Paying for an SMSTS course is an expensive outlay. Whether you are covering the cost yourself or getting sponsorship, you will understandably want to get the most out of your SMSTS training.
That is why people often contact us asking for an SMSTS mock test or some example SMSTS test questions to help them study, although official CITB test revision questions do not exist, there are several online test questions available. Whilst we can't guarantee their reliability, it may be worth having a look and deciding for yourself. An example can be found at https://smstsmocktest.co.uk/.
You can also consider other strategies to consolidate your knowledge.
A quick reminder about SMSTS courses
- SMSTS, or Site Management Safety Training Scheme, is a five-day training course provided by CITB and until recently, was entirely classroom-based. However, since COVID, CITB amended the courses and there are now SMSTS online courses available.
- SMSTS courses are aimed at project managers, business owners and construction site operations managers.
- The SMSTS course syllabus covers all aspects of health and safety that someone in charge of a construction site would need to apply.
- You will also gain an understanding of other important facets such as environment and welfare during your SMSTS training.
- Your SMSTS qualification will need to be renewed within five years by attending an SMSTS refresher course which will last for two days and update you on the latest best practices and construction safety legislation.
So, how can I prepare myself for the SMSTS qualification?
When you book onto any course governed by the Site Safety Plus scheme rules, your course will be taught by a CITB accredited provider and you will be given all required course publications and materials during your training.
For SMSTS courses the materials will include the SMSTS delegate workbook (XA6) and Construction site safety (GE700) publication which contain everything you need to know to successfully complete the course.
This means you do not have to do any revision or prep before the course - Good news for you!
Better still, the course assumes no prior knowledge or experience, making it accessible to anyone who aspires to a career in construction site management.
Although there are no official SMSTS test questions you can use to prepare, there are whole rafts of other ways you can get ready.
Remember, this site manager course is an intensive five days, so there is plenty of preparation you can be doing during the first four days of the course so that you're ready for the test on the final day of training.
How to pass the SMSTS test
Here are We Do Training's top tips for passing the SMSTS test on your first attempt:
Make notes during the course
Although you are given the course notes you need, it will help you process the material if you are making handwritten notes. Use a highlighter pen to mark important passages within the text that you want to refer back to. Use paperclips or sticky notes as bookmarks to make the information easier to find later on.
Listen and ask questions
Actively participating means you are creating memory anchors to retain the material rather than passively imbibing everything. If it helps, make a list of questions from the previous day of the course so you are taking the initiative to address your doubts while they are fresh in your mind.
Create revision cards
Make study cards to test your knowledge. Write questions on one side and the answers on the other. There are a variety of mobile apps available that let you create digital revision cards.
Record your notes
Gaining a good knowledge of a topic involves finding your preferred learning style and developing activities for that style. It's also a good idea to mix and match visual, kinaesthetic and aural techniques.
Using a voice recorder app, you can record more complicated aspects of your study notes and play them back when you are in the car, washing the dishes or taking the dog for a walk.
Team work revision activities
If there are a few of you on the course who want to prepare together, here are some ways you can make that possible:
- Mini presentations - Break down individual parts of the course and present them to each other. This is an efficient way for you all to familiarise yourself with the material.
- Gap fill exercises - Using the course notes or other documentation, copy elements of the text but leave some gaps. Then get your course mates to fill them in while you complete their version.
- Quizzes - Each member makes up a quiz round and competes to see who can answer most questions correctly. The loser buys everyone else a drink.
Get a good night's sleep
While it might seem like the best thing to stay up late studying, it's much more beneficial to get around 7-8 hours of quality sleep before your test and in between the course days.
Your brain will have a better chance of retaining everything you've learnt if you get enough sleep cycles. Before you go to bed for the night, spend about an hour relaxing. Leave your tablet or phone alone and do something you enjoy.
Eat well before your test
On test day, make sure you've had something good to eat for breakfast. It's been shown in studies that you make better decisions when you're not craving food, so even if you're not a morning eater, it's important to make an exception for the exam.
Before entering the test centre, snack on a banana. This incredible food is loaded with vitamin B6 which helps keep you calm and relaxed. This will give you a clear head for the exam.
Finally, read all the questions and don't miss any out
Rule number one: you're guaranteed to get questions wrong if you don't attempt them, so complete everything on the paper.
Another big mistake people make is to not read questions carefully. If you make an assumption that you know what the question is asking, you could end up giving a completely different response. This is the worst kind of error. Take each word individually and read everything twice.
One final note about the SMSTS exam questions
SMSTS test pass rates are high at 80% which means you need to gain 28 marks out of a possible 35 by answering the 25 exam questions within the 30 minute time-limit.
During the last 10 minutes of the exam you will be allowed to refer to the course publications (GE700 Construction site safety and XA6 SMSTS delegate workbook) that you were given earlier.
You'll be asked 20 questions with multiple-choice answers (each worth one mark) and five that require a short written response (each worth between one and three marks).
You can't rely on simply nailing all 20 multiple-choice questions because five of the 25 questions are what CITB deem to be safety critical questions. Get even one of these wrong and you'll fail the entire exam, regardless of your overall result.
All that's left to say is good luck. Follow the tips above and you'll be on your way to your new career in construction site management before you know it.