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Are CIMA remote exams fair?

Student working remotely

In May 2020, CIMA was the first accountancy Institute to introduce online exams, through remote proctoring. There’s been a lot of student debate around remote exams versus traditional - so we wanted to address that.

CIMA has been making the effort to reassure students that they are equally robust. They have produced multiple resources on how to support students, these can be found on the CIMA website.

These resources refer to: the ease of using an online whiteboard versus paper, the issue of not being able to leave the room whilst the exam is taking place, and whether remote invigilation is fair.

In response to the concerns surrounding this very important subject, CIMA ran an analysis of statistics taken from remotely proctored exams that started in May 2020, and compared them to in-centre exams. In-centre exams are run by Pearson Vue and at all Pearson Vue approved centres. These exams are subject to PV regulations so it is always worth checking their guidelines.

Comparing the results

CIMA found that the pass rates for students taking exams remotely are effectively the same as those taken in exam centres. They also see that students complete the exam with the same time to spare, irrespective of delivery method.

However, in choosing which exam format is best for individuals, students and learners need to also base their decision only on convenience and access to reliable technology, not only on pass rates.

This technology includes having a stable internet connection and a suitable computer or laptop that can be relied upon. System issues have occurred where there are technology issues.

On their site, CIMA outline when you should consider taking an exam at home:

Consider an online exam if:

  • You have a constantly stable and high-speed internet connection
  • You have passed the system test using the equipment you plan to sit the exam with
  • You are able to sit for the duration of the exam without leaving the room
  • You have a quiet walled space to sit your exam with a closed door
  • You have access to a computer that does not have firewall or VPN restriction.

For more information, if you are unsure of how to take an exam (remote or in centre) visit the CIMA website.

We’re here to help

We hope we’ve provided you with some helpful information that can enable you to make the right decision. You could also watch our online whiteboard demo to get an idea of how you can do calculations in the calculation subjects eg. CIMA P1.

Don't forget we, at Kaplan, are here to support you every step of the way, so if you need any help at any stage please get in touch with us.