Online Exams

With the COVID19 pandemic still very prevalent in South Africa and worldwide, ASSA will go ahead with online exams for Semester 2 2020.  This page will provide the available information on the requirements and process for writing online exams with ASSA. There may be some changes for certain subjects from semester 1, so make sure your keep up to date with the information published here. As information becomes available it will be added to this website page.

Communications & Requirements – Semester 2 2020

(Documents will be available as they are finalised for Semester 2 exams)

Exam Invigilation – Semester 2

(there are changes from semester 1 – please ready this section carefully)

Virtual Proctoring:

ASSA online exams will be invigilated using a well-proven online proctoring services: ProcrotU and Video Room

ProctorU – A213b | N211 | A311 | F100 | F200

As part of your preparation for your exam, all candidates will have to create an online proctoring account with the service provider.  Details and step-by-step instructions will be provided to you in your Preparation exam that will be available around 10-7 days before your exam.

Please ensure you use the SAME email address that is used in your ASSA Member profile to create your proctoring profile.

Already have a ProctorU account?   

You will have to log-in and update your account with your new candidate number (which is compulsory) and also make sure you have the latest version of the web extension installed  – we recommend that ALL exam candidates reinstall the latest web extentions.

If you need to troubleshoot equipment settings please have a look at:  ProctorU Troubleshooting

Video Room Invigilation – A211 | A213a | N311

Good news is that no software or extensions need to be installed for Video Room Invigilation.  Preparations exams for these subjects using Video Room invigilation will also be available 7-10 days before the exam that will contain information on how to access Video Room and requirements for video/camera and screen sharing.

Venue based Invigilation

Alternative invigilation requests which must be sent through by the 13th of September, no late requests will be allowed.

Alternative invigilation request

Fellow Invigilated venue

Students that can arrange a Fellow within their organisation to invigilate the exam can make use of this option.

Details on who the Fellow will be and where the exam will be hosted can send this information to ASSA to obtain permission to make use of this option.  These exams will still be hosted on the ASSA Exam platform.

ASSA venues

Candidates that have significant technology infrastructure constraints are encouraged to apply to write at an ASSA venue.  There will be a venue in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Since we are constraint by the lockdown regulations in terms of number of people at a venue, access to these venues is restricted and therefore candidates will have to apply to ASSA to sit at a venue.

All exams at the venue will still be hosted and written on the ASSA Exam platform.

Exam format per subject – Semester 2

Virtual exam takers:

This will be a written exam invigilated online using a PC with a webcam and microphone. The method of invigilation will be different from semester 1 2020. Semester 2 will make use of Video Room Invigilation for this exam. Exam papers will be made available in the ASSA Exam Platform.

Students must ensure they have a  full clean Exam pad to write the exam answers on – single side. Your candidate number must appear at the top of each page. Students must indicate on the last page of their answer pack “The End” with a line across the page.

A cell phone scanning app will be used to scan the answers into the Exam Platform during a dedicated scanning time allocations at the end of the exam.  Recommendations on scanning apps will be communicated.  Students must please ensure they are familiar with the scanning app and how to transfer files between their cell phone and PC and onto the Exam Platform before the exam time expires.

Candidates must manage their exam time and may not continue writing into the allocated scan and upload time.

PC and technology specifications as is listed in the Online Exam Requirements Document of this page.

Venue based exam takers:

Students writing at an ASSA venue or making use of Fellow invigilation will not be required to create proctoring accounts.

Scripts will be handed in, to the invigilator at ASSA exam venues.  Fellow invigilated candidates will still be required to scan in their scripts on the ASSA Exam Platform.

Virtual exams:

Paper A – This will be a written exam invigilated online using a PC with a webcam and microphone. The method of invigilation will be different from semester 1 2020. Semester 2 will make use of Video Room Invigilation for this exam. Exam papers will be made available in the ASSA Exam Platform.

Students must ensure they have a  full clean Exam pad to write the exam answers on – single side. Your candidate number must appear at the top of each page. Students must indicate on the last page of their answer pack “The End” with a line across the page.

A cell phone scanning app will be used to scan the answers into Exam Platform during a dedicated scanning time allocations at the end of the exam.  Recommendations on scanning apps will be communicated.  Students must please ensure they are familiar with the scanning app and how to transfer files between their cell phone and PC and onto the Exam Platform before the exam time expires.

Candidates must manage their exam time and may not continue writing into the allocated scan and upload time.

Paper B will be a typed exam using an Excel file that will be provided as part of the exam, also invigilated online. Paper B will make use of ProctorU invigilation and students must ensure they create/update their ProctroU profiles and test their technology in line with the communicated requirements and process.

Refer to the Online Exam  Technology Requirements Document for technical and software requirements.

Venue based exam takers:

For both Paper A and Paper B, students writing at an ASSA venue or making use of Fellow invigilation will not be required to create proctoring accounts.

Students writing Paper A at an ASSA venue will hand in their scripts. Fellow invigilated students will still have to scan and upload their scripts.

