Students' FAQs on remote session CBEs

In which markets have centre-based exams been cancelled?

This is a complex and fast-moving situation.  All of the latest news and updates for the September and December 2020 sessions can now be found on our Covid-19 exam information page.

Where are remote exams available?

Where we can do so, we're offering centre-based examinations where possible in all of our locations.  Where this is not possible, we are offering remote session exams in some countries. 

Find out exam availability in your location

How can the exams be delivered securely when students aren't taking the exam at an exam centre?

Maintaining the security of our exams is always a priority of ours. Remote session CBEs will be remotely invigilated, viewed on screen by an invigilator at all times, and will be as secure and rigorous as our centre-based exams.

What happens on the exam day?

For information on what you'll need to do to start your exam read our how to launch your exam guide.

What items am I allowed to have on my desk?

View what is allowed in your desk environment

If the item is not listed within the diagram above it is not permitted for use in the exam. Therefore items such as an external microphone or the use of more than one external keypad should not be used.

What if I start the check-in process 30 minutes before, or upto 15 minutes after my appointment time, but I experience a delay?

As long as you have started the check-in process 30 minutes before, or up to 15 minutes after your appointment time, even if you experience a delay in the exam being launched, you will still receive the full time for your exam. For example, if your exam is three hours and 10 minutes long, you will always be given the full exam time.

What should I do with my mobile phone during the exam?

After the check-in process has been completed, students should keep their phone in the room with them, but out of arm’s reach. The invigilator may use the chat function to indicate that they will call the student, or if connection has been lost with the invigilator, the student should expect a call on the number they entered during the check-in process. During the exam your phone should be kept on silent to avoid disruptions.

Can I have photographs and pictures on my walls?

Yes, as long as there is no writing, or notes, whiteboards with notes etc.  If invigilator is unsure of what is on the wall you may be asked to remove it.

Do I need an exam docket?

No, you do not need and will not be asked to show an exam docket for a remote session exam.

Will I be able to have a torch on my desk in case of a power cut during the exam?

This will not be permitted.

What rate will the exam fees be charged at?

To enter for a remote exam in September you must have entered for a centre-based exam before the standard deadline. You will not be charged anything additional to take your remote exam.

What post-exam services are available to me?

Students can request mitigating circumstances or an administrative review following their exam/processing of results.  View the deadlines for submitting these requests.

If the situation continues to improve in my region, will any exams be rescheduled to run at the exam centres?

No, the exams in the impacted countries will be examined remotely regardless of conditions improving. 

Can I sit my remotely invigilated exam at my learning provider or employer premises to get stronger internet connection?

You can sit your exam at home, or an alternative location such as your learning provider or in your office however there are a few conditions to ensure the exam runs smoothly.  You must run the system test in the exact same location that you plan to sit your live exam as the system will check both the computer and the internet connection and we need to ensure there are no firewalls that could impact your connection.  Work computers generally have more restrictions that may prevent successful delivery so we do not recommend their use. 

It’s also important, regardless of where you are sitting the exam, that you are in a closed private room and no other people in the room. The room must have solid walls and door (ie not glass) as the invigilation software cannot distinguish between glass and open space.

If I'm using a laptop, what external hardware devices am I allowed to use?

  • External monitor & webcam (if the laptop screen is closed) is permitted, but the laptop must stay closed and the candidate must have an external webcam sitting on top of their external monitor. We recommend using a 17 inch or larger monitor for the exam. 
  • External keyboard - a wireless or wired keyboard is permitted
  • External mouse - a wireless or wired mouse is permitted

View the do's and dont's of your desk environment

If am using a desktop computer, what external hardware devices am I allowed to use?

Only a single monitor, webcam, keyboard and mouse are permissible. We recommend using a 17 inch or larger monitor for the exam.

View the do's and dont's of your desk environment

I am under the age of 18, how should I complete the check-in process?

Ahead of the exam we will provide specific guidance to those under the age of 18 on how to perform the check-in process for the exam. This information details that:

  • Your legal guardian must be with you during the check-in process, with a copy of their valid ID.
  • During check-in, when asked, choose ‘I am under eighteen years of age’.
  • You will then be asked to complete the check-in process.
  • Once these steps have been completed, but before your exam is launched, a Greeter will contact you using the chat function in the software and ask your guardian to hold their ID up to the webcam for validation
  • Once the Greeter has validated your guardian’s ID, your guardian will be asked to leave the room.
  • The exam will then continue as normal.

What happens if I lose internet connectivity during the exam?

The exam software has resilience built in, meaning the software will save the exam at the point of failure and allow you to restart your exam at the same point, assuming immediate action is taken to restore the connection.

