8 Beneficial Tips To Pass The NEBOSH Exam

Posted on written by Sam Barton

Tips to passing your NEBOSH National General Certificate

So, you have the NEBOSH exam coming up, and you’re looking for some advice to help you pass with an excellent mark? Read on for our top 8 tips to pass your NEBOSH exam.

If you’re new to NEBOSH or haven’t started your course, here’s a quick breakdown of the NEBOSH exam. Or, go straight to the tips.

NEBOSH Exam Structure

To gain the NEBOSH qualification, you need to pass two assessments and complete a closing interview. One assessment is the NG1 OBE (Open Book Exam); the other is the NG2 risk assessment project.

NG1 Open Book Exam

The NG1 covers syllabus taught in the first week of your NEBOSH course and has four elements focusing on legal requirements and safety management system (plan, do, check, act).

You have one day to complete your OBE; you’ll gain access to the paper in the morning and can structure your day as you please. NEBOSH recommend spending 2 hours on the NG1 question paper, and there is a word count of 3000 words. You can go 10% above or below the word count.

NG2 Risk Assessment

The NG2 assessment covers the syllabus taught in the second week of your course and has seven elements focusing on hazards such as work equipment, fire etc. You have to complete a risk assessment of your own workplace using a template provided by NEBOSH.

NEBOSH provides an example risk assessment and allows you to see the marking criteria, so you have a good idea of what NEBOSH expect.

The risk assessment is broken down into four parts, and you must complete all four as instructed by NEBOSH. There are word counts for some sections of the risk assessment project, which are indicated on the template.

NEBOSH recommend spending 3 hours on the NG2 Practical Assessment (risk assessment).

Closing Interview

After you submit your NG1 OBE your training provider will be in touch to schedule a closing interview. You can complete the interview remotely via Zoom, WhatsApp or similar.

The purpose of the closing interview is to confirm that the work you have submitted is your own.

The OBE will last 15+ minutes, and you will be asked to prove your identity, confirm that you are on your own and unaided. Once verified, you will be asked three questions related to the answers you gave in the open book examination.

 

NEBOSH Exam Tips

NEBOSH recommend you complete 68 hours of tutor-led training plus an additional 40 hours of self-study before sitting your assessments lasting 5 hours. That’s a recommended 113 learning hours in total.

The Nebosh General Certificate course is available to study online Virtually with a real-time live trainer. Classroom-based Nebosh courses will be offered as the covid restrictions are lifted.

We have 8 tips to help you pass the NEBOSH course and gain a valuable qualification for your career.

#1 Look At How Many Marks Each Question Is Worth

When you see the maximum number of marks that can be awarded for each question in the NG1 assessment, then that is how many points you need to make in your answer.

For example, if you see a question such as:

Based on the scenario only, comment on the current health and safety culture in the company (15)

You need to provide suitable and sufficient information to get the 15 points. After you have written your answer, reread it and see how many marks you would have awarded yourself and then use your answer to decide whether to progress to the next question.

Keep in mind the word count (3,000 words, give or take 10%) so try not to waffle but make sure you “make a point to get a point”. Avoid writing half a page on one factor because that won’t score you any higher than 1 point.

The marks are also a good indication of how long you should spend on each question. If a question gives you 15 marks, then you should allocate more time to that than a question that only awards you 5 marks. You may have 24 hours to complete the paper, but wasting time is wasting energy.

#2 Use available resources to study

As you will be completing an open book examination (OBE) you will be allowed to use resources such as notes, textbooks, learning materials and online resources, but you must not copy and paste as this is regarded as plagiarism and will not answer the types of questions asked in NEBOSH OBEs.

That said you can use the information from the various sources to help you understand the topic, but you will then need to apply your knowledge and understanding to answer the scenario-based tasks in the question paper.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) website (https://www.hse.gov.uk/) has a wealth of information that you should make full use of as it contains approved codes of practice (ACOPS) guidance notes, frequently asked questions etc.

