As part of the assessment process for the NEBOSH General Certificate, you will take an open book exam. The NEBOSH open book examination begins with a realistic, case-study-style scenario of a working environment. This workplace may require a lot of health and safety assistance to improve or equally, it may appear to be a very safe working environment.
Is the NEBOSH Exam Hard?
We run the NEBOSH National General Certificate course over 10 days. The length of the course reflects the level and depth of health and safety knowledge you will leave the course with and the level of commitment required to complete it successfully. The NEBOSH Exam is an ‘Open Book Examination’ which means that you can use your course notes and the handbook to help you answer the questions. When you study a NEBOSH NGC with Project Skills Solutions, you will be given tasks to complete outside of the classroom to support you in completing both of the assessments for the course successfully. To answer the question ‘Is the NEBOSH exam hard?’, well, it would be a lie to say it was easy. However, there are several steps you can take to get yourself prepared to take the NEBOSH Exam, some of which are outlined below.
It really varies who completes a NEBOSH National General Certificate. We see delegates with no H&S experience, to those who have health and safety responsibilities at work or want a career in health and safety. NEBOSH say that 40 hours of individual study (as long as spent wisely!) is what they recommend along with classroom tuition to pass the course. There are no entry requirements for the course – apart from a good standard of spoken and written English.
IOSH Managing Safely Course
If you are concerned about committing to a NEBOSH National General Certificate, you may want to complete a course like the 3-day IOSH Managing Safely course. This will give you some knowledge that will be built upon in detail when completing the NEBOSH NGC. There is also a risk assessment to complete as part of the assessment process, so you can test your skills of risk assessment writing! NEBOSH have some guidance on their website about the risk assessment part of the National General Certificate if you want to read about the risk assessment (NG2) part of the exam.
The Questions in the NEBOSH Exam
After the given scenario, you’ll encounter a set of task-oriented questions. To answer these questions, you’ll either fully or partially need to analyse the information presented in the case study. The questions carry a total of 100 marks, and a minimum of 45 marks is required to pass the examination.
These task-oriented questions will cover the course content spanning elements one through four. Given that this is an open book test, you’re not only permitted – but also recommended – to refer to the course materials and the textbook provided. You might also consider referring to other resources, like the Health and Safety Executive website. However, remember to not directly copy and paste any sections from any resources. Ensure that your responses are original and put into your own words.
If you have taken your NEBOSH course with Project Skills Solutions, then you will have had practice of these types of questions in the form of homework and received feedback from the trainer on your answers.
How long is the NEBOSH Open Book Exam?
You get 24 hours for the test which you can take at home or work. It’s best to find a quiet place with no distractions and good internet. You might want to print the questions and the scenario, so having a printer is a good idea.
The test has a limit of 3000 words. But, you can write a little more – up to 3300 words. To decide how many words to write for each question, look at the marks it offers. For example, a 2-mark question should be about 66 words, and a 10-mark one should be about 330 words.
You can use the NEBOSH online exam portal for 24 hours to submit your answers. Make sure to answer all questions and submit them within the 24 hour time frame.
Can anyone help me with my NEBOSH Exam?
During the 24 hours of the open book examination, only by contacting NEBOSH directly will you be able to get any assistance with questions or queries relating to the open book examination. It is important that you get in touch with them promptly should there be any issues, such as access to the portal or being unable to upload your completed open book examination. You can contact them directly via their website.
As mentioned previously, during your course your tutor will set homework in a similar format to that of the open book examination. It is important that you attempt and complete all the homework to the best of your ability to assist in your learning and progression throughout the course. This will also get you familiar with the types of questions that you will encounter when you take your exam.
How to Prepare for the Open Book Exam
Delegates often believe that they don’t need to study or revise at home to prepare for an open book examination, but we strongly advise against this. To succeed in this examination, you will benefit from being prepared. Revision will involve different activities for different delegates and will depend on their own learning style and experience. Some for example, will complete previous open book examination papers to practise their skills (which are available on the NEBOSH website).
Others will utilise the revision questions within the textbook to refresh their knowledge in preparation for the exam. You will need to develop and use your own revision style that works best for you. It is essential that you put time and planning into your revision prior to the open book exam. It is advised by NEBOSH that you complete 40 hours of home study prior to your open book examination. This should give you a good indication of how much additional work is required by each delegate outside of the classroom.