NEBOSH open book exam (feedback & advice)
NEBOSH open book exam (feedback & advice)

NEBOSH open book exam (feedback & advice)

Steve Staniforth is the first delegate here at Libben Health and Safety to take the NEBOSH open book examination. NEBOSH announced their first open book examination back in July and Steve sat this exam on the 6th of August. On that day NEBOSH had nearly 5,000 users on the online platform first thing that morning at 9am. We asked Steve some questions on how he found taking this course with this new set up, to help you gain a better insight and take some advice on the open book NEBOSH exam.


How did you find the open book examination?

After studying the NEBOSH National certificate for over 3 years I was excited when I saw this was an open book exam. I have previously been with another health and safety company, as I am studying this online which is sometimes hard to find the time. Having sat the NGC 1 exam twice once with no revision and the other time with a bit of revision and failed both times by a few points, I am determined this time to pass this exam.

I found the open book exam no way as stressful as the normal closed book, the information provided beforehand was good and accurate, I only wish NEBOSH had stated what the pass mark was for this exam. I decided to download Moodle for a few days before hand and looked at this so that on the day I was not panicking at all I would advise everyone to do this.

Having revised for months before hand and then done some mock exam which I sent in for marking, all helped. On the day of the exam I set myself up in a quiet room with no other distractions, switched off my mobile phone took all the notes and stuff I would need out and placed them onto the table. Plug my laptop into the charger to make sure it was charged up. and then waited for the exam to be launched on the page.

Once the exam was launched on the page, I then followed the instructions that I had been sent (which were detailed). I opened the exam and then read the scenario a few times, bullet pointing on a word document what I thought I would need to know. I started with the 10-point questions first, as I had 24 hours to submit the exam, It did not matter how long I took to do the exam, so starting with the hardest questions first made sense. I was always told that the 10 points need the most work as NEBOSH mark up and not down. Think the person who is marking this has no health and safety experience.

I then read the Scenario putting myself into the role of the health and safety person, then I documented what I would do if this was real, typing all that onto a word document. I then looked at the books and Google online taking out what information I needed, re-worded this into my own words and then wrote my answer to the questions. The questions were as hard as the normal closed book exam but having the books, Google and the HSE website to support you was brilliant. Using information from these sources and then re-wording it to fit what you need.

The time just ran away I was able to get up when I needed to have a break away from the exam and then think about my questions and then go back and re look at the Scenario. This helped me to focus at lot more to then put more work into it after.

What I found hard was keeping to the word count of 3000 words as in the normal exam you can write as much as you need for each question, so it felt a bit restricted with the answers to the questions thinking I could have put more of an answer. Not knowing the pass rate as well.


Did you feel you received support from the Libben team?

Lisa and Peter from Libben have both been fantastic. Their support towards the students, knowledge and the help have been unbelievable. I have found it hard to put any feedback onto your website. Support wise brilliant and I would recommend you. They are still supporting me for the next exam.


Any advice you can give for people taking the open book examination?

Study as much as you can from the information provided to you by Libben. I found that reading the scenario and then bullet pointing the issues so i.e. Forklift driver was on his phone at the time of the accident. Really helped me. After writing the exam questions on a word document I walked away and done something else I enjoyed for a couple of hours. Then came back to it re read it and altered it.

Do not think you can just copy and paste from google, yes use some of the information. Re word it into your own words, think that the person who is reading it has no health and safety experience or knowledge at all. Keep to the word count and check double check everything before you submit it.

Don't think that it will be easy as its not and keep looking at the scenario reading the exam question and seeing how bits of the scenario fit into this with examples.


Thinking about taking a NEBOSH training course, view the course content below or give our team a call for further advice.

View NEBOSH General

View NEBOSH Construction