Students' FAQs on remote session CBEs

Booking FAQs

Who can take remote session CBEs?

Remote session exams are permitted in selected locations. Information on where remote session exams are allowed to be taken can be found in our Exam availability and booking page

Students must also ensure they have the necessary equipment, internet connectivity and exam environment to successfully run the exam. If you are a student in mainland China you must be 18 years or over to take a remote session CBE.

For more information on these requirements visit our before you book page

How do I book a remote session CBE?

If remote session CBEs are permitted in your location you will be able to book your exam using Exam Planner.

Visit our How to Book page for more information.

What are the exam fees for remote session exams?

Remote session exams are charged at the same standard rate as our centre based exams.  Visit our How to Book page for full information on the exam booking regulations.

Will I be able to choose my exam timeslot?

Yes.  You will be able to select a preferred start time within a timeslot window based on your location (subject to availability).  During the booking process, the timeslot window will appear as TIME1, TIME2, TIME3 etc. after the exam name.  For example:


Depending on your location you maybe presented with more than one timeslot window.  For example:


The lower the number the earlier the timeslot is during the day i.e. if you select TIME1 the exam start times available will all be earlier in the day those available in TIME2.

What should I do if I require additional support?

If you require additional support for your exam, this should be requested via your myACCA account by the standard entry deadline for our exams. 

We cannot guarantee that all requirements will be possible to cater for in a remote exam environment.

View our additional support page.

Why are remote exams not permitted in my location?

To support students, remote exams are only permitted in locations where it is suitable for us to do so. A number of factors are carefully considered when deciding location suitability for remote exams. For example, these factors include:

  • internet connectivity coverage and reliability 
  • IT student readiness
  • potential risks to exam security
  • any other location readiness concerns.

If ACCA has reason to believe a student has sat a remote exam in a location where it is not permitted, the exam result will be nullified, and no refund will be issued.

If remote exams are permitted in your location, it is also important to make sure that you can meet the full technical, room and desk setup requirements to run a remote exam successfully.

To find out whether remote exams are permitted in your location, please visit our exam availability page.

Before the exam FAQs

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.

  • Check that your computer/laptop meets the minimum technical requirements and passes the system test. The system test must be conducted using 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 may not have a successful exam experience and should not book a remote exam.  

View the minimum technical requirements

Access the mandatory system test via Exam Planner

  • 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. Using a VPN is not permitted and doing so will result in your result being nullified. 
  • Only genuine operating system software should be used.

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

Does passing the mandatory system test guarantee a successful exam experience?

Not necessarily, because the mandatory system test is only part of the technical checks students are required to do. It’s important to note that:

  1. The system test doesn’t check all the minimum technical requirements
  2. Internet connectivity speeds/stability fluctuate across time – the system test is only a point in time check.
  3. Firewalls/lacking administrator access/scheduled software updates etc. can also cause technical issues. 

Check our troubleshooting guidance for more information on how to minimise technical issues interrupting your exam day

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.

Background applications may interfere with the successful running of the exam. Close down any applications which are running in the background, except for Finder and OnVUE, before or when prompted during the check-in process. Background applications may interfere with the successful running of the exam.

Watch our video for more support on how to close background applications 

You are not permitted to use a VPN connection to take the exam.

Can I use a dongle or a mobile hotspot?

  • We do not recommend using a dongle. 
  • 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:

  • 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.

View our room and desk setup requirements for remote session exams

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?

View our desk and room setup requirements guide

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 and photographic ID?

A docket is issued for remote exams, but it is for information only; you don't need to use it to check in to or launch your exam.

However, you will be required to present photographic ID as proof of your identity during the check-in process.  Whilst local language ID is acceptable, we would recommend using English language ID if you have this available. The following forms of ID are accepted:

  • Valid passport
  • Driving licence
  • National ID card
  • Biometric residence permit

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 FAQs

How do I start my remote session exam?

For information on what you'll need to do to start your exam access our on the exam day guidance page

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.

If you are a student in mainland China you must be 18 years or over to take a remote session CBE.

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 mobile check-in option should I select?

We recommend using mobile check-in option 1 (QR code method), as this is the easiest and quickest option.

Students based in China must select option 1 or alternatively use desktop check-in if they are unable to scan the QR code.  View our guidance for China students for more information.

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

After the check-in process has been completed, students should keep their phone on silent, but with the vibrate setting, on before placing the phone 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 mobile number they entered during the check-in process.

Students must not use their mobile phone for any other purpose during the exam.

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?


You can take one bathroom break of up to 5 minutes during the exam. If you require a comfort break you should:

1) Request a chat with your invigilator by clicking the speech bubble at the top of your screen.  

2) Once the invigilator has opened up the chatbox, you should tell them that you are leaving your desk to use the bathroom. You do not need to wait for their response before leaving your desk. 

