How do I pass my orals?
That’s a big question but we do our best to answer it in our blog. Feel free to take a look, but don’t forget to keep coming back to get fresh insights, content, tips and tricks you need to pass, first time.
How far in advance of my orals should I come and see you?
In our perfect scenario, we recommend that you do your first session with us about a month in advance of your orals. It’s not about getting you to do more sessions, but we often see clients in a bit of a panic a few days before and it’s sometimes too late to help as much as we would like by that point.
Ideally, spread 3-5 sessions out over that month and that’ll be the perfect amount of time to get you on the right track and give you time to consolidate between sessions.
What will we do during the sessions with you?
This very much depends on where you are with your rules and how much time we have before the big day. Generally speaking, we will start off by asking a few very simple questions to gauge your level of knowledge and your answering style. Then we’ll introduce our answering methodology and work with you to get used to giving precise and concise answers which leave the examiner in no doubt about your understanding of the rules.
Over a few sessions, we’ll go through every imaginable situation and help you to deeply understand why a certain action is preferable and how to defend it to the examiner, with clear, rules-based answers. In our last session together, ideally a few days before your exam, we’ll really ramp up the pressure and put you through a mock orals. For most people, this is harder than the actual orals exam but, as they say, train hard, fight easy, right?
Why should I pay for extra tuition?
Well, that is very much up to you, but our clients come to us for two reasons; either they need a little extra help on a more personal basis to get on top of the rules, or they feel they would benefit from having the opportunity to hone their answers before the big day.
Of course, it’s more than possible to pass without our help, but our clients feel that a small investment in sessions with us is absolutely worth it, as our reviews will testify.
Do you offer a prep course or e-learning platform?
Even though we get asked this a lot, we have so far steered away from developing an e-learning course or fixed prep course because we feel that the bespoke and completely flexible nature of our services is the keystone of our offering. We also feel that the rules are too complex to be able to boil down into a series of multiple-choice questions and that face-to-face (or remote) sessions are the only way to really ensure that our clients have the depth and precision of understanding that will enable them to excel on the day.
Offering sessions on a pay-as-you-go basis also means that our clients are never tied into a prep-course that they don’t need or a package that they don’t want. On top of that, because there isn’t a huge financial commitment or a time-limit, there’s no reason not to get started early or to have a one-off session to test yourself (and us!) out.
Do you have any orals reports that I can use?
Are your remote sessions really as good as face-to-face?
Although it is nice to be face-to-face, if you’re not near Southampton, UK, then our remote sessions are absolutely as effective as meeting in person. As well as Skype or Messenger, we use a really clever online whiteboard which instantly replicates what we do on your phone, tablet or laptop anywhere in the world, without any software to download or passwords to remember.
You will have to make your own tea or coffee, but apart from that it’s pretty much the same thing.
Why do you encourage group sessions?
The single best way to pass your orals is to work in a group and we believe that this translates into our sessions as well. A lot of people want to do sessions individually but you will gain a lot from listening to and correcting your mate’s answers, and it also makes sure that your whole group are singing from the same song sheet. If you’re still not convinced, it’s also dramatically cheaper when you bring a few people along.
How much does it cost?
Not as much as you might think. Take a look at our price list.
What's your cancellation policy?
We get that life is complicated, especially for seafarers, and so we will always try to be as flexible as we can with this. While we reserve the right to retain the full fee for the session for cancellations with 72 hours, depending on your reason and whether or not we can move things around to cover that slot, we might not have to charge you. This is at our discretion though.