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  • SQA madness

    After 8 week of waiting me and my fellow cadets received our SQA COC exam results today. Not one of us passed both exams meaning we have to resit at a later date at our own expense. Several things irk me about this; Although we heard prior to the exams about SQA's mad marking scheme (percentages deducted for being too accurate??!!) we never get to see our papers again to see where we have gone wrong. In addition all we got in the post was a pass or fail result, no breakdown of personal section marks (although we got a general grade which isn't of much use).

    The actual exams themself were laborious enough, with the past few years stability papers being especially off the wall. For example, we learned in depth at SQA prep about LCG tables, KG tables, multiple weights etc and in the exam the only calculations that we were asked for was transposing complex formulae. Something that takes up a very small area of the syllabus, and that caught almost everyone off guard. I think there needs to be a more solid and standardised criteria in what is asked, at the end of the day we already have our HNCs. The nav paper was marginally better but seemed to cram too many questions in for the amount of time available, leading everyone to rush. This is something everyone I spoke to after the exam agreed with.

    There were people in those exams who had passed thier orals but were resitting these SQAs for the 2nd or 3rd time, with a system like this you know something is wrong. So just wondering what are your opinions on this matter? I can't say I'm not annoyed as me and my fellow cadets have all been quite high achievers throughout 3 years and this is a kick in the balls at the last hurdle, to compound matters like I said the resit cost has to be fronted by us as our company won't pay

  • #2
    I can understand why the SQA exams have been put in place as the UK needs to keep it's high standards to keep our officers competitive. The biggest injustice is that the FD do not do SQA exams thus making their course easier. Us HND lot did exactly the same subjects and exams except for the work based learning. The SQA exams made our course harder overall, plus our course was a few months longer in total!

    In our group about 90% of us passed. Everybody who did the work passed. From what I observed it was the guys who scraped the HNC that struggled to pass SQAs. I don't mean to sound like an arsehole but I'd rather everybody who has a UK CoC be intelligent, rather than just anybody who can scrape a pass mark. I put in the work required and passed the SQA exams well.

    I for one am a supporter of the SQA exams.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Unregistered View Post
      In our group about 90% of us passed. Everybody who did the work passed. From what I observed it was the guys who scraped the HNC that struggled to pass SQAs. I don't mean to sound like an arsehole but I'd rather everybody who has a UK CoC be intelligent, rather than just anybody who can scrape a pass mark. I put in the work required and passed the SQA exams well.
      Putting the work in, showing interest, etc I've already ranted about elsewhere but I do agree that folks need to put the work in. However, the ability to pass the academic side of things does not mean you're a better officer, more intelligent or that the ship will be looked after better, if just means you're good with the academic side of things. I went to college with a lad who barely kept his cadetship because he was utterly hopeless at the academics yet was probably the best when it came to the practical side of things (he did understand the engineering, the principles behind it and the could explain it verbally but just could not do an exam to save his life). When it comes down to it, I would rather have the like of him working on my vessels as I know that the ship will be well maintained and everything will run as it should do as opposed to someone who has lots of bits of paper but no real clear idea as to what they're actually doing or looking at.

      Not a criticism at all, but I just don't understand why they brought the SQA exams in at all as, in my opinion, the NVQ route seemed to work well enough?
      I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

      All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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      • #4
        http://www.mntb.org.uk/en-GB/Training-Frameworks.
        Explains it all here.

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