E-Assessment FAQs

  1. What IT and internet specifications are needed to operate the exam?
  2. What if the internet fails?
  3. What if a student does not have internet coverage?
  4. Can a student complete the examination on their office laptop?
  5. How easy is the E-Assessment platform to use?
  6. What is to stop a student using the internet to “Google” an answer or email a friend?
  7. What is to prevent someone impersonating a student on a different keyboard?
  8. What happens if a student cannot log into a particular exam?
  9. What happens if the student has technical difficulties during the exam?
  10. Will the new platform cope with “reasonable accommodation” cases?
  11. Under the proposal to change the structure/weighting of the CAP1 Law and Tax exams, will the modular/bridging exam approach continue to apply?
  12. What will the timeline/window be for the assessment CAP1 Law and the DEBK assessment?
  13. What happens when a student takes a toilet break?
  14. Can students bring a dictionary into the exam?
  15. What happens if a student does not have valid/correct I.D, or if their name is different to the name they have registered with?
  16. Will students have access to the exam platform before they sit their DEBK and Law exam from November 1st?
  17. What are the exam/study leave recommendations for the CAP1 Law paper?
  18. Will students have to pass the Law assessment before the main exams (can they repeat)?
  19. Can sitting the CAP1 Law assessment be made mandatory?
  20. What will the timeline/window be for the Management Accounting interim assessment?
  21. What are the exam/study leave recommendations?
  22. Will students have to pass the CAP1 Management Accounting interim assessment before the main exams (can they repeat)?
  23. Can sitting the Management Accounting interim assessment be mandatory?
  24. Will the current DEBK rules apply (e.g. weighting (20%), timeline/window, rules on passing in order to be eligible to sit the main CAP1 Financial Accounting exam)?
  25. Will there be any exam/study leave recommendations for the DEBK assessment?
  26. Will the 24/7 style assessment (i.e. DEBK and Company Law) operate under similar strict rules regarding the need to pass etc. as operates under the current DEBK assessment?
  27. How will it be guaranteed that a student sitting the DEBK or Law exam will not get the same questions in their second, third etc. attempt?
  28. When will the student receive their exam results?
  29. Can the student have spare paper in the exam room for calculations in a closed book exam?
  30. Will graduates be awarded exemptions from the new exam based on the current syllabus?
  31. Will the recommended study leave increase for the new CAP1 Tax paper?
  32. Will the recommended study leave be reduced to reflect a reduction in the examinable CAP2 Tax syllabus?
  33. How will students manage the learning curve from CAP1 MCQs /short form questions to case study style/long form questions under the CAP2 and FAE exams, particularly for students where English is not their first language (a growing population of trainees)?
  34. Will MCQs affect pass rates as students won’t get marks for their workings?
  35. Will exam halls be made available by the Institute for students who prefer to be in the presence of an invigilator (adept at calming students who suffer panic attacks, etc.)?
  36. Is the new exam platform compliant with GDPR requirements?
  37. How long will student scripts and videos of the exams be retained?
  38. Can the rules on sharing information with firms be extended to where the initial course fees are paid by the employer, both for first sittings and repeats, rather than being tied to the term of the training contract?
  39. Will the firm have access to the ProctorU (invigilator) exam recording?

Technical

  1. What IT and internet specifications are needed to operate the exam?

    In general most laptops will meet the specification as long as they have a webcam, microphone and internet connection. Students can test their laptop or PC in advance of their exam using the "Test it Out" process. The preferred browser is Google Chrome. 

  2. What if the internet fails?

    Should the internet fail the platform is programmed to continue for a short period. However, should the internet connection not automatically reconnect, the student should click the ProctorU extension (Blue Owl or green phone in top right) and log out. They should then exit the browser and fix their internet connection. Once reconnected they should then log back into the student portal, go to 'My Enrolments' and click through on the link beside the relevant exam. This will bring them to the ProctorU homepage where they can select "Reconnect" and go through the on-boarding process again with their invigilator. No exam responses are lost in this situation, the system will remember all of the work the student did up until the point where they got disconnected. 

  3. What if a student does not have internet coverage?

    It is essential that students decide on a suitable area for their exams in advance. The requirements are that the area is private, quiet and well-lit. The student will also need sufficient internet coverage to allow them run their exams. Given the low internet coverage required (circa 1.5 MB up/download speed) then it will be very rare that a student has insufficient internet connectivity. 

  4. Can a student complete the examination on their office laptop?

    We have been working with IT Departments of most of the major Training Firms. Students should check in with their IT Departments in advance of scheduling their exams to establish whether there are any constraints in their firm. For example some firms will require that students take the exam on their guest wi-fi and students will need to organise this in advance.  However, in any case where there is any issue with running the E-Assessment on the firm's hardware then students can sit the exam using their own personal laptop. 

  5. How easy is the E-Assessment platform to use?

    The platform is extremely intuitive in terms of navigation. Students will be able to practice in the platform using sample exam papers and there will be video tutorials covering the on-boarding processes and exam navigation.

