Know the Syllabus
Before entering for a BHS examination, you must have read the relevant syllabus so that you are familiar with the requirements.
It's advisable to go for an assessment lesson with an instructor who may be a BHS assessor, so they can advise you on your ability and training needs.
The examinations are professional qualifications so you must be well prepared and feel reasonably confident in your ability – it's better to be above the level of the exam you've entered for, so that on the day, when you are feeling nervous, you'll still be up to the required standard.
Time and Location
Ensure that when you have entered for an exam, you know where the exam venue is and leave plenty of time to get there.
The exam guidelines may say to be at the exam venue for a certain time, but we recommend you arrive at least half an hour earlier so you can read the exam programme and ‘explore’ the venue – walk the show jumping and cross-country courses (Stages 2, 3 and 4) and find the toilets. Every venue has its own ethos so arriving early will ensure that you can try to relax and get the ‘feel’ of the venue.
Bring wet weather clothing with you and a change of clothing just in case. If it is pouring with rain and you are required to ride outside, you can wear a waterproof coat. You may be required to walk a show jumping or cross-country course when you arrive at the exam venue – do wear a pair of waterproof boots and then change back into your smart riding boots. For the Stable management section, you can change out of your riding jacket and into a plain sweatshirt.
Before you leave home, check you've brought the correct whips, spurs, hats, gloves, body protectors, paperwork (booking letter and membership card; at a Stage 2, exam you may be required to show the Chief Assessor your Riding and Road Safety certificate), pens, pencils and reference books.
Candidates are advised to complete the Special Adjustments Questionnaire if requested, and return this to the Education team at least three weeks before the exam date.
If you are suffering from an ailment such as asthma, make sure you remember your medication and if necessary, inform the Chief Assessor.
During the exam, there will be time for you to go to the toilet, have a drink or change your jacket. If your exam lasts most of the day, you will have a lunch break. Catering facilities are not always available, so please ensure you bring your own packed lunch and plenty of refreshments. Before you set out for your exam or on the way, it is critical you eat and drink as the exam day is stressful and you do not want to make yourself ill. If you have to leave early in the morning to get to the exam, take a flask of tea or coffee with you.
During the exam, the assessors will try to put you at ease. Ask them to repeat questions or requests if you do not hear or understand them - it's better to ask than make mistakes.