3) Once you've returned use the chat function again to let the invigilator know you have returned. They may wish to verify your ID once you return.

The exam is not paused during a comfort break and the exam timer will continue to run.

Can I wear sunglasses or a baseball cap?

Fashion accessories such as sunglasses or baseball caps are not allowed as part of the remote exam setup. If you have any accessories that you need for medical reasons, please go to the additional support page on your myACCA account to submit a request for approval.

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 mask?

No.  For exam security purposes, the invigilator must be able to see your mouth during the exam therefore the wearing of a mask is not permitted under any circumstances.

Can I wear a watch?

View our room and desk setup requirement for remote session exams

All watches are prohibited, however you may have a clock on the wall.

There is 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 please refer to our troubleshooting guide

What happens if I experience any technical issues during the exam?

Students should refer to our post-exam options guidance should they encounter technical issues which have impacted their ability to complete the exam.

Access our post-exam options guidance

Post-exam options FAQs

What is the mandatory system test and why is it important to do pass it?

The mandatory system test via Exam Planner is part of the equipment checks that you should perform ahead of exam day. You should perform the test on the same device and location as you'll use on exam day, after you have checked and confirmed that your device meets the minimum technical requirements.

In order to be eligible for all of our post-exam options students must have passed the mandatory system test via Exam Planner during the eligibility qualifying window for that exam session.

Students who have either not performed or who's latest mandatory system test attempt did not pass will not be able to withdraw their exam and receive a credit should they encounter technical issues on their exam day.

Further information can be found on our post-exam options page

What happens if I can't perform the mandatory system test in the location or device I'll be using on exam day?

As part of the exam booking requirements, all students must confirm at the point of booking that they have have passed the mandatory system test via Exam Planner on the same device and in the same location they'll use on exam day.

If students subsequently change location or device they should perform and pass the mandatory system test under these new conditions ahead of their exam check-in 

If students choose not to or are unable to pass a mandatory system test ahead of exam check-in then they forfeit the opportunity to withdraw their exam and receive an exam credit should they subsequently encounter technical issues during their exam.

Further information can be found on our post-exam options page

When should I perform the mandatory system test?

All students should must pass the mandatory system test via Exam Planner during the eligibility criteria window for that exam session.  This window runs between the previous exam session finishing and before starting the check-in process for their exam.

Please note, students entered for a remote session exam for the first time will need to pass the system test after booking their exam and before checking-in for their exam.

Students can perform the mandatory system test multiple times, however if you choose to do so it will be the last test result which is used for eligibility purposes for our post-exam withdrawal option. This means that if you pass and then subsequently fail a mandatory system test, you will need to pass the system test again ahead of launching your exam to be eligible.

I have passed the system test via Pearson Vue's website, with this count toward post-exam options eligibility criteria?

No. We can only track mandatory system test passes when these are performed in Exam Planner. To be eligible for all of our post-exam options, all mandatory system test attempts should therefore be carried out using the links within Exam Planner.

Why can I not withdraw my remote session exam?

If your exam is available during our contingency timetable you will only be able to withdraw your exam once the rebook contingency exam date has passed (subject to you meeting the withdrawal eligibility criteria). View the timetable for information on when contingency exams are scheduled. The option to withdraw your exam will appear on Exam Planner following this date and be available until the exam withdrawal deadline.

To be eligible for a withdrawal students must then meet all of the following criteria:

  • attempted to check-in for your exam
  • experienced a technical issue during your exam which has impacted your ability to complete the exam.
  • have successfully passed the mandatory system test via Exam Planner between the previous exam session finishing and before starting your exam check-in process for your original exam date. Students entered for a remote session exam for the first time will need to pass the system test after booking their exam and before checking-in for their exam. If you perform multiple mandatory system tests, your last test result will be used for withdrawal eligibility purposes.

For more information please visit the post-exam options page

Other FAQs

Why are students allowed to use scrap paper in remote on-demand exams but not in remote session exams?

The difference in exam content and exam delivery platforms mean remote on-demand and remote session exams require different exam security and exam functionality requirements. 

For remote session exams

For exam security purposes, no scrap paper is allowed on your desk. These measures are necessary in order for us to maintain the same level of exam rigour as we have at our exam centres, where scrap paper can be used because it is distributed by face to face invigilation staff.

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. Our analysis of student pass rates has shown that students are not disadvantaged when using the scratchpad instead of scrap paper.

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 are remotely invigilated, with students viewed on screen by an invigilator at all times.  Additionally, we implement a number of exam security measures to ensure the rigour and integrity of the exams are protected.

Is the additional support Zoom Text tool for vision impaired students available on all devices?

Vision impaired students who have been authorised to use Zoom Text in advance of the exam should be aware that Zoom Text will only work on devices using a Windows operating system that meet the minimum technical requirements.  Unfortunately Zoom Text will not be available for use on MAC devices.