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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail
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  #1  
Old 04-08-2010
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ASA Cerification jitters

Although not having seconds thoughts, I am growing a bit apprehensive of the whole ASA written as well as practical testing. Maybe it's just that our first class (Basic Keelboat, ASA 101) is just one week away, but is there reason to worry?

With my son being in school, and thus his top priority, and me working how much "book" time should we put in to make sure that the written exams are passed? My guess is that ASA101 might not be too bad but what about the next two?
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Old 04-08-2010
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I teach CYA and ISPA courses, not ASA.

I expect that, like the CYA exam, the ASA exam will follow the standard. (Basic Keelboat Sailing Standard (ASA 101) - American Sailing Association)

I tell my students to use flash cards as a study guide.
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Old 04-08-2010
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It is nothing to worry about. I believe that the tests are mostly multiple choice. If you pay attention and read over the book you will do fine.
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Old 04-08-2010
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I took ASA 101 last year and I did better than expected but I did study! If you feel you understand the information then you'll do great. That's the whole point anyway. Only 1 trick question. Good luck!
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Old 04-08-2010
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Study the questions and answers at the end of each chapter in the ASA Basic Keelboat book, you'll be okay. Even though your lessons are by day, pay attention to the running lights, several questions on this. Also capacity plate, what not to throw overboard, when/how to report accidents, what are the 5 top things making a sail dangerous (like fuel leak, insufficient PFDs/fire extinguishers, overloaded, etc.), buoyage, basic rules of the road, stuff like that. It's all in the book and chapter reviews at the end. This is good stuff to read up on in advance

On the practical how-to-sail side, you'll want to show you can tack, jibe, hold course, get sails trimmed right, and get from and to your dock under reasonable control, know how to do a crew overboard recovery (life cushion used, much lighter to get back on board, ha ha), know the basic parts of a boat, how to anchor, how to reef (not on test, but you should learn it), get out of irons, general stuff. You learn this stuff by doing much more so than reading about it, ask questions (lots of them) and "it'll come to you" as you sail. Then read after each lesson, the book makes much more sense once you've sailed a little rather than vice-versa.

You'll be fine.

Last edited by nolatom; 04-08-2010 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 04-08-2010
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Me and Mrs. took four ASA courses in December, on a 42 ft. catamaran in the BVI. We were distracted somewhat because we were sailing all day long and taking the written tests late afternoon after anchoring, or in a couple cases in the morning. But basically, if you do the reading, and it all makes sense to you, the test questions will make sense to you too.

If something you are reading or learning is NOT making sense to you, then my suggestion would be to have someone explain or demonstrate it until it does make sense.

Cause that's what you want to end up with, anyhow, isn't it?

And it all makes sense.
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Old 04-08-2010
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I also took ASA 101 last year and the exam was nothing to be overly concerned about. I too was nervous but my instructor was great and I passed without a problem. Good luck and no worries!
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Old 04-08-2010
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Do the reading - answer the questions (till they are understood, not rote) and then ESPECIALLY follow Jackdale's link above. Everything that will be on the test is covered there.

Jitters are natural in any test taking for some people (me included).
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Wow, you guys are great. Thank you for the encouragement.
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Old 04-09-2010
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ASA is designed so that you pass the test if you read and digest the materials. It is in your and the schools best interest that you pass and continue on. I have heard of only two people that did not pass, and it was because they decided not to take the test because they decided that sailing was not for them.....for whatever reason.

As you go up in numbers you should continue to pass as long as you are interested. The most difficult is Navigation, but even that can be easily passed with work.

Have fun and you will do just fine.
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