Exam FAQs

For information regarding the Semester 2, 2020 Exams, Foundation Program and Part III Module 1 SP Exams, please refer to the Exam Updates page

KEY DOCUMENTS

Candidate Instructions
Examity Candidate Guide (Chrome)
Examity Candidate Guide (Firefox)
Special Conditions Policy

HOW DO I GET SUPPORT?

If you have any difficulties with the pre-exam requirements you should contact the Institute via education@actuaries.asn.au or by phone as soon as possible:  Domestic students: 1800 568 878; International students: +61 2 8052 3450.

If you have any questions on the day of the exam, please phone the Institute: Domestic students: 1800 568 878; International students: +61 2 8052 3450.

How will the exams operate?

You will:

  • access your exams through Canvas;
  • test the system in advance; and 
  • receive an exam permit at least two weeks prior to the exam with the relevant details you need including Candidate Instructions.
  • A few days prior to the exam you will need to register with our authentication and proctoring partner Examity, complete your profile and schedule your exam.
  • On the day of the exam ensure your exam area is prepared (see checklist below) and, 30 minutes prior to the start time for your exam you will sign on to Canvas and be directed to Examity to complete online authentication, initiate proctoring and access the exam.
  • You will need to have the photo ID credential with you which you used to set up your profile in Examity e.g. passport or driving licence.
  • It is expected this process will take a few minutes and we recommend that you sign on to the system 30 minutes prior to the start of the exam.
  • Following authentication, you will return to Canvas, and at the exam start time, the paper will be available in a zipped PDF file for you to download.
  • We highly recommend that you save the exam paper and regularly save your responses on your hard drive.
  • You will need to answer your exam using MSWord and Excel and include your candidate number.
  • Your answer sheets need to be uploaded to the LMS at the end of the exam.

Full details are available in the Candidate Instructions.

What time will the exams be held?

Actuary Program, Fellowship Program and Part III exams will start at 11.00 am (AEDT Sydney).  For some subjects there will be staggered start times of 11.00, 11.30 and 12.00.  Your start time will be shown on your exam permit.  Please check it carefully, particularly if you are not located in an AEDT time zone.

CAP exams will start at 9.00 am Sydney time or 9.00 am Singapore time or 9.00 am London time.  You will be advised of your start time on your exam permit.

What happens if I am overseas in a different time zone, can I vary the start time?

We regret that we are unable to offer any candidates alternative start times and recommend you check the start time in your location carefully. 

How long will I have for the exam?

Other than for CAP (see below) the standard exam time is 3 hours and 15 minutes (previously allocated as reading time).  To accommodate the changed exam environment, you will be given an additional 30 minutes (total time of 3 hours 45 minutes) to complete the exam. You will then have 15 minutes to upload your answer scripts.

HOW LONG WILL I HAVE FOR THE CAP exam?

The total exam time will be 8 hours and there will then be 15 minutes allocated to upload your answer scripts.

The usual break periods are

Morning Tea:           10.30 - 10.45 am

Lunch:                       12.30 - 1.30 pm

Afternoon Tea:         3.00 - 3.15 pm

It is not compulsory to take a break, but candidates are advised to take a short break and have food and drink readily available.  If you leave your desk for food and/or bathroom breaks, you should make a record of this.

Will I be alerted to the end of the exam approaching?

No, time keeping is your own responsibility and you should organise a clock or timer to assist you with this.

What are the technical requirements to enable me to sit the examination?

Full details of the technical requirements for the exams can be found in our Online Exams Minimum System Requirements document.

What should I do if I do not have access to the necessary computer equipment, software or internet connection, to enable me to sit the exam?

It is your responsibility to ensure you have the required equipment and software to enable you to sit the exam.  If you believe you will be unable to meet the requirements you should contact the Education Team and consider whether you need to withdraw from the exam as soon as possible.

What if I need to hand write formulae in my response?

