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ACCA exams at home

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 123 ✭✭ Navy blue


    Hi all, just got word yesterday that the December ACCA exams will be sat at home, not they are still going to be invigilated, not open book. Has anyone sat previous exams like this? How will the invigoration work? What’s to stop you having a tab open on your laptop with notes etc?


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Comments



  • I don't have any experience of it, but my son sat University of Bern (Switzerland) exams last term and they were required to have two webcams. Once behind them pointing on to their laptops and the other giving a profile view.




  • Judging by the required hardware posted on their website, there is only one webcam required. It mentions no scraps of paper etc, but that wouldn’t prevent a load of notes on your laptop? Presuming they can’t access your laptop!




  • I done the ACA exams (CAP2 so Tax is closed-book) at home during August so can give some insight to what those were like as I can't imagine ACCA being much different. A laptop was required which had a webcam built in, as no external 'hardware' could be used (monitor, keyboard mouse etc). This immediately means that no second screen could be used. During the onboarding process, the automated part of it took your picture and then a picture of your ID. After that, a invigilator was on the other end who requested that we show them around the room/working area by moving our laptop around to show what was on the floow, desk and walls around us. We also then had to show us putting our phones in a place which was out of reach (we were allowed to keep them, but on silent, in case of IT issues). During the exam, the webcam stays on and records you while they are also recording your screen as you must share it with them. The invigilators are available via a chatbox should you need them/inform them that you need the toilet etc.

    The open-book was much easier, just the two photos (of us then and ID), allow screen to be shared and them to record you.

    Hope that helps you out!




  • wow, i think i'd rather wait and sit it in a hall

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  • aidyhawse wrote: »
    I done the ACA exams (CAP2 so Tax is closed-book) at home during August so can give some insight to what those were like as I can't imagine ACCA being much different. A laptop was required which had a webcam built in, as no external 'hardware' could be used (monitor, keyboard mouse etc). This immediately means that no second screen could be used. During the onboarding process, the automated part of it took your picture and then a picture of your ID. After that, a invigilator was on the other end who requested that we show them around the room/working area by moving our laptop around to show what was on the floow, desk and walls around us. We also then had to show us putting our phones in a place which was out of reach (we were allowed to keep them, but on silent, in case of IT issues). During the exam, the webcam stays on and records you while they are also recording your screen as you must share it with them. The invigilators are available via a chatbox should you need them/inform them that you need the toilet etc.

    The open-book was much easier, just the two photos (of us then and ID), allow screen to be shared and them to record you.

    Hope that helps you out!

    They actually changed the onboarding process for all the exams after all the issues on the first day with CAP2 Tax. I also did CAP1 Tax which is closed book and the onboarding process was the same as the open book exams - no room check or speaking to an invigilator


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  • LaQuica wrote: »
    They actually changed the onboarding process for all the exams after all the issues on the first day with CAP2 Tax. I also did CAP1 Tax which is closed book and the onboarding process was the same as the open book exams - no room check or speaking to an invigilator

    That's good news for the closed book exams. I guess they'd know if you were looking at hardcopies of notes/books through your head/eye movement.




  • aidyhawse wrote: »
    That's good news for the closed book exams. I guess they'd know if you were looking at hardcopies of notes/books through your head/eye movement.

    I think you'd be able to get away with having one A4 sheet of notes next to you. But obviously cheating in professional exams is not worth it and you would definitely get fired from B4 if caught.




  • With regards to the software required. I did a systems test last night and the program required to run the exam will not run if there is anything else open and if there are certain icons in your tool bar. (Chrome etc)

    I spoke to someone who did a similar exam and they were asked to show their desk surrounding area and below their desk prior the the exam. the exam is invigilated through your webcam. You must also have your microphone on throughout and no background noise/music is allowed.

    There is an allowance for a strict 5 min toilet break.

    Personally I think there is very little point in cheating, if you are caught you could be banned from ACCA for unethical behaviour which would throw all of your work to this point in the bin.




  • do you write the exam the traditional way?
    are you given an actual exam paper or do you have to read it off the screen?
    i would find it very hard if it had to have to do it on a computer

    Are you a golfer? Why not join the Boards.ie Golf Society. We are a very welcoming bunch of golf nuts so if you have a passion for the game with some like minded folk, come and get involved and play courses all over Ireland (and even further afield) with us. Drop me a pm with the below info and download the teamer app and we will send you invites to our outings.

    • Name / Phone / Email / Home Club / GUI number






  • Thanks for all the replies, there was a information webinar yesterday and it answered a lot of questions. As Marty said, the program used won’t work if you have any other tabs open and the invigilator will ask to see around the room, under the desk etc. You are not allowed sit the exam in rooms with bookshelves, notice boards etc. You are not allowed any paper whatsoever, all work, notes, calculations etc must be done on the program. Not sure how I will manage with that. I am very old school and like using pen and paper. Will have to try and practise extensively in advance. One five minutes toilet break allowed. I can see why they have to restrict them, but you wouldn’t want to be a person who’s exam nerves go straight to their bowels!