This exam will only be offered as a typed exam within the ASSA Exam Platform, invigilated online through ProctorU.

Virtual Exams:

Candidates must make sure they create/update their ProctorU profiles and test their technology environment well before the exam day as per communicated instructions. Candidates must also participate in the Preparation exams that will be made available before exam day.

PC and technology specifications as is listed in the Online Exam Technical Requirements Document.

Venue based exam:

Students writing at an ASSA venue or making use of Fellow invigilation will not be required to create proctoring accounts.

Virtual Exams:

This exam will only be offered as a typed exam within the ASSA Exam Platform, invigilated online through ProctorU. Microsoft Office templates will be provided as part of the exam for completing your answers in. Students are responsible for saving and uploading their answer files onto the Exam Platform in time, as no late submissions will be accepted.

Candidates must make sure they create/update their ProctorU profiles and test their technology environment well before the exam day as per communicated instructions. Candidates must also participate in the Preparation exams that will be made available before exam day.

Refer to the Online Exam  Technology Requirements Document for technical and software requirements.

Venue based exam:

Students writing at an ASSA venue or making use of Fellow invigilation will not be required to create proctoring accounts.

Virtual Exams:

The F100 exams will only be offered as a typed exam within the ASSA Exam Platform, invigilated online through ProctorU.

Candidates must make sure they create/update their ProctorU profiles and test their technology environment well before the exam day as per communicated instructions. Candidates must also participate in the Preparation exams that will be made available before exam day. These preparation exams must be used to familiarise yourself with the Moodle exam environment and text editor as well as to test the ProctorU technology and process.

PC and technology specifications as is listed in the Online Exam Technical Requirements Document.

Venue based exam:

Students writing at an ASSA venue or making use of Fellow invigilation will not be required to create proctoring accounts.

Virtual Exams:

The F200 exams will only be offered as a typed exam within the ASSA Exam Platform, invigilated online through ProctorU.

Candidates must make sure they create/update their ProctorU profiles and test their technology environment well before the exam day as per communicated instructions. Candidates must also participate in the Preparation exams that will be made available before exam day. These preparation exams must be used to familiarise yourself with the Moodle exam environment and text editor as well as to test the ProctorU technology and process.

Refer to the Online Exam  Technology Requirements Document for technical and software requirements.

Venue based exam:

Students writing at an ASSA venue or making use of Fellow invigilation will not be required to create proctoring accounts.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS - (To be updated with info for semester 2 shortly)

Will I need to type my exam paper?

Only A211 and A213 (paper A) will be allowed to write the exam. All other exams will be typed only exams.

Will I be able to print my exam paper

You will not be allowed to print the exam paper or copy it outside of the Exam platform.

Copy / past of sections of the questions into the answer blocks within the Exam platform will be allowed.

You will be allowed to have a scrap paper with you to make notes on and plan.

What other programs must I have on my PC?

Refer to the Online Exam  Technology Requirements Document for technical and software requirements.

We recommend that all candidates must have an updated Adobe Acrobat – (http://get.adobe.com/reader/ ) on their PC’s and ensure their browser permissions are set to allow opening of the .pdf in a browser tab.

Where external programs such as MS Word / Excel / Powerpoint are required, templates will be provided in the exam to download and use.  Students may not use their own files.

Will my work's firewall allow the exam program?

Only  Chrome or Firefox browsers are supported.

Exam-takers will be required to install the browser extension for the invigilation service.  Chrome and Firefox extensions must be allowed by firewalls. – please check with your network administrator before the exam.

You will access the Exam platform through your web interface.

Refer to the Online Exam  Technology Requirements Document for technical and software requirements.

Microphones / earphones and webcams?

Your laptop / PC should have a working camera and microphone as per the specifications in the Online Exam Technology Requirements Document.

The camera and microphone must remain on for the full duration of the exam. This is used by the online invigilation services and may not be used by the student themselves for other activities.

NO earphones or headsets will be allowed.

Can I use my phone camera to record if I don’t have a webcam?

You will need a PC with a webcam to attempt these exams.

Can I use a larger monitor with m laptop monitor closed?

No dual screens are allowed. ProctorU also doesn’t allow additional devices attached to your PC ports.

Make use of the ProctorU “Test my equipment” link to test your PC set up and ensure you take part in the Test exams that will be set up for all subjects making use of ProctorU invigilation.

Does ProctorU breach my privacy rights?

Absolutely not! ProctorU takes your privacy very seriously. They stringently adhere to all Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines. No student information can be shared without your direct approval. If you have any privacy concerns, you can visit ProctorU’s Privacy Policy page.

Can I use a tablet or an iPad to write the exam?

No, you will need to attempt your typed exam on a laptop or a PC, an iPad, tablet or other smart device will not be acceptable or supported by the online invigilation service.

Refer to the Online Exam Technology Requirements Document for technical specifications.

Will I be allowed a bathroom break during the exam?

