Sailaway, most of the schools now advertise "No USCG exams!", they give exams in house and they are not the same as I took at the CG REC in Seattle. Reportedly (second hand info.) they are much easier because the instructors know what they will be testing on so they teach you what you need to know to pass the test. I didn't take a class so I learned it all(well, most of it). I think this only pertains to lower level ratings; OUPV, Master 100 tons, etc. Someone here on Sailnet probably has better info. than I do.
SV Laurie Anne
1988 Brewer 40 Pilothouse