Exam preparations are always a stressful time. No matter how many practice questions we do, or how many mock exams we complete, our natural desire to succeed will always result in feelings of nerves and anxiousness when it comes time to test our CIMA knowledge.
The rise of COVID-19 and the implications of social distancing mean that these exam sessions now have an added layer of complexity to them – Remote Testing.
But what does remote testing mean and what impact will it have on your exam experience? F3 student and part-time lecturer Pilisa Matyholo recently completed his module via online examination and has a few tips for those looking to try it for themselves.
But first, what is Remote Testing?
The term refers to any assessment or exam which can be completed from home via the internet. CIMA’s remote testing has various control measures in place to ensure regular session rules are followed. These include an online invigilator who supervises the sitting via webcam and maintaining the same question format as a traditional exam.
How Does It Work?
Registration for remote testing is open and done via the MyCIMA portal. You are required to complete a System Test before scheduling your exam. This will test your device (laptop/PC) and internet connection to ensure that you have a smooth experience when taking your exam.
If all goes well with the System Test, you then need to download the ONVUE software (the platform on which you will complete the exam) and set up your exam space to match the Room Requirements. Various regulations such as not being within an arm’s length of books and notepads and ensuring additional TV’s and monitors are turned off need to be followed.
Finally, all that’s left is to log in 45 minutes prior to your session start time, making sure you have your ID and confirmation email open on your phone for reference. Once the session begins you should treat it as you would any exam under regular conditions.
This is what Pilisa had to say about his experience completing a CIMA remote testing session;
Briefly describe your experience completing CIMA Remote Testing.
PM: “I enjoyed my experience with remote testing. Taking the exam at the office was great as there were limited disruptions. I did have an issue with the firewall from the work router not allowing the exam to load even after the system test was successful. Luckily, my personal router was there to save the day. With a stable connection the exam is a breeze from a functionality perspective, and you shouldn’t run into any serious issues.”
Did you face any other unique challenges during the session?
PM: “I had one unexpected issue when trying to adjust the positioning of the chat tool on my screen. As I tried to drag it to the bottom corner, my laptop suddenly stalled. This was quickly resolved, and the invigilator simply reloaded my exam. The invigilator later sent me a message saying they could no longer see me on the camera. She asked me to pause and restart the exam and this was done without a hassle. The rest of the session was incident free, and I was able to focus on completing my paper.”
Any advice or bonus tips you could offer students looking to complete their exams via remote testing?
PM: “I would suggest students learn to use a scientific calculator. This allows calculations to be done in a single step as opposed to using the whiteboard/scratchpad which is provided, as I found it to be rather unintuitive.
In addition to the above, I would suggest skimming through all the questions and answering the simple ones first. Doing this did wonders for my confidence. I suddenly felt more at ease and didn’t even think about failing.
Lastly, students should not panic if the exam takes a little longer to load. Stay calm and try to be patient. However, if it takes more than 15 minutes, you should go through the check-in process again.”
Remote Testing provides a viable alternative for any student looking to complete their exams during the global lockdown. By following the guidelines set out by CIMA and making the correct adjustments to your exam preparation, there’s no reason why you should wait to pass your CIMA modules.
Visit the official CIMA Remote Testing Guidelines Page for a full breakdown of the registration and testing process.