Study Skills

We urge you to consider module study which can be both enjoyable and rewarding.  It helps you to broaden your beekeeping knowledge and therefore compliments your practical beekeeping.

Know what to expect

New module candidates sometimes seem a bit surprised by the formality of the exam and this can put them off if they are unprepared.  Make sure you know what to expect – talk to beekeepers who have already done modules, and/or your Association Education Officer and review past papers (which are essential for revision purposes).  As Exam Secretary, I am happy to discuss approaches to study with prospective candidates and can be contacted by email at

Exam technique is hugely important and can be practiced.  See the additional BBKA guidance here.

Module exams last 90 minutes and the papers are divided into 3 sections – A, B & C.

Section A is a confidence builder – 10 questions requiring short answers – one or two words or a short phrase – 1 mark each – maximum 10 marks

Section B – 4 out of 5 questions must be answered – bullet point style answers rather than an essay – 15 marks each – maximum of 60 marks.

Section C – 1 out of 2 questions must be answered – essay style – carries most marks – 30.

BBKA have published example answers for both Module 1 and Module 2.  These will give you a good idea of the level of detail which is required.

My other top tips

Make sure you know what is in the current syllabus – the content can, and does, change.

Read the question – TWICE!  It is very easy to answer the question you hoped for, not the one which has actually been asked!

Don’t spend too much time on Section A.  If you don’t know an answer – move on.  They are only worth 1 mark each.

Section B – REMEMBER – bullet point answers not essays.  Or, you will run out of time for the Section C question which does require an essay!

Follow the candidate instructions – in particular, don’t answer more questions than you need to.  You can drop one in Section B and one in Section C.  Drop the questions on topics you are least confident with.

DON’T PANIC – draw on your practical experience.  E.g. if asked how to move a colony, run through the steps you would take in practice and write these down.  There is a good chance you will pick up marks even if you go completely blank when trying to recall what you read on the topic.

Study resources

There are lots of resources to aid your study and here is a link to the current BBKA book list.  It is not necessary to have every book on this (and it would cost a lot to try) but you do need to read widely and not rely on just one or two publications.

Think outside the box on study resources.  They are not all in book form.  There are lots of resources online, including BeeBase, and there are Facebook study groups for all the modules.  YouTube has good and bad – as long as you can tell the difference it is a brilliant resource.

Don’t overlook things like the Thorne catalogue (other suppliers are available) which can be a great resource for M1.

There are also correspondence courses available through BBKA.  These can be used individually or by a group. If you are thinking of setting up a study group based around a correspondence course, I’m happy to share a suggested approach to this.

Additional support

We are committed to helping all beekeepers to undertake module study.  If you have a disability or learning difficulty, or a health problem or injury, and think you will need additional support (which might include extra time or being able to use a laptop), please tick the box on the application form.  You will be asked to provide details of the condition supported by appropriate evidence to enable us to consider what additional support measures are appropriate.


Caroline Mullinex

WBKA Exam Secretary

February 2019

Last Page Update 23/02/2019