The exam structure sounds similar to what it was when I wrote. They gave you nine questions of which you had to answer six - and it invariably turned out that the first three cards I turned over had questions for which I had no idea of the answers
. It was always a good idea to memorize those unanswered questions, however, as they were usually the first three things the examiner would ask in the orals! Ah..., the Good Old Days
it takes a while to start up a steam turbine, or gas turbine and they are uaually direct dirve
Unless I've taken that out of context, I think you've just helped me make my point
I'm sitting, as I write, on the bridge of a DSV in Angola (don't you just love the internet?). The engine control room is on the bridge on this vessel and over my monitors I can see the 2nd mate sitting in his fancy chair staring off into space with his feet resting on the DP console. I don't claim to know enough to do the job of a navigating officer but because I have to be able to fix it, I know how the DP system works and while it might take longer for me to dial in position changes than it takes him, I can still do it. And forgive me, but plugging in 100 waypoints is pretty much the same as plugging in one waypoint over and over again a hundred times! Now if you were taking star shots and determining your position within a mile or two - that would be different!
We're here to do different things and the exams show that we understand - not just memorize - some of the other department's operations and capabilities. Do they require overly detailed answers on subjects for which we are not responsible on board? Perhaps, but engineers have to understand and answer questions on stability in considerable detail - and isn't that the responsibility of the first mate?
I'm guessing that the exams you're doing now aren't for Master Mariner. By the time you do write them - and I'm sure you will - all will become clear - in particular the sometimes tricky relationship between oil and water.
I'll get down off my soapbox, now....