Due to the nature of the exams and invigilation, the online proctoring service will notify us if you leave the room and this will be logged as an exam incident to be dealt with after the exam.

Please state out loud that you are leaving the room for a bathroom break and also announce when you get back.  All logged incidents will be verified.

Must I stay connect to the internet for the entire time?

Yes, you have to maintain connectivity for the full duration of the exam.

Exams are loaded in the ASSA Exam platform which you can only access over the internet.  The online invigilation service will also require full access to your webcam and microphone for the full duration of the exam.

Any loss in connectivity will be logged as an incident that will be actioned after the exam.  No candidate may go un-invigilated during the exams.

Refer to the Online Exam  Technology Requirements Document for technical and software requirements.

What happens if my company has a firewall blocking the ProctorU web extension?

You will not be able to access the exam if you cannot download the requirements for online proctoring extension.  Please contact your employer’s IT administrator and request accessibility.

Work firewall restrictions must be checked with your network administrator and you must make sure your work’s firewall allows the download of the ProctorU web extension and the recordings required by the proctoring service.

A211 and A213a will make use of a Video Room invigilation.

Refer to the Online Exam  Technology Requirements Document for technical and software requirements.

What happens if my camera or microphone fails before or during the exam?

This may affect your Proctor U connectivity, for tech support you will need to contact the ProctorU team, this link takes you to their support team direct chat line: https://direct.lc.chat/5534391/

You will not be allowed to write the exam if your equipment is not working to specifications. ASSA will set up test exams for candidates to take part in and test their equipment and connectivity to the proctoring service. Please participate in these test exams.

After a connectivity break in the exam, your ID will be verified again.  If you cannot continue due to technical issues you will have to log and an incident with ASSA to consider during the post-exam process.

What is ASSA's policy on connectivity issues?

ASSA cannot take responsibility for internet connectivity or incidents which are sometimes out of the candidate’s control. Therefore, each case will be dealt with on an individual basis.  The invigilator will provide us with an incident report to verify any issues and where there are mitigating circumstances students can make an appeal with evidence for a credit to attempt the exam in the next semester.

Refer to the ASSA Virtual Exam Policy for details.

Will I have access to the Formulae Book?

Any Formulae book information, as determined by the Examinator,  will be made available online in the ASSA Exam platform as part of the exam.

How will I deal with answers requiring special symbols and characters in the typed exams?

ASSA is in active discussions with the examiners to ensure that the tools available to students during the exam will be sufficient for them to be able to answer all questions.

Can I decide to rather write my exam, scan my answers and submit?

ONLY A211 and A213 paper A will be written exams.

ALL other exams MUST be typed and no written responses will be accepted.

A211 and A213 paper A information and scanning

ONLY A211 and A213 paper A will be written exams.

All candidates for these exams must have a smartphone with a scanning app installed.  Most iOS and Android phones have a build-in scanning function as well. You must ensure you are familiar with your scanning app before the exams as well as on how to transfer your scanned file from your phone to your PC.

Phones will be OFF during the exam and accessed after the exam to scan and upload written scripts into the Learning Platform within a limited time allowed.

Students must ensure they are familiar and have practiced scanning and uploading files with their scanning apps.

Can large employers assist with co-ordinating exam venues in order to enable social distancing?

ASSA venues with limited capacity in line with Covid19 regulations and Fellow invigilation at your workplace are options.

Please refer to the Alternative Invigilation Options and apply in time if you want to make use of these options.

Are the exams going to be open book?

The exams are not open book, you will not be allowed to access any notes or material during the exam.

Can I write two fellowship application exams this session e.g. F203 and F205?

Those exams are scheduled at the same time and so we cannot allow you to write both.

When will I receive the link for the Exam Platform?

All candidates will be added to the ASSA Exam Platform to practice and test your exam environment before exam day, an email will be sent when the practice exam is available.

Are we allowed to make use of spellcheckers such as Grammarly ?

If you already have Grammarly installed it should work in the Exam Platform.

The ASSA Exam platform indicates spelling mistakes and “ctrl + Right-click” provides suggestions.

What happens if I look around during the exam?

The online proctoring system will pick up your movements and record it in the incident log for review after the exam by the ASSA Incident Committee.

Why are ASSA’s requirements not aligned with the UK IFoA?

ASSA and The IFOA have different governance structures which determine what the standard requirements for exams will be.

Can I copy the questions, paste it on the answer paper when answering?

The Copy and Paste functionality are prohibited between the Exam Platform and any other application.

However, you will be allowed to copy sections of your exam questions into the exam answer blocks within the ASSA Exam Platform.

Will I be given time to upload my exam?

Additional upload time will be provided over and above the time given for pre-reading and writing time.

You MUST read your exam instructions carefully.  Additional upload time is added to the exam time and students will have to manage their own time to ensure they upload in time and don’t continue to write into upload time.

Still got questions?  Please submit your question or input below.

You can also email ASSA on: assaadmin@actuarialsociety.org.za

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