Assessment - Need to know

To prepare yourself for an assessment, please read the information provided below. In July 2018 we replaced our assessment and online invigilation systems. The information below now relates to the new assessment system, Surpass, and our online invigilation provider, ProctorExam.

The new systems were used successfully for the July assessment window and have been well received by students. Don't just take our word for it, here's what some have had to say:

 Today I performed my exam – the new assessment system with Surpass and ProctorExam works very well and is easy to understand. 
 I took the exam earlier today. First of all, I would like to thank you for changing the supplier. I had a much more pleasant exam experience in comparison to April. The system is very user-friendly. 

If this is the first time you are using ProctorExam, take a look at this useful instruction video to familiarise yourself with the assessment scenario. Once you have watched it, follow the 6 steps outlined below.

STEP 1: Decide where you will be sitting your assessment

We do not recommend that you sit your assessment at work. This is because often an organisations firewalls cause problems. Find somewhere with a reliable internet connection and where you won't be easily disturbed or interrupted.

STEP 2: Read the assessment quick start guide

Before booking or taking an assessment, download and read the candidate quick start guide. It outlines the correct requirements you need to successfully take your exam online.

ProctorExam has useful rules and tips about what you need to take in to consideration before and during your exam.
View exam rules here.

STEP 3: Check you have the right equipment

Make sure you do this step at least 24 hours before the exam to ensure that you have no last minute problems.

A. Mobile device

You will need a mobile device or tablet. This is so that you can download the ProctorExam app. You will not be sitting the exam on your mobile device. The app is specially designed to support the remote invigilation process. Instructions for downloading the app will be provided during the system check process, but firstly you need to make sure your device meets the right requirements.

Mobile specifications:

  • Android 4.1 or higher
  • iOS (Apple) 8.0 or higher
    You can see your operating system version in the settings of your phone.
  • Ensure you can connect to WiFi so you don’t use up your data.
  • Ensure your mobile device can be plugged in for the duration of your exam.

B. Laptop/PC

You will need a laptop or PC to sit your assessment. Your default browser must be set to Google Chrome. Take a look at this useful guide if you don't know how to change your default browser.

Laptop/PC requirements:

  • Bandwidth – 1mbps or higher
  • Operating System – Windows 7 or higher
  • WiFi connection – candidate to be positioned where signal is strongest or connected directly to the Ethernet cable
  • Web Brower – Current version of Google Chrome
  • Webcam required
  • Microphone required
  • Audio required

We do not invigilate computers running virtual machines. If you are running a virtual machine when you come in, you will be asked to close your virtual machine and boot into your actual operating system to take your test.

We do not support development previews, beta builds, or release candidates of any operating system unless specified.

STEP 4: Test your Laptop/PC

Once you're happy that your equipment meets the requirements above, you can test the device you plan to use for your assessment in advance. We highly recommend doing this at least 24 hours in advanced to ensure you don't come across any unexpected problems on the day.

You will be emailed a link roughly two weeks before your exam window to test your equipment, click on it and follow the system set up instructions.

If you do not complete the system set up check, you will not be permitted to take the live assessment on the day.
Once you have tested your equipment, your ProctorExam record will be updated to reflect that you have done so.

TIP: It might sound obvious, but make sure that you perform the system setup on the same computer on which you will take the exam!

You will need to do the system setup every time you take an exam.

STEP 5: Other things you need to know

You can take in a scientific calculator on the day. An onscreen calculator is available however candidates can take into the exam their own scientific calculator. You will be required to show the calculator in the pre-checks and clear any memory on the device. You may not use any calculator functionality attached to a mobile phone, a personal computer, or internet device.

You may not use a calculator which has any of the following functions:

  • IRR or NPV
  • Programmability
  • Text storage
  • Print out function
  • Internet
  • Messaging

If you are unsure about what calculator to use, take a look at this useful blog which explains how to identify a programmable versus non-programmable calculator.

  • You will need your photo ID to prove who you are, so make sure you know where it is and have it easily to hand. Failure to produce ID will result in disqualification.
  • Remote invigilation means you can not take bathroom breaks during your assessment. Make sure you go to the toilet before your exam. If you have any medical reasons which mean you will need a concession, please let us know at least 72 hours in advance at so that we can notify ProctorExam.
  • You can take in 6 sheets of A4 blank white paper on the day to make notes.
  • You can also take in a pen to make notes.

STEP 6: Don't panic

Work through the steps above in advance - don't leave it until the last minute. If you're having any problems with your devices or system set up, you may find these ProctorExam FAQ pages helpful.

If not, get in touch with our team at

Other useful pre-exam tips
Small things can make a big difference to your state of mind on assessment day, so we recommend the following:

  • get a good nights sleep before your assessment
  • have a light meal before your assessment, enough so that you don't feel hungry during, but not so much that it makes you too full and sleepy
  • there's no dress code so make sure you're comfortable
  • have a bottle or a glass of water with you on the day in case you get thirsty
  • let those close to you or your work colleagues know when you're sitting your exam, so that you will not be disturbed

Best of luck with your final revision and your assessment on the day!

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