Candidates for C5A and C5B may be required to handwrite some part of their answers, e.g. formulae and calculations which may be difficult to type in Word.  In this case you should have paper available on which to write your answers. On completion of the exam time you will need to scan or photograph your handwritten responses, upload them to your computer and then submit them as part of your exam.  Candidates will be given 30 minutes in which to upload their answers after the end of the 3 hours 45 minutes exam time.

CAN I PRINT MY EXAM?

You are not required to print your exam, but you may do so in the first 15 minutes of the exam.  Movement from your desk to collect your printout will be allowed in that time.

CAN I USE TWO SCREENS?

Candidates may use two screens if they wish to work on a larger screen than their laptop provides but the screens must be duplicated.  Before starting the exam you should ensure your screens are in Duplicate Screens mode (see here for more information).  You may not use any additional devices e.g. iPad.

Can I test the system?

We will be giving all students the opportunity to test their equipment and the authentication and exam process well in advance of the exam.  Further details will be communicated to students.  

It is strongly recommended that you take this opportunity to test your equipment and internet connection as well giving you familiarity with the process, which will reduce possible anxiety on the exam day.  It is your responsibility to make sure you are able to sit the exam.

When will I receive my candidate instructions?

You will receive joining instructions at least two weeks before the exam date. This will give you sufficient time to carry out pre-exam checks to test whether your computer equipment will work on the day of the exam.

What are the open book conditions?

The exams are conducted under open book conditions. Candidates may have available hard copies of part of the course material, which consists of the textbook, their own notes, prescribed core reading material, or they may access this material on their C drive.The standard digital materials which will be made available with the exam will include:

  • PDFs of the textbook and prescribed core readings that have been protected to prevent copying and pasting.
  • Files related to the question.

Tutorial questions, tutorial recordings, other videos and spreadsheets from the subject are not available in the exam and should not be accessible by you in the exam.

Candidates may not access any material in the cloud or on other devices.

Candidates may use calculators for the exam however, it is envisaged that students will use Microsoft Excel for their calculations.

WHAT IS THE FORMAT FOR NAMING MY ANSWER DOCUMENTS?

Candidates may submit both Word and Excel documents. 

Word document:  Your candidate number should be included in the header of the Word document. For the Word template which you can prepare in advance please click here.

The Word document should be saved as Candidate number_Question number.docx

Excel document: save as Candidate number_Question number.xlsx

For CAP candidates: save as Candidate number_Topic.docx

You should not include your name on any part of the document.

How many documents can I submit?

On Canvas when you submit your answers you will be able to add a number of documents and then submit them in one go. See Candidate Instructions for example.

Where can I sit the exam?

We recommend you sit the exam in a quiet, well lit, space where you will not be interrupted for the duration of the exam and where there will be no one else in the room.  You must not speak to anyone during the exam and ideally will not move from your desk area as this will be flagged by the online proctoring system.  If you do need to take a bathroom break, we recommend you record the time of the break.

How do I know whether I am being proctored?

Candidates are to follow the process set out in the Candidate Instructions and will turn on proctoring which will then enable them to open the exam at the exam start time. It will be clear that you are being proctored and that you should not close proctoring until you have submitted your answers and finished the exam.  To understand this better you can watch the video here.

Can I move from my desk?

If you have completed authentication and proctoring but still have time before the exam starts you may leave your desk in this time, similarly you may leave your desk in the first 15 minutes to collect a printout of your exam. 

Otherwise you should remain at your desk at all times.  If you must visit the bathroom please note the time, include it in the comments when you submit your answers and be as quick as you can.

Can I sit my exam in my employer’s office?

NOTE:  Applications closed 28 August 2020. No further applications can be accepted after this date.

If you are sitting your exam in an office environment, you will follow exactly the same process for accessing your exam but you must ensure:

  • You or your employer have organised an invigilator and have advised the Institute of this arrangement.
  • You have checked accessibility.
  • You have complied with any additional instructions.

We strongly recommend testing the exam environment in the office as there may be firewalls or similar which will impact your ability to download the exam and access information or the internet.  The Institute cannot provide technical support in these circumstances.

Will I be allowed my mobile phone?

