How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt

How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt? The NEBOSH General Certificate open book exam differs from the traditional question-answer type of format and will consist of a realistic workplace scenario that may describe a developing situation such as an accident or safety intervention. After the situation, you will be asked to perform some tasks, and each task will consist of answering one or several questions, which your answers will be relevant to the specific situation.

Another crucial difference between the two exam formats is the length. Because this exam requires time to prepare answers. You have a 24-hour sufficient time to prepare, complete, and submit the exam answers. It may seem like a long time, but there is a lot to do. Don’t worry – we’ll detail what you need to do in those 24 hours to complete the exam successfully.

How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt – tips

There is a specified number of 3,000 words in total that is expected not to be exceeded. The word count can give you a clue as to how long your answers should be. You also have the choice of typing your answers or writing them by hand. Assuming the word count is spread across all questions, the 10-point questions require about 300 words, while the 15-point questions require about 450 words.

Word count here:

Suppose your answer is 296 words long, which is within 10% of the target set of our assumed maximum of 300 words for a 10-point question. So, we can stay within the suggested word count.  And be careful not to copy any of the material you have used. Keep an eye on the word count to make sure you don’t go over the allotted number of words.

At the end of 2019, NEBOSH changed its old syllabus to its new Syllabus of the NEBOSH General Certificate Course (IG1+ IG2). 

How to write NEBOSH exam?

According to the new syllabus unit, IG1 have 4 elements are:

  1. Why should we manage safety and health at work?
  2. How health and safety management systems work and what they consist of.
  3. Risk management: understanding of people and processes
  4. Health and safety monitoring and measuring.

However, more than simply access to the relevant which is required to answer the exam questions. You will need to demonstrate that you understand the scenario and can answer the question appropriately – and this takes preparation. We will share tips and advice on how to do it in this blog. 

Exam Preparation

Open-book exams require advanced planning. As you study, it is important to familiarize yourself with the study materials so that at exam time you can find what you need quickly. The RRC course materials cover all the topics in the syllabus, but to ensure you do well on the exam, we recommend additional reading. The textbook provides some useful links to external sources – check out the “MORE…” boxes for useful links on relevant topics.

How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt
How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt

During the exam, you should not find yourself reading the information in the course material. You can highlight your materials to help you easily locate topics and use your notes on exam day.  Keep your notes organized in advance, by doing so you will be able to identify the relevant parts to write your answers. This will ensure that you optimize your time during the exam. 

Organize Your Notes

As you work through the course materials and organize your notes, keep in mind that the exam questions will not look up a word by word pieces of the information quoted in your textbook. Rather, the answers to the test questions are all interpretations and applications of the facts. And show that you understand how the topics connect.

This may seem overwhelming at first, as there is so much content to put together. So, here is one tip on how to keep your notes organized and easily accessible:


Use coloured highlighters for important topics, you can create your colour coding system, for example, yellow highlighter for definitions, green highlighter for legal references, etc.

Use of CRR Course Material

Read all topics multiple times. Remember that understanding the information and being able to remember and reproduce the information are two different things. As you read the course material, you must understand it. Never try to memorize the course materials. Test your basic understanding of the content of each item by reading the Summary for each item.

You can even rate your current level of knowledge for each topic in Unit 1 of the syllabus guide, and then use your scores as an indicator of your strengths and weaknesses.

For example, if you score 5 out of 5 for a topic in Item 1, then you don’t have much work to do on that topic as the exam approaches. But if you score 2 out of 5 on an Element 3 topic, then you have identified an area of weakness. Having identified your strengths and weaknesses in this way. Additionally, you can annotate or highlight sections of the text that you think are important. 

Another way to rate your current level, randomly select a topic from any of the items in Unit 1. Write down all the facts or ideas that you can remember that are relevant to that particular topic. Go back to the course material and see what you haven’t written, and fill in those parts. 

Is NEBOSH hard to pass?

