Students' FAQs on remote session CBEs

Booking FAQs

Who can take remote session CBEs?

Students in locations where centre based exams are not available may be able to take a remote session CBE.  Information on the availability of centre based exams and availability of remotely invigilated exams for upcoming exam sessions can be found on our Covid-19 exam information page.

How do I book a remote session CBE?

If remote session CBEs are available in your location you will be able to book your exam using Exam Planner. Follow our step-by-step booking guide for more information.

What are the exam fees for remote session exams?

Remote session exams are charged at the same rate as our centre based exams.

Will I be able to choose my exam timeslot?

Yes, you will be able to select a preferred timeslot for your exam within a specific timezone window based on your location. Timeslots are subject to availability and depending on your location you maybe presented with one or more timezone windows.  Timezone window are represented by F1, F2 and F3 options during the booking process. 

Depending on your exam you may also be able to select what week to sit your exam. Remote exams are held across 2 weeks with Applied Skills exam slots available in both week 1 and week 2. All other remote exams are only available in week 1. 

For current timetabling information visit our remote session CBE timetable page.

Before the exam

What computer/laptop equipment am I allowed to use and what can I have on my desk?

View what computer/laptop equipment is allowed and what you can have on your desk

If the item is not listed within the diagram above it is not permitted for use in the exam. You will not be able to proceed with your exam if other items, such as additional computer hardware or scrap paper are included on your desk.

Additionally please ensure that your computer/laptop meets the minimum technical requirements to run the exam successfully. This includes specifications on what browser you can use and what settings should be applied. Additionally, work computers generally have more restrictions that may prevent successful delivery so we do not recommend their use. 

View the minimum technical requirements

If your computer/laptop does not meet these requirements unfortunately you will not be able to take the exam successfully and you should therefore not enter for the exam.  Additionally, we recommend using a 17 inch or larger monitor for the exam.

I am unsure if my internet connectivity or computer/laptop will run the exam successfully, what can I do?

Whilst we aim for all students to have a successful exam experience, due to the nature of remote exams there is a risk of exams being disrupted by technical or connectivity issues. However, there are a number of steps you can take to greatly reduce this risk.

  • It is extremely important to check you your computer/laptop meets the minimum technical requirements and passes the system test.  The system test must be conducted on the same equipment and location you'll use during the live exam. If you do not meet either the minimum requirements or pass the system test you will not have a successful exam experience and should not book a remote exam.  

View the minimum technical requirements

Access the system test

  • Pop up blockers should be disabled.
  • Internet cookies should be enabled. 
  • Work computers generally have more restrictions, such as corporate firewalls, that may prevent successful delivery so we do not recommend their use. 
  • Only genuine operating system software should be used.

Additionally, we recommend using a 17 inch or larger monitor for the exam.

Will I need to delete or block any software 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 use a dongle or a mobile hotspot?

  • A dongle is allowed if its purpose is to increase your WiFi signal. but it should not have a user interface
  • Using mobile hotspots is not allowed for any reason.

Where can I take the exam?

You can sit your exam at home, or an alternative location such as your learning provider or in your office. However, there are some important regulations which must be followed regardless of where you sit your exam:

  • You must be sat at a desk in a closed quiet private room with no other people in the room for the full duration of the exam. 
  • The room must have solid walls and door (ie not glass) so no other individual can be seen other your yourself.

Unfortunately if your room does not meet all of these requirements you will be unable to start or complete your exam.  Additionally to reduce the risk of you experiencing any technical issues during your exam, you should run the system test in the exact same location that you plan to sit your live exam. 

Can I have photographs and pictures on my walls?

Yes, as long as there is no writing, or notes, whiteboards with notes etc.  If the 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.

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

No, invigilators are randomly allocated to students and may be from a different region from yourself. You should therefore expect any dialogue with your invigilator to be conducted in English. 

However, there is no need to worry. Wherever you take your exam our exam regulations are the same and all invigilators have been fully trained in adminstering our exams.

During the exam

How do I start my remote session exam?

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

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 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.

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.

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.

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 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 wear a watch or have a clock on the wall?

Yes you can wear a watch, as long as it is not a smart watch which are prohibited.  You may also have a clock on the wall.

There is also an exam timer within the exam platform which will outline how much time you have remaining in your exam.

What type of calculator can I use during the exam?

A noiseless, cordless pocket calculator which may be programmable but which must not have a printout or word display facility in any language may be used.

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 invigilator to visually inspect your calculator.

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.  

What happens if I lose internet connectivity during the exam?

A reliable internet connection is an essential minimum technical requirement for taking the exam. In the event of a connectivity interruption the exam software will save the exam and if immediate action is taken to restore the connection will allow you to restart your exam at the same point. We recommend using a wired connection as this will minimise the risk of connectivity issues disrupting your exam experience.

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 any technical issues during the exam?

Other FAQs

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.

You will also receive an post-exam survey where you'll be invited to provide your feedback on your exam experience. We're always looking at ways we can help support and improve your exam experience, so we encourage all students to complete the survey if possible.

Why am I not allowed to use scrap paper?

For exam security purposes, no paper is allowed on your desk. Instead to make rough notes during the exam you can use the digital scratchpad within the exam platform, which you can practice using on the CBE practice platform.

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.