HSE Website Guidance and Resources

 

NEBOSH have also provided a resource page on their website.

#3 Plan Enough Time To Study

So, it’s recommended that you put in 40 hours of self-study, but where do you find those 40 hours? We know how life can get pretty hectic and time to spare can be quite limited, but it is crucial to give yourself enough time to study.

Make a plan, allocate the time to study and set it in your diary. Try to stick to it as best you can. It would be good to have a conversation with your employer and ask them, can some of your work time be allocated to NEBOSH study time?

If your employer cannot accommodate this, you will have to study in your private time. Try to remember that you are investing in yourself by completing the NEBOSH General certificate. The dedication and time spent studying will be worth it.

So, create a plan early. Splitting 40 hours over 4 weeks is more comfortable than trying to find 40 hours in 1 week! It sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people realise that they will have to move a lot of commitments around to fit the hours into their plan.

Simply dedicating time every day for self-study can help create a pattern and make it much easier to follow if you are consistent.
[links to planning tools and templates]

There are lots of apps and tools out there like Easy Study (iOS / Android) that can help you plan your time.

#4 Organisation Is Key

Studying for a NEBOSH exam can be quite hefty. This is why it is a good idea to organise your workload.

A good start would be creating a list of all areas you feel are your weakest. By creating a list, you’ll be able to identify what you should focus on more. That way, you can work through the list from top to bottom and cover all areas – but strengthen the areas which need greater focus!

#5 Creating A Study Group

Whilst studying a NEBOSH course, you’ll be accompanied by other delegates. You may find creating a study group with fellow delegates to be beneficial for you. You may have questions which they have answers to and so on. As you’ll all be studying the same topics, you may find your knowledge will strengthen and learn various learning techniques as well.

As long as you and your study group keep studying as a main priority and not get distracted, a study group can be very effective.
Please remember that although study groups are effective, there must be no collusion during the assessment paper (NG1) and the risk assessment (NG2). Both must be all your own work. Please see the NEBOSH website for ‘Malpractice Policy and Procedures’.

There are plenty of platforms and tools out there to help organise study groups, we like Google Classroom but something as simple as a WhatsApp group or weekly Zoom meeting could really help to keep you motivated and support one another.

#6 Practice Makes Perfect

I’m sure this is a statement we’ve all heard a good few times in our lifetime. That’s because it’s true! On the NEBOSH website, you will find an NG1 example paper, which shows the format of the questions (identified as tasks) but not the answers.

Now you know what you should expect to see in an exam paper. There will be a scenario and then the tasks with allocated marks for each answer.

NOTE: The example NG1 only has 50 marks available the actual assessment paper will be for 100 marks.

Also, on the NEBOSH website you will find NG2 risk assessment example. Ensure that you do not copy it in any way but use it as a reference point for what NEBOSH are looking for content-wise.

Once you’ve attempted some of the questions, attempt to mark your work. How many marks would you give yourself, and why?

#7 Focus Your Study

There is a clear break between the second week of your NEBOSH training and the exam date. This is designed for revision. As we mentioned above, 40 hours of self-study is recommended however don’t feel as though that is an exact number. Put in as much time as you think you need to gain the knowledge to pass the NEBOSH exam.

It can be challenging to study at home, but putting in the work now will mean that you have a very high chance of passing the exam first time.

For NG1 NEBOSH has changed the format of the assessment paper, for example, it is not about remembering the wording a specific section of the HASAWA 1974, it is about interpreting the HASAWA 1974, relating it to the scenario NEBOSH have provided, and then you must produce a real word answer to the associated question.

e.g., New type question (Task):

Task 1: Improving formal consultation.

The health and safety committee now look at consultation within the company.
What formal meetings could you plan, that are likely to help improve consultation in this workplace?
Note: You should support your answer, where applicable, using relevant information from the scenario.

