Don't get caught out - instructions to candidates

21 October 2020

With just two weeks to go before the ICAEW Case Study Exam, you should now be confident in your exam technique having practised with Mock Exams and acted on your personalised feedback.

We want to share with you some tips to minimise your exam day stress. This week we are looking at the ICAEW Instructions to Candidates.

Due to the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic, there are a few extra considerations. We have highlighted some key points below, but if you haven’t read the ICAEW Instructions to Candidates you should do so now.

ICAEW Instructions to Candidates – Exam Centre

ICAEW Instructions to Candidates – Remote Invigilation

Do not leave these preparations to the last minute. We recommend you plan your route to the exam centre or system set up in the case of remote invigilation this week. Remember to build in extra time for unforeseen circumstances – better to be waiting than be late.

Exam Centre 


Know where you're going, and how you will get there. Make your plans early - how will you get to the exam centre, are there any travel restrictions that you need to take into consideration? You must also consider that there are likely to be delays getting into the centre as a result of the Covid Guidelines, such as limiting the flow of people and social distancing. 

You will lose exam time if you are late and will not be able to sit the exam at all if you arrive 30 minutes after the exam has started. 

Personal Protective Equipment 

You must take a face mask with you and abide by the rules for wearing face masks at the centre both before and during the exam. You can take gloves and hand sanitiser into the room with you and you must take these away with you after the exam. 


You must have a form of photo identification (passport, national identification card or photo driving licence with signature) with you so ensure you know exactly where it is. The exam centre will only accept original documents. 

Know what you can, and cannot, take with you into the centre

You must provide your own calculator which must not be pre-programmable nor have additional functions built in capable of automatically computing NPV or IRR. You may be asked to show that the memory within the calculator is empty. If you are unable to do so, you will not be allowed to use the calculator during your exam.

Phones and music players are a big no-no, that's expected. Did you know that you are not allowed to take a watch or desk clock? Food and drink are restricted to water, cough sweets and cereal bars that do not contain nuts. You should take your Beal AI analysis and any other preparation work, but you can't share this material with anyone else in the exam hall.

If you are at all sensitive to the noise of others working / life going on outside the exam centre, take earplugs/headphones to block it out - BUT these must not be capable of connecting to a device, with or without wires. 

Your conduct

During your exam you must follow the instructions given by the invigilator as well as adhering to the behaviours as outlined in the Instructions to Candidates. If the invigilator feels your conduct is improper, they are authorised to stop your exam and report back to ICAEW.

Know what to do if something goes wrong

If something happens during the exam that is out of the ordinary and negatively impacts your exam attempt, you must report it to the invigilator there and then. Do not struggle on in silence. Before leaving the exam room, you must complete a Candidate Incident Response Form and ensure the invigilator has logged your complaint in an Incident Report. You must do this to be eligible for Special Consideration during the results determination process.

Remote Invigilation

There are some special points to note with regards to remote invigilation, again we have highlighted key points below but you must read the Instructions to Candidates for yourself. 

System check

You will be emailed instructions on how to complete a system check and this must be done before the exam day to allow time to resolve any issues you may encounter.  

Room Requirements 

You will need to ensure that your room is well lit, you are using a suitable desk and that you are alone and free from interruptions. The instructions to candidates will guide you through what is and is not permitted in the room. 

As the exam requires recording throughout using webcam, screen recording and also your smart device we advise you set this up well in advance and make sure your chargers are plugged in.  

Your conduct 

There is a big section on the Instructions to Candidates that covers your conduct and what would be considered misconduct. There is also a comprehensive list of violations that could lead to disqualification so you MUST ensure you have read this fully. You have worked so hard and it would be a shame to miss out because you were not aware of the violations such as looking around the room or the room being too dark. 

What to do if something goes wrong

If you experience an issue you will have access to online chat support, and you must raise any issues on there. Special consideration rules and guidance will apply for these exams so if you feel you have been affected you need to raise a special consideration request. 

You must read the FAQs on the ICAEW website as they have specific guidance on a number of points including what do if your Internet connection drops. 


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