STCW Course Completion – Preparing for the Physical and Written Exam

After completing your STCW course, there are 2 types of STCW exams – physical and written -- that may be required if you are employed in the maritime industry.
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May 4, 2012 - PRLog -- STCW training is required for those who work in the maritime industry on certain types of vessels. This will require taking a STCW course and eventually a physical and written STCW exam.

Maritime Workers Who Require STCW Training

The following types of vessels generally require STCW training:

•   uninspected towing vessels (subject to Officers Competency Convention);
•   workers operating international/foreign voyages, no matter the vessel’s size;
•   passenger vessels (subject to 46 CFR sub-chapter H, over 100GT); and
•   commercial vessels that weigh more than 200 gross tons.

This generally requires taking the basic deck exam; however, there may be additional courses that must be taken, such as crisis management or security officer. It will depend on the mariner’s classification.

Written STCW Exam

In order to receive an STCW-95 certificate, students must pass the exam. This written portion can include from 100 to 200 questions.

Answering that many questions can feel overwhelming, especially if you have been out of school for some time. However, there are ways to prepare, such as taking practice tests and participating in discussions provided on STCW Online.

Physical STCW Exam

When you take a basic safety training course, you will get both classroom and hands-on instruction. This allows you to be prepared for both the written and physical exam.

One of the courses that is included in the basic safety training course is on personal safety, such as recognizing alarm signals, wearing protective gear and learning basic emergency procedures. Another one is basic fire fighting, including using a variety of methods to extinguish a fire. Basic first aid is taught, which includes assessing injuries, medical care and performing CPR. There is also a water survival course with the use of lifesaving equipment.

Preparing for the STCW Exams

If you are planning to take the exam, there are ways you can prepare for it. The first is to make sure you know what type of certification or license is required for your job.

Or if you earned your certification before 1995, you may need to retake it because of the implemented updates. This can help you maintain your certificate or license.

The next step is to find an educational center that offers the STCW course. You can do this online or at one of the many classroom facilities located across the U.S. Because not every location will offer the courses and exams that you require, it is important to verify this information before choosing one.

You then will need to study for your exam. The more you practice, the more prepared you will be.

Resources for STCW Certification Preparation

For more information visist us at:

There is a variety of study resources are available on STCW Online for those interested in pursuing a maritime career or continuing education. Although it may seem like an overwhelming task, if you make the effort to study hard and pass, you could find yourself in a better position. This is true whether you are looking to get into the maritime field or are looking to upgrade your job.
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