As you can see from the question in bold italics, your NG1 study time needs to be devoted to understanding the legislation and how it can be used in a real-world situation to improve health and safety.

For NG2 you will be writing a risk assessment for your work and need to look at and identify the hazards and study what type of control measures would be suitable to introduce to improve health and safety.

#8 Passing The NEBOSH Exam

While the NEBOSH exam can be challenging, it certainly isn’t impossible to pass.

Putting the effort in with self-study while knowing how long to spend on each question and recognising how much information you need to put down will stand you in good stead.

The exam can be challenging if you aren’t used to being tested in this environment; however the rewards for passing are well worth the time you spend revising, so put the effort in now to benefit your career in the future.

Once sitting down to complete the NG1 assessment paper or NG2 risk assessment, please make sure you have a nice quiet place free from disturbances. Although you will be conducting the examinations at home, work or some other suitable location, you will need all the basics that would be in place at an exam facility, such as appropriate:

  • Desk
  • Chair
  • Lighting
  • Ventilation
  • Heating
  • Internet connection
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21 Responses to “8 Beneficial Tips To Pass The NEBOSH Exam”

  1. Ramanjit Singh

    How to register for Nebosh exam? Is there any online registration procedure ?

    Reply
    • Sam Barton

      Hi Ramanjit,

      We take care of all registration and certification, once you’ve booked your course with us all you need to do is attend the training days and complete your self-study with our support.

      If you’d like any more information please let me know.

      Sam

      Reply
  2. Nirmal Kumar Poudyal

    It’s good.

    Reply
    • Nisha Dhingra

      Hi Nirmal,

      Thank you for your comment, we always appreciate feedback here at PSS.

      Kind regards,

      Nisha

      Reply
  3. Angela

    Hello everyone I am trying to study for newish certificate, but don’t it hard to get going . Any tips and disciplines please. I really need to complete this year. I wish I could do the course in a class room.

    Reply
    • Nisha Dhingra

      Hi Angela,

      Thank you for your comment. In terms of studying for your NEBOSH certificate, I would advise you to follow the 8 tips explained within the blog. We have created these 8 tips after understanding the course structure and content of the NEBOSH National General Certificate course. As a result utilising these tips can help you with gaining your NEBOSH certificate.

      In addition I would advise you to focus and study on areas of the course you struggle with the most and then focus on studying on the remaining areas of the course, as this will allow you to have a strong knowledge on the overall course.

      Please note here at Project Skills Solutions we offer the NEBOSH National General Certificate, classroom based course in our UK wide training centres. Our NEBOSH courses are taught by our expert trainer’s who have been in the industry for years and will go the extra mile to ensure every delegate gains a solid understanding of the content, which has been proven by our strong pass rate. For further information on our NEBOSH National General Certificate course we offer and the availability at our UK wide training centres, please click here.

      I hope I have been able to help.

      Kind regards,

      Nisha

      Reply
  4. malik Naeem Afsar

    I want take Nebosh course online

    Reply
    • Nisha Dhingra

      Hi Malik,

      Thank you for your comment. NEBOSH courses can be completed within a classroom environment or via online. Here at Project Skills Solutions we offer the NEBOSH National General Certificate course within a classroom environment. If you would like to view further details of the NEBOSH course we offer please click here.

      If you would like to take your NEBOSH course online, I would advise you to seek for alternative course provider’s who offer NEBOSH courses which are accessible online. In addition please click here to view the official NEBOSH website, where you will view the course provider page. You’ll be able to fill in your NEBOSH course requirements and find training provider’s who offer the course you need.

      I hope I have been able to help.

      Kind regards,

      Nisha

      Reply
  5. Paul

    Hi,

    I have just completed the iosh managing safely and now wanting to study for the NEBOSH exam, does the exam cover every part of the regulations, law, etc.. do you know of a paperback book I could order o help me study or is it just a case of search and study everything? Thanks

    Reply
    • Sam Barton

      Hi Paul,

      Well done for completing the IOSH course and great you’re considering the NEBOSH. If you’re studying for the NEBOSH exam yourself with no tuition there are some books out there to buy, such as this one. There are also condensed study/revision books available.

