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COMMAND WORDS FOR NEBOSH IGC – EXAM TIPS

Command word & Definition

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

NB: normally a word or phrase will be sufficient, provided the reference is clear.

Give – To provide short, factual answers.

NB: normally a single word, phrase or sentence will be sufficient.

Outline – To indicate the principal features or different parts of.

NB: an exhaustive description is not required. What is sought is a brief summary of the major aspects of whatever is stated in the question.

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

When describing a subject (or object) a test of sufficient detail would be that another person would be able to visualize what you are describing.

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

NB: this command word is testing the candidate’s ability to know or understand why or how something happens. Is often associated with the words ‘how’ or ‘why’.

Responding to command words in questions

It is important to read the whole question and to understand what the question requires as the command word on its own will need to be reinforced by the remainder of the question.

Many candidates miss out on gaining marks because they do not read the question carefully enough and do not think about their answer thoroughly before writing it down.

Candidates need to think about each question.

• What is the command word?

• What do I need to say to gain marks?

• What is or is not relevant to the question?

In many cases a brief answer plan is an essential aid to ensuring that answers are well thought out and structured.

NEBOSH applies a ‘positive marking’ approach; that is, marks are awarded for correct material in candidates’ answers, rather than being deducted for incorrect or missing material.

In order to give further direction as to the detail of information required by the command word in a question, examples are given below both for general knowledge and for the NGC1 syllabus.

Identify

Applying identify to a non-syllabus related common subject:

Q1. Identify FOUR kitchen appliances.

Q2. Identify FOUR types of bicycle.

Sufficient answers would include:

A1. Toaster

Electric kettle

Microwave cooker

Dishwasher

A2. Mountain bike

Racing bike

Penny-farthing

Tandem

Note that giving only one or two word answers provides a clear reference and therefore is sufficient to satisfy an identify question.

Applying identify to syllabus subjects:

Sufficient answers would include:

Identify FOUR hazards associated with excavations.

Collapse of the sides

Water ingress

Falling materials

Underground services

Identify FOUR mechanical hazards associated with machinery.

Entanglement

Drawing in and trapping

Friction or abrasion

Stabbing or puncture

Identify FOUR types of safety sign.

Prohibition signs

Warning signs

Mandatory signs

Emergency or safe condition signs

Again, answers are limited to a brief phrase or in some cases just two words but do give clear reference.

Outline

To gain the marks for the outline example questions below, the same breadth of answer is required as for an identify answer, but now, additional information will be required to satisfy the depth of an outline.

Applying outline to the same non-syllabus subjects:

Sufficient answers would include:

Outline FOUR kitchen appliances.

Toaster

• Accommodates slices of bread, ejects as toast when ready.

Electric kettle

• 1 to 2 litre capacity, boils water. Can be cordless.

Microwave cooker

Heats food rapidly using short wavelength radio waves.

Dishwasher

• Dirty tableware placed in baskets. Mixture of high pressure water and detergent automatically cleans.

Outline FOUR types of bicycle.

Mountain bike

• Robust bicycle with deep tread tyres, suspension and several gear choices.

Racing bike

• Lightweight frame with drop handlebars and maybe fixed gearing.

Penny-farthing

• Vintage device with very large front wheel and small rear wheel.

Tandem

• Bicycle designed for two people with two seats and two sets of pedals.

Applying outline to the same syllabus subjects:

Sufficient answers would include:

Outline FOUR hazards associated with excavations.

Collapse of the sides

• Unsupported trench or incorrect angle of the sides.

Water ingress

• Through heavy rain or burst water main.

Falling materials

• Spoil dug from excavation or materials and tools stored at ground level could fall in.

Underground services

• Contact or rupturing of electricity, gas or water utilities.

Outline FOUR mechanical hazards associated with machinery.

Entanglement

• On rotating parts.

Drawing in and trapping

• Between counter rotation rollers, or pulley belts and wheels.

Friction or abrasion

• Contact with fast moving surfaces.

Stabbing or puncture

• From ejected objects or flying objects.

Outline FOUR types of safety sign.

Prohibition signs

• Circular with red border, red diagonal bar and black symbol.

Warning signs

Triangular, yellow background, black border and symbol.

Mandatory signs

• Circular, blue background, white border and white symbol.

Emergency or safe condition signs

• Rectangular, green background, white border and white symbol.

Again, the identify answer (shown in bold) gives the breadth required and the additional information given in the bullet point satisfies the required depth for an outline.

Describe

Applying describe to the non-syllabus subjects:

Sufficient answers would be:

Describe a microwave cooker.

An oblong box shaped object, approximately 30cm tall, 30cm deep and 60cm long. There is a single hinged door at the front, typically see through. The door opens outwards and inside there is a space to place a plate or dish and a microwave transmitter is located above. Outside, on the front there will be normally two controls to set the power and cooking time.

Describe a penny-farthing bicycle.

A manually propelled vintage bicycle consisting of a very large wheel at the front and a much smaller wheel at the back. The wheels are connected by a frame that supports a seat above the front wheel and handlebars to steer. Pedals are connected directly to the centre of the front wheel.

Applying describe to a syllabus subject:

Describe the mechanical hazards associated with abench grinder.

An entanglement hazard would be associated with the rotating spindle that the abrasive wheel is mounted on. Drawing in and trapping is associated with the gap between the tool rest and the rotating abrasive wheel. Friction or abrasion hazards would be associated with the surface of the rotating abrasive wheel and stabbing or puncture hazards could be created by flying fragments or pieces of ejected broken wheel.

In all of the describe answers above, no attempt is made to explain how a microwave cooker heats food, why the front wheel of a penny-farthing is so much larger than the rear wheel or how a person could be injured using an abrasive wheel.

Explain

Applying explain to a non-syllabus subject:

Sufficient answers would include:

Explain how a microwave cooker heats up food.

The frequency of microwaves used in a microwave cooker is sufficient to cause water molecules in food to vibrate. Vibrating molecules hit other water molecules and put them into the same vibration and therefore this vibration of molecules is converted into heat.

Explain why there is a very large front wheel on a penny-farthing.

By having a large front wheel, the peripheral (rim speed) of the wheel is much faster than the rotation of the pedals at the centre. This results in faster forward speed per pedal rotation. Also a larger wheel is more suitable for riding on cobbled streets or rough ground.

Applying explain to a syllabus subject:

Explain how sensitive protective equipment (trip device) can reduce the risk of contact with moving parts of machinery.

Sensitive protective equipment is designed to identify the presence of a person or body part within the danger zone of machinery. Examples of such devices include pressure mats and light beams that are connected to the machine controls and would stop the machine rapidly should a person or body part be detected.

Give

Applying give to a non-syllabus subject:

Identify FOUR European cities AND give an example of a tourist attraction in EACH.

London – eg Buckingham Palace

Paris – eg Eiffel Tower

Pisa – eg Leaning Tower

Rome – eg Colosseum

Applying give to a syllabus subject:

Identify FOUR types of safety sign AND give an examplein EACH case.

Prohibition signs – eg No smoking

Warning signs – eg Caution hot surface

Mandatory signs – eg Wear ear protection

Emergency or safe condition signs – eg first-aid box

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UPCOMING TRAINING DATES

IOSH : 3/07/2017
NEBOSH IGC : 07/08/2017
NEBOSH HSW : 24/07/2017
OHSAS 18001 : 24/07/2017
MEDIC FIRST AID : 30/06/2017
IADC RIGPASS : 24/07/2017

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