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Remote invigilation FAQs

Questions and answers on the recent qualification updates

Questions and answers on the recent qualification updates

Certificate Level and ICAEW CFAB Remote Invigilation

  • What calculator can I use during my OnVUE exam?

    Students can use their own calculator in the exam. They are permitted to use models on the  approved list only.

    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.

  • How do I write notes during my OnVUE exam?

    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.

  • Is there a demo of the exam to see what it looks like and practise how to use it?

    The remotely invigilated 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.

  • Can I use a touch screen?

    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.

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

    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.

  • Can I sit my exam on any web browser?

    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.

  • What will happen if my internet connection drops during my exam?

    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 exam disruption appeal by emailing examdisruptionappeal@icaew.com. See further details.

  • I have extra time, how do I book my exams?

    Please see the following exam booking instructions based on difference circumstances. Note that this may be different for each exam module:

    • If your extra time has been granted, it is your first exam attempt and you have not had any exam bookings for this module before which have been cancelled, you can book in the usual way via the web.
    • Before your extra time was granted if you attempted the exam module, or had an exam booking which was cancelled, reade these instructions on how to book.
    • If you have an existing exam booking without extra time in place, you will need to contact Pearson VUE and ask them to cancel your existing booking and to make another exam booking which will pick up your extra time. Contact PearsonVUE.

    Please note: for security reasons, you are unable to move out of the webcam view during a remote invigilated exam. If you have been awarded extra time or stop the clock for a condition that requires you to move around, you will need to sit at an exam centre.

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

    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.

  • Is remote invigilation the only option for sitting this exam?

    Many exam centres are now open for you to sit your ACA Certificate Level or ICAEW CFAB exams, although availability is limited due to social distancing which varies by location.

    The status of exam centres is changing rapidly due to the spread of Covid-19

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

    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.

  • Will I receive my results in the same way?

    Results will be provided to students and employers (if applicable) in exactly the same way. 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.

  • What should I do if I experience an issue during my exam?

    Should you experience an issue during your exam, you must report this to Pearson VUE via the greeter or invigilator on the day of your exam. If there are connection issues and you are unable to contact the greeter or invigilator, please contact Pearson VUE when the connection allows to report this and ensure it has been logged. If you feel the issue you experienced has impacted your exam result, you can apply for exam disruption appeal within 7 days of your exam.

  • What should I do if I experience significant delays waiting for my RI exam to be launched?

    The majority of exams are launched without any delays, but if for any reason you do experience a delay, please note the following:

    • If you have completed all the steps required to check in for your exam and are kept waiting for more than 45 minutes, a link will automatically appear at the top of your screen which will allow you to contact Pearson VUE for help.
    • If you have tried the link and you have not received a response within 15 minutes and feel that waiting any longer would affect your exam performance, you have the option to end your exam session and contact Pearson VUE on +44 (0)161 855 7444 to reschedule your exam without charge. Note that the following applies:
      • the delays experienced are due to no fault of your own, for example, you have the correct ID and are using a computer which meets the technical specifications; and
      • you are not late for your exam.

    If you are in a training agreement, please ensure you inform your employer and tuition provider before rescheduling your exam.

    If you experience delays of more than one hour after your scheduled exam time, please report this to us after your exam session by contacting our student support team at icaew.com/webchat or you can call us at +44 (0)1908 248 250.

  • Can I use my work laptop during the exam?

    Work computers may have processes running in the background, system updates, antivirus scans for example, and if they are running at the point of exam delivery, students will not have administration rights to end these, only the IT department has these rights.

    Therefore, we strongly recommend that students use a personal laptop if they have one. Firewalls or security settings from work computers may restrict the software from operating properly.

    If a student wants to use their work computer, but own a personal computer which meets the technical requirements, we recommend that the student keeps their personal computer close by in case they need to use this computer in their exam. The personal computer cannot be held in the exam area, but possibly in a cupboard or somewhere nearby which is accessible.

    We advise students to run the system test before their exam day, but it is also advisable that they run the system check again a couple of hours before their exam. If there are any issues caused by using a work computer, the student will have time to contact their IT department.

  • Can I use an external monitor during my exams?

    You can use an external monitor if you are using a laptop and would like to use a larger screen, providing that your laptop is closed. As you need to be in the web cam view at all times, if you only have a web cam built into your laptop, you would need to obtain and use one which works externally.

Professional and Advanced Level Remote Invigilation

Before sitting or booking an exam

During the exam

  • What if something goes wrong?

    If you require support during your remote invigilation exam, please use the Proctor Exam support via the chat button, so you can get support to resolve the issue and continue with your exam. You can also contact our Student Support team. If you were able to complete the exam but you felt the circumstances had an adverse impact on your performance, then you must apply for exam disruption appeal within 7 days, or ICAEW will not take the circumstances into account during the marking process. However, if you were unable to complete the exam, then you must contact ICAEW within 24 hours.

  • 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?

    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.

  • When should I do a system check for my exam?

    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.

    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.

    View this video to see a demonstration of the system check and onboarding process.

  • Can I use a touch screen during the exams?

    No. The exam software does not support touch screens.

  • Can I use the laptop supplied by my employer?

    Yes. Students can use a laptop or device that has been provided by their employer. Occasionally there may be restricted access and admin rights installed, please check this with the employer prior to the exam.

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

    The bandwidth required is minimum 2.5Mbit/s upload speed. Hotspot or tethering is not supported.

  • Can I sit my exam on any web browser?

    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.

  • How will I log in to the exam?

    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.

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

    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.

  • Will the remote invigilation exams still be open book?

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

  • How are the remote exams invigilated?

    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.

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

    If the internet connection drops during the exam, students will see a message saying ‘no internet connection – please click retry’ as well as the time remaining when the internet dropped. Students will need to keep the screen open and fix the internet issue. Once this is done, click retry and it will return to the 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.

  • What will happen if I experience problems during the exam – how can I contact the invigilator?

    During your system check and on exam day, if you encounter any technical difficulties, you will be able to access the online Proctor Exam Support feature. 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 exam disruption appeal policy and guidance apply for these exams. If you feel your exam attempt has been unduly affected, you should raise an exam disruption appeal application.

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

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

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

    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 remote exam, and what is considered acceptable behaviour, please read the instructions to candidates.

  • Can I have a comfort break during the exam?

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

  • Can I use an additional monitor?

    If you wish to use an additional monitor that does not have a webcam or microphone, you may connect this to a computer that has a webcam and microphone. You must ensure that the screen is mirrored, or one is off/blacked out. Only one screen should be in use during your exam. The webcam must be able to record you from the front but may be positioned to the side of your primary monitor if necessary.

After the exam

  • Will I receive my results in the same way?

    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.

  • How do results compare for exams taken in a centre vs. remote invigilation?

    The results for exam centres and remote invigilation are carefully considered by ICAEW's Assessment Committee, which oversees our assessment processes; detailed data is available to the Committee, and that data is monitored over time at Certificate Level and at every session for Professional and Advanced Levels. The results for these two modes of delivery are comparable, and we will continue to monitor and assess to ensure both methods of delivery are fair and consistent for our students.

Student support team

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