Foreign Marine Professional looking to obtain USCG License


No kidding. Theres a 24 month wait time to get the conditions of my permanent residency removed! No surprise it’s something similar.

Still I’m nothing if not optimistic!


Don’t think I covered this question in this thread, but how many exams are you able to take in a day at the REC? I’m wanting to knock them all out in a couple of days, but when I look at the appointment calendar, it just shows me the day and says “Starts at 08:00”. This makes it sound as though there is just a block from 08:00 until 15:30 in which exams can be taken. Am I right in this? Have to make arrangements to stay somewhere while I sit the exams and if I can do them in the one day then I’d rather do that.

Anyone gone through this can offer some insight? Online chat isn’t worth the time.


See No. 6.


It’s at the discretion of the REC. I personally took 4 in one day, but you need to have at least 3.5 hours left in order to start a new one. I’ve heard of people doing more, but it’s not recommended. I’d rather just take my time and make sure I didn’t make any mistakes. You’ll be kicking yourself if you fail an exam by one question because you were in such a rush to finish and get to the next module.


Thanks for the link jdcavo. My eyesight must be getting worse, I just looked at that the other day and didn’t pay full attention to that point.

Guess the long and short of it is that you have to take the modules in the order the REC decides, and on consecutive days, but that you’re able to sit two modules in an exam period as long as the Examiner says it’s ok. Sounds about right? So in theory I should be able to get the whole lot done in two days then. Should be ok as long as I get my bloody letter to test back in time!


Feel just about the same saltyseamen. Will try and get the four done in one day and then the other two (I think) done the next. No point in stressing over it and then failing one!


No, you get to decide what order unless REC takes exception.


If the REC is reasonable, they’ll use good judgment based on how much time you took for the ones tyou completed, and how well you did on them. As far as order, you’re probably stuck with the default order (as they are on your test letter). If you want something different you need to arrange it in advance. Probably good to let them know you want to try more than two in a day also, as they need to download and print the exams they will give you each day.


Sound advice jdcavo, I’ll try and give them a heads up that my intention is to sit more than two exams in a day as far as possible to get them cleared. Makes sense that they would need to prepare the exam material in advance.

As for the order, I don’t think it really matters all that much to me, but as long as I know which exam I’m taking at the beginning, should be good to go!


Different RECs have different days, hours and policies.

I think most exams consist of 7 modules. Typically, they expect you to take at least one module in the morning and at least one in the afternoon. You can take them in any order you want to. You must take exams each day in a row and finish them all the same week.

I do not think it would be realistic to take 7 modules in one day, I have done it in two days.

Some modules cover more than one endorsement. The last time I time I examined I sat for four endorsements. I think it was 17 mostly easy modules that I did in four days.

As I recall you are planning to take all the modules for QMED - Any Rating now, and then sit for Chief unlimited once you get your US Citizenship.


tugsailor, you are correct, I’m planning to take all the modules for QMED - Any Rating now and then eventually sit the exams for Chief Unlimited when I gain my citizenship.

Here’s one of my (many) frustrations with training to gain these credentials. When I read through the website for the National Maritime Center, it reads as though there is one exam per credential, and not several modules per credential. Just had another look and, someone please correct me if I’m wrong (as you’ve guessed it happens a lot, don’t tell the wife I admitted that!) but it looks as though it’s:
QMED 01 Junior Engineer Q800 - Q801
QMED 02 Electrician - Refrigerating Engineer Modules Q802 - Q803
QMED 03 Oiler Modules Q804 - Q805
QMED 04 Fireman - Watertender Module Q806 FWT
QMED 05 Machinist - Pumpman Modules Q807 - Q808.

So this would lead me to believe (rightly or wrongly) that there are two modules per credential, or is it split further still because it’s mentioned that where there are overlaps in the modules, that the subject will only be taken once. Shame they couldn’t make it a little clearer for folk coming from outside the system! Am just hoping that it’s laid out fairly simply in the Letter to Test if they accept my application!


The approval to test letter will specify each module that you need to take for each endorsement, along with the number of questions and required passing score.

Usually, they won’t require you to take the same module more than once. Sometimes they don’t require that you test on the same topic more than once, other times they do. It may depend on who writes the letter.


I took six exams once and was out by 10 am on day two.


I’ve always been able to get them to make an exception but the Mariner has to acknowledge that they accept that they will have less than the allowed amount of time.


OK, then should be finding out when I get the approval to test letter then. Finally able to send everything off day after tomorrow (first US port in a while) so should be getting it to them within a few days. Fingers crossed they process it quickly!


Am hoping that it’s going to be something similar for me. I’m not a million miles away but it’s a hassle to stay down in Miami for the extra night when I could potentially drive home.


At the REC where I usually test, the guy that runs the exam room lets you pick which endorsement you want to test for first, and the order that you want to take the modules in.

Once you start testing for a particular endorsement, you must finish all the modules for that endorsement before moving on to the next endorsement.

The last time I tested, the exam room guy wondered aloud why my approval letter required so many duplicative modules. I only had to do Rules of the Road once, but I had to do deck General and Nav General 4 times.


There is only one rules of the road test for international and inland. All N/C and oceans endorsements get the same test. Deck General is different for just about every endorsement, but taking 4 seems excessive, but I can’t say it’s not appropriate without comparing all of 46 CFR 11.910 Table 1 for each endorsement.

You tested for 4 endorsements at one time, and still say where you usually test? Do you realize that 46 CFR 10.109(a) is not meant to be a challenge to see who can get the most?


Well, that’s the application sent off, so wish me luck in getting a speedy reply and some exams booked!


If you arrive at the very opening time, and you bang the exams out fast you will be allowed to do all of them on one day. Have only known maybe one person who did this but have known many who have completed all modules in 2 days. Two days is doable for the gifted ones among us. Me. I took al five days plus two more for retests the following week, I am less than gifted I suppose. Yes those are the hours. If you come later than the start they will balk at you taking more than 2 per day.