ECS Mock Test


You have 30 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice ECS Test questions. You need 43 out of 50 to pass this mock. You can review your answer after each question or wait until the end of the test for your result. Good luck!

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The ECS Test is an assessment taken by individuals who are looking to acquire an ECS card. This card serves to demonstrate that a person has suitable knowledge of all health and safety practices connected to the electrical industry. In this sense, the ECS (Electrotechnical Certification Scheme) test, is, first and foremost, an assessment of an individual’s ability to work safely in the trade. There are numerous cards that reflect the skill level of the holder, but this article concerns itself with an overview of the test associated with the entry point ECS card. This test is of critical importance to persons in the sector, as an ECS card is the only way to gain access into a works environment. This is inclusive of a construction site, commercial property, or domestic dwelling or residence.

This article intends to present an overview of the ECS test, and help prepare candidates for it accordingly. Therefore, a breakdown of key facts, topics covered, and suggested approaches will be offered to increase the best possible chance of success. Lastly, it should be noted that the testing information is slightly different in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK. We have made every effort to highlight Scottish processes where possible.

Test structure and format of the ECS Test

As we know, the assessment is a robust testing tool to ensure that candidates have adequate health and safety knowledge in the field. The test consists of 50 multiple choice questions, and therefore shares similarities with the bs7671 wiring regulations assessment. However, individuals will have slightly less time on average to complete, as test duration is only thirty minutes. This allows approximately just over 30 seconds per question. A score of 43 correct answers must be attained to pass.

In contrast to the wiring regulations assessment, candidates will not be permitted to bring any resource materials into the exam. This includes revision notes and learning aids. We recommend that students allow themselves, at the very least, ten clear days preparation time. Employers may want to consider this timeframe when providing any learning tools or exercises for their employees.

Exemptions

There are some examples where individuals of a certain experience level will not have to conduct the assessment. However, such cases are restricted to instances where specific qualifications have already been previously acquired. These certificates demonstrate that the person in question has already reached a high enough health and safety proficiency level, and therefore permits an exemption from the ECS test. Nevertheless, if the certificate becomes invalid for whatever reason, individuals will be required to undertake the assessment. As an additional note, candidates who have attained such extra-curricular certificates must apply for an ECS card within three years of their qualification date. Otherwise, the JIB (Joint Industry Board – body accountable for delivering testing standards and grading across the industry) will not process their card application.

The approved qualifications that warrant an exemption are as follows:

  1. Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Building, Structures & Environment) (QCF)
  2. Level 3 SVQ Diploma in Installing Electrotechnical Systems and Equipment (Building, Structures & Environment) (QCF)
  3. Level 3 NVQ in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Installation- Building & Structures)
  4. Level 3 SVQ in Electrotechnical Services (Electrical Installation- Building & Structures)
  5. SQA/SJIB SVQ Level 3 in Electrical Installation
  6. Level 3 Electrotechnical qualification (installation) or (maintenance)- Trailblazer (England)
  7. ECITB Health & Safety Passport
  8. Construction Skills Register (CSR)
  9. CCNSG Safety Passport- National Course
  10. CCNSG Safety Passport- Supervising/Leading a team safety course
  11. CCNSG Safety Passport- Renewal Course
  12. Safety Passport Alliance (SPA) Core H&S Course
  13. IOSH Working Safely- (IOSH Approved Centre Classroom Invigilated Exam ONLY)
  14. IOSH Safety, Health & Environment for Construction Site Worker

As suggested, candidates who have undertaken an online version of the IOSH Work Safely exam (therefore, an e-assessment), are unfortunately not part of the exemption list.

ECS Test Topics

There are a total of eleven different subject areas covered in the ECS assessment. Candidates are encouraged to acquire a robust working knowledge of each topic, as its 100% guaranteed that all will feature, to varying degrees, within the test. Although there are a total of 50 questions included, exam producers can select from a total bank of 300 questions. It is therefore useful for candidates to take a number of ‘mock’ tests, which will help to gather experience on a range of question possibilities. The ECS does also offer an extremely comprehensive revision guide (ECS Question and Answer book) which details all 300 possible questions available. These can be downloaded here, or can be purchased as a hard copy for £4.50 per unit.

Below is a brief overview of the subjects included. The adjacent number in brackets highlights the number of questions one should expect to see in relation to that particular topic.

General Health and Safety (6 questions)

This section serves to test your general understanding of both yours and your employer’s respective responsibilities in relation to safety in the workplace. It will also explore your knowledge of the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974), appropriate health and safety signage, the execution of health and safety legislation, and the role and status of health and safety inspectors. Basically, these questions will test your health and safety approach and knowledge, and also the importance you place on it in the workplace.

Manual Handling Operations (4 questions)

To pass this element, candidates must have a solid appreciation of what a safely practiced manual handling task looks like. Also, they should have knowledge of their employer’s responsibility to make sure they effectively protect staff from injury whilst undertaking lifting and carrying activity.

Reporting Accidents (3 questions)

Quite simply, this portion of questions is designed to test understanding of the importance of logging and escalating accidents and incidents.

Personal Protective Equipment at Work (4 questions)

Here, candidates should have a comprehensive understanding of what type of PPE should be worn, and in which type of circumstances. By extension, they should also be aware of how PPE functions in particular environments, and what safety features it affords the user. Testers must also be aware of the duty of employers in the provision of this equipment. The questions may also assess knowledge of how to appropriately maintain the effectiveness of PPE, the importance of logging it as lost or damaged, and the risks attached to not using it appropriately. Lastly, the exam may also refer to the durability or limitations of specific PPE items. Candidates should be braced to answer questions on all items listed above.