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  • i think i would need a lot more time if i couldn't use pen and paper

    Are you a golfer? Why not join the Boards.ie Golf Society. We are a very welcoming bunch of golf nuts so if you have a passion for the game with some like minded folk, come and get involved and play courses all over Ireland (and even further afield) with us. Drop me a pm with the below info and download the teamer app and we will send you invites to our outings.

    • Name / Phone / Email / Home Club / GUI number






  • Seve OB wrote: »
    i think i would need a lot more time if i couldn't use pen and paper
    Me too, that’s one of my worries and I think the exams are tight time wise as it is.




  • I sat these exams in August with ACA. It was a very frustrating process. The main ones being:

    Not being able to have an external monitor ;
    Not being able to have an external keyboard/mouse;
    Doing it all on a small laptop screen;
    Not having the physical question paper/case study so you can highlight/make notes;
    Creating tables is a massive PITA;
    The bullet point function wouldn't work on the day.

    It was a very challenging process and we had very limited time beforehand to practice and I recommend practicing on the new format as much as you can. Not worth even trying to cheat if it's a closed book exam, they know all the tricks.

    I suppose it's the best the accounting bodies can do given the situation but it isn't without its flaws. Even the fact that there's no exam hall 'buzz' plays a big part mentally too.




  • I sat these exams in August with ACA. It was a very frustrating process. The main ones being:

    Not being able to have an external monitor ;
    Not being able to have an external keyboard/mouse;
    Doing it all on a small laptop screen;
    Not having the physical question paper/case study so you can highlight/make notes;
    Creating tables is a massive PITA;
    The bullet point function wouldn't work on the day.

    It was a very challenging process and we had very limited time beforehand to practice and I recommend practicing on the new format as much as you can. Not worth even trying to cheat if it's a closed book exam, they know all the tricks.

    I suppose it's the best the accounting bodies can do given the situation but it isn't without its flaws. Even the fact that there's no exam hall 'buzz' plays a big part mentally too
    .

    I am sorry you experienced so many issues on an exam day. The last thing you need is any physical and technical obstacles to contend with on the day of the exam.

    I think many of these issues can be avoided with the ACCA sitting. We are allowed to use external monitors, keyboard and a mouse. Which you can plug into your laptop.

    The only issue is we can't have two screens. So it would be a simple matter of folding your laptop down and using a larger external monitor to do the exam on.

    If anything i think it is an advantage because you will be using the exact computer, mouse and keyboard and setting for the exam.

    It normally takes me a few minutes in an exam centres to adjust the the exam centre computer, keyboard and mouse or sometimes I have to look for symbol keys which are different than a mac which i use for work.

    Not having some rough paper for quick notes and highlighting is a pain though. But highlighting can be done on the system also.

    I think the best thing to do is to practice as many questions as possible on the demo software as possible to minimise as many "new things" as possible on exam day.




  • If anything i think it is an advantage because you will be using the exact computer, mouse and keyboard and setting for the exam.

    It normally takes me a few minutes in an exam centres to adjust the the exam centre computer, keyboard and mouse or sometimes I have to look for symbol keys which are different than a mac which i use for work.

    Its a few years now since I sat ACCA and never finished the final few. I have been considering going back to finish my ACCA exams.

    Are you saying that in normal circumstances in an exam hall they are sat at on computers as opposed to pen and paper?

    Are you a golfer? Why not join the Boards.ie Golf Society. We are a very welcoming bunch of golf nuts so if you have a passion for the game with some like minded folk, come and get involved and play courses all over Ireland (and even further afield) with us. Drop me a pm with the below info and download the teamer app and we will send you invites to our outings.

    • Name / Phone / Email / Home Club / GUI number






  • Its a few years now since I sat ACCA and never finished the final few. I have been considering going back to finish my ACCA exams.

    Are you saying that in normal circumstances in an exam hall they are sat at on computers as opposed to pen and paper?


    Yes the ACCA exams have been moved from paper to computer based exam (CBE) over the last 4 years or so.

    Initially it was the foundation exams, then there was a switch over about 2/3 years ago for the skills based, and now in the last year the professional exams are also computer based.

    Instead of pen and paper you have a spreadsheet and typing screen screen like limited versions of excel and word.

    It's supposed to mimic a more real life day to day skills rather than taking out a ruler and adding in columns for your financial statements.




  • Hi quick question on ACCA at home exams.
    ACCA are recommending not using work computer for exams. I ran the system test on work computer and all ran fine.
    Do you think i will have any issues on exam day in relation to running software on work computer?
    Thanks




  • I would suggest speaking to your company's IT department regarding firewalls etc.

    Some companies are much stricter than others on what programs you are able to use on your work laptop.

    I would imagine that if the test worked it would indicate that things are ok. But always better to ask the experts with these things.




  • I would suggest speaking to your company's IT department regarding firewalls etc.

