Almost An Instructor

So I should be an instructor by now.  The Instructor’s Exam was just under two weeks ago. What happened?! I didn’t pass all of it. I failed a section. It was challenging. I will try again.

Taking the Instructor’s Exam

The PADI instructor’s exam, or IE, for short, takes place over 2 days. On Monday night, we all – all the candidates – gathered together and met the examiner and received our assignments. The IE is divided into multiple sections:

  1. Open Water/Rescue Exercise 7 – Demonstration of our ability to teach and evaluate students’ skills in the open water/ Demonstration of our ability to teach how to rescue an unresponsive diver at the surface
  2. Written examinations in 6 subjects – multiple choice questions on subjects including physics, physiology, equipment and more…
  3. Confined Water/Skills Demonstration – Show we can teach and evaluate students’ skills in confined water (swimming pool)/Demonstrate 5 different skills at Instructor Level quality
  4. Classroom presentation – Presentation on a knowledge review question and answer, 5-7 minutes in a classroom
Pool IDC almost an instructor
A working pool session

The above is listed in chronologic order – we did the first one on Tuesday morning, #2 on Tuesday afternoon, then Wednesday morning for numbers 3 and 4.

Failing The Exam

I failed Rescue Exercise #7. On Tuesday morning. And continued to take the remainder of the exam knowing I wasn’t passing the exam to become an instructor. Because that is what I was supposed to do. You see, if I passed the remainder of the sections, I would only have to retake the portion I failed. If I quit, or failed something else, I would have to redo the entire thing again. It was difficult because I was upset, but I am not a quitter. I passed everything else.

What Next

So, after weeks of classes, I need more work. In two weeks, I will be retaking section 1 of the exam. And I really want to pass it. More than anything. I am trying to find people to practice exercise 7 with me, because it’s not something I can practice alone. I have 2 weeks and will practice whenever I can find a partner.


I haven’t blogged since the IE because I’ve been disappointed in myself, upset, embarrassed, and worried that I’d disappointed my teachers and my loved ones. I went through a lot of emotions! Once I got through that (mostly),  I just wanted to pick up the pieces and move on from it. But I can’t stop blogging, or living my life, because of one small failure. It’s how we learn the most – from failure, from mistakes. And one of the things that keeps me going in this life is learning. So, I am going to continue to fail if I want to keep learning. This is the life I’ve chosen for myself. I want to learn and grow and improve.  Once I do pass this exam, it will help me as an instructor, because not all my students will learn everything easily and I will absolutely 100% be able to relate to them!

Keep Going, Almost An Instructor

I love diving. I am working on my skills everyday, both as a diver and as a teacher. While I wait to retake the exam, I am going to be assisting on courses and learning from the great instructors at UDC. I am also diving and working on my skills. Last week, I took a bunch of courses so that I will eventually be able to teach some specialty courses like Deep and Nitrox once I am a certified instructor.

Here’s a video from a dive a couple weeks ago with some of my classmates. I was very excited when we saw this eagle ray. I love rays.

I’ll try to post more often now that I’ve finally revealed my embarrassing secret to you all. I’ll be over here in Utila for a few more weeks, learning.

Author: Mel

Living aboard a sailboat, scuba diver, cat parent, cyclist, blogger, love the water and exploring new places.

3 thoughts on “Almost An Instructor”

  1. So proud of you Melinda and you are an inspiration. I know you will pass and enjoy Utila. Sending big love ❤️

  2. If becoming both a dive master AND instructor were easy, I don’t think you would be doing it. There’s no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. Keep working Melinda!

  3. This is not embarassing at all, Melinda. Of course it is upsetting at the moment but the important things is that you kept going. As you said, it will help when you have students, so they can know diving is not easy and you gotta fail to get there. You are an inspiration to me and it’s so nice to follow all the amazing things you have been doing in life!

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