JobWave explains: The Marlin’s test for English proficiency

7 months ago

In the world of maritime operations, safety and effective communication are crucial. This is where the Marlin's Test becomes an essential tool for every seafarer. Designed to assess English language proficiency, this test is a key requirement in the maritime industry, especially for non-native English speakers.

Understanding Marlin’s Test 

Marlin's exam is an English language assessment specifically tailored for crew members and seafarers. It evaluates the ability to understand and use maritime-specific English, which is crucial for safety at sea.

Why English Proficiency Matters in Maritime Operations  

English is the standard language used in international maritime communication. Clear understanding and usage of English are vital for following safety procedures and effective teamwork on board. It’s not just about language; it’s about ensuring a safe and efficient working environment at sea.

But it's not all serious business. Speaking English lets you bond with crewmates from around the globe. It's about sharing stories and laughs, not just work talk. In short, English is your bridge to a safer job and richer friendships at sea.

Components of the Marlin’s Test 

The test assesses several areas:

Listening: Understanding spoken English.

Reading: Comprehending written texts and instructions.

Speaking: Clear communication in English.

Grammar and Vocabulary: Use of appropriate maritime terminology.

Passing Scores for the Marlin’s Test 

The required score depends on the position:

  • Entry-Level Crew Positions : A minimum of 65% is necessary. (Deck cadets, 3rd Engineer Officer, 4th Engineer Officer, Electrical Engineer Officer, Trainee Marine Engineers, Bosun, Pumpman and Chief Cook)
  • Staff Positions: A higher benchmark with a score above 80%. (Master, Chief Officer, Chief Engineer Officer)
  • Specialized Roles (Guest Services, Entertainment, Technical): For these positions, a score close to 95% or even 100% is expected.

The Importance of Marlin’s Test in the Maritime World 

  • Meeting International Standards: The test aligns with the standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for language proficiency.
  • Enhancing Onboard Safety: Effective communication is key to safety, and this test ensures crew members are equipped to handle safety protocols.
  • Career Growth: For many seafarers, achieving a good score is crucial for career advancement in the maritime industry.
JobWave explains: The Marlin’s test for English proficiency 

Preparing for the Test

Preparation involves familiarizing oneself with maritime English and understanding the format of the test. Many maritime training centers offer courses to help candidates prepare for Marlin’s Test.  You can still take a practice test here without requiring a license code. The test costs 20 US dollars and it’s non-reimbursed by any company. The candidate can pay by credit card or PayPal and after the confirmation, one access key will be sent to the registered email. Also, some manning agencies in India, Philippines and Brazil offer the test to be done at the agency by paying in the local currency.

The normal test will have 50 questions and needs to be completed under thirty minutes. (On a side note, besides having a countdown, there’s not an actual time limit. Just to let you know that if you go over those 30 minutes, you score starts to drop.)

To sum it up, Marlin's Test goes beyond a mere language assessment – it's a fundamental tool for maritime safety and global collaboration. In an ever-expanding international maritime landscape, mastering English is crucial. This test ensures seafarers are prepared to meet the diverse challenges at sea with assurance and skill.  For every sailor, being good at English is like having a reliable guide in the endless sea. The Marlin’s Test isn't just a routine step; it's a promise to stay safe, work well, and keep getting better in the global maritime world.

JobWave supports multiple languages (English, Polish, German and Dutch) and our employees speak multiple languages so if English is an issue for you, you can still communicate with us.

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