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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.

    Thanks

  • #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.

    Regards,

    Ian.
    "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
    "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

    "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

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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

      Regards
      David

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      • #4
        I did ch mates <3000gt the first time without prep and fell flat on my arse so then went to Fleetwood and did 2 weeks prep and scraped through my oral. Hats off to those who can self study but I struggled. Hatch order is a legend.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wonkystonky@hotmail.com View Post
          I did ch mates <3000gt the first time without prep and fell flat on my arse so then went to Fleetwood and did 2 weeks prep and scraped through my oral. Hats off to those who can self study but I struggled. Hatchorder is a legend.
          Thank you!

          I did not reply to DJP at the time as I believe that those who are able to do their exams without any outside help, study groups or prep make up 0.001% of the population. I am one of those people who learn first time and retain everything and yet I studied my arse off for my OOW 34 years ago. I also know that the pass rate is no different to my time and the great majority of us just could not do it. I was recently contacted by someone who was going to self fund his mates and not do the orals prep at all and I talked him out of it. Even with the prep he failed his orals but passed on the third attempt after doing the prep course again, at huge expense. In the end he told me that there was no way he would have ever passed had he not done the orals prep courses.

          Bizarrely 30 years later I was still able to spout rules and do lights and shapes and morse / flags and their meanings almost word perfect with my son when he was doing his orals prep for his OOW.... shows it stuck! He was blown away by how much I did remember.

          Repetition, learning and practice.... The only three rules that work!

          Ian
          "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk." - Sir Francis Chichester.
          "Waves are not measured in feet or inches, they are measured in increments of fear." - Buzzy Trent

          "Careers at Sea" Ambassador - Experience of General Cargo, Combo ships, Tanker, Product Carrier, Gas Carrier, Ro-Ro, Reefer Container, Anchor Handlers.

          Comment


          • #6
            An option that is worth considering is Glasgow Martime Academy's Orals Prep courses - I was sceptical and don't get me wrong it's not without it's problems but for the COLREG week alone it is worth it. You will still have to do a lot of self study but they do point you in the correct direction and unlike most of the colleges it's flexible... It's also cheaper than the colleges (assuming you dont need accomodation) and they also have notes for all the MCA centres not just glasgow. THey also seem to have a high pass rate (I passed masters first time so cant complain) - however if you do fail, you can return to the course as many times as you wish until you pass.

            The Orals prep starts on the first monday of each month and runs for 4 weeks - depending on your schedule you can arrange to attend 1 or 2 weeks, go to sea and then do 3 and 4, (or even 1 & 2 again) at a later date - they provide you with all the notes on day 1 and also access to their online course notes etc.

            Not an advert - while I don't rate their STCW courses - they were laughable - the orals prep is certainly no worse than GCNS (or whatever there called these days) and Warsash's abismal Chief Mates Orals prep I did a few years earlier.
            “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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            • #7
              Yeah I did my mates at GMA and whilst not perfect by any stretch of the imagination it was light years ahead of the prep I had done at Shields the previous year. I've posted about it in more detail before and Alistair has pretty much covered it but certainly worth considering.

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