Exam FAQs

Online exams

Offline exams

Booking exams

Before exams

After exams

Technical Issues - Calibrand

Technical Issues - ProctorU

Online exams and General

How do online exams work?

You will take your exam online via computer connected to the internet, at a place of your choice, for example at work or home. The exam will be invigilated remotely (a webcam and microphone is required). At the time of the exam you will login to the CIPFA online exam system and the invigilator will be on hand to take you through the process, check your identification and get you started. They will also be on hand to answer any technology queries that you may have during your exam

More information can be found from our Online page.

Who is Calibrand?

Calibrand is CIPFA's chosen assessment partner. They provide the web-based software solution that runs CIPFA's practice exams and live exams.

Who is ProctorU

ProctorU is CIPFA’s chosen assessment delivery partner. They provide the web-based exam invigilation solution that is offered as an option to CIPFA students taking live exams across the globe.

Can I take a toilet break during the exam?

Yes, same as a paper exam you will need to alert your invigilator if you need to take a toilet break. Please note: the exam clock will not be paused during this time.

Can I take the exam on paper instead?

No. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, all students will take their exams online. If you are concerned about having the necessary facilitates please contact Student Support at E: studentsupport@cipfa.org

Can I use my own calculator?

Yes you can use your own scientific calculator but it must not be able to connect to the internet.

How many sheets of blank paper can I take in to my exam?

You are allowed 4 sheets of blank paper. These will need to be destroyed in front of your invigilator before finishing your exam.

Is it an open or closed book exam?

All exams are closed book exams, except for the Strategic Case Study module.

I’ve never taken and exam online before

Don’t worry! All students will have the opportunity to take practice questions using the CIPFA Online exam system, so you will become familiar with the style of questions and system prior to taking your real exam.

Will I be able to see the invigilator?

You will see your invigilator at the start and end of the exam, but not during.

Choosing where to sit your exam

You can choose your own location. Be sure to choose the location of your exam carefully. Please ensure a well‐lit, quiet and private room is used. If you are sitting your exam at work please make sure you have an appropriate room booked at least one month in advance and that you have the relevant IT equipment and internet access available.

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Offline exams

How do offline exams work?

The CIPFA Test Manager application allows students to take their examinations without the need for a strong internet connection. An internet connection is only required to install the software, download the exam and upload the student’s answer script after the exam.

What is CIPFA Test Manager?

CIPFA Test Manager is the application to which students sit their offline exams.

How do I download Test Manager?

A step-by-step guide can be found from the Offline page.

Do I need access to the Internet?

Access to the Internet is only required to install the software, download the exam and upload the student's answer script after the exam.

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Booking exams

Where can I book exams?

Exams can be purchased online from our Exams page.

I get an error when booking my exam, what do I do?

Don't stress. Exams can only be booked onto once. 

When is the last day to book exams?

You can find exact dates for exam bookings and other important dates from our Key dates page.

How much are each exam?

Certificate level
Financial Accounting £100
Management Accounting £100
Company Financial Reporting £100
Audit and Assurance £100
Diploma Level
Business and Change Management £100
Corporate Governance and Law £100
Financial Management £100
Public Service Financial Reporting £100
Strategy and Policy Development £100
Taxation £100
Strategic level
Strategic Public Finance £200
Strategic Case Study £200

I received a deferral from the previous exam sitting, do I need to book my exams still?

If you have applied for a deferral due to a medical or bereavement case and it has been approved, then you do not need to book your exam. You will automatically be added to the student list for the next sitting.

Do I get any practice tests with my exam?

Yes! See Practice tests page.

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Before exams

When are exams?

All exam dates are kept up to date on our Exams page. Alternatively you can visit our Key dates page.

How do I book my exams?

You can book your exam from our Exams page on the website. 

Take note of the following:

  • Be sure you know how you would like to sit your exams (e.g online at home) before you book your exams as exams can only be booked onto once. 
  • If you require a purchase number for your exam invoice, be sure to have it ready.
  • Make sure you book your exams on time! There are late fees for students who do not book their exams on time, you can find out all the details from our Key dates page.

Practice questions and mock exam

Practice tests and mock exams are available on the LIVE exam system so students can familiarise themselves with the style of questions and the system prior to the actual exam. For more information, please visit our Practice test information.

