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Go Back   SailNet Community > Skills and Seamanship > Learning to Sail > ASA Cerification jitters
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Thread: ASA Cerification jitters Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-09-2010 05:38 PM
Tempest sck5 has it exactly right. I teach most of the ASA classes.
I have never had anyone fail the Basic Keelboat exam.

That's not to say, we pass people indiscriminately, but you'd have to try very hard to fail that class. I keep going over the material until you get it.
It's the instructors job to ascertain who needs extra attention or extra practice.

The best advice I could give, would be to read the book ahead of the class.
Relax and try not to overthink, let the instructor guide you through.
Ask relevant questions.

The written test is pretty easy if you pay attention. I find the biggest trick to the sailing skills for students is....paying attention to where the wind is coming from, getting a feel for the boat, and teamwork handling the sails.

sck5, has also hit on a phenomenon that I notice, mostly in my male students. Some of them lose focus and get distracted by the goofiest stuff.
ADD? They start looking off to other boats, or something happening on shore, start asking questions that have nothing to do with the task at hand?
Next thing they know they have turned the boat around and don't understand what happened. They turn their heads to look at something, and turn the tiller with their head......;-)

You'll be fine! It's not good business to take $500.00 or more from someone for a Fun recreational sport...and then have them fail at it.
04-09-2010 03:42 PM
sck5 Also, sailing schools WANT you to pass. They dont make money or get a good reputation by failing students. If you arent getting it they will go over whatever you didnt get so you can pass.

I asked the instructor in one of my ASA courses if he had ever failed someone. He said yes, there was a guy who just couldnt concentrate enough not to pull dangerous stunts like sudden turns or mistaking port and starboard and he felt it would be wrong to pass him since he might endanger people. He also said that the point he thought a relatively high bar should be imposed is the ASA 104 exam which certifies you to go off and captain a bareboat. Even then he said the goal was to help people pass if they could reasonably do it in good conscience. He also said almost all of the people willing to cough up hundreds of dollars for sailing lessons really did want to learn all they could so he rarely had a problem. Basically, he said (as people above did) that most folks had the desire so they did fine.
04-09-2010 10:42 AM
tomandchris 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.
04-08-2010 02:22 PM
aqwert5 Wow, you guys are great. Thank you for the encouragement.
04-08-2010 01:45 PM
ottos 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).
04-08-2010 01:36 PM
cb32863 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!
04-08-2010 01:14 PM
2Gringos 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.
04-08-2010 12:41 PM
nolatom 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.
04-08-2010 12:19 PM
shayw 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!
04-08-2010 12:03 PM
gulfcoastcruiser 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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