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FAQs

Questions and answers on the recent qualification updates

Professional and Advanced Level Remote Invigilation - before sitting or booking an exam

Q: UPDATED 26/08/20 Will there be the option to choose remote invigilation or exam centre as a drop down option when booking an exam?

A: No. The booking windows for the exam centres and remote invigilation will be during the same weeks, but there isn’t a drop down option to select between them. You will need to decide how you plan to sit your exam when the booking window opens. Please view the details of the booking windows.

If you are in a training agreement, you may wish to check with your employer before booking any exams, in case they have particular policies and suggested approaches already in place.

 

Q: UPDATED 26/08/20 Is the booking window for the remote invigilation exams the same as the exam centre exams?

A: Yes, the booking windows are open for both remote invigilation and exam centres at the same time. 

You will be able to book your remote invigilation or exam centre exams via my.icaew.com/examsonline.

Q: NEW When will the booking window open for the November Advanced Level exams?

A: The booking window for the November Advanced Level exams will open at 10:00 (UK time) on Monday 14 September and will close on Friday 25 September at 17:00 (UK time).

Q: UPDATED 06/08/20 - When will the booking window open for the September Professional Level exams?

A: There are two separate booking windows, one booking window should you wish to take your exam at an exam centre and the second if you would prefer to undertake the exam via remote invigilation. The booking windows for the September Professional Level exams have now closed. 

Q: UPDATED 26/08/20 How long do I have to book my remote invigilation exam?

A: There is a two week window to book either the exam centre or remote invigilation exams.

View the details of the booking windows.

Q: UPDATED 26/08/20 Is remote invigilation the only option to sit the Professional and Advanced Level exams?

A: No it isn’t, and you should book your exam at an exam centre in the first instance. Exam centres provide the best exam set up as it is a tried and tested method of delivery.  

Seats at the exam centres are on a first come, first served basis. For each exam booking you will be shown the five closest exam centres to you with availability. If an exam centre does not appear, then unfortunately this means all the spaces are booked for that centre.

Please only choose the remote invigilation option if you cannot access an exam centre or who do not wish to travel to an exam centre.

If you are in a training agreement, you may wish to check with your employer before booking any exams, in case they have particular policies and suggested approaches already in place.

Q: Will I pay for the examinations in the same way as before?

A: Yes, nothing has changed in terms of how you will pay for your examination.

Q: UPDATED 26/08/20 I’m trying to schedule my exam but I can’t see the remote invigilation exam as an option.

A: The booking windows for the exam centres and remote invigilation are during the same weeks. You may be trying to book your exam outside of the booking window. 

Read more on the booking windows.

Q: UPDATED Can I re-schedule my exam from an exam centre to remote invigilation, and vice versa?

A: Please decide carefully how you would like to sit an exam before booking, and then book your exam either at an exam centre or via remote invigilation.

Q: What do I need to be able to sit a remote invigilation exam?

A: To use this exam delivery method, there are four key requirements:

  1. A reliable computer or laptop with a strong internet connection, a webcam and microphone which meets minimum technical and system requirements
  2. A quiet room with a closed door (no one else is permitted in the room while you are sitting your exam)
  3. A clear workspace, with only any permitted texts or equipment allowed.
  4. A mobile phone with WIFI connection and camera to assist in the check-in process and monitoring your exam.

 

View the full guidance, technical requirements and system requirements for the remote invigilation exams. You must check that your computer is compatible with these before booking your exam to provide time to resolve any issues and to see if remote invigilation is an option for you. You may need to speak to your employer if you are using a computer provided by them.

Q: Is there a demo of the exam or a chance to use a test/practise system for the exam?

A: Whether sat in an exam centre or via remote invigilation, the exams are run on the same existing exam software, as per other ACA Professional and Advanced Level exams. Watch this video to see how the remote invigilation will operate, view practise exam questions or use the practise software

View further guidance on how to prepare for ACA Professional and Advanced Level computer-based exams.

Q: What times are available for the exam? Is there any flexibility for different time zones?

A: When booking a remote invigilation exam you will be asked to select your country. This will automatically provide you with an exam time based on your relevant time zone. Most time zones have been accounted for as they are based on the exam centre exams.

Q: Which exams are available to book via remote invigilation?

A: Remote invigilation is being offered as a short-term contingency during the pandemic. It has been created as an option for you in case you are unable to access an exam centre for the upcoming 2020 Professional and Advanced Level exam sessions.

