NEBOSH International Diploma Exam Tips


Passing NEBOSH IGC Or NEBOSH International Diploma both requires constant efforts and understanding in the examination patterns. 

In the Previous Post we have discussed about NEBOSH IGC Command Words Compliance technique with example of previous years questions and answers,  Now In this Post I would like to you to explain the Answering techniques for NEBOSH International Diploma. 

Why Command Words are Important:

The answering techniques are much more important to pass the nebosh exams irrespective of level (either Level 3 or level 6). Also Practicing command words technique and their compliance  will also helps to improve your marks.

If you are targeting to pass NEBOSH International Diploma examinations in first attempt this technique will be helpful to you.

The List of Command words Used in NEBOSH Diploma:

In NEBOSH Diploma, the questions contains around 20 types of command words and the hurdle is for every command word you should adopt write presentation strategy to pass NEBOSH International Diploma. 

  1. Analyze
  2. Assess
  3. Calculate
  4. Comment
  5. Compare and contrast
  6. Consider
  7.  Define
  8.  Demonstrate
  9. Describe
  10. Determine
  11. Discuss
  12.  Distinguish
  13.  Evaluate
  14. Explain
  15. Give
  16. Identify
  17.  Justify
  18.  Outline 
  19. Recommend
  20.  Review

What Exactly Each Command words indicates? 

As i said earlier each command word gives ideal hint to the candidates about the expectation of examiner and way of adopting the right presentation style. 

Simply either to add personal opinions or simply list the points or to to differentiate is purely depends on the command word that mentioned in examination question paper.


To divide or break down the subject matter or topic
into parts, reasons, aspects etc and then examine
their nature and relationship


To present judgements of the factors raised, their
significance, importance and why they are important
and/or significant.


To ascertain or determine by mathematical


To give opinions (with justification) on an issue or
statement by considering the issues relevant to it.

Compare and contrast

To provide a point-by-point account of the similarities
and differences between two sets of information or
two areas.


To offer some detail about an issue or event and to
deliberate about the value of that issue/event.


To give the meaning of a word, phrase or concept,
determine or fix the boundaries or extent of.

A relatively short answer, usually one or two
sentences, where there is a generally recognized or
accepted expression.


To prove or make clear by reasoning or evidence
how some relationship or event has occurred.


To give a detailed written account of the distinctive
features of a subject. The account should be factual,
without any attempt to explain.


To come to a decision as the result of investigation
or reasoning.


To give a critical account of the points involved in the


To present the differences between; to separate into
kinds, classes, or categories.


To determine the value or character of something by
careful appraisal.


To provide an understanding. To make an idea or
relationship clear.


To provide short, factual answers.


To give a reference to an item, which could be its
name or title.


To prove or show to be valid, sound, or conforming
to fact or reason


To indicate the principal features or different parts of


To bring forward as being fit or worthy; to indicate as
being one’s choice for something.


To make a survey of; examine, look over carefully
and give a critical account.


How to identify the Command Words in Exams?

how to pass Nebosh international diploma
how to pass Nebosh international diploma

For the ease of Identification NEBOSH Highlights the command words in every examination question paper, those letters will be bold and you can easily trace them. 

Let me Give you past year questions that have been asked with different type of command words. 

1.Explain what is meant by the term ‘carcinogen’ and mutagen’. (4 marks)

2.Describe the control measures that should be adopted when, because of the nature of the work, it is
not possible to eliminate a carcinogen or substitute it with when an alternative substances. (16 marks)

3.A company uses a range of powders in the manufacture of paints. These powders are added directly
to a mixing vessel from sacks. The company is concerned about the level of exposure to its workers
from the powders during this part of the process.

Outline the practical control measures that could be
used to minimize exposure to these powders during the addition. (8 marks)

4.Give the meaning of the Carcinogen AND give an example?

5.Use the data below to calculate the 8 hour TWA exposure to flour dust for a bakery operative. Your
answer should include detailed working to show your understanding of how exposure is determined.
(7 marks)

6.You are the safety advisor for a large factory. Your Managing Director
(MD) has refused to take action to comply with health and safety law,
saying that compliance would be far too costly.

