500 Ton NC exam

I am self studying for 500 Ton Near Coastal. I am using Lapware plus online resources, plus MET books.
I have taught myself the Stability and Terrestrial Nav problems. But when it comes to Deck General, there are tons of questions about shipping that I simply don’t know ( have not served on large vessels )
Can I pretty much access all the info in the CFR’s in the exam room, or should I try to memorize?
Thanks for any advice!

Memorize if you can. It’s much faster than trying to look up every answer in the CFRs.

Use the sample test on the nmc site you will deff see some of those questions

Naw, I disagree. The module has 70 questions and only requires a 70% to pass. That means you can miss 21 answers.

Memorizing the CFR questions would certainly save time during the exam. But it eats up way too much time in the pre-test prep. I recall that there were not too many questions that required looking up answers. I found having a general understanding of CFR organization was good enough to find enough answers to pass without sweating.

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Is there a good video or other tool for using the CFR to help with answering questions on the test.

Thanks so much.

I have been wading through Lapware, pulling up the CFRs to get familiar with the layout and chapters.

However, I have come across a bunch of dangerous cargo questions - example to follow. Should I get a copy of the Chemical Data Guide they have in the REC room - will I be able to get the answers from that?


You are on a multiple-product chemical tanker and will carry cargoes of ethanolamine, methyl acrylate, and glycerine. Which statement is true?


Glycerine is compatible with both of the other cargoes.


Glycerine may be stowed adjacent to methyl acrylate but must be segregated from ethanolamine.


All of these cargoes are mutually incompatible.


Methyl acrylate and ethanolamine are compatible but both must be segregated from glycerine.

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Yes, it’s in the room, and being familiar with it would be beneficial before you get in there. Questions like this are quick to look up and not really worth memorizing.

At this link:
Chemical Data Guide for Bulk Shipment By Water (uscg.mil)

Don’t even bother to study Deck General. Just wing it. You only need a 70; you’ll do fine.


Thanks again.
I was looking at the Chem Data Guide and finally realized you can look up each chemical and see which group it is in, then use the Compatibility chart. Takes it from impossible to straightforward!

Be familiar with all the diagram questions cranes etc and the vessel structure diagrams , and they will throw a couple random stability questions in there usually from the salmon colored pages . If this is the masters test.

Different for everybody. I’d rather study more and take the test in 20 minutes than sit there for 3 hours trying to look up shit in the CFRs.

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In the test preparatory phase, I recommend learning how to use the regulatory test question and related to a specific CFR. Consider the fact that you can no longer count on the Coast Guard having the same questions that are in the software you are using. Memorizing CFR question and an answer is a daunting task given the range and variety of possible questions.

In this phase you need to take the question apart looking for keywords or hints to enter the CFR’s.

• Vessel Inspections = 46 CFR Subchapter A, Part 2
• Marine Casualties & Investigations = 46 CFR Subchapter A, Part 4
• Shipping & Discharge of Seaman = 46 CFR Subchapter B, Part 14,
• Manning = 46 CFR Subchapter B, Part 15,
• Chemical Testing = 46 CFR Subchapter B, Part 16,
• Uninspected Vessel Regulation = 46 CFR Subchapter C,
• Tank Vessels = 46 CFR D or 33 CFR Subchapter O Parts 151-157
• Small Passenger Regulations = 46 CFR Subchapter T,
• Lifesaving Regulations = 46 CFR Subchapter W,
• Safety Regulations = 33 CFR Subchapter P, Part 164

In the testing phase you have two things working in your favor (1) you possibly recognize the question and answer (2) you never have seen the question before, but you have a reasonable idea as how to find it. This system pays off after the examination as you will know how to use the CFR’s.

The same goes with all the exam room references. I may not need them but if I need something like a definition or a Navigational formula there is a reasonable chance you can find it.

Also, the opposite is true some questions pertain to things not in the exam room references e.g., breaking strength of line formula, block and tackles formula, parts of a pedestal crane etc.

My last comment on exam room references is to look at the illustration books for exam module and identify questions related to the illustration.

As to the exam room calculator I refer you to recent changes at the REC exam room calculator

You ask about videos. There are reasonable YouTube videos out there for license prep e.g. Maine Maritime has a few for their Deck Prep program, Practical Navigator.org, Tom Nason etc. each has their pros and cons but they maybe worth your time.

This is so helpful.

Thank you for thanking the time.

I have the MM Deck Illustrations, but am struggling to find the parts asked for in Deck Gen, such as cranes. I have trolled the Internet. Any ideas?

I have trolled the Internet. Any ideas?

You are on the right track. First - If you are using lapware or other prep software search for the Illustration/ Diagram Number e.g. D045Dg this should surface some results in the software you are using. If you have the old 2015 NMC test bank do the same thing in the DG questions. It should provide questions they used in developing their test bank at that time.

Next Goggle the Illustration / Diagram Number and you should surface something like:

https://quizlet.com/449815416/exam-3-diagram-d045dg-diagram/ which helps fill in the blanks.

I have used this process for all of the Deck and Engineering Illustrations Books that the NMC put online.

I also recommend that you network with your fellow mariners that went to the various preparatory schools throughout the country and see how the different schools presented the material you are specifically looking for.

The announcement you linked to was rescinded, that’s why you can’t find it on the NMC’s web page. It is not the current calculator policy. The policy is as described in the NMC’s exam room rules (see no. 3).

Thank you for the update and for correcting my post.

The following is what I used to get me through the CFR’s…Those things were awful.

Subchapter---------- Question type

D…T…Tanker, tankship etc.

I… C…Cargo vessel

N… D… Dangerous, hazardous cargo

O… .P… Pollution

C… U…Uninspected vessel

E… L… Load lines, certs.

T… P… Small Passenger regs.

All of the CFR’s are 46 except for O/P which is 33. When you do find the correct answer, it is spelled out word for word. Nothing to interprate.

All together the aid is: DINOCET / TCDPULP. Hope this works for you.


That is brilliant help. Thanks so much!

I am coming across so many formulae for different types of questions within Deck Gen. Do I need to memorize them all, or are there a core few I can get under my belt?