New for 2020, we have introduced an online, computer based version of the Part 1 exam. For those taking this version, we have some guidelines and advice to help you prepare. You can also take a look at our list of frequently asked questions in the section below.
How it works
Delivery of the exam will remain the same in terms of content and format, so you should prepare in the same way as you normally would. More information on the format can be found here.
The exam is taken via the Surpass assessment system, where you will be monitored by an online invigilator in real time (referred to as a proctor). You will also be recorded and footage will be held to review later, if required.
Please read through the following points carefully.
- Windows PC/ laptop or Apple Mac
- Microsoft Windows 8, Windows 10 or MAC OS X (latest and previous releases)
- Wired or wifi connection to the internet (minimum 10Mbit/s download, 1mbps upload, ping under 25 ms) Tethering to the internet via a mobile phone is not supported
- Web browser – must be Google Chrome (latest version required)
- Webcam required
- Microphone and audio required
- If possible turn off any updates to prevent interruptions
Once registered, an email for your system check and an email for your exam will be sent to the address you provided. Please double check your junk email folder if nothing appears in your main inbox.
The system check is to ensure your PC is set up and ready to go. However, before you do this, we strongly advise you do the following:
- Ensure you are using the latest version of Google Chrome
- Allow pop-ups for ProctorExam
- Install ProctorExam extension/plugin within Chrome to allow screen sharing
For instructions on how to adjust or check any of the above, download the Candidate system check guide.
Taking the exam
- ID requirements are exactly the same as the written version. We recommend allowing at least 30 minutes before the exam starts for this to be checked
- The exam will take place at the same time on the same date as the written version. You will have the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the online format
- Bathroom breaks are allowed if necessary. The exam clock will not be stopped if you take breaks
- Due to security reasons, you will need to remain at your computer/laptop until the allocated exam time has finished, even if you finish before this
Specific rules have been introduced for this exam. Any of the following violations will be recorded by invigilators and reported back. To avoid being interrupted by invigilators you should sit the exam in a suitable environment where they will be no disruption:
- Looking at a mobile phone or tablet
- Wearing earplugs or headphones (this will be checked by invigilators during the registration process)
- Wearing any clothing with the ability to hide materials, i.e. hooded jumper (this will also be checked during the registration)
- Wearing sunglasses (unless permitted for medical reasons) or smart glasses
- Wearing a watch
- Continuously looking around in any direction
- Leaving the room without permission from the invigilator
- Looking at hands or wrists
- Accessing web pages
- Accessing other applications, such as Word/Excel or their folders/windows explorer
- Taking screenshots of exam content
- Other people entering the room
- Talking to anyone outside the room
- Using multiple screens
- Text books or notes in exam environment (blank paper for note taking is permitted but must be destroyed at the end of the exam)
- Using a calculator
- Room is too dark
- Webcam on PC/laptop angled up or having face obscured
- Vaping or smoking
The full list of our regulations and procedures for exams can be found here.
Support during the exam
During your system check and on exam day, if you encounter any technical difficulties, you will be able to access online chat support.You will find this in the bottom right hand corner of your screen.
The end of the exam
Once you have completed your exam, click on the ‘finish exam’ button in the top right of the screen as shown below and remain at the desk until the allocated exam time is up.