On 02-Oct-2021 I sat for the Amateur Extra exam. I passed! 49/50 for those keeping score (I was). I’m not sure why I waited this long (aside from managing life and work through a pandemic that has touched ever facet of life) but once I started studying, it really only took about 2 or 3 weeks until I was doing well enough to pass with 80%+ on practice tests.
One of the downsides of licensing in the U.S. is that so much of it is trivia. At this point in my life, I don’t memorize formulas because in 2021 I can ask the robot in my pocket to do all of those calculations for me in plain English rather than scribbling notes on paper. I also don’t really know that knowing how many lines are in a frame of SSTV is relevant outside of implementing software to decode those signals which few operators will use. What would be much better, in my opinion, is a focus on advanced operations. Something beyond calculating the impedance of a feedline, maybe?
In any case, I did win Trivial Pursuit: Ham Radio Edition and am upgraded to Amateur Extra. I also checked the box to get a 2×2. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to apply for a vanity call to be disclosed later, but for now, I’m waiting for the FCC to do its thing.
I should also note that I used https://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/ to do my study prep. I’ve used it for all three licenses because the way it presents information and the way it tracks what a user seems to know vs. where that user is struggling to recall answers was effective for me. I recommend it.