46 CFR § 12.405 - Examination and demonstration of ability for able seaman (A/B) endorsements.
(a) Before an applicant is issued an endorsement as an A/B, he or she must prove, to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard, by oral or other means of examination, or by actual demonstration in a Coast Guard-approved course, his or her knowledge of seamanship and the ability to carry out effectively all the duties that may be required of an A/B, including those of a lifeboatman or lifeboatman-limited.
(b) The examination, whether administered orally or by other means, must be conducted only in the English language and must consist of questions regarding -
(1) The applicant's knowledge of nautical terms, use of the compass for navigation, running lights, passing signals, and fog signals for vessels on the high seas, inland waters, or Great Lakes, and distress signals; and
(2) The applicant's knowledge of commands in handling the wheel by obeying orders passed to him or her as helmsman, and knowledge of the use of the engine room telegraph.
(c) The applicant must provide evidence, to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard, of the knowledge of principal knots, bends, splices, and hitches in common use by actually making them.
(d) The applicant must demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard, knowledge of pollution laws and regulations, procedures for discharge containment and cleanup, and methods for disposal of sludge and waste material from cargo and fueling operations.