What to expect at the PADI instructor exam (IE)

The PADI instructor exam or IE is usually spread over 2 days. 

Many people say that IE stands for “It’s easy” which in all truth it should be if you picked the right IDC center and course director.

The exam is conducted by a PADI Instructor Examiner, the instructor exam schedule can be found here.

The IE is split into 4 components:

1.      Written Exams

2.      Classroom presentation

3.      Confined water teaching

4.      Open water teaching

Written Exams

The written exams are split into two sections:

1.      Standards and Procedures – An open book exam with 50 multiple choice questions. You can use your instructor manual and guide to teaching to find the answers. You have 90 mins. The pass mark is 75%. It is a pass/fail exam. If you get below 75% you will have to return to a later IE to retake the whole written exams section. The fee to do so is approx $200.

2.      Dive Theory – Has five sections. Physics, Physiology, Equipment, Skills and the environment and recreation dive planner. There are 12 multiple choice questions in each section, for a total of 60 questions. You have 90 mins. The pass mark is  75% IN EACH SECTION. If you get less than 75% in one of the five sections you will be allowed to retake that section later in the IE. If you fail in 2 or more sections, or you fail the retake, you will have to attend a later PADI Instructor Exam and repeat all written exams again. The fee to do so is approx $200. You are allowed to use a calculator the PADI RDP table and PADI ERDPml.

Classroom presentation

The classroom presentation is where you demonstrate your ability to use the PADI educational materials to assist students who are having trouble understanding a concept from the knowledge development portion of a PADI course. In short, explaining the answer to one question from a PADI knowledge review. It could be from the Open Water Diver course, Advanced Open Water Diver course, Rescue Diver course, Divemaster course, Peak Performance Buoyancy, Project AWARE or AWARE coral reef conservation specialty courses.

The presentation should be approximately 4-8 minutes long depending on the complexity of the question you have been assigned.

You will use PADI educational materials such as lesson guides and manuals in a classroom setting, your ‘students’ will be other IE candidates. One of the focuses is your ability to not only effectively use the PADI materials, but to interact with your students in a meaningful way by asking thought-provoking questions. You will also need to give real-life examples to aid their understanding of the given topic. In the IDC you are taught a fairly formulaic approach to help you score highly in this section.

To pass you need to score approximately 70% of the available points. If you do not pass with your first presentation you are allowed a second attempt with a different question.

 

Confined Water Teaching Presentation

The confined water section of the exam involves two things:

1.      Teaching one skill from a PADI course. It could be from the Open Water Diver course, Advanced Open Water Diver course, Rescue Diver course or Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty. You will brief and then demonstrate the skill. You will then have 2-3 ‘students’ (other IE candidates) perform the skill for you. They will be assigned deliberate errors to make by the examiner. It is your job to identify and correct these errors. You then debrief. To pass you need to score a 3.4 (approx 68% of available marks) during the IDC you will become very familiar with the scoring system and the format you need to use to teach in confined water effectively.

2.      Demonstration quality skills. You will be asked to demonstrate 5 basic scuba skills. The five skills will be randomly selected from the 20 basic scuba skills. They can all be seen demonstrated on my Youtube Channel. Cesa is guaranteed to be one of them.

Open Water Teaching Presentation

The open water section of the exam involves two things:

1.      Teaching two skills from a PADI course. It could be from the Open Water Diver course, Advanced Open Water Diver course, Rescue Diver course or Peak Performance Buoyancy specialty. You will brief the skills and then have 2-3 ‘students’ (other IE candidates) perform the skills for you. They will be assigned deliberate errors to make by the examiner. It is your job to identify and correct these errors. You then debrief. To pass you need to score an average of  3.4 (approx 68% of available marks) during the IDC you will become very familiar with the scoring system and the format you need to use to teach in open water effectively.

2.      A rescue demonstration. You will demonstrate rescue exercise 7 as though teaching it to rescue diver students. This means doing it slowly and clearly. You will be assigned to either do it using the mouth to mouth method or the mouth to pocket mask method.

If you choose the right training center and course director, you should, of course, pass all segments the first time! In the unlikely event of failing one or more of the segments described above, you would only have to return to a later IE to retake the segment/s you failed. The approx costs of retaking a segment is $200.