WKM Oral

Watchkeeping Mate (Also known as Officer of the Watch, or OOW) Oral

This exam is the culmination of your examination for the Watchkeeping Mate Certificate of Competency. In order to sit for this exam you will need to have successfully completed all of the written exams, received certificates for the courses as set out in the Marine Personnel Regulations section 134 , and have your sea-time ratified.


WKM Oral Examination (Page 194, Section 15.13)

The oral exam for the WKM and WKM Near Coastal will cover the same information. At some point before passing for your WKM license (not Near Coastal) you will need to prove that you know how a sextant works. This may be at your Orals or at your Astro exam. Speak to your Examiner.

This exam is conducted one on one with a Transport Canada examiner. The examiner will pose a problem, set up a scenario, or ask you questions about regulations, procedures, seamanship, etc. You must respond utilizing any aspect of the syllabus and whatever else you can draw on from training, experience or other examinations.

The exact format and organization will be entirely up to your examiner, and so we recommend that prior to sitting for either the Oral or Practical it is a good idea to speak with them. If you are able to let your examiner know where your experience and competence lies, then they should be able to help direct you to the areas of the syllabus that you will need to focus more effort on.

Basically, the examiner wants to make sure that you are a competent and knowledgeable candidate for the license, as such he/she can ask you any question about any subject within the scope of the watchkeeping mate syllabus.

If you are asked a question you don’t know the answer to, be honest. Ideally you will know where to look for the answer (Ie, which publication), and failing that, knowing when to call the Master is very important for a Watchkeeping Mate.

Recommended Reading:

Review all recommended texts in the sections of each exam, as the same books will cover the necessary information for the Oral examination. Collision Regulations will figure heavily, including Canadian Modifications, so know those well.

Macneil’s Seamanship Examiner This book is filled with practice questions to prepare you for OOW level Oral examinations. Also available as a CD.


2 thoughts on “WKM Oral

  1. Hello, just wondering if anyone knows if Transport Canada changed their exams lately? I am studying for my chief mates.

    1. The exams have been updated over the past few years. The old exams are identified by a 3 digit code, whereas the new ones use letters and numbers. For instance 061 became NS1 (Navigation Safety, a Colregs exam).

      It was a long phase in period and some exams were only updated as recently as last year. I don’t know about the Chief Mate exams but I imagine they would all be updated now.

      Ask at your local TC office to see if the exams are the new system yet, and if so all the syllabus info can be found in TP2293. Chapter 13, page 180 to be specific.

      Hope this helps.

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