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.
The Questions in the NEBOSH Exam
Following the scenario, there will be a series of task based questions. These questions will either wholly or partly require information contained within the case study to be analysed by delegates to provide the appropriate answer. Your questions will total 100 marks, you will need at least 45 to pass your exam.
The task-based questions will represent the course syllabus contained within elements one to four. As this is an open book examination, you are allowed (and advised) to utilise course materials and the course textbook provided. You may also wish to use additional information from sources such as the health and safety executive website. It is important to note that you must not copy and paste sections of texts from any source and that all of the content of the answers that you give must be in your own words and your own answer.
If you have take 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 have 24 hours to complete the open book examination – this can be done at home or at work. It would be advised to complete the open book examination somewhere quiet, free from distractions and with a good internet connection. You may wish to print off the open book examination scenario and questions, therefore having access to a printer would be recommended.
The open book examination has a 3000 word maximum limit which means you need to allocate the right number of words proportionate to the marks available per question. NEBOSH does allow a 10% overspill on the word count, meaning that the maximum words that you are allowed to write (and that will be marked) is 3300 words. So for example a question that is worth 2 marks would be the approximate equivalent of 66 words, and a 10 mark question would be the approximate equivalent of 330 words.
You will have access to the NEBOSH online portal for 24 hours, it which time you will need submit your answers to the questions. It is important that you attempt all of the tasks contained within the open book examination and that you submit it for marking within the 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, and also so that you are familiar with the types of questions that you encounter when you take your exam.
How to Prepare for the Open Book Exam
Often delegates believe that they do not need to do any home studying or revision to prepare themselves for an open book examination – this is definitely not advised. Being prepared is essential to being successful at this examination. The will involve different activities for different delegates depending 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 style that works best for you. It is essential that you put time and planning into your revision prior to the OBE. 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.
Read more about how to be successful in the NEBOSH exam with our 8 helpful tips!