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Chief Mate 3000GT

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  • Chief Mate 3000GT

    Hi I'm wondering if anyone has any oral reports or guidance regarding sitting my Chief mate 3000

    Currently have my OOW unlimited with over 6months sea time and looking to sit the oral exam and if successful sit the required short courses (HELM , NAEST)
    Also wondering how long a passed oral exam is valid for.


  • #2
    OK, my answer may be a little more detail than you need but take what you need from it.

    First of all PLEASE check that you have the required seatime and all of your testimonials are right. I know of 2 people recently who were refused an NOE because they were either a few days short on seatime, or their testimonials were dated wrong or had incorrect details on them. This is crushing when you work so hard for the orals and have a time slot booked only to be told you cannot sit your orals. DEVASTATING. Use the MCA testimonial template if you can for every voyage and make sure it is signed before you get off every trip. Appendix 1A of MGN 091(M) if you do not have it. Print a load out and keep them with you and do not forget to scan and back up every time you go on leave.

    Secondly, you can go and get your NAEST, HELM and PMC at any time before you do your course, as they can be done separately. I would suggest doing these BEFORE you go up for your orals - they are done and dusted and out the way and are valid for years. It is so much better doing your orals and sending off you NOE for your CoC after your orals rather than passing your orals and then having to do the courses at a later date. Some colleges do the courses around the orals prep course, but I have seen some screwy decisions being made. For example last year Warsash did the 4 week orals prep course, then 2 weeks NAEST and HELM straight afterwards before the orals started the week after. It would have been so much better if they had done the courses before the orals prep so students heads were clear and just focussed on their orals....

    My biggest piece of advice is to make sure you book onto an orals prep course at a college that has a good reputation and pass rate. At this time I cannot personally recommend Warsash as I have had so many people contact me to tell me how bad it is. From experience my son went to Warsash last year and failed but went to Fleetwood this year and passed. Pass rate was very low in Warsash but was 80% in Liverpool.

    Now, you may sit there and think "Do I need to do an orals prep course?" and the answer is a categorical "YES!". If you think you will be able to do all the work and get yourself ready for the orals on your own you are in cloud cuckoo land in my opinion. Those that were at Fleetwood recently did the 4 work course (6 days a week) plus study group and extra tuition and worked their absolute crackers off. Some people did not attend all the lectures, never turned up to the library for study group and just thought they did enough with the predictable outcome of failing. The Mates is probably the hardest of them all and the lecturers at the college will know what the examiners are looking for and give you all the help you need to pass - providing you give it everything yourself.

    Find accommodation that is near to the college, it does not need to be fancy, as you will merely need it for a bed and a shower. You will spend every working hour at the college, and evening and probably end up having a quick microwave meal or pub grub when you finish at 9pm every night!

    Search these forums, there are reports on all the MCA results for every centre in the UK I did last year. That will help make the decision on where to sit your orals and which college to go to. Also you will find Orals reports here as well. I know because I put my sons up last week! If you can answer all of his orals questions without going to college then you are a better man than me!

    I hope this helps.


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    • #3
      Hi Tevs,

      I would agree with almost all of the above, get your NOE sorted first, in any case you wont be aloud to book an oral exam until you have an NOE.

      Get your short courses boxed off and out of the way, as the course content may help you look at things from a 'Managerial' level point of view, which the examiner will be looking for in the oral exam itself.

      I would have to disagree with the 'cloud cuckoo land' comment. I have self funded both my OOW and Chief Mate Unlimited CoC's by distance/flexible learning and self studied at home for both my oral exams and written exams passing them first time, so it is more than possible.

      However I do appreciate that the majority of people attend some sort of prep course. Just make sure you do your research and try to speak to people who have recently attended a college for a prep course to get some up to date feedback. As from what I hear some colleges are not great in this area.

      Many Thanks