If you do experience a technical issue during the exam, you should immediately contact your invigilator if possible using the online chat functionality. If this is not possible, your invigilator may try to contact you by phone. If you are experiencing repeated disruptions or a disruption for longer than 5 minutes your exam maybe terminated. For further guidance including what to do next, please refer to our troubleshooting guide

What happens if I experience technical issues?

Do I need to delete or block any software from my computer before taking the exam?

The remote invigilation software locks the computer during the exam time meaning you cannot access any files or other programmes on the computer during that time.

However, you should close down any applications which are running in the background, except for Finder and OnVUE, when prompted during the check-in process. Any other applications running in the backing may interfere with the successful running of the exam. To close applications on Windows, you should open Task Manager by hitting CTRL + ALT + DELETE and selecting all applications, except for Finder and OnVUE, and ending these tasks.

Can I take a bathroom break during the exam?

Yes, students can take one bathroom break of up to 5 minutes during the exam. Before doing so, students should advise the invigilator using the chat function that they are leaving their desk to use the bathroom. The exam timer will continue to run during a bathroom break and on returning to your desk you should use the chat function to let the invigilator you have returned and then you can immediately continue with your exam, however, you may be asked by the invigilator to verify your ID again.

It is important that you do not exceed the 5 minute time limit permitted as this may result in your exam being terminated.

Can I wear religious apparel, such as a face scarf?

Items considered religious apparel are allowed following visual inspection by the invigilator. Visual inspection would be done without asking the candidate to remove or unwrap it, unless upon direct visual observation there is strong visual evidence that a prohibited item is concealed in it.

Can I make a request on the gender of the invigilator?

No, invigilators are randomly allocated to students. There is currently no mechanism to assign specific invigilators to student.

Can I use a calculator?

Yes, calculators are allowed – when you capture photographs of your desk, as part of the exam check-in process, ensure your calculator is included in the photograph of your desk.  This will enable the Proctor to visually inspect your calculator.

Can I use scrap paper?

No paper is allowed on your desk. We encourage you to practise before the live exam using the scratch pad functionality on the practice platform.

Can I speak aloud to myself, or read my questions aloud during the exam?

No, speaking aloud during your exam is against the exam rules and regulations unless you are in contact with the invigilator to resolve a query.  If you do unexpectedly speak aloud, the invigilator will contact you and ask you to refrain from doing so.

Will there be a invigilator from my region in attendance at my exam who can help verify my ID if I wear a face covering for religious reasons, or who can translate non-English language ID?

We can't guarantee that the invigilator will be from the same region as you, but this should not matter.

The expectation is that the exam will be conducted in English (including support) – we will follow up regarding non-English language ID.

If you wear a face covering for religious reasons, you will be able to check-in via the normal process.

If there is a technical delay to the start of the exam, or during the exam, will I get that time added to the end of my exam time?

Unfortunately, we are not able to extend the time of the exam and the timer continues to run.

However, if you feel that you did not get your full time allocated, and if this impacted your performance, you should submit a mitigating circumstances claim to be considered as part of the results processing.

What will I be charged for my remote invigilation exam?

You will be charged the same fee that you paid for your centre exam – either at the early entry or standard entry rate.

If I have originally booked my exam at the early entry rate, will there be a process to allow me to rebook a remote exam at the early entry rate?

Yes. If you had booked to take a centre-based exam at the early entry rate, then you will only be charged the early entry rate if you rebook to take a remote exam.

Similarly, if you booked to take a centre-based exam at the standard entry rate, then you will be charged at the standard entry rate if you rebook to take a remote exam.

Centre exams have been cancelled in my market. Can I take DipIFR remotely for September?

This is a paper exam and so will not be offered via remote invigilation.

Can I tether my laptop to a mobile hotspot to run the exam?

Tethering to a mobile hotspot is not allowed. For optimal performance, a reliable and stable connection speed of 3 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up is required. 

Where possible, we recommend a wired network as opposed to a wireless network.

Can I use a dongle?

  • A dongle is allowed if its purpose is to increase your WiFi signal. but should not have a user interface
  • A dongle is not allowed if its purpose is to increase your mobile hotspot range, as mobile hotspots are not allowed.

I have unofficial software versions on my computer. Will I be able to run the exam using this software?

We cannot endorse the use of unofficial software. The exam will only run with genuine versions of software. Unofficial versions could cause technical issues on the day.

See the technical specification document for more detail.

Are Macbooks allowed to be used for remote invigilation exams? I know these are not allowed for on-demand exams.

Yes, Macbooks are allowed for remote invigilation exams.

Will I be able to choose the week I can sit my exams?

All Applied Skills exams will be offered in both week 1 and week 2. All other remote exams will only be available in week 1.

As part of the exam planner booking process steps, what is the F1,F2 and F3 entries in regards to and what option should I select? 

These relate to which time slot you are able to enter for based on your location. Depending on your time zone, you can have one series code or multiple series codes. You can select any one.