Comment on the MD’s view, providing clear reasons why he is likely to
be incorrect. (10)

7.Safety Data Sheets (SDSs) provide important information to employers who are required to assess exposure
to hazardous substances in their workplace. A typical SDS is divided into sections that contain different type
of information.

Identify FIVE different types of information contained in the SDS, AND for EACH, outline how the information
could contribute to the assessment of the risk control of exposure. (10 marks)

Some Examples of Questions with Answers:

1.Give the meaning of term Biological hazard?

Nebosh diploma
Nebosh diploma
Command word: Give 


A biological hazard, also known as a ‘biohazard’, is an organism or a by-product from an
organism that is harmful or potentially harmful to other living things. Common types of
biological hazards include bacteria, molds, spores, viruses and fungi.

2.Outline the diseases caused by exposure to asbestos AND their signs and symptoms. 

How to pass Nebosh diploma
How to pass Nebosh diploma


Command word:  Outline 

Asbestosis which is a collagenous pneumoconiosis caused when asbestos fibres are inhaled into the lung
alveoli and then migrate into the surrounding tissues, Inelastic scar tissue develops and thickening of the
pleural membranes. This causes breathlessness, coughing and pain between the shoulder blades and
breastbone. Later, lung function is reduced, resulting in heart strain and possibly death.

Mesothelioma is cancer of the pleural membranes surrounding the lungs. It appears that asbestos fibres are
able to migrate through the lung tissue following inhalation and can have toxic effect on adjacent tissues.
Symptoms and health effects includes chest pain, chronic coughing, effusion of the chest and abdomen, and
the presence of blood in the lung fluid.

Pleural lung disease if a tear or hole develops in the lung, air escapes into the pleural spaces causing
pneumothorax. Sometimes, air goes into the pleural space and is trapped there under high pressure, causing a
‘tension pneumothorax’ that can stop blood from returning to the heart and lead to death.

Bronchus lung cancer which affects the windpipe (trachea), the main airway (bronchus) of the lung tissue.
Associate health effects sucuh coughing, coughing and spitting up blood, wheezing or shortness of breath,
chest pain and even difficulty in swallowing.

3.Identify the health hazards to which a dentist and those who work with dentist may be exposed.

Nebosh International diploma success tip
Nebosh International diploma success tip
Command word:  Identify 


Health hazards would be including chemical, biological and ergonomics to which the dental team might
be exposed.

Chemical hazards arise in the use of sterilizing agents such as glutaraldehyde, dental materials for example
mercury and methyl methacrylate and photographic chemicals used in developing x-rays.

Biological hazards may arise from contact with body fluids and/or clinical waste and from accidental
inoculation(vaccination) whilst using sharps objects.

Ergonomic hazards would arise from positions necessary adopted over the dental chair, from handling elderly
patients and from the use of display screen equipment.

In addition, health hazards would also to the use of x-rays or ultraviolet light, allergy to latex gloves, stress
from overwork, and the possibility of violence from aggressive patients.

Note : For Questions with command words , giving the name or title of information is enough but for this kind of scenario based questions, single word answers will not make a meaningful sentence. 

4.List a range of practical measures (other than training) that can be taken to encourage the use of the protective equipment and maintain its effectiveness. (5 marks)


Command word:  List 

Practical measures include:

1. Management leading by an example;
2. Staff being involved in the selection;
3. Ensuring a range of sizes of gloves is available and that shields are fully adjustable;
4. Employee signing for PPE and maintaining records of issue;
5. Providing adequate storage facilities;
6. The personal issue of PPE;
7. The use of propaganda, signs and posters;
8. Supervision and monitoring of use;
9. Measures to be taken for non-use (e.g. disciplinary); and
10. Monitoring the effectiveness of PPE issued and replacing it with alternative type if problems
were encountered.

