PADI Divemaster Exams

How to Ace the written exams

PADI Divemaster Exam

Are you getting ready to take the PADI Divemaster exam?

If so, you’re in for a challenging but rewarding experience.

The Divemaster exam is not easy – it’s designed to test your knowledge and skills as a dive professional.

Failing the exam can be frustrating, disappointing and sometimes a little embarrassing.

However with the right preparation and attitude you can ace it!

In this post, I’ll provide tips and tricks that will help you plan and prepare for the Divemaster exam and pass with flying colours.

As long as you’re fully prepared, you’ll be excited and ready to take on whatever it can ask. 

Why the Divemaster exam is important and what it entails

The questions on the written exams are designed to test your knowledge of dive theory and your knowledge of the PADI Standards that apply to Divemaster duties.

They’re also a great way to learn more about diving.
While you study for the exams, you’ll refresh all of the knowledge that you learnt on previous courses and also learn about the aspects of diving that you may not be familiar with.

However, by and large, the theory is very similar to what you’ve learned before on previous courses.

So it’s a great opportunity to revise and revisit some important topics.

Recreational Dive Planner

You’ll need to know how to use the PADI Recreational Dive Planner.

You might not have used the PADI Recreational Dive Planner before.

There are two versions of the PADI Recreational Dive Planner – The table version, and the eRDPml.

(PADI RDP and eRDPml)

As a PADI professional, you’ll need to understand the dive tables so that you’ll be able to explain them to others if needed.

The PADI eRDPml is a digital version of the tables, ideal for smartphones and tablets.

It can be used to calculate multilevel dives.

Once you’re comfortable with using dive tables and have a firm understanding of dive planning, together with other dive theory it’s time to take your Divemaster written exams.

By taking and passing the Divemaster written exams, you’ll be one step closer to becoming a certified Divemaster.

And once you’re a certified Divemaster, you’ll be able to take groups of divers on dives and assist with training courses.

Getting to know the knowledge from the Divemaster exams will make you more confident, give you a higher self esteem and be able to help others.

Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about – helping others to experience the satisfaction and glory that comes with conquering their fears and achieving their goals.

And that’s something we can all admire.

PADI Divemaster Exam

Tips for preparing for the exam

The path to becoming a PADI Divemaster is not an easy one, but it is definitely worth it in the end. To help you prepare for the exam, here are some tips: 

Find a study buddy

Someone to share your learning with.

Going through the material with someone else, or a group will help you better understand and remember the concepts.

It’s always good to bounce ideas off each other. It certainly helps you understand the subjects more. 

Manuals and study guides

Next, spend some time familiarising yourself with the PADI Divemaster manual.

This will help you understand the subjects that will be covered on the exam.

If you get stuck or you need further explanations on any theory subjects, I have some free videos that will help in many situations. 

Here are my FREE videos

If you get really stuck! and you can’t find one of my videos to help you, you can always resort to the PADI Encyclopaedia. 

So it’s a good idea that you have your copy handy.

It has everything from basic knowledge and simple procedures all the way up through advanced topics that will get your head spinning with confusion.
You don’t need to understand the topics to such a deep level, but it might help clarify any doubts that you might have.

So, your “Preparation Plan” should include:

  • Your Divemaster Manual
  • My FREE videos
  • The Encyclopedia

It’s always good to know where to turn to when you need help!

Tricks for acing the exam

There is no doubt that like all exams, the Divemaster written exams can cause some unnecessary anxiety, particularly if you’re not fully prepared.

The trick is to relax, take your time, don’t rush through the questions.

You might feel that you need to hurry, but it’s better to take your time and get a good score than to try to rush and get a poor one.

Make sure that you read every question thoroughly.

If you don’t understand a question, don’t hesitate to ask your instructor for clarity.

The divemaster exams come in two parts:

  • Dive Theory
  • PADI Standards

Each of the exams has 60 questions. So 120 questions in total.

There is good news for both of these exams!

Dive Theory

The good news for the Dive Theory Exam, is that almost all of the questions are based on what you’ve learned before on previous courses.

PADI Standards

There is even better news for the Standards exam!

You are allowed to CHEAT!

I mean it!

You can look up ALL of the answers in your Instructor Manual.

It’s the same for all PADI Standards exams, whether they’re for Divemasters, Instructors, Staff Instructors or even PADI Course Directors.

PADI never ask if you know standards off the top of your head!

Nobody knows all of the PADI Standards.

That’s why there is a PADI Instructor Manual.

So the whole point of any Standards exam is to find out if you know where to find the answers in your Instructor Manual.

Summing up the advice given in this article

The big message here is that you have a plan. 
A solid plan to revise and learn, then you’ll find the PADI Divemaster Exam a breeze.

Not only will you find the exam easy, but you’ll also enjoy the process and you’ll learn loads. 

It’s a good idea to work with others, learning off each other. 

Find areas that you’re unfamiliar with so that you can focus and improve.

I can help!

I’ve been a PADI Course Director for over 20 years. 
I’ve issued somewhere around 5600 PADI certifications. 
Most of them at Instructor level. 

So I’ve got some idea of what’s needed. 
Here are a few tips: 

Why not learn theory to Instructor level?

Really!  I mean it!
The difference between Divemaster Theory and PADI Instructor Theory isn’t really that different. 

So if you like a challenge and you’re enjoying learning more, why not go the whole hog and learn as much as you can? 

PADI Instructors have to learn how to use the PADI Instructor Manual, in the same way that you have to learn it for your Divemaster Exam. 

It’s just that they have to use it for ALL courses and not just the ones that Divemasters can teach. 

It’s not that different! 

Online Preparation Course

This online course covers all theory subjects that you need for the Divemaster course, but mainly covers it to Instructor level. 

It covers PADI Standards too!

There are many questions along the way to make sure that you understand the topics. 

There are mock exam papers, covering both Theory and PADI Standards.

Lots of videos, presentations, and test questions. 

If you can answer these questions ( I bet that you can!) Then not only will you ace the Divemaster Exams, but you’ll also be able to fly through any PADI Instructor exam too! 

Dive Theory Online

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article, and that it has helped you to make a plan to focus on your study. 

Last modified: 10th January 2023
Author: Steve Prior