How long has it been taking to get approval letters to test? Mine has been recieved for a month now.
I think you are probably looking at about 3 months if your application is simple and routine.
What is simple and routine? Graduate from an academy and apply for third mate, then sail one year and apply for Second Mate, then sail one year on vessels over 1600 GRT and apply for Chief Mate, then sail another year and apply for Master.
This is they way the USCG, Academies, Unions, and their retired Admirals, lobbyists and Congressmen they have on retainer want it.
If there is anything complicated or non-routine about your application, like using combined tug and barge tonnage seatime, then it will take much much longer.