How To Pass The CSCS Test

by Z Chesak
Updated: 11-04-2020

There are a number of things you can do to make sure that you give yourself the best chance of passing the health and safety test first time and getting your CSCS card.

You can find the infographic version of this page here.

No one likes the thought of taking an exam but if you are well prepared and you know your stuff, then half the battle is won!

We will go through all the things you can do, such as practising with mock tests, and we will show you how to give yourself the very best chance of passing this important health and safety test, first time, and get that CSCS card.

cscs card

What is the CSCS card

In short, the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS Card) will show your name and photograph with the qualifications you have, listed on the back. It acts as proof of the qualifications you have.

We are often asked about the CSCS Cards and very often by those workers who are very experienced and who have been working in the industry for many years with excellent skills. Despite this pedigree, however, these experienced workers are finding that they are unable to get permission to work for Local Authorities or on some other sites because they are not in possession of the correct CSCS card. As well as that, more tradesmen are finding that some insurance companies are insisting that in order to renew their public liability insurance, trade qualifications are required. It is because of this that it is extremely important to possess a relevant CSCS card.

When workers have a CSCS Card it allows a site manager to see at a glance the qualifications that worker has and that they have undergone the assessment on the understanding of the basics of construction safety.

So how can I get mine?

In order to get one, you must apply and pass the CSCS test and then apply for the relevant CSCS card.

The CSCS Mock Test

The CSCS test

At the time that you apply for a CSCS card, you will normally need to take the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test.

Now we know that this might seem a daunting prospect if has been a long time since you last took exams so the first bit of advice is don't panic, you can do this! If you use your common sense as well as your knowledge there will not be much to fear.

The test has been designed to make sure that exam takers have the necessary understanding of how they can be safe and healthy on site and a lot of that is common sense.

About the test

The test normally is taken over a 45 minutes period during which time there will be 50 multiple choice questions to answer.

There are tests that differ for the different trades and professions but the format will usually be the same and it will consist of:

  • Twelve questions that will deal with what action you think that you should take in a given particular circumstance so that safety is maintained.
  • There will be an additional thirty-eight questions exploring what you know about specific health and safety issues and what you know about environmental issues as well.

There are three different tests available for different trades and professions.

You will need to make sure that you take the right one of these:
- operatives tests
- specialist tests
- managers and professionals tests.

The type of test you will need to undertake depends on your trade and profession. Use the CSCS Cardfinder to find out which test you must pass.

Let's have a look at these tests in more detail:

The Operatives Tests

The operatives test is made up of 12 behavioural case study questions and 38 core knowledge base questions to check your awareness of health, safety and environment issues.

This same test also applies for the Labourer test (including L1 award).

The Specialist Tests

The Specialists tests are made up of six specialists questions plus 32 core knowledge questions and 12 behavioural case study questions.

There are currently 12 specialist tests available:
- supervisory,
- demolition,
- highway work,
- specialist work at high,
- lifts and escalators tunnelling,
- plumbing,
- heating,
- ventilation,
- air conditioning and refrigeration.

The Managers and Professional Test

This test includes the behavioural case studies, five core knowledge sections and relevant specialist knowledge from these subjects:
- Construction (Design and Management) Regulations
- Demolition
- Highway works

The test costs £21.00 and you can book and sit the test in any centre that will offer it within your area.

At the bottom of this page we will tell you exactly how to book the test, but first, let’s make sure you are prepared for it.

Now that you know what is the test about, let`s make sure you will pass it first time!

cscs practice test

CSCS test preparation – the key to success

Contrary to what some people say, you do not need to attend an expensive classroom-based course in order to be able to sit the CSCS test.

You can prepare yourself in the comfort of your own home and at the speed, you prefer and sit the exam when ready. Our visitors who follow our step-by-step method to pass this test first time! Don`t worry there is no need to sign up for anything, no need to pay, or register or books to buy... it is all here on our website available for free.

One more thing...

We all have our own ways of learning and finding the study method that works best for you is the key. Some people work best to a tight deadline, so they achieve their best when their learning is crammed in at the last minute. Other people like to break down the material into chunks and master one section of learning at a time spreading it out over a longer period. Whatever the way that you find it best to study the best plan is always going to be working out how you are going to approach your study, making time to take our simulator test and then working the results of that into your study.

At we had seen many people through their CSCS exam and seen them issued with that all-important CSCS card.

The CTIB Health, Safety and Environment test is not a hard test to pass. We have found that if you follow our step-by-step guide on passing the CSCS test first time – you will indeed!

So, let’s dive in!

CSCS Step-by-step guide

Step-by-step to pass the first time!

Step 1. - Watch the `Setting Out` video

The questions in the case studies are designed to test your reactions and reinforce your behaviour in accordance with the principles laid out in the "Setting Out" video created by CITB for the purpose of this test.

