Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How to Clear and Prepare For 2nd Mate Examination-Complete Guide!!

So, now you have completed your sea time as required and have successfully secured a seat for the 2nd Mates functions course in a college of your choice.
Now, comes the big part and the turning point in your life and career, where you will be preparing to step into an officer’s shoes leaving behind your Cadet’s shoes. You will be preparing to take the responsibilities on your shoulders and of course for taking responsibilities you should have the required and appropriate knowledge about your work and your field. This 2nd Mates Functions course will exactly do that, it will impart the required knowledge in you, but you also would have to ensure that you do your homework in a right way to acquire the required knowledge and skills.
In this article we will talk about how you should go on with your preparations to achieve success in this tough exam.
2nd Mates Functions have three types of examinations:
 1) Written Examination   2) Oral Examination   3) Signals Examination

2nd Mates Written Examination and Functions

Let’s first talk about how to prepare for the written examination.
The first thing you should do as soon as you join the course is that you should make yourself familiar with the syllabus for the written examination. Though your college will be guiding you throughout, you should also spare some time in knowing what is going to come and how you will have to prepare yourself and which topic will fetch you with more marks to pass theexamination.

You can also directly jump to the syllabus by clicking on the following link: “2nd Mates Syllabus
You should also be aware that how many functions are there in this course and what is the passing marks in each of them, following are the list of functions for which you will have to go through a written exam:
Name Of Function
Total Marks
Passing Marks
1.      Terrestrial And Coastal Navigation (TCN)    
2.      Bridge Equipment And Watch keeping            
3.      Cargo Handling And Stowage                          
4.      Celestial Navigation                                             
5.      Meteorology
6.      Ship Construction, Stability, Ship Safety And   Environment Protection
 Once you know the subjects and syllabus then you would be more confident and could direct your hard work in one required direction, instead of wasting it here and there.
One advice I would like to give you from my personal and many other friends’ experience is that what you have been taught at the class, practice it at your own after the college is over, this way you will come to know what are your doubts, your strong topics and your weak topics on which you will need to work more hard. If you miss one topic and think you will do it after 5-6 days, believe me you will lag behind and would have to put a lot of extra efforts to catch up.

So, make it a habit of practicing the topics that have been taught in the class. Saturdays and Sundays, keep them to revise all the subjects and topics which have been covered in the entire week, you can also utilize these two days for giving extra attention on the topic or subject in which you consider yourself a bit weak. This way, your preparations for the written examinations will always be up to date and you will always be ready to take the examinations (read bull) by its horns.
 For booking of examination seat, you will always be assisted by your college, dates and important announcements will always be posted on the College Board, so always keep a track of them.
 Now, once your seat is booked and date sheet is out, which can also be found in the “Exam Schedule” Tab.  You should start your revisions, by this time you should have covered all the topics and should be in the revision stage.
This way you can surely ensure success in the written examination.

2nd Mates Oral Examination and Functions

Now, let us talk about how to prepare and tackle the Oral Examinations.
In orals, there are usually 3 functions and at some MMDs like Kolkata there is a Function 4 as well, list is as follows:
Function 1: Navigation (Terrestrial, Celestial, ROR, Meteorology, Bridge Equipments, Watch  keeping, Flags, shapes, signals, Construction, Stability (for construction and stability some surveyors ask these topics in Function 3 also), Emergencies)
Function 2: Cargo Handling and Stowage
Function 3: Safety (This also includes all the maritime laws, conventions etc.)
Function 4: Flags, Signals etc.
Now, I will be very honest with you all, Orals are sheer luck, yes, obviously your hard work do matter but in orals luck also matters a lot. So, my advice will be with your hard work have faith on God also ;) and if you don’t succeed in first attempt don’t be disheartened, it is very normal. But your aim should always be to clear everything in the first attempt then only you would be able to put up the required hard work. Your oral preparations should include everything that you have prepared for written examination plus the in depth knowledge on each topic for which you will have to refer various Publications like SOLASMARPOL, many other (in fact all) conventions and codes.

Guidance on 2nd Mate Oral Function 1

One should be completely thorough with the Rules Of the Roads (ROR) and the situations regarding the above, if you are able to satisfy the surveyor in ROR your function 1 is almost certain. Also, be thorough with the Bridge equipments, there principle of working and all. Be thorough with the celestial Navigation too.

Guidance on 2nd Mate Oral Function 2

For function 2 i.e. Cargo, don’t expect surveyor to ask question only about the type of ships you have done, most probably he will ask questions relating to those ship types which you have not done, so be prepared about that, sit in with your friends who has done different types of ships and discuss, that’s the best way to learn about other ship types.

Guidance on 2nd Mate Oral Function 3

As far as Function 3 is concerned, well, here comes the mugging part, you have to remember so many regulations of different conventions, so keep revising what you have learnt so far.

The most important thing and the most effective way to prepare for the orals is that you should make yourself familiar with the type of questions a surveyors ask, you can find out the list of questions asked by surveyors of a particular MMD either locally or online, and you should also know what answer satisfies the surveyor, remember some surveyors are satisfied with one answer and some with others, that could be known by being on the forums like 2nd Mates forum group on Facebook. Also, mostly each surveyor of a MMD have his sets of questions which he asks commonly, so if you are able to prepare as per that, it will surely give you an edge and will increase your chances to clear the examination.

2nd Mates Signals Examination

Now, talking about the Signals examination,
It is an exam where Morse codes are transmitted visually and you have to identify and write it on your sheets. Important thing to remember is that if you miss the sequence, you miss the chance of passing. So the only way out here is practice, some college conducts classes for the practice, you can attend them to gain confidence. Other way these days are mobile apps, there are a lot of free downloadable applications on play store and Apple store which will surely help you to learn and remember the Morse codes.

Wish you all the luck in the world. Hope this article on how to prepare for 2nd MateExamination, guide you in achieving success in you first venture. Good Luck Mates, May all be successful.

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