Q: How do I book or schedule an exam?

A: You will be able to book your remote invigilation or exam centre exams via your online training file or at my.icaew.com/examsonline.

When booking a remote invigilation exam you will be asked to select your country rather than a centre name.

Q: What happens if I have booked to sit my exam at an exam centre, but then my government closes the centre due to the coronavirus pandemic?

A: We will monitor all exam centres in case this situation arises, and we will contact you if you are impacted in this way.

Q: Who makes the decision of whether to sit the exams as remote invigilation or in an exam centre?

A: If you are in a training agreement, you may wish to check with your employer before booking any exams, in case they have particular policies and approaches already in place.

We would recommend you only book your exam to be undertaken using the remote invigilation option if you cannot access an exam centre or you do not wish to travel to an exam centre.

Q: Do I need to speak to my employer before booking either an exam centre or remote invigilation exam?

A: If you are in a training agreement, you may wish to check with your employer before booking any exams, in case they have particular policies and approaches already in place.

We would recommend you only book your exam to be undertaken via the remote invigilation option if you cannot access an exam centre or you do not wish to travel to an exam centre.

Q: Are the exams any different to the ones sat in the exam centre?

A: The exams are the same and are run on the same exam software whether sat in and exam centre or via remote invigilation.

Q: UPDATED 26/08/20 - What precautions do the exam centres have in place to keep me safe?

A: All exam centres will be following these guidelines and procedures (as of 06 August 2020) to keep students safe.

ICAEW is confident that there are enough exam centre places to accommodate all students. 

Seats at the exam centres are on a first come, first served basis. For each exam booking you will be shown the five closest exam centres to you with availability. If an exam centre does not appear, then unfortunately this means all the spaces are booked for that centre.

Q: NEW When will the booking window open for the December Professional Level exams?
A: The booking window for the December Professional Level exams will open at 10:00 (UK time) on Monday 19 October and will close on Friday 30 October at 17:00 (UK time).

Professional and Advanced Level Remote Invigilation - during the exam

Q: UPDATED I’ve sat a remote invigilation exam for the Certificate Level/ICAEW CFAB, will the Professional and Advanced Level exams have the same system checks and specifications? If not, what are the system checks and specifications for these exams?

A: The Professional and Advanced Level exams are run on separate exam software from the Certificate Level and ICAEW CFAB exams. View the technical and system requirements for the Professional and Advanced Level exams.

Q: UPDATED When should I do a system check for my exam?

A: Please check that your computer passes the technical and system requirements before booking any remote invigilation exams to ensure that it is compatible to run the exam.

Then, once you have booked your exam you will receive a system check email two weeks before your exam. This will contain instructions on how to perform a system check to ensure your equipment is set up and ready to go. You must carry out the system check in advance of your exam to make sure it works correctly and so you have time to fix any issues.

You can watch this video to see what the system check involves.

Please note: we recommend using a personal computer and checking your computer meets the technical and system requirements before booking the exam. If you only have an employer provided laptop or device please make sure you speak to your employer to ensure it meets the technical and system requirements, and passes the system check.

If you encounter any technical difficulties during your system check you will be able to access the online chat support for help.


Q: Can I use a touch screen during the exams?

A: No. The exam software does not support touch screens.

Q. UPDATED Can I use the laptop supplied by my employer?

A: A laptop or device that has been provided to you by an employer for work purposes may have restricted access and admin rights installed, and these can cause issues when trying to access the exam platform. It is recommended that you use a personal laptop that doesn’t have these restrictions. If you don’t have another laptop to use, you will need to speak to your employer before booking your exam to ensure it meets the technical and system requirements.

Q: What internet connection is required? Can I use a mobile hotspot or tethering?

A: The bandwidth required is minimum 1Mbit/s upload speed. Hotspot or tethering is not supported.

Q: Can I sit my exam on any web browser?

A: To be able to sit the exam you will need the latest version of Google Chrome on your computer. This is the only browser that supports the required plug-in for the remote invigilation.

Q. How will I log in to the exam?

A: Once you have booked your exam you will receive a system check email two weeks before your exam. This will contain instructions on how to perform a system check to ensure your equipment is set up and ready to go. You must carry out the system check in advance of your exam to make sure it works correctly and so you have time to fix any issues.