    Some companies are much stricter than others on what programs you are able to use on your work laptop.

    I would imagine that if the test worked it would indicate that things are ok. But always better to ask the experts with these things.
    Yes that’s what they said in the webinar about doing the exams online. Work computers may have firewalls etc. But shouldn’t be an issue if there are none. But best to check with your IT dept.




  • I checked my work laptop and straight away the firewall came up as an issue, so even if it doesn't pose an issue today, it might do on the day of exam. Best to check if you can turn off the firewall for the exam or use another device.

    My bug bearer on exams at home is the fact that I can't use pen and paper for rough work - the "scratchpad" is not the same.
    But at least we can have the 5 minute "comfort" break

    Also another thing I got from the webinar - your exam is ready to start 30 minutes before your allotted time so you can start early (will still only have the same amount of time)


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  • robo wrote: »
    I checked my work laptop and straight away the firewall came up as an issue, so even if it doesn't pose an issue today, it might do on the day of exam. Best to check if you can turn off the firewall for the exam or use another device.

    My bug bearer on exams at home is the fact that I can't use pen and paper for rough work - the "scratchpad" is not the same.
    But at least we can have the 5 minute "comfort" break

    Also another thing I got from the webinar - your exam is ready to start 30 minutes before your allotted time so you can start early (will still only have the same amount of time)
    I’m really going to struggle with not being able to use pen and paper. I’m old school and hand write anything!




  • I think not having a little bit of pen and paper or a second screen for rough work is a bit of a disadvantage.Even just for scanning through a questions you can jot down some mnemonics or standards that you want to talk about.

    The multiple windows on a small screen is not ideal, half your screen is taken for your writing area, so the other half is for the scenario or exhibit.

    I think they will need to move away from having multiple exhibits relating to the same questions and it becomes messy flicking between them.

    ACCA appear to have done this for SBR and seem to be breaking it up more for AAA also, (apart from the bigger Question 1 which still requires multiple sources.). i.e each section and point allocation relates to a different exhibit.

    I did SBL on paper and that involved lots of exhibits, highlighting and cross referencing which I shudder thinking about having to do on small screens.

    That being said, it makes little sense for Accountancy exams to be still paper based and moving to computers reduces the possibility of loosing marks due to rushed handwriting, scribbles and lay out changes to questions are easily fixed.




  • Navy blue wrote: »
    I’m really going to struggle with not being able to use pen and paper. I’m old school and hand write anything!

    I'm currently doing CIMA exams and it's the same, so annoying! If we're being proctored on camera and have to show calculators and our room etc anyway, I can't see why we can't also show a few blank pages and be allowed work on them




  • Or instead of a notepad - they could give us an excel app




  • I've just realised that my laptop has a cpu of 1.90 ghz but the minimum requirement is 2.0 ghz. I know it's my own fault for checking so late but I did the test of the software on my computer and this worked fine.

    I'm undecided as to what to do or if this will be an issue. Ideally I wouldn't buy a new laptop for this purpose but if I have to I will. Anyone who has done an online exam with Acca previously have any thoughts or if this will be an issue come exam day?




  • This document outlines the technical specs needed

    I dont see anything about the minimum requirement being 2.0 ghz

    Mine is 1.8 Ghz, passed all the tests so intend to sit per this




  • Interesting. Please find attached where it mentions the 2.0 ghz required to run the examiner component. I asked in the computer forum and its likely a requirement for very old computers with a processor that only has one core. I think ill be taking my chances.




  • I need to check out the room requirements. Something I didn't think about before. I have been working from home on my kitchen table the last couple months.

    We are moving so wanted to wait to get a desk. Dont have one in the house

    I heards something on the remote exam sessions the webinar, that you can't be in a room with windows or at least need the windows covered up. My connection was really bad so the webinar kept dropping out. So didn't hear all of it.

    Does anyone you know the room specifications? I think that might be an issue for me and will have to look for somewhere else to set up for the exam.




  • I think it's just a case that if you're near a window and there are people walking by that it would become an issue and you would have to close the blinds. That was my interpretation anyway.


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  • I need to check out the room requirements. Something I didn't think about before. I have been working from home on my kitchen table the last couple months.

    We are moving so wanted to wait to get a desk. Dont have one in the house

    I heards something on the remote exam sessions the webinar, that you can't be in a room with windows or at least need the windows covered up. My connection was really bad so the webinar kept dropping out. So didn't hear all of it.

    Does anyone you know the room specifications? I think that might be an issue for me and will have to look for somewhere else to set up for the exam.

    Jaysus, that is just ridiculous. You will be seeing people set up in En-Suites all over the place. hard to find a room with no windows

    Are you a golfer? Why not join the Boards.ie Golf Society. We are a very welcoming bunch of golf nuts so if you have a passion for the game with some like minded folk, come and get involved and play courses all over Ireland (and even further afield) with us. Drop me a pm with the below info and download the teamer app and we will send you invites to our outings.

    • Name / Phone / Email / Home Club / GUI number




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