Upgrading Your License

Ok, so you’ve had a Technician Class license for awhile and you’re ready to spread your wings, move into the HF bands and talk to the rest of the world. Or maybe you have your General and are moving to the top, Amateur Extra Class. Excellent.

Actually, the process we recommend for upgrading your license is pretty much exactly the same as with Getting Your First License (see that page). The differences should be self-evident. You need a different manual, different question pool and different study course. So read the Getting Your First License page; and in the Manual, Question Pool and Class sections, substitute the following information, as appropriate, for what’s there.

1. Get the Right Manual

The General Class Manual
The ARRL manual is called the “ARRL General Class License Manual 8th Edition”.

The W5YI manual is called the “General Class Study Manual 2015-2019”.

The Amateur Extra Class Manual
The ARRL Extra manual is called the “ARRL Extra Class License Manual 11th Edition”.

The W5YI Extra manual is called the “Extra Class Study Manual 2016-2020”.

As with the Question Pools, both the ARRL and W5YI manuals expire every four years. Make sure you get the manual edition that applies at the time you will take the test. The valid dates are clearly marked on the web pages and the manual's cover. Also, because of this, the editions shown here and the above links to the manuals' web pages may no longer be valid when you read this. If so, please remind us to fix them (at info@mdarc.org), then just search the main ARRL and/or W5YI web site for the current edition.

2. Download the Right Question Pool

Nothing different to say here. Just to repeat what the Getting Your First License page says: “make sure you download the correct question pool”.

3. Consider Taking a Study Class

There are very few one-day classes available for the General Class upgrade, and those that come up are intermittent and far in-between. As far as we know, none are available for the Amateur Extra Class upgrade. So the multi-session course is your only option here. MDARC offers a General Class course every year and an Amateur Extra Class course every two years. See our Education and Training section for details.