5.Describe, with the aid of diagrams, the features and principles of operation of sampling equipment that could be used to collect the following airborne contaminants for subsequent quantitative analysis in a laboratory:

(a) Total inhalable dust (5 marks)
(b) Respirable particulates (5 marks)
(c) Organic solvent vapour (5 marks)
(d) Asbestos fibres (5 marks)

Command word:  Describe 

Total inhalable dust is a dust taken into the respiratory system. The description and diagram should have shown
how it could be collected by attaching the sampling device to a sampling pump that provides a controlled flow. The
sampling device has a pre-weighted filter to collect contaminants with the filter being re-weighed at the end of the
sampling period. Types of sampling head that may be used include the single hole or
IOM sampler. An alternative sampling device such as parallel plate elutriator could have been provided
as an answer.

Respirable dust is made up of particles which may reach the alveoli of the lungs (e.g. <7/10µm).The
description and diagram should have shown collection of respirable dust by a cyclone that by its construction
or design separates the respirable fraction from the rest of the total inhalable fraction. The sampler uses a
controlled flow rate sampling pump and the filter is subsequently submitted for quantitative analysis.

Organic solvent vapour – the description and diagram should have shown the collection of organic solvent
vapour by grab sampler (e.g gas bags), a liquid impinger or absorbent tube e.g. charcoal tenax, silica gel, used
with a controlled low rate sampling pump. A passive sampler could also have been illustrated and described.

The description and diagram for asbestos fibres should have shown the use of a cowled sampling head
connected to a controlled flow sampling pump with the asbestos fibres being collected on a gridded membrane
filter which can be cleared after analysis.

Another example for describe

Workers can be monitored to estimate their individual exposure to toxic and corrosive substances.
(a) Describe the meaning of the following terms:
(i) Toxic (2 marks)
(ii) Corrosive (2 marks)
(iii) Workplace atmospheric monitoring (3 marks)
(iv) Biological monitoring (3 marks)

Command word:  Describe 

Toxic relates to the substances which cause harm to living tissue, especially at low levels they can cause
death or acute or chronic damaged to health when inhaled, ingested or absorbed through the skin.

Corrosive substances can rapidly destroy living tissue if inhaled, ingested or splashed on the skin or eyes.

Atmospheric monitoring is the monitoring of airborne workplace contaminants, usually by personal sampling
though on occasions static monitoring can be used, is based on the inhalation route and its measurements
are averaged over a time scale to give a time weighted average.

Biological monitoring is a form of health surveillance with the measurement or assessment of hazardous
substances or their metabolites in for example, blood, urine or expired air in order to prevent health
impairment, and that it takes account of uptake by all routes including skin absorption and ingestion and
not only by inhalation.

6. Explain how the hepatitis B virus may be transmitted to workers? 3 Marks

Command word:  Explain 

Hepatitis B virus may be transmitted through direct contact with infected blood or body fluids arising from
infected instruments such as needles and may spread through broken or damaged skin. Additionally there is
possibility that the virus may be transmitted by splashes of infected blood or body fluids to the eyes, nose and
mouth. It might be also transmitted via sexual intercourse.Most common occupations at risk include health care workers (doctor, nurses, surgeons and ancillary staff such as hospital porters) and those involved in provision of social care and also those refuse disposal  operatives and cleaning services from carelessly discarded syringes and other ‘sharps’ in disposable plastic sacks.

7.The risk of contracting Leptospirosis is a concern to users of a local water sports centre. Provide
advice to these users which outlines:
(i) The ill-health effects associated with this disease (2 marks)

Command word: Advice 

In most cases the infection causes a flu-like illness with severe headaches and pain in the lower back, and
legs. Other symptoms include fever, chills, myalgia (aching muscles), vomiting, abdominal pain, skin rashes
and conjunctival hemorrhage. The severe form of the disease (called ‘Weils Disease’ after the doctor who first
identified it) causes jaundice, liver damage and liver failure.


The Command words are having significant role in passing NEBOSH International diploma examinations, however ahead of commend words make sure you have prepared all the possible questions and covered the syllabus too. 

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