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ICAEW CFAB qualification

Last updated: 20 January 2021

Exam update

Subject to the planned government roadmap to lifting restrictions, from 12 April all Pearson Vue owned test centres in the UK will re-open allowing ICAEW CFAB exams to take place in exam centres. Remote invigilation remains available for all exams. 

International students can continue to sit their exams either at a test centre or via remote invigilation, however, this is subject to local government guidance. The latest updates are available here.

You can also keep up to date with important exam updates via our exam status page 

Remote Invigilation 

OnVUE remote invigilation enables students to take an exam at home while being continuously monitored by an offsite invigilator. However, for remote invigilation exams to run successfully, students will need the equipment required to meet technical specifications.  

We advise all students in a training agreement, to check with their employer before booking or changing any exams, in case they have particular policies and approaches already in place, and to agree the timing of the exam. 

Following feedback from students, the calculator, whiteboard and pen policies have also been reviewed and updated for remote invigilation exams: 

Calculators  

From 22 January, students will be able to use their own calculator in the exam. They are permitted to use models on the approved list only, which is available here. For security reasons, calculator covers and lids are not permitted in the exam and must be stored away. Students are responsible for making sure that their calculator works on the day of the exam. There is also an on-screen calculator available should students need it. They can practice using the on-screen calculator in advance of their exam by using this demonstration or by accessing the sample exams. Students can view the sample exams on our website within the ICAEW CFAB and ACA Certificate Level exam and study resources.  

Whiteboard and pen 

From 22 January, students can use a whiteboard and wipeable pen for any of their workings. We recommend a whiteboard of A4 size (approx. 210x297mm) plus two dry erase markers. Students are required to purchase these items, should they wish to use them. Please note that if students use paper and/or a non-wipeable pen, the exam will be ended and reported as a policy violation. Students will be continuously monitored during your exam and must wipe their whiteboard clean at the end of the exam. Please note that students are prohibited from writing down or recoding any exam content. If students prefer to write notes online, they will be able to use a scratch pad within the exam which offers the following features: 

  • 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; and 
  • to zoom in and out of any screen and notes, hold Ctrl and click + or - .

Students can practise using the scratch pad via this demonstration link.  

They will also be able to use the online whiteboard feature. Guidance on this feature can be found here

Exam centres

Where possible, international students can continue to book and sit their exams at a test centre, however, this is subject to local government guidance. The latest updates are available here

We advise all students in a training agreement, to check with their employer before booking or changing any exams, in case they have particular policies and approaches already in place, and to agree the timing of the exam.

Students can easily change their test centre exam booking to sit remotely from home, if the booking was made online, they simply cancel the test centre exam first and book the exam again as remote invigilation. A full refund will be given if at least 24 hours’ notice is provided. For more guidance, view the how to reschedule or cancel an exam guide

Please note, if the exam was scheduled by the tuition provider or employer, students must inform them so that they can reschedule or cancel the exam on the student’s behalf. 

To take a remotely invigilated exam, students must have a suitable environment to sit the exam in and a computer with a strong internet connection which meets the minimum technical requirements.  

Exam advice for students

The ICAEW exams and learning materials are prepared ahead of each exam session. While we aim to reflect real life in the exams, the scenarios, characters and businesses presented are fictional and reflect the economic circumstances at the time of writing. Some exam question scenarios may relate to an industry, sector or business on which the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact. Where analysis of that scenario is required, it would be relevant to mention briefly in your answer the implications of the pandemic. Overall, however, you should continue to focus on answering the question appropriately, using the technical knowledge and skills as set out in the ICAEW learning materials.