Candidates should have their mobile phone with them in the exam on silent mode. It is only allowed to be used for the following purposes:

  • As an Internet hotspot if this is how you connect to the Internet to complete your exam, rather than using a land-based broadband connection.
  • To enable the Actuaries Institute to contact you if necessary
  • To contact the Actuaries Institute's Help Desk via phone.
  • To contact the Examity Help Desk via phone.

Is the exam platform stable, what testing HAS BEEN done?

The exams are offered through the LMS system Canvas which we use for assignments, and the process is well tested.  These platform is used globally and is well able to support the Institute’s candidate numbers.  Significant testing of the Institute’s exam system has also been performed.

Will there be a higher risk of misconduct by delivering the exams remotely?

To maintain the integrity of our exams, we are taking enhanced security measures.  

As mentioned above there will be an authentication process to ensure student identity is verified prior to sitting the exam.  In addition, there will be automated proctoring, where students and their screens will be recorded, and unexpected behaviour will be flagged for future review if necessary.  Examiners will scrutinise exam ‘scripts’ for possible cases of collusion.

You are all reminded that all members of the Actuaries Institute are bound by the Code of Conduct. Any finding of examination misconduct could result in you being denied the ability to sit exams for three years and put your career at risk. 

All students will be asked to make the following declaration by submitting their work.

DECLARATION:

By submitting your exam paper, you are confirming that the work is your own and that you have complied with the requirements of the Actuaries Institute Code of Conduct, which binds all.

You are required to be honest and work with integrity at all times. Committing plagiarism or collaborating with others is a breach of the Integrity principle under the Actuaries Institute’s Code of Conduct.

What is considered misconduct?

Students are well aware of general misconduct around exams and should consider what it means to be a professional actuary and the standards expected of them.  Some areas which would clearly be misconduct include

  • Collaboration with another person (student or actuary) on the content of the exam.
  • Providing information to other students.
  • Accessing material which is expressly not allowed during the exam e.g. mobile phone only to be used when there are identified problems.
  • Copying material directly from the internet or course materials.

What happens if my computer equipment or internet connection fails before my exam starts?

Contact the Actuaries Institute Support Team, who will make alternative arrangements as required.

What happens if my computer equipment or internet connection fails during my exam?

If you experience systems issues (e.g. internet connectivity or electricity failure) during your exam, we recommend that if possible you continue to complete the exam to the best of your ability and save your script at the end of the exam time (it will be date and time stamped).  If possible, you should then upload your exam.  If this is not possible then contact the Support Team and organise to send your response in an alternative way.

If you are unable to continue the exam at any point, then you should contact the Support Team and seek advice.  In some cases, the team may be able to extend the period of the exam for you. 

You should keep a log of such issues and the start and finish times for any incidents, and, where possible take screenshots of the interruption as evidence.

Reporting problems to the Support Team will not be considered as a Request for Special Consideration.  To be considered for Special Consideration under the Special Consideration Policy  you will need to apply after the exam. 

What happens if I am unable to upload or am late in uploading my exam script at the end of the exam?

You should work on your answers until the end of the exam time as you will be given an additional 15 minutes to upload your script.  If you do not upload within the required time, then the system will not accept your answers.  Scripts more than half an hour late, without prior agreement, will not be marked.

What happens if the Actuaries Institute system fails?

The Actuaries Institute has tested the system and does not anticipate failure, but in the case where you cannot access Canvas we will have in place a mechanism for emailing exams and the course notes.  In this circumstance emailed responses will be allowed up to a nominated time. If we are unable to email you we will contact you by SMS and will make alternative arrangements as required.

What Support will there be on the day of my exam?

The Actuaries Institute will have help and support available to you before and during the exam and, in addition, there will be online chat support from the proctoring service.

If you have any difficulties with the pre-exam requirements you should contact the Institute via education@actuaries.asn.au or by phone as soon as possible:  Domestic students: 1800 568 878; International students: +61 2 8052 3450.

If you have any questions on the day of the exam please phone the Institute: Domestic students: 1800 568 878; International students: +61 2 8052 3450.

When will the exam results be released?

The exam results will be released according to the timetable here.