[QUOTE=Ctony;137355]A 500 ton master would trump a 500 ton mate, so getting both would be futile I think.
I currently am approved to test for 500 ton master. I was originally going to go for 1600 ton mate also but ditched that when I discovered I would have to take five additional modules. As far as I know a 500 master can upgrade to 16 with just another yr of seatime still…but with all the changes that went down recently and what conditions allow the old rules for eval and such , research well before applying.[/QUOTE]
I suggest that you might want to think about going ahead and taking the other five modules.
You’ll have to take all the modules for one exam before you can take the other exam. You only need to take 3 modules (I think) a day, So you can spread it out into the next week if you want to. Most of the modules for both exams will be the same questions but just with different module numbers. The 70% modules are pretty easy (lots of room for errors). They probably won’t make you take Rules twice, but so what if they do. You either know them or you don’t. The T-Nav and celestial modules are most difficult, There is some difference between them, but not too much. The chart plots will be similar.
Even if you fail one or two modules on each exam, you have three months to restudy and go back and retake them. I think you can retake them twice, if necessary. If you take the extra five modules, its unlikely that you would fail anything other than T-Nav and C-Nav. Going back a few weeks later to take two modules should be easy enough.
After your you get your license, your next new job will probably be sailing mate, not master. Although you can get master 500 (3000 I.T.C.), you might be slightly more employable with mate 1600 (3000) because you will be able to sail on vessels that are between 500 and 1600 GRT but that do not have an I.T.C. tonnage, or that are not OSVs. Also, some employers simply prefer a 1600 ton license.
There is no good reason not to take the other five modules and get it over with. There are many good reasons to take them all.