Transport Canada Exam Guide


This is a resource that we have created at Nautical Mind to help those who are studying for exams. Whether you are an established mariner looking to upgrade your certificate, or a novice getting ready for your first exam, we want to help.

Transport Canada Exam Guide

The difficulties in studying for these exams has been brought up many times by customers and friends. Syllabus are in one place, certificate requirements are in another, downloads might be in yet another place, and then there is no guidance on study material! We are trying to address the problem, and would like to see this guide become something of a one-stop-shop for anyone who is looking to write a Transport Canada exam.

The recommended books and other resources are purely based on the opinions of experienced mariners. We have asked many friends and customers their opinions on the many books out there, and these recommendations are built from that. If you feel differently about a book, or would like us to consider a different title for an exam, please contact us.

Most certificates require multiple exams, and there is often overlap between different licenses in regards to what exams are required. To deal with this we have listed each certificate as a whole (under Certificates). This has a general description of the exam, a listing of the required exams, and links to each one. We have also provided links to each exam individually (under Exams) if you would like to search that way.

This is a work in progress, and we will continue to add more exams, and more certificates, as time allows. If you do not see your exam or certificate up yet, please call or email us as we likely still have some insight on what you may need to succeed. Furthermore, please don’t hesitate to let us know if you see something that is in error, or if a link is broken, or there is anything else we can do to improve this guide.

We hope this helps.


20 thoughts on “Transport Canada Exam Guide

  1. The Exam Guide is a great help! Can I ask a few questions?
    1. I understand the requirements for certification but what are the requirements to start writing exams (i.e. can you write exams before you have accumulated all the necessry sea time?)
    2. For Astro, what are you allowed to take into the exam? Just Nories and an Almanac or can you bring a calculator?
    3. Are required Great Circle sailing calculations based on a spherical or a spherioidal (i.e. WGS 84) datum?

    1. The answers to the first two questions may vary slightly between Transport Canada offices. I’d recommend asking the place you’ll ultimately be taking the test.

  2. Do you have the transport Canada exam guide available online? I could not see what certificates it covers or anywhere to order it.

    Thanks for your help,

    Kind Regards,

    1. Hi Gavin,
      sorry, the links were a little buried. I’ve made them more visible at the top of the page now. Let us know if there’s anything else.

      – Peter

  3. I am wanting to take the limited masters under 60 and would like to get all required materials. I need it for chartwork/ piloting and navigation level 1.

  4. If you hold a watch keeping mate certificate and then take the courses required for the chief mate certificate, but do not have the twelve months requires seatime as an officer in charge of the watch on a vessel over 25T, at some point do those courses expire?


    1. Hi Nick, Certificates do expire after a time- details are in > TP2293 which lays out the syllabus and regulations around examinations for Transport Canada certifications

  5. I’m looking for a study book or materials for the masters class 3

  6. I have a watchkeeping mate certificate.How do I upgrade to get on bigger boats?

  7. Hi there I am taking the Astro / ocean navigation exam as I need the exemption to go deep sea and I’m wondering if you would know where I could get a tutor to help pass the exam.


  8. Hello , i am going to write my SM4 next month , Can you provide me with previous exams sample question papers to understand the format and the topics to target. I will be appearing for my exam at vancouver.

    1. Hi Sarang,
      I’m studying for SM4 exam as well, so can you share your experience with this exam and the publication that you studied, please?

      Thank you for your attention,

      1. Hi Rafael,
        appreciate if you can share any materials for SM4 as I’m going to take SM4 exam next month.

  9. Hi, can someone help to get sample pass questions for ERR exams with Transport Canada. i tried reading for it but have no ideal what it looks like. anyway please help where i can get the samples

  10. Hi,
    I am holding Master (unlimited) CoC issued by MCA, UK. Applied to transport Canada for equivalency through direct examination and awaiting letter from AMSPN . Having read TP2293 E, Seam I have to do SM4, NS2, Com2, SIM II and oral exam. Can any one advice me oral exam guide line and syllabus to be covered. Pls also advise NS 2 Canadian modification ROR multiple choice exam.

    Thanks and Brgds

  11. hi ,
    i hold a marine class 3 engineering certification from India and have just moved to Canada .Any help on study material or publications and also on where i can could last year question papers for my conversion examination would be a big help .please mail me on

  12. Hi , Where can find Previous Transport Canada First class EK general and EK Motor question papers. Is there any question and answer type of notes available for the Transport Canada First class written exam preparation.

    1. Hi where can i find practice exams for the bridgewatch keeping exams

  13. Hi
    Any available books or online study guide for Watch keeping mate examination ?
    Looking forward to take my exam Deck watch Keeping Mate

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