Regional exam centers- better or worse

Greetings. I am wondering what your opinions are on the different R.E.C.'s. Should one location be avoided for testing? Has anyone heard of unfair practices occuring at one location versus another?

(I have permission to test, but am equal distance between two testing facilities. I’m trying to decide which to go sit at)

Thanks for your stories :wink:

Most mariners have probably only tested at one or maybe two RECs in their careers so unless you mention which two you’re stuck between, it’s going to be hard to solicit a good answer.

That being said, I would probably just test at whichever location can get you in first. Unless it’s for something that takes “subjective” grading (eg, pilotage), I don’t think it really matters.

Except for drawing pilotage, every test is multiple choice so there really isn’t any difference in the grading. Go to whichever is easier and can get you in when you want.

If New Orleans is one of the REC’s in question, test at New Orleans if not for any other reasons than avoiding traffic and having decently priced hotels.

Mostly because it’s nowhere near New Orleans!

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If one of the locations is inland make sure they have an actual chart table.

The less busy the REC the less distractions you have to deal with.

I recently tested at the REC in Charleston. Extremely nice and encouraging staff. Decent selection of hotels around the area. Great area to celebrate once you pass, or to drown your sorrows if you don’t. REC is right on the waterfront. Good views!


I’ve used Houston, New Orleans, and Memphis in my career and by far Memphis has been the best for me. The head honcho there is a former evaluator and can be a huge help. Like having a license consultant for free.

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Absolutely agree with this statement. I’ve only ever used the Memphis REC, and they are a great group of people. Very helpful.