NEBOSH National General Certificate Exam Hints & Tips
Now you've committed yourself to taking the NEBOSH Certificate, you've pro a ly wondered what you've got yourself into! Hopefully the following hints " tips will help you to get the ma#imum marks possi le$
Tips for the Written Papers First Things First!
Start y reading the e#am paper all the way through$ %ou should find at least one &uestion that you are confident a out answering$ 'he pages in your answer ook are num ered according to the &uestion you are answering, so it doesn't matter in which order you do the &uestions, as long as you put your answer on the corresponding page of the answer ook$ (t's a good idea to start with the &uestion you're happiest a out, as this gets your rain working and gives you confidence$ )ork through a couple of 'easier' &uestions " then tackle some of the harder ones$ *ust make sure you attempt them all!
%ou must keep your eye on the time$ %ou are allowed + hours for each paper$ 'here are ,, &uestions on each paper, and you are e#pected to answer every one$ -uestion , is worth +. marks, and you should allocate a out +/ minutes for your answer$ -uestions +0,, are worth 1 marks each, and therefore you have to answer ,. &uestions in 2. minutes$ (f you allow 1 minutes for each &uestion, you will have a small cushion at the end to check over your paper, or to finish any last its$ 3lease remem er4 0 !t is "etter to pro#i$e an ans%er to e#er& '(estion than to $o ) or *+ of them %ell! Statistically, candidates score the most marks for the information they give at the eginning of their answers$ %ou will get very few e#tra marks for a long, ram ling answer$ (t's also worth remem ering that for any &uestion you fail to attempt, your score will e ,E-O! So, answer every &uestion, even if you're not over0confident$ (f you have reached the time limit 5+/ minutes for -, " 1 minutes for each of the others6 .O/E ON! %ou do not want to end up wasting time perfecting one answer if it means you run out of time to attempt all the &uestions$
0ns%er the 1(estion!
)e all know the sorts of &uestions we would like to e on the paper 0 trou le is, they're not always there! %ou need to4
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for every student who'd gone off at a tangent in their answer to a NEBOSH &uestion.ve done it!6$
NEBOSH are well aware that students practice answering past &uestions.. denoted y the action #er" 5e$g$ outline. you would outline factors such as • 'he need for separating @A' movements from pedestriansB • 'he need for the introduction of speed limitsB • )hether high visi ility clothing would e re&uiredB • 'he condition of the floors and terrain • 'he type of @A' to e introduced e$g$ the appropriate fuel supply
*ane 7iley +. they may not e straight repeats$ %ou may see part of a &uestion that has appeared efore. whilst you are doing it can save an awful lot of time " heartache$ (f you check halfway through. and although they do repeat &uestions.. only to find when you get to part 5ii6 that you're writing similar things$ NEBOSH do not ask you to give the same information twice in one &uestion. you're going wrong$ -E02 !T 0G0!N4 BEFO-E 5O3 ST0-T W-!T!NG! 'his will give you an idea of the depth of answer re&uired. list etc6$ (t also focuses your mind on actually answering$ (t is a good idea to highlight the important words in the &uestion. state. which is often a part &uestion$ (t is very easy to start rushing in to the answer.re answering the right &uestion$
Specific T&pes of 1(estion
Some types of &uestion come up again " again$ On the =anagement paper you are often asked to >Outline the factors to consider when??$$>$ 'his type of &uestion re&uires you to think a out the situation you have een given. descri e. and take an overview$ 'hey do not usually ask you to fi# it! i$e$ you do not have to outline a series of control measures$ 'his is a very common mistake in approaching this type of &uestion$ E$g$ (f you were asked to outline the factors to consider efore forklift trucks are to e introduced to a new warehouse.•
-E02 THE 13EST!ON 9et an idea of what the &uestion is asking$ 'his is especially important on -. it does give you time to salvage something if you've gone wrong$ 5(. this clarifies what you are eing asked and allows you to think a out what your answer should e$ %ou can. ut you can highlight things on it$ Once &o(6#e starte$ &o(r ans%er4 chec the '(estion to ma e s(re &o(6re ans%ering %hat &o(6#e "een as e$7 (f ( had <. either y underlining them or y using a highlighter pen$ :gain.t take your e#am paper away with you. so if this is happening. ('d e a very rich lady!! %ou will do this at some point. with a different second part$ *ust e aware that you must read the &uestion thoroughly and keep checking that you. ut it's a good idea to make sure it happens in the classroom rather than in the e#am! Simply y checking that you are answering the &uestion.8
you should make sure that if the ventilation is poor. dedicated traffic routes should e introduced.t write a list if you.ve een set! • Gon..•
'he loads to e carried etc$ %ou should turn this list into an outline y adding the reason for each consideration you mention e$g$ 'he condition of the floors and terrain would e an important consideration. such as high0visi ility vests$ (n a warehouse.ve een asked C don. instruction or information as an answer. you will get carried away " start answering a different &uestion from the one you. information or instruction is re&uired$ • 33E is not sufficient as an answer.8
.re asked how you would manage a situation C apply the principles of HS9I/ etc$ • :nswer the &uestion you. with speed limits$ :ny pedestrians who enter the area in which the @A's are moving should wear appropriate 33E.re asked for an outline 5unless you. as this can cause overturning of the @A'????? 'hese are in fact control measures to reduce the risks from @A's operating in a new warehouse 0 ut that's not actually what the &uestion asked you for!! (f you start doing this.t do it! (f you have trou le interpreting >Outline the factors to considerD. re&uiring either haFard identification or control measures or oth$ =ake sure that you understand the difference etween haFard " risk$ Some &uestions may ask you to identify haFards " others will ask for risks$ (f you get these mi#ed up. as floors containing potholes or steep slopes can result in overturning of fork lift trucks$ (t is tempting to try to fi# the situation y giving answers such as4 0 )hen @A's are to e introduced into the workplace. su stitute EthingsD for EfactorsD " it might make the &uestion easier to understand$ HaFards paper &uestions are usually a it more straightforward. even in a list C give some e#amples of suita le 33E$ • :nswer the &uestion you.ve een set!
