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Old 16-01-2012, 00:52   #1
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USCG Six Pac License

I'm thinking of using the Mariners Learning System to prep for the captains exam. I'm looking for someone who may have had personal experience with this online software or if you could recommend another prep course. Thanks.
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Old 16-01-2012, 07:29   #2
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Re: USCG Six Pac License

Don't know about the Mariners Learning System, but I started by using a book called "Get Your Captains License" by Charlie Wing. It has a CD with it that generates random tests from the USCG database of questions. The book was pretty good and the CD was very helpful. I studied the book and CD on and off for about a year and it was pretty tough to study from (at the time I had been sailing for more than 20 years). The problem is that you are prepping to take a test from a database of thousands of questions. The test is made up of a couple hundred questions, but you have no idea which couple hundred are going to be selected.

Finally, a working captain convinced me to take a course at Sea School. They teach you a more focused scope of material that is geared for the tests that they administer for the Coast Guard. They have a very high success rate with their approach. You also have the opportunity to ask questions and learn from other class mate's experience. This was the best way to go from my experience.

I am glad that I studied the Wing book in addition to taking the classes. I learned a lot from both, but the class was the best way to prepare you for, and pass the test.

I also suggest that if you take the OUPV class, take the masters class as soon as possible after it (if you want the masters license), and apply for your license after you take the masters class. This will save you money (from having to apply for both licenses seperately) and the OUPV material will be fresh in your mind as you study the masters material.

It also depends on how you learn. Some people can absorb material from reading better than classroom learning and vise versa. I do know captains that studied from books, made their own flash cards for test prep, and passed the test fine.
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Old 16-01-2012, 16:25   #3
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Re: USCG Six Pac License

I started by socializing over HAM radio with radio officers (when they were still required). Then moved up to socializing with them in person at my home in Valdez. And no, I wasn't the one that got Joe Hazelwood tanked. From that point I decided that their lifestyle suited me just fine and gathered written recommendations for the California Maritime Academy. Since I was at that time in my mid 40's, admissions at CMA told me I needed to re-take a number of classes at a college of my choice and then reminded me that they do not consider a "C" as a passing grade. Did that, went back, got in, graduated 3rd in my class, rest is history. The fun part was getting demerits from a 20 year old upperclassman for a belt buckle that wasn't shiny enough. And of course having to live on campus and 0000~0400 watch standing at the front gate or aboard the Golden Bear. Pretty easy, huh?
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Old 16-01-2012, 16:33   #4
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Re: USCG Six Pac License

Take a course with one of the schools. They teach you the answers to the questions they will ask. You won't learn much; the plotting will be the most dificult part of the test. taking the test through the Coast Guard, all the questions could be on the exam. Its worth spending the money for the course. Getting the Masters ticket is easy. The students in the course I took for the sailing endorsement knew more than the instructors.
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Old 16-01-2012, 16:41   #5
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Re: USCG Six Pac License

Rather than just study for the test, I decided to take a class that had the CG test as part of the course. I learn better in an interactive setting, and enjoyed the company of others working toward a common goal.

I also bought the books, but found the class to be very worthwhile.

Whichever route you choose, good luck and good sailing!
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