How to pass the PPER exam

Tips, keys and information on how to pass the PPER on the first try

If you are reading this article it means that you are thinking about taking the Professional Recreational Boat Pattern or perhaps you are already immersed in the study of the topics in order to appear in the next call and you need to know the keys to how to pass the PPER exam . In either case, at  Nautic Charter Menorca  we are going to tell you first-hand all the information you need to know to take the exam and opt for passing with guarantees. If any of the questions are not clear, are incorrect or you want to add something else, write me a comment below, it will be interesting, since this way other people can see it and take advantage of it too. Let’s go there!

What is PPER?

Since you are thinking about devoting yourself professionally to nautical, you should speak like a professional, so the main thing is to know that the PPER is not a title, nor a license, or anything like that, it is an exam that evaluates knowledge about various topics of the Merchant Navy and certify that you know them. For this reason, it is very common to leave the exam with the question in your mouth: When will they give us the title? Well, no, there is no title, once the exam is passed, your qualification is registered in the DGMM database and You have two years to process the Certificate by submitting all the necessary documentation to the Captaincy, in another post I will explain the process.

What does the PPER enable you to do once it has been processed?

Mainly, the PPER Category A Certificate makes you a nautical professional and enables you to work (as a crew) on pleasure boats of up to 24 meters and navigations of up to a distance of 60 miles from the coast in parallel without exceeding the 12 passengers on the boat. The PPER category B adds the same characteristics but also entitles you to 150 miles. 

You can also serve as an instructor of various practices in nautical titles such as PER and PNB and issue Navigation Licenses.

How much does it cost to take the exam and how do you register?

It costs nothing, not even a euro, as it is an exam organized and directed by the Ministry of Public Works, you can register for free within the deadlines established by the BOE and take as many times as you need to obtain the pass. 

Registration is online on the Mitma website, they usually give a period of 15 days for this from when it is published and the registration dates depend on when the BOE with the information is published. To find out you must go searching on the internet or pages that are waiting for this information and what I will tell you later.

What is the exam like?

Let’s go to the nougat. The exam is a multiple choice exam with 30 questions, each question has four answers of which only one is correct. The questions are on 19 topics (as of today), to pass the exam you must answer 18 questions correctly, so you have a margin of 12 errors. Wrong answers and those that are not answered do not subtract points, so, frankly, if you study a little and well, it should not be very difficult to overcome it. 

The exam lasts 1 hour, and there is more than enough time to complete it and transfer the correct questions to the answer sheet. During this time, they will warn you of the time left to finish and you are not allowed to leave before that time, so, if you finish early, you will have to wait sitting down.

In the exam there are two models, one with the first page in white and another model in green, both exams have the same questions but in a different order, so it is not a good option to look at the answers of the classmate you are going to have. your right or left or you are going to fail.

The correct answers must be transferred to a salmon-colored answer sheet that must be completed initially with the DNI/NIE/Passport, your data, the exam model and then with the 30 answers that you believe are correct. Before starting the exam you will be informed of all this, pay close attention to it and fill it out correctly or the effort may be worthless if you make a mistake in the information.

Once you have finished the exam, you must hand in only the answer sheet, the exam with the questions they gave you at the beginning can be taken home, therefore, it is a good idea to mark the answers you chose as correct on those documents to Then when you review, know if you have passed or not.

What material do I need to bring on the day of the exam?

The only thing you should and can take with you to the exam are two things and they are very important, first the DNI or document that reliably proves your identity. If you do not bring your ID, you will not be able to enter the classroom and goodbye exam. The second, a blue or black pen, do not use a pencil, quill or red pen. 

I also advise you to carry a wrist watch to check the time, although in the classroom there is usually a very large one on the wall, bringing a tipex-type corrector in case you have to correct an answer on the answer sheet is also advisable.

You cannot and should not bring anything else. No notes, no summaries or blank sheets, you cannot take out your cell phone during the exam, you must have it in airplane mode in your pocket or backpack.

Where is the exam and how do I know where I have to take it?

The exam is usually taken in Madrid and in the latest calls it is at the Autonomous University of Madrid, at the Faculty of Law at Calle Kelsen 1, 28049 in Madrid. The schedule is usually in the morning, although in the April 2023 call it will be in the afternoon, it is something that to know you have to keep an eye on the BOE or other places that I will tell you later.

You have to go to the place in good time, I suggest more than an hour before the exam, in the Faculty there are several entrances to the building and depending on what you have been placed on the exam list you should check where the classroom is and be clear about it, so, go to the place in time.

If you need to sleep nearby because you land in Madrid in time, I suggest the Campus student residence, it is very comfortable, cheap food and is 10 minutes walk from the Law Faculty where the exam is taken, for about €70 you can sleep , study and shower comfortably before the exam.