Go slowly, you have 24 hours in hand, so, don’t read things quickly. It’s easy to get carried away by the clock. When you read questions and answers too quickly, you are more likely to miss something or misunderstand the meaning. Remember, the exam is not a race. There are no bonus points for finishing first. And also don’t expect the exam to be a piece of cake. How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt

How to pass NEBOSH in first attemptFamiliarize yourself with the study materials and notes. For example, your notes will be equipped with accident information such as HSG245 Accident and Incident Investigation. It could be a PDF document on your desktop or a downloaded version with highlighted sections of that document, you’ve looked at before. You can use your web browser to search for any terms you are unfamiliar with. 

How to answer NEBOSH scenario questions

During the open book exam, you are allowed to access many different types of information such as the RRC textbook, professional magazines, and digital resources on the internet such as the HSE website (, bilingual dictionaries, statistics visit–en/index.htm  etc. Remember that NEBOSH will not look for anything in your answers that has not been covered in the unit’s syllabus.

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NEBOSH has designed the open book exam “to assess the same learning outcomes at the same level” as the previous assessment method. It will “measure the depth of your understanding” and will require you to apply your knowledge to the given situation rather than simply recall memorized information.

Use of Your Resources

You are permitted to make references to sources, ideas or works of other people or organizations. When you do, it’s important to recognize where that information is coming from because the answer to the open book exam must be your work and you don’t want to be guilty of plagiarism and subject to a NEBOSH investigation.

Direct quotes: You might want to make a specific citation from a publication you have accessed. You should enclose the quote and clarify where it comes from. For example:

HSE INDG 163 guidance states that “A risk assessment is not based on generating vast amounts of documents, but rather on identifying reasonable control measures to control risks in your workplace”. 

Indirect quotes: You might want to simply refer to the information you have read without quoting it directly. In this case, put it in your own words, but be sure to identify the source.  For example:

The HSE guide (INDG 163) identifies five steps in risk assessments.

How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt
How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt
Reference List

How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt?

Your answers to the exam should include a list of the material you have referred to – what was quoted, what you have mentioned, and any other material you have read during the exam. This does not count towards the word limit of your answers and it is best to make a list as you write your answers to make sure the list is complete.

Your list should include:

  • The title of the document/publication,
  • The author,
  • The year of publication
  • A web address (for online publications)


HSG65 Health and Safety Management, HSE 2013


INDG 163 Hazard Assessment – A Brief Guide to Controlling Hazards in the Workplace, HSE, 2014


Plagiarism and Malpractice

How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt?

You must follow the instructions and guidance on the Open Book Exam. The responses you submit must be your own. Any case of suspected plagiarism will be investigated and subject to violations.

You must ensure that what you submit is your work and if you quote or paraphrase someone else’s work, it must be referenced. Your open book exam will be marked by a NEBOSH examiner and checked for plagiarism.

The following is considered plagiarism:

  • Introduce phrases, paragraphs or ideas from other authors without citing the reference.
  • The work that is identical or very similar to another student while stating that it is your work.
  • Pay someone to complete the work for you and submit it as your own.

When taking an open-book exam you will need to declare that your submission is your work and that you have not received help from someone else. You will need to confirm that you have read, understood and complied with the NEBOSH rules by signing the “Student Declaration”.

How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt
How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt

Check plagiarism here:

There will also be a closing interview that you must attend. Failure to attend the closing interview will be considered malpractice. Please refer to the student guide and malpractice policy linked in this document.

NEBOSH has prepared detailed information on open-book examinations as well as several useful resources which can be accessed. In addition, you should read the NEBOSH Student Guide to the Open Book Examination here:

Health and safety topics:

How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt?

Five steps of a risk assessment

Excavation hazards control measures




2 responses to “How to pass NEBOSH in first attempt”

  1. Manish kumar Avatar

    I’m very thankful to writer who have published this article and guide me, thank you.

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