How Do I Pass My NEBOSH General Certificate Open Book Exam on Your First Attempt?

Your Step by Step Guide to Passing Your NEBOSH General Certificate Open Book Exam on Your First Attempt!

Date Posted: 13th April 2021

We’ve got an exam this week for the NEBOSH General Certificate (National and International), so I thought I would share some quick tips on how to pass your NEBOSH General Certificate Open Book Exam:

  1. Download the exam paper and read it very carefully. Everything written down on it has been written there for a reason, and I would even go as far as to print it and underline key words in it
  1. Don’t panic and don’t get flustered. The scenario may be completely different to what you expect, and some of the questions may be a lot harder, so try to keep calm.
  1. Read all of the questions and the scenario again, only this time, rank them in order of difficulty, answer the easy (or easier) questions first, and leave the tough ones until last.
  1. Go and find some guidance or materials which may help you answer the question. It’s an open book exam so you can use your course materials, HSG Guidance Documents and so on. You’ll find information in them which you could possibly talk about or things you could look for within the scenario itself.
  1. Start answering the question in the context of the scenario (usually). Bullet point a short list of answers. If it’s a 10 mark question, you’re looking for 10 answers, (maybe at least 11 or 12). But we don’t just want to write a list of answers, we want to write a slightly longer answer for each one, (around 20 to 30 words for each point you’re trying to make). But remember, there’s a word count, a 10 mark question is about 300 words, so if you’re writing 10 answers for a 10 mark question you want to be writing sentences or small paragraphs of around about 20 to 30 words. 
  1. Take breaks during the exam, it’s very easy to get tired. The exam is going to take a long time. NEBOSH say 4 hours, but in my experience it’s closer to 8, so take breaks throughout the day.
  1. Once you’ve finished the exam, it might be tempting to go back over everything again and then submit your paper, but I would urge you to wait until the next day to submit it, you’ve got until 9 o’clock the following day to submit the exam. So go to bed, get plenty of rest, get up early and review your answers to those tough questions, see if there’s anything else you can add having slept on it, and at around 8:00-8:30, log back into the NEBOSH website and upload your paper. 

From there, don’t worry about it, you’ve done all you can, you’ve given it your best, and the result will be whatever the result will be.

It will take 10-12 weeks to get your results, and hopefully you’ll get the results you deserve.

Good luck with your NEBOSH General Certificate.

Take care, and all the best!