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February 2014 SQA statistics

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  • February 2014 SQA statistics

    I have just seen the statistics for the February 2014 OOW SQAs; The stability paper has a national pass rate of just 50% for first sitters. I've read a few comments on here about SQAs recently, I've not sat them yet but these sort of results scare me. I've also heard reports from others that the SQAs have become increasingly hard in the last few years. Whats going on?

  • #2
    They have always had low pass rates, during my mates and masters SQA's only 3 out of 12 passed both Nav and Stab first time! (This was 8 or so years ago) but it's a closed system and you either play the game or don't (unlike some areas of education or industry where you can appeal, or suggest improvement)
    The problem is often that the people who set the exams may be on a completely different wavelength to those who teach and mark them.
    Pilotage - It's just a controlled allision

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    • #3
      I once sat an exam with a 30% pass rate, (and passed) so count yourselves lucky, but as Pilot Chris says, its a closed system and the examiners can pretty much do as they like.
      Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers

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      • #4
        These have always been difficult exams. When I was back doing my chief mates, there was a 100% failure rate across the two papers in one intake.
        If everyone is in the same boat (excuse the pun) it's OK - I suspect that there will be lots of bad feeling now that the FnD group are able to waltz into orals without having to complete them.
        Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by HolyNougat View Post
          These have always been difficult exams. When I was back doing my chief mates, there was a 100% failure rate across the two papers in one intake.
          If everyone is in the same boat (excuse the pun) it's OK - I suspect that there will be lots of bad feeling now that the FnD group are able to waltz into orals without having to complete them.
          But they won't be will they those starting in 2012, the exemption ending and time to get the sea time means they will have to do them too.
          Aside from that they already do sit exams that have the same content as the SQA and its marked in the same manner, negative marking etc.
          So in some ways FD are having to pass the same thing twice.
          Perhaps though they have the benefit of the people marking and setting the papers who do understand and are on the same wave length.

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          • #6
            I think that a couple of years worth of students will be able to miss the SQA's if they did the FnD - I'm not entirely sure when the exemption will be closed off, or what the latest entry point to benefit from it will be.

            I think the argument that the FnD people have attained the standard of SQA students while still at cadet level has been well and truly rebuked, and if this were the case, then the MCA would not have closed down the exemptions.

            I would agree that the lack of SQA exemptions does make the FnD somewhat less attractive, but I suppose the easy top up to a full BSc will be enough to motivate those students who feel it will be of value to them later. And if you are correct, which I don't think you are (no offense intended) - and the FnD students really are passing an SQA standard exam as part of their course, then sitting the real SQA's should not be a problem for them!
            Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by HolyNougat View Post
              I think that a couple of years worth of students will be able to miss the SQA's if they did the FnD - I'm not entirely sure when the exemption will be closed off, or what the latest entry point to benefit from it will be.

              I think the argument that the FnD people have attained the standard of SQA students while still at cadet level has been well and truly rebuked, and if this were the case, then the MCA would not have closed down the exemptions.

              I would agree that the lack of SQA exemptions does make the FnD somewhat less attractive, but I suppose the easy top up to a full BSc will be enough to motivate those students who feel it will be of value to them later. And if you are correct, which I don't think you are (no offense intended) - and the FnD students really are passing an SQA standard exam as part of their course, then sitting the real SQA's should not be a problem for them!


              Exemptions go 1 Jan 2017 so I doubt anyone from the 2012 intake would manage to get it done, and those from the 2011 may not if they found it hard to get a job and or didn't pass their orals first time either. I would imagine there can't be many that have used the exemption the Fd hasn't been around that long.

              As someone pointed out before you can top up the HND to a degree too.

              So it does rather beg the question just what is the point in having two systems. Yes you need A level or equiv to do the FD but thats all. Aside from the other parts of the Fd which are designed to be management modules and having to learn the chief mates stuff they appear the same from what others say. Cadets don't choose what route they take they just get put on it.
              I suppose the advantage is they (FD) will have had extra time learning the chief mates syllabus and therefore should find the chief mates course and sitting the SQA exams easier than those that have not. If it does not and its of no use then they may as well take it out of the FD course. From what I had read though, the idea was to make the FD route the main prime route, perhaps they have some plan of changes that we don't know about yet?

              No offence taken I can hardly argue, I'm only a parent I think the discussion on all of this is in the HND v FD thread.
              If nothing else it does stir discussion !

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              • #8
                Hey guys lets not turn this into a HND vs. FD debate again, as Midge said it's been covered in other threads. To the original poster: This is around standard for SQAs, unfortunately. However, another area of contempt is the pass system. I have a friend that passed navigation but not stability the first time round. You'd think he'd only have to resit stability right? Wrong, he didn't get more than 10% over the minimum pass mark in it so had to resit both exams again (called a pass no carry forward).

                The second time round he passed stability but failed navigation, again he got a pass no carry forward so had to resit both exams again. This is running over a duration of more than 6 months, holding people back and costing money ex-cadets usually don't have. Basically he passed both exams over the course of two sittings but due to SQA rules these don't count

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by The Kraken View Post
                  Hey guys lets not turn this into a HND vs. FD debate again, as Midge said it's been covered in other threads. To the original poster: This is around standard for SQAs, unfortunately. However, another area of contempt is the pass system. I have a friend that passed navigation but not stability the first time round. You'd think he'd only have to resit stability right? Wrong, he didn't get more than 10% over the minimum pass mark in it so had to resit both exams again (called a pass no carry forward).

                  The second time round he passed stability but failed navigation, again he got a pass no carry forward so had to resit both exams again. This is running over a duration of more than 6 months, holding people back and costing money ex-cadets usually don't have. Basically he passed both exams over the course of two sittings but due to SQA rules these don't count
                  Complete madness! If they are going to look at the system seems to me they should look at all of it, as it appears no one is that happy with any of it.
                  Strikes me as a system designed by committee. I wonder what the pass rate is then for passing both first time, or even second.
                  Time will tell.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Midge View Post
                    Complete madness! If they are going to look at the system seems to me they should look at all of it, as it appears no one is that happy with any of it.
                    Strikes me as a system designed by committee. I wonder what the pass rate is then for passing both first time, or even second.
                    Time will tell.
                    I believe the idea behind this rule is to supposedly prevent candidates putting all their effort into passing Navigation first time round, and then using the second attempt to concentrate on Stability. (Or vice versa) Something that is definitely present at most universities where it's fairly normal to aim to pass your weakest subject (out of maybe 6 classes) at the resit later in the year so as to hopefully get a higher mark in all your subjects and higher overall grade!

                    Since the actual grade doesn't really matter for the CoC, quite how that would matter in this instance I don't know, but let's face it when have the MCA ever been sensible.
                    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

                    ? Mark Twain
                    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Midge View Post
                      Exemptions go 1 Jan 2017 so I doubt anyone from the 2012 intake would manage to get it done
                      I'm actually now led to believe that the SQA's will only be introduced for those commencing the FD after 1st January 2017, not if you're attempting your Mates after this date. This was discussed at length at the Chamber of Shipping a week or so ago, and the MCA will be committing something in writing soon (read that to mean... I'd be surprised if it were within 6 mths)

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                      • #12
                        If the above is true, that is a joke. Ridiculous.

                        To the OP, the SQA's are notoriously difficult and also notoriously opaque with regards to the exam board and requirements. Basically, accept they are nails, work your backend off, and on top of all that, hope for a little bit of luck that the paper isn't a total disaster. You control 90% of the outcome, don't worry about the other 10%, get the 90% sorted.

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