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Study Methods & Materials

Student Studying

There is no text book to prepare you for these examinations. There are, however, many useful sources of the necessary information.

Books and electronic sources of information

You are expected to:
• Browse assorted field guides and other reference material (As far as possible you need to have your own collection of wildlife books such as the Bundu Book Series, Robert’s on birds, Coates Palgrave on trees, etc.)
• Look stuff up on the internet (Have as much access as possible to the internet.)
• Consult experts.

ZPHGA sells a pack in a smart embroidered cover that contains detailed, very technical notes, some older past exam papers and copies of the relevant legislation. (Their office is in the grounds of Mukuvisi.)

I can offer you various kinds of help. Browse this website for material to assist you in passing your Learners Hunter and Guides examinations.

There is a Learner Hunters and Guides Facebook page where relevant information is shared.

The National Parks website is Try to become very familiar with it. It is a frustrating and confusing site but if you persevere you will eventually find a great deal of useful material.

Almost all the legislation you need to study for the law paper is available for free on line. You can look up the original legislation on the website

Past Papers

One good way of preparing for the exams is to work your way through past papers, making sure that you can answer the questions that have been set previously. The more recent the past paper the better it will be for your purposes because the people setting the papers tend to set the same sorts of question. (A paper from 20 years ago will have a different emphasis from papers set now.)

You can download the blank examination papers for the last six exam sessions from this site, that is, the papers from September 2017 to February 2020.

You can buy a 66 page booklet entitled Past Papers and Suggested Answers. (The papers dealt with are from September 2017 to February 2020.) The material looks like this:

  • The Examination Workbooks contain all the examination questions since 2007 sorted into topics. For example, all the questions on impala are together and all the questions on the Zimbabwean flag are together.
  • This is helpful for studying because you can study a single topic thoroughly by looking at all the kinds of question that have been asked on this topic as a collection. You can also see at a glance the kind of information that is never asked and that you do not need to study. This is what the material looks like.


Another useful way to study is to use flashcards to commit to memory facts and figures. You can download free instructions on how to use flashcards from this site (Studying With Flashcards). You can then:

  • Make your own flashcards
  • Buy them ready-made from me (Go to Catalogue to find Flashcards.) Below is a sample of the flashcard material on offer – over 1500 questions/answers based on past papers.
  • Pay me to have access to them in an electronic form through a site called Quizlet. (Go to Catalogue to find Quizlet.)


Various short courses are on offer. e.g.
Musendike (National Parks training center, where the question papers are set) runs a course just before each exam session which many people have found very helpful in directing their attention to the specific questions that are coming up. You need to have done loads of general preparation before you take this course. You cannot expect to get all the information you need from the week’s course.
Mukuvisi Woodlands in Harare offers a week’s course just before each exam session. Again you need to have done general preparation beforehand.
• There are some very expensive and comprehensive courses run by private individuals which are very good, especially if you are going to go on to being a professional but if you are on a tight budget such courses might not be the best use of your resources for passing the basic exam.

• You might want to set up your own study group or course for, say once a week or a Saturday a month. I would be happy to provide the tuition/support for such a group. (See Alternative Study Method – Guided Study Groups )

click below to download

Paddy Pacey

Zimbabwean field guide and trainer of aspiring guides

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