  6. What is to stop a student using the internet to “Google” an answer or email a friend?

    The platform “locks down” the inappropriate internet access and tracks and highlights any attempts to challenge the secure environment. Due to the student sharing their screen with the online invigilator, they are constantly being watched and recorded. If a student attempts to open up another window in their browser a pop-up will come onto screen warning the student to not to attempt to open additional windows. If the student consistently attempts this or tries to open additional information during the exam, the online invigilator will speak to the student and warn them if they do this again, their exam will be terminated and a report (and video) will be provided to the examination committee.

  7. What is to prevent someone impersonating a student on a different keyboard?

    The on-boarding process ensures that external screens are disconnected from the laptop or PC, this means that a third party would either have to be in line with the screen to see the questions or the candidate would have to signal to them. Any such behaviour will be noticed by the invigilator or the AI process. The invigilator will also be carrying out checks during the on-boarding process which will identify whether the desktop is shared or running in a virtual machine. If a candidate is caught attempting to bypass any of the security measures their exam will be terminated and a report (and video) will be provided to the examination committee. 

  8. What happens if a student cannot log into a particular exam?

    In practice 99.9% of students are able to resolve any technical issues. Technical support will be able to resolve any issues. Where access was not achieved it will be possible to rearrange the sitting of the examination at another time. Contingency arrangements will be in place to cover the April 2020 ’Management Accounting interim assessment.

  9. What happens if the student has technical difficulties during the exam?

    ProctorU has 24/7 technical assistance available. For specific days exams (e.g. Management Accounting interim assessment), there will also be an exam executive in Chartered Accountants Ireland available by phone or email to assist with students if necessary.

  10. Will the new platform cope with “reasonable accommodation” cases?

    The new platform is designed with reasonable accommodations in mind. The Institute will continue to accommodate all such reasonable accommodation cases within the platform or otherwise. Students must still follow existing reasonable accommodation policies and procedures.

  11. Under the proposal to change the structure/weighting of the CAP1 Law and Tax exams, will the modular/bridging exam approach continue to apply?

    Yes, these arrangements will continue to remain the same.

  12. What will the timeline/window be for the CAP1 Law exam and the DEBK assessment?

    The window for both assessments will operate from 1 November 2019 to 7 March 2020.

  13. What happens when a student takes a toilet break?

    The student has 3 minutes to take a toilet break if necessary. The student's exam time will not be paused. Once the student returns from the toilet break, the online invigilator may ask the student to once again pan the room with the laptop to ensure no non-permitted items are in the area. 

  14. Can students bring a dictionary into the exam?

    Yes, student can bring an English to English dictionary into the exam, however the student must skim through the dictionary in front of their camera so the invigilator is satisfied it is acceptable and there are no other materials within the book.

  15. What happens if a student does not have valid/correct I.D, or if their name is different to the name they have registered with?

    Students must ensure they have a valid Government issued I.D (i.e. Driving licence, passport). The student will have received communication at the time of course registration for CAP1 that only valid I.D with the correct name will be accepted. Students who fail to produce this on the day of the exam will not be permitted to sit and this will count as an attempt.

  16. Will students have access to the exam platform before they sit their DEBK assessment and Law exam from November 1st?

    The students will have access to two mock papers for both the DEBK assessment and the Law exam. These mock exams will not be invigilated.

  17. CAP1 Law exam

  18. What are the exam/study leave recommendations for the CAP1 Law paper?

    The proposed study leave for Law is 3 days and no examination leave day is required as this exam is on demand.

  19. Will students have to pass the Law exam before the main exams (can they repeat)?

    The student must pass the Law exam (unless exempted) before they can sit the main CAP1 exams (i.e. it will operate like the DEBK assessment). As it is on demand student can take as many attempts as necessary to pass within the window. The result of the Law exam will not be capped for repeat attempts.

  20. Can sitting the CAP1 Law exam be made mandatory?

    Yes. Sitting the assessment is mandatory for any student that doesn’t have an exemption from Law.

  21. CAP1 Management Accounting interim assessment

  22. What will the timeline/window be for the Management Accounting interim assessment?

    The CAP1 Management Accounting interim assessment will be still held on a single date in April 2020. This is held in the afternoon as it presently is, to facilitate bridging students. All students will sit the interim assessment on that day.

  23. What are the exam/study leave recommendations?

    No changes to the current recommendations are planned. Study leave is only allowed for the main exam sittings not for the interim assessments.

  24. Will students have to pass the CAP1 Management Accounting interim assessment before the main exams (can they repeat)?

    No. This remains the same as currently. Student will only sit this interim assessment once and carry the resulting score through to the main exam.

  25. Can sitting the Management Accounting interim assessment be mandatory?

    Yes. The sitting of this assessment is currently mandatory. If a student does not sit the interim assessment, they will be marked out of 85% for the year end exam.

