HSfB Blog

NEBOSH General Exam Tips

ARRIVE ON TIME AND RELAXED

Don't rush into the exam room with minutes to spare. Make sure you have had a good nights rest, eaten well and don't have a hangover.

 

BE PREPARED

The old scouts motto. Don't turn up with one dodgy biro. It WILL run out before you get your name on the paper.

 

GET A GOOD POSITION IN THE EXAM ROOM

Don't grab a seat too close to the heaters, halfway through the exam you will wish you had picked somewhere cooler. Similarly seats by the window can be too hot or cause glare in the summer, too cold in the winter and cause distractions. Get a comfortable table with good lighting.

 

READ THE QUESTIONS

Read the questions carefully. Pay particular attention to the action verbs ...

Define, Describe, Explain, Give, Identify, List, Outline, Sketch and State.

... learn what they mean. These will identify the depth you should go into with your answer. There are no extra points for providing an in-depth essay answer to a request for a list.

 

BE AWARE OF HOW MANY POINTS ARE AVAILABLE

Don't give an in-depth answer to a 2 point section of the question and skim over the part with 6 points on offer.

 

READ THE QUESTION AGAIN

Make sure you answer the question they ask, not what you would like it to ask.

Some questions will give you a scenario. These scenarios may or may not be relevant to the question asked. Make sure you know which.

If the question asks for mechanical hazards providing information on other types of hazards will not get points

If a question starts with 'Other than' it means other than. Don't include anything in your answer that is excluded in the question.

 

READ THE WHOLE QUESTION

If it is a two-part question read all of it. There have been questions where the first part asks you to simply list something while the second part asks you to go into more depth on the items you have just listed. If you listed something you don't know a lot about you will have to go back and change your answer to the first part.

 

DON'T ANSWER ANY MORE THAN THE QUESTION ASKS

If the question is on Sanitary and washing facilities write about toilets, sinks and soap etc. They don't want information on drinking water, lockers or first aid kits.

 

ALL WORDS ARE THERE FOR A REASON

If the question mentions 'storage and handling of small containers of flammable solvents' you can be pretty sure that an essay on manual handling is not what they are looking for. If the question refers to precautions don't just list the hazards.

Don't confuse similar words like employee's and employer.

 

DON'T USE VAGUE TERMS

One of the diseases caused by asbestos is Lung Cancer. You would not get a mark for simply putting Cancer. Similarly do not refer to airborne pollutants simply as pollution. Try and use the correct terminology.

 

MANAGE YOUR TIME

Be aware of how many marks are available for each question and plan your time around it. Don't spend too much time trying to squeeze every last mark out of a question.

Answer the questions you know first. Don't sit and ponder a question for ten minutes then realise that the answer isn't going to come to you. Go to one you can answer and come back to the original later.

If you have 100 marks available in the 2 hour exam and spend the 30 minutes recommended on the long question (20 marks) you are left with nine minutes each for the other ten questions.

 

ATTEMPT ALL THE QUESTIONS

If time allows try and get an answer down for all the questions. Every mark counts. If you are very short of time get the main points down. There are no marks for things you knew but didn't write.

 

WRITE LEGIBLY

Nobody is expecting illuminated manuscripts but you could provide perfect answers to all the questions and it would come to nothing if your handwriting cannot be deciphered.

 

USE ALL THE TIME AVAILABLE

If by some miracle you find you have finished the exam with time to spare don't flee the exam room. Go over your answers and see if there are any you could improve or anything that you have missed (If you do finish before time you have probably missed about three questions).

 

DON'T PANIC

You do know the answers. It's just a question of getting them out of your head and onto the paper in a form the examiner will recognise.

Phil