A list is usually published where your identification appears and it tells you which classroom you should go to for the Law Faculty entrance exam, be careful that there are no last minute modifications.

Once I have taken the exam, how do I know if I have passed?

Once the exam is done, Mitma takes about 10-12 days to post the results on its official website, thinking that they give a deadline for possible question challenges and that is why they take time. However, at the end of the exam, as you can take the questions, you can review the syllabus and your classmates and you can get an idea of whether you have passed the exam or not. There are people on social networks like Facebook who, if you send them the exam, will correct it the same day. Search for PPER in the Facebook magnifying glass and you will see links to the pages of people associated with it, it is very useful to be in contact with them.

Psychologist’s recommendations for the exam

Very good, we already know all the information that the exam involves, it is assumed that you have studied all the topics for many hours, now it is time to apply the technique to try to pass it. I propose some personal recommendations for the exam, some are obvious but it is important to remember them.

      • Of the 19 topics of the exam, as long as you control well 13-14, that already smells like passing, but don’t trust yourself, there are topics that are bricks, I propose schemes and especially the questions from exams from previous years, topics 17, 18 and 19 are real duds, focus on what usually appears on the exam.

      • The day before, review the exams and their answers, don’t even think about looking at new syllabus that you haven’t looked at before or you will make a mess, with what you know you will do well and you should pass.

      • Strengthen those topics that are simpler, the questions on those topics should be a fixed point.

      • Keep in mind that about 10-12 questions on the exam are usually repeated from previous years or are very similar, you just have to study a little harder, from 13 to 18 you will pass, but those are not usually from previous years, so whoever studies approve.
      • Once in the exam, do not read the entire exam at once, it is a mistake, think that in the exam there will be questions that you will not be clear about, if you read everything from the beginning, your brain’s attention will involuntarily focus on that question that If you read and do not know how to answer, this will take away your attention from the rest of the questions that you do know and you can make mistakes in them.

      • You go question by question, read each question slowly and several times, especially what they ask you in the statement before looking at the answers, try to answer the question for yourself without looking at the answers and then look for the correct one in the results.

      • Don’t run, read well, slowly and as many times as necessary, think that the objective is 18 correct, not 25 wrong for not reading well or running, if there are 3 questions in a row that you don’t know, don’t be discouraged, go for the next, you will return at the end and the flute will surely sound to you.

      • Be very careful with those answers that you know by heart from previous years, something in the statement or the answers may have changed and your brain can trick you, read everything very carefully and word by word. 
      • Plan well, you have one hour for 30 questions, that’s 2 minutes per question. If after most of those two minutes you don’t know the answer or you have many doubts, leave it for the end, don’t continue with it, go for the next one and don’t waste time, you’ll solve it later.

      • Every question that you are clear about and know the answer to, transfer it to the answer sheet instantly. Those that are not clear to you, leave them for last.
      • Do not leave it until the last minute to transfer the answers to the delivery sheet. Can you imagine that you got the wrong line because you ran? Answer decided, answer transferred to the final sheet and forward.
      • This is my own advice, from experience the longest answer is always the correct one, or usually is.

      • Don’t even think about leaving a question blank, they don’t subtract, before leaving it blank play the pools and answer what you think is right, use logic, what your common sense tells you. Or as a friend of mine says, if you don’t know it, it’s always C.

    Where can I get more information about the PPER?

    Ok, once you have reviewed everything main, it is time to give you other tools on the Internet so that you can have more information or search for those doubts that arise both from the exam and the certificate itself. This is my selection of web resources:

        • ANPPER: national association of Professional Employers, has a lot of information, they are updated on exam dates, modifications, news and fight for the profession.

        • ANPPER Group on Facebook, you can follow the day-to-day life of the association on networks.
        • Highly recommended Facebook groups: Juan Antonio Ortega Martin, is the administrator of the group where very interesting questions are resolved and has the group called PPER Professional Recreational Boat Pattern. I highly recommend following the group, look for it in the Facebook magnifying glass.

        • You can my blog and where I will tell you many other things not only about nautical and charters, but also courses andtraining and the PPER.

        • MITMA: the official website of the Merchant Navy, everything you need to know about training and exams is here. You can consult syllabi, exams and exam dates. Important to look at it.

        • BOE: where everything related to the exams of each call is published. Remember to look for it online and verify that it is from the year you are taking the exam.

      Well, in conclusion, the PPER exam is a procedure that you must complete if you want to dedicate yourself professionally to nautical, it opens many paths for you and you will come out well formed when you finish all the training you need to obtain the certificate. In another post I will review the best schools to study PPER, what are the procedures to request the certificate and the accompanying courses necessary for it. I hope this post has been helpful to you when taking the exam or deciding to go for it. If you liked it you can write to me 🙂

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