One of the most common questions I’m asked by students is ‘is there anything extra I can do to prepare for my NEBOSH exam?’ While there is no magic formula that guarantees a pass, there is a lot you can do to improve your chances of getting good results. Here are my top 10 tips for NEBOSH success:
1. Be prepared – physically. Make sure you have a couple of pens (they really do have a funny habit of running out mid exam) and if you need reading glasses, don’t forget those. (Mine ran out during my last NEBOSH exam I took. I had a spare). Yes, it has happened.
2. Be prepared – mentally. As well as your revision, it’s worth doing a little planning and deciding on how you are going to address the exam questions. For example, you might want to start with an easy question, or tackle some of the harder ones first. Personally, I like to start with an easier question to get my confidence going, but it’s about deciding what will work for you on the day.
3. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Make certain you have put in the hard graft outside of the classroom because this is where the real learning takes place. Be sure to read up on the subject, complete any exercises set and try to apply the theory you have learned to your workplace. Don’t think you can turn up for a NEBOSH course and just pass the exams. NEBOSH state there is a minimum set time required for home study, but I am doubtful if it is possible to pass the exams by only completing this minimum time. To get a good mark, you need to invest the time and prepare, prepare, prepare!
4. Practice, practice, practice. Try to get some past NEBOSH papers with examiners reports, and complete plenty of practice NEBOSH exam questions. Always research the answers fully and mark yourself critically in order to improve. I recommend the NEBOSH Hughes and Ferrett Study Book for additional reading, and there is a great range of questions within it. Immerse yourself in NEBOSH.
5. Back up your learning by keeping up to date with relevant industry news. By reading trade press such as IOSH’s SHP or the BSC’s Safety Manager, you’ll begin to appreciate how health and safety issues are discussed in the media. Also be sure to keep an eye on the news, as there are often relevant stories – even if it’s the banking sector just talking the ‘speak’ about risk management.
6. With great NEBOSH understanding comes the ability to critically assess what’s happening around you in the workplace, so make sure you do. This will help you apply your knowledge and deepen your understanding. Wherever possible, try to implement new principals from the classroom into your role.
7. On the day of your exam, arrive in good time. If you turn up minutes before its due to start, you’ll be flustered and less likely to be able to concentrate from the start. Make sure you allow time for unexpected traffic and finding the venue! By arriving with plenty of time to spare, you’ll be able to settle down, have a drink, and get into the right frame of mind before starting.
8.RTFQ – Read the flippin question. It sounds really basic, but you’d be surprised how many people unfortunately fall foul of this one. Read each question twice, underling three key words and think about what your answer needs to demonstrate. All too often in practice exams I see questions that have only been partially answered – such as giving no examples when they are asked for – and answers that are technically brilliant but don’t actually answer the question.
9. There will be an awkward, obscure question on the exam paper. Don’t panic. Just read the question carefully and think about what you would like to your answer to say. If you’re taking the NEBOSH Diploma, my advice is to start with the trickiest optional 20 point questions first. You’ll need to answer three of the five options, so get these out of the way first and focus on creating good quality answers. You’ll feel more confident, and be able to move on to the shorter, compulsory 10 point questions feeling like you have probably passed the exam already. Just be sure to tick off the questions as you go, and check that none of the mandatory ones have been missed.
10. Never ask when the next resit date would be. This is totally negative thinking, instead focus on positive preparation and learning. The minimum pass mark is 45%, but don’t sell yourself short and aim to do as well as you possibly can. If you follow my ten tips, you’ll have a great chance of achieving a distinction, so go for it. Good luck!
We also have a range of NEBOSH courses available UK-wide on our NEBOSH Hot Topic.