This exam consists of multiple choice and application of your knowledge through sketches, descriptions and calculations. To grasp the required concepts in cargo work, you must have a strong foundation in stability.
The cargo exam requires you to know the various types of cargo (dry, liquid, gas) and their specific carriage requirements (bulk, containerized, refrigerated, etc.), and safety precautions (dunnage, hazardous cargoes, separation for incompatible items). You must be aware of the various behaviours of these cargoes in terms of maintaining a safe and stable vessel.
The exam requires you to act as if you are a mate on board a vessel and load the holds successfully. Furthermore, you must have an in depth understanding of the safety requirements and procedures both alongside (loading & discharge) as well as underway.
You must understand loading and discharging calculations: safe working loads (SWL), stowage factor, broken stowage, etc.
You need to be able to draw and name the parts of: derricks, cranes, and heavy lifts.
You will also need to be familiar with the various publications and downloads as listed below.
Cargo, Level 2 (Page 115, Section 7.9)
Cargo Notes 2nd Edition is a well balanced publication which covers a lot of what you will need to complete the exam. This is a great complement to one of the texts as mentioned of the WKM home page of this exam guide. The entire book is in colour and includes calculation examples, real photographs, and helpful diagrams. Most of the content is listed in bullet point form, making it easy to prioritize information.
Cargo Work: For Marine Operations by House is a solid publication. Everything is explained in a straight forward manner. The information encompasses the important subjects that will be covered on the exam, and will serve you well for passing this exam. There are practice problems with solutions, diagrams, terminology and explanations.
Note that these will all be available in the exam, but it is a good idea to download them and have an idea of what they contain prior to writing.
Other Required Resources:
You will also need to have a working knowledge of these IMO publications and know how to find information contained within them. These codes will all be available in the exam.
BLU Code (Code of practice for the safe loading and unloading of Bulk carriers)
IMDG (International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code)
CSS (Code of Safe Practice for Cargo Stowage and Securing)
SOLAS The syllabus asks for basic knowledge of chapters VI, VII and XII