On the day of the exam, you will go through an ‘on-boarding’ process. This is the same process that students at an exam centre will go through. This process is videoed and involves setting up your equipment and any security checks. Once you have been through the ‘on-boarding’ process, you will be able to start the exam.

Watch this video for more guidance on what these system and security checks involve.

Q. What time do I need to start the exam? What happens if I log in after the exam start time?

A: Please get ready to sit your exam according to the start time stated on your exam booking confirmation. Your exam will start at the point when you enter your keycode into the exam software. It is your responsibility to start the exam on time.

Q: Will the remote invigilation exams still be open book?

A: Yes. None of the rules regarding permitted text or open books have changed.

Q: How are the remote exams invigilated?

A: During the exam, your activity is recorded via three separate angles;

  • the computer webcam records your view from the front;
  • a mobile phone situated to your side, records additional coverage of the test environment, using the ProctorExam app; and
  • a recording of the screen shows what you are doing on-screen.

The exam itself will run in the same way as in an exam centre.

Q: What will happen if my internet connection drops during the exam?

A: If the internet connection drops during the exam, you will be allowed to reconnect to get your exam up and running again.

If your internet connection drops, you will see an error message box pop up that states “DecodingError SOAP Response cannot be decoded. Raw response:…”. Please click close on the message but do not continue your exam until your internet connection has been restored. Continuing at this point without reconnecting will result in all subsequent work lost.

Once your internet connection has been restored, you will need to refresh the exam page, re-enter your keycode and continue the exam. The exam platform will remember where you disconnected and will resume from that same point. You should not lose any time for your exam.

If your internet doesn’t reconnect during the exam or you feel your exam attempt has been unduly affected, you should raise a special consideration request. Before raising this request, please bear in mind that ICAEW has no control over your internet connection and it is up to you to ensure the internet connection is stable.

Q. UPDATED 25/08/20 What will happen if I experience problems during the exam – how can I contact the invigilator?

A: During your system check and on exam day, if you encounter any technical difficulties, you will be able to access the online chat support: “TAWK”. This chat can be found in the Proctor Exam tab within the exam and system check. You are permitted to swap tabs if you require technical help.

Please note: the special consideration rules and guidance apply for these exams. If you feel your exam attempt has been unduly affected, you should raise a special consideration request.

Q: How will existing access arrangements work with the remote invigilation exams?

A: The remote invigilation exams support any access arrangements that have been agreed for your exam.

Q: Are we automatically going to be given extra time to complete the remote invigilation exam?

A: As the exams are the same whether sat in an exam centre or via remote invigilation, there is no need for the remote invigilation exam to allow extra time for it to be completed.

We are unable to allocate extra time to complete the exam if any problems do occur, however if you feel your exam attempt has been unduly affected you should raise a special consideration request

 

Q: Can I eat, drink or take a break during the exam?

A: The remote invigilation exams should be approached in the same way as if sitting the exam in a centre. Any water should be in a clear bottle or glass, snacks should only be health-type bars, and any toilet breaks must be no more than five minutes long. Your exam time will not be paused.

The only exception is if you have been given stop the clock functionality via your access arrangements.

For further information on what is and isn’t allowed in the exam, and what is considered acceptable behaviour, please read the instructions to candidates

Q: Can I have a comfort break during the exam?

A: Toilet breaks are permitted, but each break must be no more than five minutes long. Your exam time will not be paused.

Q: What do I need on the day to make sure I am prepared?

A: For guidance on what ID, equipment and resources you will need on the exam day, please read the instructions for candidates.

Professional and Advanced Level Remote Invigilation - after the exam

Q: Will I receive my results in the same way?

A: Results will be provided to you and your employer (if applicable) in the same way as if you sat the exam in an exam centre. Read more about getting your results.

Q: What happens if I unfortunately do not pass my exam in this sitting?

A: If you are not successful at the August sitting, we will contact you to explain how you can resit in November.

Certificate Level and ICAEW CFAB Remote Invigilation

Q: What calculator can I use during my OnVUE exam?

A: For security reasons, students are not permitted to have anything with them when sitting exams remotely. However, you are able to practice using the online calculator via this demo link.

Within the demo link above, the calculator will display in question 3. To see the exact calculator that would be displayed to you in your ICAEW exams, select ‘scientific’ from the modes available on the calculator.

Q: How do I write notes during my OnVUE exam?