      Beware though, as the book linked above covers the old syllabus. At the moment training providers can offer exams for either the old or the new syllabus so make sure what you are studying matches up with the exam you have booked.

      If you’re considering attending a course with classroom tuition, let me know and I’d be happy to help, on a course all materials, support and revision platform are included.

      Any questions let me know.

      Thanks,
      Sam

      Reply
  6. Suraj singh

    I have given nebosh igc exam but couldn’t pass total
    Mean only gc 3 pass not 1 and 2 so please tell me how can i pass the nebosh igc exam

    Reply
    • Sam Barton

      Hi Suraj,

      You’ll need to complete all parts to earn your international certificate. You can take the exams more than once though, so you should book another exam with your training provider.

      I’d like to add though, that the syllabus has recently changed for the international certificate, there are now only 2 assessments. If you’d like to use your gc3 pass though you’ll need to sit the old exams. Again your training provider will be able to help you with that.

      You can find more information here https://www.nebosh.org.uk/qualifications/international-general-certificate/

      Good luck and let me know if there’s anything else I can help with.

      Kind regards,
      Sam

      Reply
  7. Barry

    Hi Sam, I’m looking to resit my NGC1 which I first tried a year ago. I passed 2 & 3 ok back then. I see that they are both now part of IGC cert qualification. Just wondering if IGC1 is easier to pass than NGC1 ?? Could I get IGC cert easier as I am not a full time HSE person ?? Like most people I felt I passed but was disappointed, but keen to have another go.
    regards

    Reply
    • Sam Barton

      Hi Barry,

      Sorry to hear you didn’t pass the NGC1, it’s a tough qualification which is why so many people want to go for it. I don’t exactly follow what you mean by part of the IGC.

      The National and International qualifications are separate. They’ve both recently changed too, now it’s just 1 exam and 1 project.

      I think the best thing for you would be to try and complete NGC1, however you might struggle to find a provider still offering the old syllabus.

      The other option is to resit under the new syllabus, there aren’t a lot of changes it’s mostly the project which is a little different.

      I don’t think you’d find the international any easier.

      Hope this helps,
      Sam

      Reply
  8. Barry

    ok Sam, I’ll just go for a resit on NGC1 then, I believe I still have 2 years to do it ( hopefully I get it before then ) under the old system. Aset in Aberdeen are still doing the old syllabus it seems but I just need some revision to hopefully squeak through, there seems to be plenty of material on line which may assist me…

    what I meant on the IGC is that my existing NGC2&3 certificates also state that they are part of the IGC. So these are common to NGC & IGC certificate, only the NGC1 is different to IGC1 it seems
    thanks & regards
    Barry

    Reply
  9. Kannan

    I would like to complete NEBOSH IGC COURSE. any can guide me please

    Reply
    • Sam Barton

      Hi Kannan,

      I’ll have the team get in touch and give you some further information.

      Kind regards,
      Sam

      Reply
  10. John Warcup

    Hi Sam, having read the above, I would like to attend this course and believe my experience can help take me through. I do not have any other certificates. Would I be able to take this course?

    Reply
    • Tom Williamson

      Hi John, You do not need to have any previous experience or certificates to take this course. I have passed on your details to our team and they will get in touch with some dates so that you can get booked on to a course with us.

      Reply
  11. Patrick Daniel

    Hallo
    Am planning to undertake certificate in NEBOSH as a fresher. What requirements you need.

    Reply
    • Tom Williamson

      Hi Patrick, There are no formal entry requirements for the NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety. However, the assessments are only offered and must be answered in English. Part of the qualification is a written report based on the delegate’s own workplace and must also be in English.

      If you have any questions please contact the training team.

      Reply

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