NEBOSH Exam Preparation Checklist

Industry News By Andy Taylor

Studying for a NEBOSH qualification can set your career path in the right direction by enhancing your skills, broadening your knowledge and possibly even increasing your earning potential. However, exams are challenging at the best of times and can be even more difficult for people who haven’t taken exams in a number of years.

In this article we explore some NEBOSH focused revision tips as well as some more general (but definitely relevant) study tips. Keep reading for some great advice on passing your NEBOSH exam first time…

Get to grips with the structure of the exam

If you come to an exam unprepared or underprepared, the odds aren’t going to be in your favour. Knowing what will be likely to come up in an exam is vital and will increase your chances of passing first time. You should chat with your tutor who will be able to support you with exam structure and types of questions amongst other useful pointers.

Key point: The problems students have in exams aren’t limited to simply not having revised enough. You need to know what the exam actually involves.

Know the different question types

With NEBOSH exams, there are a mixture of shorter and longer questions, so it’s important to calculate roughly how long you have for each question at the beginning of the exam.

Health and safety is a huge area, and NEBOSH syllabuses cover a vast number of diverse topics from fire safety to psychological health hazards. However, one thing that is consistent with NEBOSH exams is the 5 command words.

Almost all exam questions will have an action command word, which gives you a really good idea of how you should answer it. Part of your revision should involve getting to know these commands and understanding how you should respond to each of them differently.

Sit a mock exam

A lot of course providers give you the chance to sit a mock exam, which is invaluable in passing the actual exam first time. Course providers will either incorporate a mock exam into your training course or provide one for you to complete in your own time. Either way, you should take it seriously as it really will prepare you for the real thing. You should time the mock and only use materials that will be permitted in the actual exam.

Some course providers will also be able to provide you with resources such as exam exercises along the way; these will again prepare you for answering in an exam-style structure.

General study tips

Whether you’re studying the NEBOSH International General Certificate, the National Construction Certificate or the National Diploma, the syllabus is based on facts. This means you can fully prepare for the exam and avoid any nasty surprises by ensuring you have completely revised the course material. Allow plenty of time to revise, even if you are sitting the exam soon after you have learnt the information. Ideally, take the day off work prior to the exam and simply revise all day.

Additionally, as you progress in your NEBOSH course, you should be making plenty of notes as well as receiving lots of reading material. As the exam draws closer, condense your revision notes until they are eventually on one page. Reading this final note will trigger the larger amounts of information. Each time you write the notes again it will help ingrain them to your memory.

For some, reading over and over isn’t the ideal way to make it stick. Try reading your revision notes out loud and recording them and then listen back to them as often as possible. This is an ideal way to revise whilst doing something like cooking dinner, washing up, driving the car or even when going out for a jog or walk. Even better, practice with a friend or family member. Get them to test your ability to recite syllabus content and see where there are gaps in your knowledge.

To conclude, your NEBOSH qualification will open doors for you and enrich your understanding of health and safety. Sitting an exam may feel scary, but following these revision and preparation tips will really give you a better chance of passing first time.


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