A: For security reasons, students are not permitted to have anything with them when sitting exams remotely. However, you are able to practice using the scratch pad via this demo link and information below. There is also a whiteboard feature which is included within OnVUE exams only, you can read more about this feature here.

Please note the following features of the scratch pad:

  • It is resizable
  • It can be dragged anywhere on screen
  • Notes are saved throughout the exam to view within all questions
  • If it is closed, all notes are saved for when it is re-opened
  • You can use Ctrl C and Ctrl V to copy and paste text from the exam question
  • To zoom in and out of any screen and notes, hold Ctrl and click on + or -
Q : Is there a demo of the exam to see what it looks like and practise how to use it?

A: The remote invigilation exams are the same as shown in the test centres. To practise using the calculator and scratch pad, Pearson VUE have provided this demo. There is also a whiteboard feature which is included within OnVUE exams only, you can read more about this feature here.

Q: Can I use a touch screen?

A: No, a touch screen cannot be used for these exams. However, if your laptop or tablet has a physical keyboard and mouse and meets the technical requirements, it can be used.

Q: What internet connection is required, can I use a mobile hotspot or tethering?

A: For optimal performance, a reliable and stable connection speed of 3 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up is required. If testing from home, ask others within the household to avoid internet use during your exam session. Tethering to a mobile hotspot is explicitly prohibited.

Q: Can I sit my exam on any web browser?

A: You need to use the newest versions of Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox or Internet Explorer 11.

Please note: Internet Cookies must be enabled and any pop-up/ad blocking setting(s) must be disabled.

Q: What will happen if my internet connection drops during my exam?

A: If your internet connection drops, your exam will freeze, the clock will be paused and your answers saved. If the connection drops momentarily and then reconnects you will be allowed to continue with your exam where you left off. If the connection drops several times or for a longer period of time your exam session will be ended and you will need to re-schedule.

If your exam session is ended, depending on how far you are into your exam, your exam session may be cancelled or you will be able to apply for special consideration by emailing specialconsideration@icaew.com See further details .

Q: Are we automatically going to be given extra time? It takes longer to use the on screen version of the calculator and whiteboard.

A: We cannot add additional time for all students sitting remote invigilated exams. It is recommended that you prepare for the exam by becoming familiar with the online calculator and scratch pad using the demo link. You can also get a better understanding of the functionalities of the whiteboard tool.

Also, please remember that remote invigilation is being provided as an alternative option to sit your exams while exam centres are closed. If you would prefer, you can wait until exam centres are open again.

Q: When applying for extra time, what should the “VAT ID #” be in the voucher store order form?

A: Please use “N/A” for the VAT ID number in the order form when applying for extra time.

Q: I have extra time, how do I book my exams?

A: See instructions on how to book this. (Please note: for security reasons strictly no breaks are allowed during a remotely invigilated exam. If you have been awarded extra time or stop the clock for a condition that requires you to take breaks during your exam, you will need to wait and sit at an exam centre once they are re-opened.)

Q: What times are available for the exam? Is there any flexibility for different time zones?

A: The time zone for your exam is automatically selected based on the time zone settings on your computer. Double check your time zone when booking your exam as you have the option to manually change it if it is incorrect.

For example, if you are a student from China but sitting your exam whilst in the UK, please make sure your exam is set to BST as your computer may be set to a different time zone.

Also, there are both AM and PM slots available for the exam. Make sure you have selected the correct time of day. You can double check this via your booking confirmation email as this will state the time for your exam.

Q: Is remote invigilation the only option for sitting this exam?

A: Remote invigilation is an alternative option to waiting for exam centres to re-open. If you do want to sit a remote invigilated exam, be reassured that all results will be monitored and statistically analysed to compare them against the test centre delivered exams. Please view the latest information regarding Pearson Professional Centres re-opening.

Q: Can I re-schedule my exam from a test centre to OnVUE?

A: You need to cancel your test centre exam booking and make a separate booking for OnVUE. If you cancel at least 24 hours before your exam date/time, you will receive full refund to the payment method provided.

Q: Will I receive my results in the same way?

A: Results will be provided to students and employers (if applicable) in exactly the same way. If you have a tuition provider, please let them know your result as they are currently unable to receive your remote invigilated exam results. Please note, results from exams sat very late in the evening and finish early in the morning will not show on the ICAEW website until the morning of the next day