When you export a table, you are guaranteed that the contents of that table will be consistent with the time that...
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the export of that table was started. This means that if you start exporting the table at 12:00 and someone makes changes to the data in the table at 12:05 and your export of this table finishes at 12:10, then the export will not contain any of the changes made between 12:00 and 12:10. You cannot change this behavior with Oracle's export utility.
The CONSISTENT parameter controls whether or not the entire export is consistent, even between tables. If CONSISTENT=N (the default), then the export of a table will be consistent, but changes can occur between tables. If CONSISTENT=Y, then the entire dump file is consistent with the point in time that you started the export. I would suggest setting CONSISTENT=Y whenever exporting.
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