Memorize less and Pass the Nav Rules Exam!
I have a method for learning how to pass the Nav Rules Exam. This applies to both the Auxiliary and the Coast Guard Captain's License (OUPV). It emphasizes memorizing a small subset of facts and figuring out the answer by logic. Students who follow the method to the end have a 100% pass record. About half pass the first time and the rest have to take it twice in succesion. This is allowed if you take it on-line. No claim is made that this method is useful on the water. You don't have time to figure out stuff in real life. In real life, you will encounter only a few of all possible situations. Learn those well!! This method is just to pass the exam.
Until recently, this was available only to my flotilla members or students who took the Captain's Prep course at the Institute for Marine Technoloy. I was requested to make it available to a larger audience. This is the result.

Here is a quick summary of the idea. Don't learn the Nav Rules using the legal mumbo jumbo in the book. I organized the rules logically, keeping only the essentials. Think of this as your own little manual; 5 pages instead of 150 pages. Answer each exam question in three steps:
  • Translate the question into what you know.
  • Fiqure out the answer your way.
  • Translate the answer back into the exams answers.
For example, take sounds; Don't worry every time about the difference in wording between International and Inland. Don't worry about meeting, crossing or overtaking. Your first thoughts should be: One short if you turn to Starboard and Two shorts if you turn to Port. If the question requires you to go further, take a deep breath and think.
The method comes in 3 steps. These are explained in some detail in the first document "Nav Rules Introduction" (below). Study them in order. Take your time. Study with a friend. If you don't enjoy, you won't finish. DO NOT blindly download and print all the files. Do this one step at a time.
Step 1
  1. Nav Rules Introduction
  2. Basic Definitions
  3. Rule 18 Memory Aid
Step 2
  1. Lights and Shapes
  2. Day Shapes
  3. Rhymes (memory aids)
  4. Angles (only need to remember one)
  5. Sounds
  6. Maneuvering
Step 3
  1. Towing (great memory aids)
  2. Comment about exam
  3. Advanced Sounds and Exceptions
  4. Exceptions (6 pages)

Basic Practice Exams for Nav Rules in .pdf format (e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader)
These were compilied for the 2011 class to match the lessons and go with Steps 1 &2.

                Basic Definitions

                Answers Basic Definitions

                Basic Questions on Give Way

                Answers Basic Questions on Give Way

                Basic Questions on Lights & Shapes

                Answers Basic Questions on Lights & Shapes

                Basic Questions on Sounds

                Answers Basic Questions on Sounds

Congratulations on mastering the Basic Questions above. You are ready to move on to the Advanced Questions below.
Different people like to study in different ways so I provide the SAME Advanced Questions in DIFFERENT formats.
These were compilied for the 2011 class to match the lessons. You can choose Step 2 or 3.

My On-Line Exam for practice   I recommend these over the paper or PPT versions below. These are updated as students who pass the exam give feedback.
The format superficially resembles the actual On-Line Nav Rules Exam from the Auxiliary. The two big differences: With my exams you get to choose the Topic; e.g. you can choose to have all questions about Lights and Shapes or all questions about Towing and Pushing (or a Sample Exam). I give you instant feedback for each question; congratulations if you were right and the correct answer if you were wrong. Feedback is welcome.

Advanced Questions and Answers in .pdf format (e.g. Adobe Acrobat Reader) -- These are NOT updated!
Suggest you print out the Questions but not the Answers. Mark your choices and look at the answers on the computer screen.

                Advanced Questions on Lights and Shapes

                Answers Advanced Questions on Lights and Shapes

                Advanced Questions on Sounds

                Answers Advanced Questions on Sounds

                Advanced Questions on Towing & Pushing

                Answers Advanced Questions on Towing & Pushing

                Sample Questions (all categories) By Type

                Answers Sample Questions (all categories) by Type

Advanced Questions and Answers that look like Power Point slides. Paperless. -- These are NOT updated!
You are shown one question at a time, in random order each time you take the exam.

                Basic Lights and Shapes

                Advanced Lights and Shapes

                Towing - Pushing


Let me know if you want the other Practice Exams in this format.

Reminder: I recommend the On-Line Practice Exam I made (link below).

My On-Line Exam for practice