What to expect from ACCA remote invigilation

ACCA announced the welcome news that exams are to now go ahead via remote invigilation (RI) from March 2021 and are open to book from 25th January 2021.⁠

This is fantastic news for ACCA students as it confirmed exams are definitely going ahead – no last-minute cancellations. Therefore, there is no need to delay your studies if you are willing and able to sit an exam. Whilst it is a difficult time, having fewer commitments and the option of remote invigilation offers a great opportunity to focus and progress through your qualification.

Remote Invigilation

What to expect from ACCA remote invigilation

ACCA announced the welcome news that exams are to now go ahead via remote invigilation (RI) from March 2021 and are open to book from 25th January 2021.⁠

This is fantastic news for ACCA students as it confirmed exams are definitely going ahead – no last-minute cancellations. Therefore, there is no need to delay your studies if you are willing and able to sit an exam. Whilst it is a difficult time, having fewer commitments and the option of remote invigilation offers a great opportunity to focus and progress through your qualification.

RI with FI

If you are ready to take advantage of this opportunity, ACCA has outlined important steps to make sure you are prepared for a smooth exam experience. For some of you, this will be the first exam you sit under RI and (as with anything new), this can add to the nerves that come naturally with sitting an exam. We would like to share ACCA’s guidance on sitting exams via remote invigilation, how to prepare for your exam and what to expect on the day.

How do I book my remote invigilation ACCA exam?

Remote invigilation exams are booked on the ACCA website Exam Planner.

Remote exam booking opened: 25th January

Booking deadline for March sitting: 8th February

You can amend your remote exam bookings at any time until 1st February. Therefore, you are unable to change any remote exam bookings that you make between 2nd-8th February.

So, we would strongly encourage students to book RI exams as soon as possible and well in advance of the booking deadline, to lock in the date and time that is most suitable for you. ACCA has provided a useful video walk-through on how to book your exam:

 

Remote invigilation exam room requirements 

As with any exam setting, you will need a quiet space where you will not be distracted by street noise, music and people talking loudly. Invigilation will happen via webcam, so your exam environment must also: 

  • Be well-lit so that you and your desk set up are clearly visible by the invigilator
  • Be completely private with nobody else in the room or visible through windows or glass panels
  • Have a lockable door

How should my exam desk be set up?

Your exam desk must be clean and clear of clutter. Items you may have on your desk include:

  • One monitor
  • Keyboard
  • Mouse
  • Webcam
  • Calculator
  • A clear glass of water or a small bottle of water (with labels removed)

You cannot have additional monitors, peripherals, food or drink, headsets, earphones or earbuds in your RI exam. This also includes scrap paper. More details and a helpful video on your desk set-up can be found on the ACCA website here.

Testing your computer:

To make sure your remote invigilation session runs smoothly, you will need to check that your computer meets certain requirements. As part of this, you will also need to run a system test. These checks include internet connectivity and computer equipment you’ll need in order to run a remote session exam successfully. ACCA has outlined the computer requirements in this video, as well as detailing equipment and technical checks on their website.

**FI Top Tip! It is essential that you run the system test well in advance of the exam. This must be on the same computer and in the exact room where you plan to sit the exam.**

How should I prepare for the exam day?

Aside of making sure you have followed all the steps listed above, our best advice is to practise taking an exam using the Computer Based Exam (CBE) software. Practise this as many times as possible and under exam conditions – replicate the real exam as closely as you can. This will mean that nothing comes as a surprise on the day and you can focus all of your attention on answering the questions correctly. 

There is a practice platform and CBE resources on the ACCA website. 

What to expect on the exam day

  • You can launch the exam via the ACCA website up to 30 mins before exam time
  • The invigilator will instruct you to assist with performing a visual inspection your room – this may take 15 mins to complete 
  • As with in-centre exams, you will not be able to launch your exam 15 minutes after the scheduled time. It is very important to allow time for setup checks before you are due to start the exam.
  • You are allowed a toilet break of 5 minutes during the exam
  • Candidates may wear religious apparel
  • You cannot wear any form of wearable tech, such as smartwatches during the exam. However you may have a clock and pictures on the wall (although these are subject to invigilator approval. Meaning you may possibly be asked to remove them)
  • Speaking aloud during the exam is not permitted
  • The invigilator will help you to resolve any technical issues that may occur during the exam.

Best of luck 

As with any exam, no matter the qualification or format – preparation – in particular, is key. In September and December 2020, ACCA exams were sat under remote invigilation with success. We have also found that the exam results were comparable to those of previous sittings where students sat in-centre. You may even find that sitting an exam from the comfort and familiarity of your home or office helps you to channel all of your energy into your exam performance.

Here is what an FI ACCA student thought following her remote invitation exam in December:

“In my December exam sitting I had to take my exam through remote invigilation. Whilst daunting at first, the idea of ensuring that your laptop works and that there are no connectivity issues on the day, the whole process and experience was an excellent one.

I really enjoyed the fact the exam was at home. I felt at ease and relaxed (well as relaxed as you can be sitting an exam). Another benefit was that I could choose a time that suited me knowing that I wouldn’t have to contend with traffic to try and get to an exam site was a total blessing.

It was simple to set up and the instructions you have to follow are clear, concise and easy. Once the initial setup has been completed the invigilator can open your exam for you to start. My exam was booked in for 10:30 but actually I was able to start early as all the checks were completed so quickly.

A couple of recommendations I would make to ensure the experience is smooth, keep checking the software on your computer to ensure it still works, clear your room the night before so that you aren’t rushing around on the day and use a computer with a decent size screen so that you have the space to open what you need during the exam.” Frances, ACCA student

 

We undoubtedly wish you the best of luck in your March exams and look forward to seeing you progress through your ACCA qualification.

 

Finally, for more exclusive tips and industry news head to FI Hub.


Not studying ACCA?

You can find information on taking exams for your qualification in our Coronavirus: Guidance and Information blog. You can also find useful information below:

ICAEW website exams information
CIMA website exams information
FI CIMA exams update blog
AAT website exams information

 

Quick links:

ACCA website: Remote session exams (overview page)

ACCA website: Before you book

ACCA website: How to book

ACCA website: Exam preparation

ACCA website: On exam day

ACCA website: Students’ FAQs on remote session CBEs

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