Sea-Kayaking Maine Guides License test

-- Last Updated: Jul-16-13 12:31 PM EST --

Hi Kayaking world.
So my Kayaking Maine Guides test I have tomorrow. I found this out yesterday and I don't think I'm fully prepared, mostly for the oral examination... but probably both. Any sample questions or tips or just knowledge that I need to know would be awesome for me to be able to study today. Thank you very much!

Anyone HELP!!

other certification
Is this your first certification of any kind?


The tone of your plea

– Last Updated: Jul-16-13 1:03 PM EST –

sounds like panic. You need to know how NOT to lose someone and how to find them if they do become lost.

You must exude confidence even with stomach flip flops. No one will allow registry of a panicked guide.

Chill and take your time. If you aren't prepared, you will still learn a lot for the retest. The examiners expect you to be poised and give direct answers. Never beat around the bush and never try to bs them.

I took a prep course and found the exam quite an anticlimax. If you have not had such prep I do recommend it. If you have taken one, you should be all set.

Yes this is.
This is my first certification… I did a sea kayaking NOLS course last summer but other than paddling for fun around my home that is my only real knowledge/teaching of the subject


– Last Updated: Jul-16-13 1:49 PM EST –

i think if you're flipping out over the oral examination of a test you oughta consider what you'd be like in a crisis on the water where people have paid you to guide them and you are responsible for their well being. in a situation where you are absolutely responsible and where you have a clear duty of care.

cause the folks giving the test are going to consider it.

I have not
I haven’t taken any sort of prep class… I feel I know the material I just have no idea what the questions are like so it makes me feel unprepared.

I honestly am just a bad test taker and that is why I am freaking out. I wouldn’t even be worrying about it if the test was a physical test where we are on the water actually doing the things. I have a hard time describing things but I can do them with ease without a thought. So I am comfortable on the water if one of the “scenarios” were to happen but I have to pass the test to be able to guide so I’m looking for sample questions that I can practice with. Thanks

Ok you are going to fail
the first time. Lots of folks do. I suspect they too have test anxiety. The questions are mostly about common sense problem scenarios.

Count it to learning. You will know what to expect next time you take the test.

And before the next test, I suspect you will have contacted some of these fine folks for mentoring. Some may be willing to help and others not have the time

What you need to know is so exhaustive as to not be able to be covered here. Its mostly about group management, navigation, rules of the road, risk management, wilderness medicine, marine mammal id search and rescue, calculation of trip distances bearings and drift, weather, wind , tides etc, LNT.Emphasis on search and rescue.

I took a prep course at LLBean and the text is some five hundred pages long.

Make sure you know the Marine Fishery Regs and the State of Maine boating laws. Even though you are not going for fishing guide, there probably will be a question or two.

Thank you very much
I have contacted a couple of them and I actually work with/ one of them is my boss but as I said before I found out yesterday that my test is tomorrow and none of them had time to meet with me between then and now so I am just trying to do what I can before I go and make a fool of myself infront of state officials basically…

prep class

– Last Updated: Jul-16-13 2:31 PM EST –

took a prep class through a very large retailer that shall go nameless....there was me and 1 other fella in the class that had any experience and the rest were folks worked for said retailer who had little to no on-water experience but wanted to advance and change jobs at work.

i thought there was nothing new in the material presented. for many others, it was all new.

i was most impressed by the disconnect between their collective level of experience/understanding and the word "guide". at the time i wondered if they understood what that word meant. clearly, no. they did not.

we had a couple of pool sessions - most students had never even done a rescue and some had never capsized. want to be a guide?

taught the instructors the heel hook re-entry which at the time was still fairly new....they had never seen it, tried it, etc.

on the day they were teaching the nav portion of the course, the instructor made 4 or 5 fairly gross errors. big errors. since no one had any experience, they didn't catch them and just kept taking notes. 2 of us took the instructor aside at the morning break, pointed out the errors and the danger in relaying bad info to these folks and then we taught the rest of the nav day. we went back, corrected the mistakes and moved right along. we got them through set/drift.

of the folks in that prep class there were 3 of us that passed the guides exam...there were 30 or so in the class.

while the state may not yet have an on-water practical (i'm pushing for the state to adopt either an aca/bcu cert or to have the guides service contact the aca and have THEM come up with a practical cert. once an applicant passes that competency cert, then they can go take the state written exam. leave the on water competency vetting to those in the business) they still managed to weed out the floundering from the competent.

Chin up now
act confident. They are pretty good guys. If you have to retake the test, remember not everyone else has passed the test the first time either. The examiners won’t make fun of you nor do they have a “wall of shame”

All you can do is your best at this point.

Which NOLS Sea Kayak Course?
What course did you take?

One thought
How are you going to explain what to do to a panicked person in the water if you can’t explain it for this test? I have been in that situation, albeit a real dump not as part of an oral exam, and have fund that panicked people will only calm down for a calm person with a variety of descriptors available.

I took the Reg Maine Guide test
for Rec about ten years ago. We were issued a little book that is a gem.

Its online… You alone in the Maine Woods.

Now some of it has been altered as it used to say that if you feel lost sit down and have a smoke.

Same stuff. Remain calm. Always.

Pacific Northwest Sea Kayak + Sail

hitch hikers guide to the galaxy…
right there on the cover…DON’T PANIC.

are you looking for a Maine Guide license?

well? how did you do?
thoughts, take-a-ways, etc?

we’re interested to know…and supportive.