours studying for all 3 Ham Radio Exams before I took them. I passed all 3 in the same session and went from 0 to Extra. I’d say it’s VERY easy to read and understand.
If you’re interested in Amateur radio, this course goes by so fast it doesn’t give you a chance to get bored with any one topic. I couldn’t wait to get home in the evenings and get back to it. I also started getting up an hour early so that I could spend some time with it before work. It kept my interest throughout the programs.
This is a tough one to answer. I went through EVERY question in all the elements, so in that respect, all the information I needed was there. The Topic slides that come up were usually very thorough and concise, or they gave me web links to more in-depth articles on various topics. Sometimes, they also gave me mnemonics to remember the solutions to some key groups of questions.
However, every now and then there was no information given about a particular question. I had to give an educated guess and just remember the answer. Or I had to look it up by myself (GASP!!!). I know, I know… of all the nerve, right? Also, I went through it so fast, that retention after the test was… dodgy. Fair or not, I’m going to have to give this one a…
It goes through EVERY question in the current FCC exam question pools. … nuff said.
By all accounts, most people who take this course, do very well on their exams. That MAKES their teaching abilities very credible in my book.
Overall, I highly recommend HRLE, but I also suggest you use their lessons as a starting point for your real learning.
64 Hours is what I spent online studying on this site. While I passed the exams easily that way, I have spent 4 times that offline so far pouring through the 3 ARRL books for each certificate. Just using HRLE felt a bit like ‘studying to the test’, but what I want is to really understand ham radio. By getting my Extra license so early, what I’ve actually learned is how much MORE I have left to learn!
… and that’s the fun of it, isn’t it?
They only guarantee you’ll pass your tests, so in that respect they achieve their promises and get a full 10. However, based on my criteria above, they get…
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