July 28, 2016. NMC announced today that as of September 1, 2016, the bank of examination questions will no longer be published. In place of the questions, NMC will provide an outline of merchant mariner examination topics as well as sample examinations. This information will be posted on or around August 1, 2016.
Years ago the questions were not published. Then, in response to FOIA requests, the questions were released. A few years later the questions were once again sealed. Not long after, the questions were published. The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 (46 USC 7510(a)) no longer requires that all the questions be made available to the public. Effective 9/1/2016, they were once again sealed.