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November Advanced Level update

Following the issues experienced by students in our July Advanced Level exams, we would firstly like to reiterate how sorry we are for the stress and inconvenience caused to those affected, at such a vital moment in our students’ career. The exam experience simply wasn’t the experience we strive to provide. Secondly, we would like to provide an update on the improvements we’ve been working extremely hard to put in place. Hopefully this will provide some reassurances for you, especially if you are sitting our exams in November.

Over the last few months, two independent reviews have taken place, looking into the technical issues and the end-to-end processes surrounding our exams. It is crucial that we learn from this and implement solutions to prevent issues reoccurring. Following the reviews, we implemented the changes below:

  • The frequency of the auto-save function of the computer’s file log within our exam software changed from 30 seconds to two minutes. The type of content saved in this file log was also amended. These changes reduce the server capacity used, which was identified as a major cause of issues in the July Case Study exam.
  • Increased frequency of updates on software and server performance from our suppliers to closely monitor usage.
  • Conducted a quality review of test centres and removed those that did not meet our minimum software and hardware specifications. 

These changes resulted in a successful Professional Level exam session in September, with over 7,500 exams delivered in 19 countries.  

However, we are continuing to make improvements, including new communication processes, and conducting thorough testing in preparation for the November Advanced Level exams. More information on these improvements, and an opportunity to ask questions, will be discussed at a live webinar on Friday 15 October at 09:00 (UK-time). Register your place here. If you are unable to attend the webinar, a recording will be available shortly after the webinar has taken place via the Exam System Status page.  

We hope that these improvements reassure you but we also know that we need to continue improving to increase confidence in our exam software, deliver a successful exam experience and ensure you feel supported by us as much as possible.   

We look forward to seeing you at the webinar next week, but in the meantime good luck with the rest of your studies, exam preparation and your journey to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant.

Stay up to date 

We recommend that all students, employers and Partners in Learning regularly check the Exam Systems Status page for the latest and most urgent updates. If you have a question, please do not hesitate to contact our Student Support Team via web chat, email or call +44 (0)1908 248 250.