Health & Hygiene (3 questions)

In this section, the test will cover content relating to hazardous substances, pest risks, employee welfare, and specific indirect injury risks. In relation to non-desirable substances, candidates should be prepared to respond to questions on exposure to harmful elements such as asbestos. Pest-related questions will most likely refer to how one can mitigate the risk of vermin-transported infection, and welfare questions will encourage delegates to consider the wellbeing and comfort facilities available at construction sites. Lastly, students will be expected to have a decent working knowledge of the hazards presented by hand-arm vibration and noise exposure, and also how to reduce the associated risks.

Fire and Emergency (9 questions)

This section has the highest number of questions. This is a detailed category that will expect you to have a strong grasp on: how to behave in emergency situations at work, the type, function, and use of all fire extinguishers, and, lastly, the significance of first aid within the treatment of injuries, and the importance having trained, competent individuals on-site to address such instances when first aid is required.

Working at Height (5 questions)

This will test knowledge on which specific working at height supporting equipment is required in any given situation. The questions will be positioned in a way that ascertains whether candidates only look to use such equipment when the task is relatively short and understood to be low-risk. Questions will also demand an understanding on what safety processes should be put in place prior to engaging with a Working at Height task.

Work Equipment (4 questions)

Questions will be looking to make sure that delegates would only use equipment that they were suitably trained on. Students will also be expected to understand that both assessing equipment before use, and subsequently reporting any broken components, are essential factors in promoting workplace safety in this area. Candidates should also be aware of some of the specifics around the safe usage of electrical equipment. This includes using low-level voltage systems when operating hand-held electrical equipment, and deploying extension cables safely.

Special Site Hazards (3 questions)

Delegates will need to know the appropriate safety considerations required when undertaking work in a confined space, conducting excavation work, and taking on tasks close to overhead power lines. This section will also include an appreciation of the risk to pedestrians in areas where vehicles are active on-site, and the hazards presented by lone and young person working in any given activity. In summary, this serves to challenge candidates on their knowledge in rare and specialised environments.

Electrotechnical (6 questions)

This section is extremely specific to risks presented in the electrical industry. Moreover, it tests candidate knowledge on what available mitigating processes and devices can be used to reduce this risk. Therefore, it will expect delegates to be able to articulate the use of industry-based items such as residual current devices and safe isolation procedures. Furthermore, students will be expected to understand how electrical current can impact the body, and thus be aware of the grave consequences it can cause if practices are not compliantly delivered. It will also test knowledge on types of socket present on construction sites, and how to safely work with optical fibres.

Environmental (3 questions)

This section will examine a candidate’s predisposition to both accurately and efficiently identify hazardous items, and also execute the safe handling of special and waste materials. This line of questioning will also be concerned with the impact of  work undertaken on the environment. Therefore, it will also explore themes on the minimization of waste, the robust execution of recycling measures, and site commitments to sustainability and renewability.

For those mathematicians amongst you, you’ve probably already clocked that the question volumes add up to 50! Therefore, candidates should expect to see the exact above allocation of questions when sitting their exam.

Costs

Given the critical nature of the test, the cost to sit the assessment is actually relatively reasonable. The standard test price is £48 (including VAT). However, Scotland does have its own pricing structure, and therefore relevant candidates should check accordingly before purchasing.

Please do not use a third-party outfit to book the test on your behalf – this is not required and will most likely incur you an additional charge! The test is extremely easy to book, and can be done swiftly online. Unfortunately, unsuccessful candidates will have to re-take the assessment, which would involve re-booking and paying another fee.

What to Expect in your ECS Test

It’s always useful to feel as physically prepared as possible before sitting your exam. The below information will help you ascertain a grasp of how the test process will look on the day.

Candidates must remember to bring three key affects to your testing location. These are:

  • A valid, photographic ID (Passport or Driving License), or a live/expired ECS card.
  • Confirmation of their National Insurance Number
  • Their personal e-mail address, as this will be used to digitally post out your results at the conclusion of the test.

On entering the examination hall, an assessment invigilator will sense-check your ID, before taking your picture for recording purposes. On receipt of your log-in details, go to your appointed workstation, and sign-in to the testing platform. Important! It is absolutely essential to check that your personal information is correct on this system, as this cannot be rectified when the exam has commenced. If you notice any discrepancies, please flag to one of the invigilators at your earliest possible convenience. The test will start on the command of an invigilator.

The assessment software allows users to re-visit all answers at the end of the examination. Therefore, please feel rest assured that if you weren’t confident about an answer previously provided, you will get the opportunity to change them. As with any exam, please ensure you answer all questions, particularly given this test’s multiple-choice format. What’s the worst that could happen?!

When you’re comfortable with the answers provided, simply click finish to conclude the test. Your score (hopefully 43 or over!) will immediately be present on-screen, and the system will automatically send a copy of your results to your declared e-mail address.

Once you’ve received confirmation that you’ve passed via the test result e-mail, you can then proceed to applying for your ECS card.

ECS Test Summary

So, there you have it, a comprehensive overview of the structure and format of the test, exemption guidance, revision tips, the content one should expect, and some ‘on the day’ information to best support your preparation approach. If any element is unclear, please liaise with your course convenor or industry professional – they will have been through this process before.

Relax, revise and stay calm when tackling those questions. The test is very passable, and if you’ve studied well, there’s every chance that you’ll be acquiring an ECS card in the not-too-distant future.

Best of luck!