Courses Available Online, Virtually and Classroom
Fully Certified NEBOSH, IOSH, IEMA Accredited
7-Day Customer Service
Andrew Froude B.Eng (Hons), CMIOSH, MIIRSM, OSHCR

Preparing for your NEBOSH National/International Certificate Exams

As you go through your NEBOSH training and coursework you should start planning out your revision plan for the exam. Learn about how to put that together.

September 2015

Preparing yourself for the NEBOSH National/International General Certificate exams is an important part of the whole learning experience, and is something you should think about as you go through the course.

You can choose when you start to prepare for the NGC/IGC exams but there are several questions to consider during the exam revision process:

  1. Is preparing a revision timetable a good idea?
  2. How do I revise?
  3. Answering past exam questions – will this help?

1. Is Preparing a Revision Timetable a Good Idea?

Definitely; we are all busy people and although at the start of your studies, and in between studying different sections and elements, you may feel you will have plenty of time for revision before your exams, this time will pass by very quickly and your exams will have arrived before you realise.

To avoid this happening, as soon as you start your studies, think about when your exam will take place and how much time you have available before exam day. Break this time up into days or weeks (the use of a timetable or calendar will be useful here). Think about the other commitments you have in your life and schedule a time best for you in the day/week to carry out meaningful revision.

Organise your time

The general guidance and advice is that little and often is better rather than large amounts infrequently. Study sessions of between 20 minutes to 1 hour are recommended, but do what suits you and how you like to revise. Fill out the timetable you have prepared with these time slots and decide what you are going to revise in each.

Do your best to stick to the time slots in your plan but remember to build in a little flexibility. It rarely goes 100% to plan so don’t forget to review your progress against the plan periodically and make any necessary adjustments.

Ensure the place where you study is quiet enough for you to concentrate (some people like to play music while they study, some like silence) and is somewhere where you will not be regularly disturbed.

2. How Do I Revise?

Before starting and during your revision, ask yourself...

What do I know or remember, from everything I have learnt through the course? Can I apply what I know to workplace situations?

The learning outcomes for each element within the units are a very good place to start as they give a clear overview of the things you should know. These learning outcomes are the areas that the exam questions will be checking your knowledge and understanding of.

Revision techniques

The Open University says that revision isn't just about looking again and again at the learning materials. It is an active task, which involves organising material and finding ways of remembering it that suit your own particular learning style.

Try to summarise what you have read into several bullet points or key words. If it helps, draw sketches or diagrams linking these key words or phrases together. Common techniques include mind-mapping, bubble diagrams and fish bone diagrams.

Another useful technique is to make up things such as flash cards or memory cards which contain the key words or phrases around a topic. These can help you to memorise the key issues. You can then get a family member, friend or colleague to test you using these cards. Other people have been known to write key words or phrases on sticky “post-it” notes and put them up in the home or office so they can be seen throughout the day thus helping them to be memorised.

There is no right or wrong way of revising. you need to find the way that suits you best.

3. Answering Past Exam Questions – Will this Help?

Being familiar with the NEBOSH exam questions and how they want you to answer them is one of the keys to passing the exam, so part of your revision should include the NEBOSH exam questions. On the NEBOSH website you can download useful information by clicking the Examiners' Reports and then click on the NEBOSH General Certificate in Occupational Health & Safety course. It will provide a pdf download of the examiners' feedback on strengths and weaknesses of candidates' answers and recommendations on exam technique. 

During your revision have a go at answering exam questions as this is what will help you work out what you know and what you need to revise, as well as giving you the opportunity to practise for the exam. Try doing these questions after you have revised a particular section or element as a way of consolidating your learning.

Try answering some questions as you would during the exam – without using your notes and under time constraints. This will also help you to appreciate how quickly you will need to think and write during the exam in order to answer all the questions on the exam paper.