Where can I take the exam?

You can take your exam at a location of your choice such as your place of work or at home. Anywhere that is quiet, private and there is a reasonable internet connection. In most cases a standard meeting room at work will be fine.

Where else can I sit the exam if home or work is not an option?

If you are having difficulties in finding a suitable location for your exam (for example, you have spoken to your IT department and they have specifically said it is not possible) please contact us at Student Support, stating what your issues are and we will assist you. For example, if you need us to talk to your employer on your behalf, we can do so.

Will my employer’s internet firewall prevent me from taking the exam?

If you intend taking your exam at work you need to check that the PC you are taking your exam on can access the CIPFA online exam system and allows you to login. We suggest you do this as soon as you receive your login details in case you experience any problems it will give you sufficient time to liaise with your IT department.

What identification do I need to bring?

You will need a photo ID; a driving licence or passport.

If you do not have either of these, a photo ID and another form of ID containing a signature will need to be shown for example, a work pass and a bank card.

What can I take into the exam room?

  • A PC or laptop connected to the Internet with working webcam, microphone (or earphones with mic) and sound.
  • Pen or pencil and rubber
  • Calculator
  • Four sheets of scrap paper lined or blank
  • No notes are allowed in the exam room
  • No smartphones or smart watches can be used during the exam However, we suggest that you keep your mobile phone in the exam room but out of reach in case the invigilator needs to contact you
  • A drink
  • A reflective surface like a mirror or CD

What do I do if there is a disturbance at home or at work during the exam?

Disturbances happen, such as a fire alarm at your workplace. If you have time, please notify your invigilator before leaving the exam. Once the disturbance has finished you will need to contact your invigilator to restart your exam.

If you are at home and there is a disturbance (a doorbell rings for example), do your best to ignore it and continue with your exam.

What happens if the internet power fails?

In the event of a power failure your remote invigilator will seek to re-establish contact with you once your power/connection is back up. When you log back into the system you will be prompted to recover your test and the remaining time will only continue once you re-start.

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After exams

When are exam results released?

Dates for exam results can be found on our Key dates page. 

I'm not happy with my result, can I appeal?

You may appeal against your exam result within 10 working days of receiving your results if you believe:

  • There is evidence of bias, prejudice or discrimination as defined by the UK Equality Act 2010.
  • New evidence exists of extenuating circumstances which, for valid reasons, the student could not disclose to CIPFA in line with the published timetable for special considerations applications.
  • There is evidence of a substantial procedural irregularity with respect to an aspect of the conduct of the exams and/or determination of results.

Appeals based on any other grounds will be rejected.

It is required to read CIPFA's assessment appeals policy before you apply. View our Exams page to download the PDF and for more information.

I had problems during my exam, will it be considered when marking?

If you encounter any technical issues during your exam first get in contact with Student Support at studentsupport@cipfa.org. All major issues will be passed onto CIPFA exam panel and taken into consideration during the marking process. You may be advised to fill out a Special Considerations form.

Will I still have access to my practice tests after the exam?

Practice tests expire after the exam so make sure you complete them before the exam. Once you have completed them you will alway have access to the completed tests through your 'Feedback and Results' tab.

How do I apply for special considerations?

Special considerations are aimed for students if something happens to them on the day of the exam and feel that their performance was impacted on the day. After results day, if an marginally fail, the student's application will be sent to exam panel for consideration.

To apply visit our Exams page to download the form. You will need to provide relevant evidence and submit it to Student Support 10 working days after the last examination(s) sat.

Applications after 10 working days will automatically be rejected.

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Technical issues - Calibrand

I've forgotten my password, am I able to change it?

Yes, it is very easy to change your password. On the Calibrand log in page at the bottom right hand corner click the 'Forgotten password' link and you are able to change it. Bear in mind that Calibrand accounts will automatically be disabled after three wrong attempts, in which you'll need to ask Student Support to enabled it. 

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Technical issues - ProctorU

My exam is scheduled for the wrong time, what do I do?

Not to worry, contact us at Student Support and we can amend it for you.

How can I test that ProctorU works on my chosen computer/laptop?

Head to ProctorU's test it out page at https://www.proctoru.com/testitout/.

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