500ton master upgrade test?

Does anyone have any resources for studying the material for the 500ton master test, specifically the terrestrial material? I went to school in Dec but was interrupted with medical problems, then went back to work, and not being able to complete the class I set out to learn on my own… my test date is approaching and I am not that confident so I am looking for any reference material or instruction that could answer specific questions. Tudors, dvd’s, on line, etc… Appreciate any advice or assistance!

jpdiver- You should be prepared to spend about 2 weeks solid studying terrestrial if it is your first time really looking at it. The main things to spend time on for terrestrial are Azimuth’s and amplitudes. You will get one of the two on your test. A tide problem. A current problem. Compass deviation. Slip or consumption. Bearing problems which are the easiest ones. Learn to do the bearing problems mathematically, the ones that can be done that way. The answers are more accurate that way. There are bearing problems that require you to use a maneuvering board. You can only miss one question.

To help pick these things up you will need a Bowditch, Maneuvering Boards(they come in a pack of 50), tides and currents table for testing, Capt. Joe’s Study disc (about 50 Bucks and it is worth 10 times that much) http://www.uscgexam.com/, a good calculator (I prefer a TI-36X). Also of use is a book called formula for the Mariner and Merchant Marine Officer’s handbook. The Capt. Joe’s disc breaks down the questions that you may not know how to complete step by step. There is also Lapware.org and the Murphy books. The Murphy books are just questions and answers. The following link is one place you can get some of these items. Also check out hawsepipe.net or just do a google search for these items. http://www.sandwichship.com/

Once you do get to studying and if you hit a brick wall make a post here and I am sure someone would be willing to help.

I could not agree with Lee anymore…Capt. Joe’s uscgexam.com study disk is by far the best study guide you can purchase today! The solutions to all the navigational problems and the power point presentations are worth hundreds of dollars alone. Spend 50 bucks to [U]learn[/U] and study.

Ah, the cram.

The problem with hawsepiping is knowing what to study. The Coast Guard is little help with that, but there is a table in the CFRs that describe which topics are on which exams. Some of the topic labels are not as clear and you’d like, but it got me through three exams (100T, 200T, 500T) with celestial each time.

If you want to just pass the exam, I’d say follow the advice already posted, but if you want to really learn to navigate You need some good texts, Dutton’s one of the best, the new Bowdich is a decent text now. For the test itself, I don’t see how people study and pass the exam without OWNING a copy of bowdich vol 2, 1981. It’s a tremendous gift from the Coast Guard and you should know exactly where everything is in that book.

You didn’t say why you’re not confident or which areas. If you have never studied navigation and you go to a two week course you can’t expect to do anything more than pass the exam. If that’s the goal, I frankly hope the Coasties have made it impossible to pass the exam. BUT, the greatest resource for just passing the exams are the publications in the exam room. TONS of answers are right in those books, all the TIDE problems, azimuth, amplitude, visible/geographic/luminous range of lights, dipping a light.

I’d have to saw the flashing light program on hawsepipe.com is the best for that too, though the rest of their material is just so so… I’m going to check out the Capt Joe’s material myself. You really learn to navigate from other navigators more than books and classes. It’s a craft, not art, not science. That’s why the coast guard has experiential requirements for a license.

I hope if you get through the exams you take some time to really learn the stuff too. Our craft is dying at the hands of the Cracker Jack coast guard approved schools.

Best of luck.


[B]Believe me “our” Craft is not dying.[/B]

Thank you for the great info… I have consulted with Cpt Joe and ordered the program and I think it will address my specific issues… I have the base knowledge from the class I went to back in December but, just cant seem to make it all stick and looking for the most efficient way to learn it all. As it is, plotting is the thing I know best… its all the tides, apmlitudes, sunset, timeticks, stability, etc. that I have not really been exposed to. I just can’t remember all those formulas. Thanks again!

Hey Diver,
If you have Excel on your computer I have Slip and Fuel Conservation Formula’s laid out for easier memorization. Drop me an email or pm with your email and I will send them to you if you want them.