Time management is essential

Remember, you will have 11 questions to answer in 2 hours on each paper – NGC1/IGC1 and GC2. This may sound plenty of time but if you spread this 2 hours over the 11 questions and you factor in thinking and reading time, you are looking at just over 1 minute of writing to get 1 mark. Therefore, managing your time is very important.

Avoid malpractice

Please note that examiners feedback is provided only as an indication to students of what the examiners found when marking the answers to the exam questions and what they were expecting to see in students’ answers. The examiners comments should not be memorised word for word and repeated as answers in the exams. Any attempt to do this will be treated by NEBOSH as malpractice and may lead to the answer paper being declared void.

Related Blogs

  •  4 Hidden Dangers of Confined Spaces: With Preventative Measures Image
    William Gaunt

    4 Hidden Dangers of Confined Spaces: With Preventative Measures

    Delve into 4 hidden dangers of confined spaces and how to prevent them with clear preventative measures provided through the Astutis Confined Spaces Safety course.
    23.05.24
  • Common Workplace Manual Handling Injuries and How to Prevent Them Image
    William Gaunt

    Common Workplace Manual Handling Injuries and How to Prevent Them

    Protect employees from the most common manual handling injuries in the workplace and learn the importance of manual handling courses for injury prevention.
    21.05.24
  • EU Introduces New Standards for Sustainability Reporting Image
    Enock Ebbah

    EU Introduces New Standards for Sustainability Reporting

    Familiarise yourself with the new sustainability reporting standards introduced by the European Union and how they will impact your business operations.
    16.05.24
  • Free Inspection Checklist for Better Ladder Safety  Image
    William Gaunt

    Free Inspection Checklist for Better Ladder Safety

    Download this useful ladder safety checklist to ensure you’re using the correct equipment and protecting yourself from danger. 
    10.05.24
  • How To Calculate Your Businesses Carbon Emissions: A Simple Guide Image
    Enock Ebbah

    How To Calculate Your Businesses Carbon Emissions: A Simple Guide

    Uncover expert guidance on how to calculate your businesses carbon emissions using recommended frameworks, ensuring you organisation stays ahead of the curve on legislation changes.
    08.05.24
  • Asbestos Awareness: How to Protect Your Workforce From the Silent Killer Image
    William Gaunt

    Asbestos Awareness: How to Protect Your Workforce From the Silent Killer

    Find out how to protect your workforce from asbestos and how proper training can prevent the possible health risks of improper practice with the deadly substance.
    07.05.24
Section Curve
Case Studies

Real Life Stories

Find out how learners look back on their training with Astutis. Our case studies give our learners, both individual and corporate, a platform to share their Astutis experience. Discover how training with Astutis has helped past learners and delegates make the world a safer place, one course at a time.
More Image
Bottom Curve
What People Say

Hear What Our Learners Have To Say

We're always there for our customers. 98% of our learners rated their overall experience as good or outstanding. We will always pride ourselves on our customer service. But don’t take our word for it, here is what our customers have to say
  • "Outstanding service and communication from the very first contact to the last. . ."

    David
    17.05.2024
  • "Comprehensive and full of detail, presented in an engaging way."

    David
    17.05.2024
  • "Highly recommend Astutis! The platform works very well, and the staff are a pleasure to deal with, extremely attentive and highly supportive!"

    Gary
    16.05.2024
  • "Excellent platform and supportive staff."

    Gary
    16.05.2024
  • "Excellent communications, friendly staff, user friendly website."

    Greg
    14.05.2024
  • "Course was excellent and delivered at a steady pace that made it easy to absorb information. The tutor Andy was very clear and concise and provided thorough preparation for the exam."

    Greg
    14.05.2024
  • "The proficiency of the admin team was great, and the ease of access and all communication was great. I will do a course with them again."

    LJ
    07.05.2024
  • "The course was comprehensive and included a great variety of subjects."

    LJ
    07.05.2024
  • "From start to finish, the organisation, engagement and course content was excellent."

    30.04.2024
  • "Excellent content and delivery. This has equipped me well for the requirements of my role."

    30.04.2024