Guidelines on conducting Orals (MEO 1998 rules)

                                                                          DIRECTOR GENERAL OF SHIPPING  
Authorised by EAC Branch File No:ENG/EXAM-17(9)/99 EACQMP Chap V1
Dy. Chief Surveyor with the Govt. of India
Instructions to Examiners Dated:1st March,2000
Issue No. 00 Dated:1st March,2000

The following are guidelines developed for conducting orals under the MEO 1998 Examination Rules.


Orals are conducted to test the candidate for the following. These are with reference to and in relation with the functions spelled out in STCW 95 Code.

1. Under standing of an incident, system of work or its procedure - Comprehension and Interpretation.

2.Knowledge of Equipment, Fittings, Methods, Systems

3.Logical analysis of events and procedures Application, Evaluation.

4.Clarity of expression. Communication, Synthesis.

5.Reaction and behavioral interaction to a situation adverse or symptomatic Proficiency, Analysis.

Levels of Orals

The above mentioned, specifics must constitute all the competencies. The questioning should be conducted at the following levels.

Level A (1) Basic or Fundamentals Levels. (Elementary)

Level B (2) Operational Levels. (Means of Implementation)

Level C (3) Responsible Levels. (Strategy for Implementation)

Switching between levels is akin to adjusting the difficulty levels. The candidate however must fairly score at all three levels.

The Basic level is generally descriptive

The Operational Level is generally based on concepts of "How" and "What".

The Responsible Level is generally based on "Why" and "When". These are not rigid concepts and a pragmatic approach is to mix the levels of questioning, to get the desired effect.

Levels A, B & C must be judiciously used for all candidates. A suggested ratio of questioning in level A:B:C should be around 1:6:3 . Question should be asked preferably in at-least two ways out of the given three.

(1) Direct (2) Indirect (3) Leading.

If the candidate is unable to answer, he should be given an alternate question of equivalent importance and nature. The Level C is generally meant for candidates at the Management Level.

Example at Class IV Level.

Direct : How would you discharge a D. C. P. portable fire extinguisher to extinguish a small fire on a cylinder head of an auxiliary engine.

Indirect : What means are available to deal with small fires on auxiliary engine cylinder heads.

Leading : If there was a small oil fire on the cylinder head of an auxiliary engine, suggest the type of portable extinguisher you would use and the practice of doing so, or any other means you would use to extinguish it.

If the candidate fails to answer a safety questions such as the above, an alternate question of safety must be asked.

Questioning is done at the following levels.

Basic Levels - deals with fundamental questions

Example : - explain with a sketch what is rankine cycle. - how is a B. E. bearing clearance measured. - Why is turbocharger necessary. - When does an over speed trip come in to play in a Main Engine.

Operational Levels - deals with actual operation.

Example - explain how crosshead bearing is dismantled. - what are the indications of low gas in refrg. system or air in a refrg. system. - Why are the M.E. tie rods tightened in a particular fashion.

Responsible Levels - deals with responsible tasks typical for Management Level.

Example - How would you prepare to run an engine with a damaged turbocharger rotor. - What drills would you carry out for accommodation fires. - Why would you instruct to keep a sharp lookout on double bottom tank soundings after a reported grounding. - When is it absolutely necessary to check timing chain tension.

Orals Assessment

A typical orals assessment sheet would have the following areas of competence.

QU (1) Question of Under standing - Ask the candidate to relate an accident or event and probe him on what he made out or learned from it.

QK (2) Question of Knowledge Ask the candidate to test whether he is aware of fittings, systems, processors commonly used in ships, engine rooms, deck machinery, steering.

QLA (3) Question of Logical Analysis - Ask candidate to give a logical sequence of a procedure, for say a engine starting, a compressor stopping, a boiler blow down, etc.

QCE (4) Questions of Clarity of Expression Ask the candidate to describe in a few words a handing over taking over of watch, an overhaul of a purifier, etc.

QR (5) Questions of Reaction Ask the candidate some typical question of reaction such as what would he do if the M. E. stopped suddenly, slowly or intermittently slow down and speed up. What would he do if he suddenly saw bilge water above floor plate level?

QE (6) Question of Evaluation Ask the candidate to evaluate a particular watch process, action or incident.

Some don'ts

1. Do not ask a confusing or misleading question.

2. Do not ask a question whose answer is vague in your mind.

3. Do not ask intimidating questions.

4. Do not scare the candidate.

5. Do not dispose off the candidates without a fair time of questioning.

6. Do not totally co-relate the orals with what he has done in writtens.

7. Do not base orals on the candidates general conduct or overall bearing.

8. Do not have a pre-disposition towards the candidate before the orals.

Conduct of Orals :

The orals for all examination under 1998 MEO examination rules shall be independent of the candidates written examination. Some salient points are noted below

(1) A team comprising of atleast two people one being an examiner of MMD/ DGS and the others are representatives from the IMarE, LBS, MERI empanelled as an examiner.

(2) All the examiners will be active participants in the orals examination and decide the results jointly.

(3) Use of slides, projectors, transparencies must be encouraged. Reference to TAR books and competencies must be made.

(4) Every effort should be made to hold the orals as early as possible after completion of written examination and the complete orals process should be completed within two or three days.

(5) Orals for function 4B will contain all ingredients of function 3, 4A, 4B, 5, and 6. If the candidate fails in a particular function the same must be indicated, so that he can reappear again, only for that function.

(6) If a candidate chooses to appear for orals of a particular function seperately then he should be examined only for that function.

(7) Record of orals results and use of function is given in Orals Form2, Form3 & EXN37BC Rev. 1.

(8) Examiners may prepare their own marking system for individual questions but the orals ratings for five scales spelled out in the guidelines must be adhered to.

(9) Examiners may mutually decide on individual question marking system, but arrive at a common rating point by averaging, mean or any other means of moderation.

Rating Scale

Use a rating Scale as follows

Poor 1

Fair 2

Good 3

Very Good 4

Excellent 5

The total marks allocated for 6 stages of orals is 30 which means that a candidate gets a maximum rating of 5 and minimum of 1 for each stage. The following procedure is to be evolved in the case of orals ratings in the first seating.

Point 1. Upto and including six Failed

Point 2. More than Six and Upto Twelve - Refer to Second Examiner team / Examiner of Engineers.

Point 3. Twelve and above Passed

In Point 2, if the Second Examiners Team concurs with the First Examiner Team then candidate Fails. If they disagree, refer to Local Examiner of Engineers. Generally the First Examination Team should be able to dispose off the cases.

Reference to the candidates Examination papers is not necessary. Orals is to be conducted by any empanelled Examiner, not necessarily the one who has corrected his papers.

(1) Result sheet of orals objectives and assessment are given in Annex 1.

(2) Illustrate verbs in Orals for Expressing General and specific objective Annex 2.

(3) Competence Annex 3

(4) Specific Topics for orals Annex 4


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