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Navigation & Stability Examinations

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  • Navigation & Stability Examinations

    I am a 2nd year Deck Cadet studying the FDSc route at Liverpool John Moores University. With the general intake of British cadets here being very low (approximately 2/3 a year due to funding issues). I feel like were a little out of touch with how other cadets are assessed in examinations.

    As it stands Navigation is a 65% pass rate for MCA and Stability is 60%. We are given a whole book of SQA questions to revise from with the examination having a random pick from any within the book. In stability this ranges from Angle of Loll to Grain, drydocking and bilging. The area or topic of questions we receive in the exam are unknown until we open the exam paper, this routine is similar to the chief mates undergoing their SQA's here. (iv heard other colleges run stability VERY differently for cadets)

    If we fail any of the above modules, any referrals taken are then capped at the minimum pass mark (65% navigation and 60% stability) i'v heard this routine is the same within Fleetwood Nautical college also. Through the grapevine and speaking to a few cadets over my last sea period, this is not the case at Warsash and any referral exam taken is then passed onto the MCA with the highest mark?

    Surly this shows to sponsoring companies & the MCA that overall, Warsash students are achieving higher grades on referrals?

    If anyone has any views or comments on this please advise! as I said I'm a bit of a lone ranger out in Liverpool on my own.

    Thank guys!

  • #2
    My experience is that a pass is a pass, the MCA, employers etc... don't care how well you passed the relevant exams, so long as you pass. So while you my feel you come off comparatively worse than a Warsash cadet, once you have your ticket in hand, all the rest fades into insignificance.
    Having a book of questions to revise from hardly seems a thorough education on the subject but hey ho.

    As for the examination procedures at the different colleges, I missed the FD route by some distance, but speaking to some cadets we get that are taking the FD route both at Warsash and Shields, it is as near as damn it impossible to fail the assessments, some subjects covered in the SQA are not covered at all etc... so what can I say, I have a pretty low opinion of college assessments to begin with, it is no surprise to find out all is not fair out there, which is a shame for you!


    • #3
      I do understand the MCA wont really care on the actual pass mark, but my sponsor constantly brings up the difference of grades in the company meetings we have twice a year. As i'm the only on in Liverpool and all the rest are in Warsash this doesn't only make me look terrible but the University as a nautical institution.

      As for it being 'near as damn impossible to fail' that is not the case at is in fact extremely difficult to get through Navigation and stability without hours of revision and hard work. Were taught every subject under SQA then have to apply the taught knowledge into practice by answering numerous SQA questions. The questions could be on any part of stability at Chief Mate standard.

      It does worry me that this isn't the case for other cadets following the FD route at various colleges.


      • #4
        If modules are referred at South Shields they cap the pass mark at the minimum required for a pass also, even if you score 90% (HNC, not sure about FD). However, if you do not have to do the SQAs at the end of your cadetship as you are FD thank you're lucky stars. Our SQA prep went similar to what you explained with revision from a book and the fail rate for the actual SQAs was about 80% out of my circle of friends, meaning we have to stoop up a cool ?210 for a resit, paid for by ourselves.


        • #5
          OK, comparison within your company is an issue, but if this is common knowledge, it won't be a problem to raise it with the training manager and highlight the issue. When I did HND at Warsash, referrals were capped at the minimum pass mark, as far as I recall.

          Yeah, well, the FD route having the perception of being easier to pass than the 'old' SQA route is not a good thing, to be honest, if you slog your guts out and pass at an 'SQA Standard', sure, you'll only be as qualified as the FD guy who may have had a breeze, but you will know that you know your stuff inside out, so when you do eventually go Mate, you have that added confidence...
          (well, that's what I tell myself, so as not to lose my rag :P)