  26. CAP1 Financial Accounting Double Entry Book Keeping (DEBK) assessment

  27. Will the current DEBK rules apply (e.g. weighting (20%), timeline/window, rules on passing in order to be eligible to sit the main CAP1 Financial Accounting exam)?

    Yes. All current rules remain the same. Please note the current requirement to pass DEBK in order to be eligible to sit any main CAP1 exam (not just Financial Accounting) still applies.

  28. Will there be any exam/study leave recommendations for the DEBK assessment?

    No. Currently there are no study leave recommendations and this will not change.

  29. Will the 24/7 style assessment/exam (i.e. DEBK and Company Law) operate under similar strict rules regarding the need to pass etc. as operates under the current DEBK assessment?

    Yes. The options for sitting the new Law exam are on a similar basis and as strict as the current DEBK with the same implications should students not complete it within the available windows.

  30. How will it be guaranteed that a student sitting the DEBK assessment or Law exam will not get the same questions in their second, third etc. attempt?

    Both DEBK assessments  and Law exams are drawn from very extensive question banks to ensure the student will not receive the same exam on their repeat attempts.

  31. When will the student receive their exam results?

    The student will receive their DEBK /Law results 2-3 working days after they have sat their exam. For the Management Accounting interim assessment, the results will be published on a particular day, as is currently the case.

  32. Can the student have spare paper in the exam room for calculations in a closed book exam?

    Students will be permitted to have 4-5 blank pieces of paper in the test environment for rough work calculations for the DEBK assessment and Management Accounting interim assessment. The student will have to show these pages of paper to the online invigilator before the commencement of the assessment to prove the paper is blank.

  33. Expanding the CAP1 Tax syllabus

  34. Will graduates be awarded exemptions from the new exam based on the current syllabus?

    Yes. Exemptions will remain unchanged for the colleges. This is due to the fact that most courses we currently exempt from CAP1 Tax actually cover much more topics in the degrees. However please note that our exemption criteria is changing this year reducing the length of validity for exemption for prior learning from 10 years down to 5 years.

  35. Will the recommended study leave increase for the new CAP1 Tax paper?

    Yes. Study leave will increase by an additional 2 days which is to allow for the fact that Tax CAP1 is now a full subject at CAP1 and this change aligns this subject with the other papers.

  36. Reducing the CAP2 Tax exam syllabus

  37. Will the recommended study leave be reduced to reflect a reduction in the examinable CAP2 Tax syllabus?

    No change in study leave is planned for CAP2 Tax. The roll out of the CAP2 Tax syllabus will take place in 2020/21.

  38. Exam technique

  39. How will students manage the learning curve from CAP1 MCQs /short form questions to case study style/long form questions under the CAP2 and FAE exams, particularly for students where English is not their first language (a growing population of trainees)?

    There will only be two multiple choice style assessments, Law and DEBK all other assessments will remain as they are currently. Therefore, there is no change envisaged here. Students will be able to practice in the platform in advance of the main exam. Firms are reminded that students are expected to be proficient in English and this should be assessed at the interview stage.

  40. Will MCQs affect pass rates as students won’t get marks for their workings?

    The only exam that changes fully to MCQ is Law. Currently the Law exam doesn’t offer method marks as there are no calculations as you either know the information or you don’t. The pass rates currently for the current Law paper are very high circa 95% and they may fall initially. However, this is more than compensated by the ability to re-sit on demand.

  41. Exam hall facilities

  42. Will exam halls be made available by the Institute for students who prefer to be in the presence of an invigilator (adept at calming students who suffer panic attacks, etc.)?

    No. Available research says that candidates are less anxious by doing their exams at home or other familiar environment. Should an unexpected event take place the on-line invigilator will contact the student. Students can communicate with the online invigilator through the ‘Blue Owl Icon’ at the top of their screen or use the chat box during an exam. Institute staff will engage with the invigilator as needed and there will be a video record available.

  43. Data protection

  44. Is the new exam platform compliant with GDPR requirements?

    Yes. The systems have been externally checked to confirm GDPR compliance and the Institute has undertaken its own due diligence on this. All data retention (including video) is compliant with the Institute’s data privacy policies. A copy of the Data Privacy Policy can be viewed. Please click here to view the Privacy statement. 

  45. How long will student scripts and videos of the exams be retained?

    Retention of exam material (scripts and video) will comply with our standard GDPR policy.

  46. Can the rules on sharing information with firms be extended to where the initial course fees are paid by the employer, both for first sittings and repeats, rather than being tied to the term of the training contract?

    No, there will be no change to these rules on sharing information due to GDPR requirements.

  47. Will the firm have access to the ProctorU (invigilator) exam recording?

    The firm may be shown the exam recording if Chartered Accountants Ireland believes there is a valid case of cheating or improper conduct by the student during the exam. However, in the normal course of events the exam recording will not be viewed by anyone and only be retained for 15 days and will then be destroyed in accordance with Institute's data retention policy.