*ane 7iley +.re running out of time6 C you will loose marks$ • (f you include training. work through the Hierarchy of control giving appropriate e#amplesB if you.ve een set! • (f you.s not a shopping list 0 you need enough details to make the e#aminer understand what your point is$ • Hse principles to keep you organised$ E$g$ if you.re asked for a list. the @A's are attery0powered$ 'he floors should e free from potholes. say what sort of training. single words are unlikely to score you marks$ (t.re asked for controls. it is essential that they do not come in to contact with pedestrians$ (n order to prevent this. you may not get the marks$ 7emem er that risks are outcomes$
'here are some asic rules to follow40 • :nswer the &uestion you.
read the &uestion paper again " start with a &uestion you are reasona ly happy with$
Tips for the Practical The !nspection
9et organised! 'hink of the areas that you need to look at$ 3ut those headings on individual sheets at the start of the e#am$ 'here. so having practised a good selection may help with any repeated &uestions on your e#am$ 2on6t panic! .s no restriction on the num er of sheets you use$
*ane 7iley +. now's the time to check what you've written and see if you've missed anything o vious$
What if !6m r(nning o(t of time: (f you find yourself with only minutes to spare to the end of the e#am. %ou can o tain past &uestion papers and E#aminers' 7eports from the NEBOSH we site www$ne osh$org$ %ou should aim to practise answering &uestions and then check your answer against the E#aminers' comments$ 'here are often repeated &uestions on e#ams. as there is far too much information to take in$ :lso you need to ensure that you understand what you've een taughtJhave read$ (f you are having pro lems. rather than leaving it lank and scoring Fero$ 'he e#tra marks you pick up here could make the difference etween referralJ passB passJcredit. you will e a le to clarify them with your tutor in plenty of time$
Practice past '(estions .8
. or even creditJdistinction! (f you do have some time spare on an outline. ( know it's oring. 3anic will Kust make it harder to answer the &uestions$ (t can e tempting when you read the e#am paper to panic if you think you can't do some of the &uestions$ *ust reathe deeply. descri e or e#plain &uestion.ve forgotten to answer or see a glaring error$ (t's easier to pick up the odd e#tra mark y filling in gaps in &uestions which re&uire you to list or identify. so if you've missed any out.. complete it as a list$ 'his at least gives you the chance to get some marks. see part of a &uestion you.0l%a&s remem"er4 altho(gh Examiners are intelligent4 the& $on8t no% &o( 9 &o( ha#e to get &o(r ans%er $o%n on paper in a %a& that tells them exactl& %hat &o( mean7
When &o(6#e finishe$!
%ou should have a few minutes spare to check through your answers$ %es. add a reason or an e#ample C it may get you full marks$ Ho% can ! impro#e m& chances of passing: • -e#ise as &o( go 0 you cannot leave it until the last minute. ut you may think of something you couldn. " you still have a &uestion to do.t answer earlier.
convincing and it needs to address H79EN' issues$ %our time is short. contravenes the COSHH Regulations) )hat needs to e done (include an statutor re!uirements e.g.g. so you need to convince them that they should! State the likely enefits of implementing your suggested actions e$g$ reduces the risk of serious inKury to students and the likelihood of enforcement action and civil claims$ 7emem er to include oth reeches of legislation and costs C these are commonly forgotten and there are a total of .t prevent the pro lem from recurring.anagement
'his needs to e concise. Re!uirement o" #ire legislation that all premises have an emergenc plan) )ho needs to do it (e..g. :n indication of cost (low) medium) high)
7emem er that in general you are asking management to part with money.g.. marks availa le for them$
*ane 7iley +. so the report also needs to e short$ Hse headings and give it a structure$ : summary will aid reada ility and will persuade 5or not!6 the manager to read the full report$ 3ick no more than / urgent issues and make sure that for each one. and may need considera le udget$ Suggest some intermediate steps to reduce risk progressively with sensi le timescales$ Ongoing monitoring also signifies that some solutions need checking to maintain their effectiveness$
The -eport to .t mark everything as high risk which needs action immediately C your suggested corrective action needs to e achieva le as well as aimed at reducing the risks$ :im to give a spread of actions to correct pro lems where possi le$ Single actions often don. you say40 )hat you found (in general terms) )hy it's a pro lem (what the possible outcomes are) )hat legislation is eing reached (e. wor$shop manager) 'imescale (e.=ake sure you fill in each column of the o servation sheet C don.t leave the risk level or the action re&uired columns lank. as it will reduce your marks$ Gon. should be carried out within the ne%t wee$). &on't "orget to include longer( term action where appropriate.8