This video has been made by the industry to give guidance on what you should expect on a construction site and what is expected of you. It is an 11-minute video presentation that you are advised to watch before attempting to sit the test. The presentation gives details about safety measures, rules and regulations that form the basis of health and safety on construction sites.

You can watch the video right here below or you can watch in on YouTube here.

Step 2. – The behaviour case study questions

The CSCS test consists of 50 questions of which 12 are “behavioural case study questions”.

What are these questions?

Since constructions sites are very dangerous places full of risks and hazards that need to be recognized and managed by everybody including yourself – it is extremely important to have a good understanding of these risks and hazards involved.

This question group has been designed with this in mind, and by working your way through it your reactions towards these hazards will be assessed.

You will be presented the Behavioural Case Study Questions at the beginning of the Health, Safety and Environment test. There are three case studies with four multiple choice questions to answer, that is 12 questions in total.

In each of these case studies, you will be presented with a certain health and safety situation. You will have to decide how to react to the hazards and risks presented in it, and then choose the best of the offered answers to deal with that critical situation.

As Step 2 of this guide, you must complete the practice tests below. Do not proceed further with this guide until your knowledge on this question group is adequate.

Case Study - No. 1

Case Study - No. 2

Case Study - No. 3

Step 3 – Core knowledge-based questions

As you know there are three different tests available: operatives, specialists, and managers/professionals.

All of them have behavioural case study questions, core knowledge-based questions and specialists questions.

We have already covered the behavioural case study questions, now its time to cover the core knowledge-based questions.

Bellow you can find pages focusing on each of the question groups. These are multiple choice questions and you should go ahead and practice now until you can consistently score 100% with each of the subjects. Doing the test will also give you a good idea of the areas that you have gaps in your knowledge and need to study a bit more.

Again do not proceed further with this step-by-step guide until you have mastered this section.

General Responsibilities

Accident Reporting And Recording

First Aid And Emergency Procedures

Health And Welfare

Personal Protective Equipment

Dust And Fumes

Noise And Vibration

Hazardous Substances

Manual Handling

Safety Signs

Fire Prevention And Control

Electrical Safety, Tools And Equipment

Site Transport Safety And Lifting Operations

Working At Height

Excavations And Confined Places

Environmental Awareness And Waste Control

Step 4 - The test simulators

Knowing what is involved when you take the exam is important. If you go into it without any idea of what to expect you could find yourself in a panic and then not doing as well as you could have done.

That is why we have covered a great deal of content already. Now, its time to put it all together and practice with the best tool to pass you CSCS test the first time – the CSCS Test Simulator

Going for a trial run has obvious benefits and really will prepare you for the test and to pass it so that you don't need to go back for a retake if you fail the test. Statistically, clients who take a mock exam with the test simulator will have a better success rate with the real thing than those who don’t.

Our mock test will prepare you for the exam in the way that book study cannot, in real time and in detail so that when you come to take your test you will be as well prepared as possible.

There are three different tests simulators available right now, so choose the correct one required for you.

In case you are not sure which is the one you need, please follow this link and select your occupation from the drop-down menu.

Now, go ahead and practice until you consistently pass with the CSCS Mock Test Simulators prepared by us.

CSCS Mock Test for Operatives

CSCS Mock Test for Specialists

CSCS Mock Test for Managers and Professionals

Step 5 – Book the test

You can book the CTIB Health, Safety and Environment test online or over the phone. You can book it online here: You can book it over the phone by calling 03449944488

We recommend booking the test no longer than 4 weeks ahead or shorter depending on your time and availability. Doing so will motivate you to continue practising until the big day.

Step 6 - Prepare properly

The key to being successful in any test is preparation, preparation, preparation.

Passing that CSCS exam and gaining your CSCS card is no exception. We don't think you can do too much studying towards your exam but we do know for certain that being underprepared may well end in you having to retake. You can use your friends and family as well as our site to help you study. Don’t worry if some of the sections seem difficult, to begin with – keep practising and you will get there. The more that you prepare and go over the areas that you find the most difficult the more confident you will be on the day that you take your CSCS exam.

Be up for it – physically

Preparing for an exam or test is all about being mind and body ready. If you think that going out and getting a skin full the night before is a good idea, then you need to think again. The best thing you can do for your brain gets it a good nights sleep so that it can work at its best for you on the day of the test. Wake up fresh and thinking about all that you have learned and about the mock exam you have taken and realise – you have got this! Have a good breakfast or lunch so that hunger pangs don’t distract you in the middle of your test and also make sure that you are well hydrated. As you travel to your test tell yourself that this is something that you have worked hard to achieve and that you need for your professional life and then when you get there, stay calm and remember that there is nothing that will trip you up because you have done your prep properly. Good luck!

Take it with you

A good friend of ours prepared this fantastic infographic which tells you everything you need to know about passing the CSCS test. Feel free to use it and share it with your friends.

(Click infographic to enlarge.)

How To Pass Your CSCS Test First Time Infographic

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