Online proctored exams are available in most locations globally. In this format, you can sit your exam from any location that meets our room requirements, and you will be supervised by a person via your computer, known as an online proctor.
This format is not available in all locations – please check your available appointments in My CPA Program.
On this page:
You must bring one original form of valid and current identification to your exam. This ID must be government-issued, and it must contain your full name, date of birth and your photograph.
The name on your ID must exactly match the name on your member profile with CPA Australia in order to start your exam. If this does not match, please contact us at least five business days before your scheduled exam appointment to update your profile. If your proctor notices any issues with your ID during the check-in process, you may be prohibited from commencing your exam.
- Driver’s licence
- Learner’s permit (plastic card only, with photo and signature)
- National / state / country identification card
- Passport cards
- Military ID
- Military ID for spouses and dependents
- Alien registration card (green card, permanent resident visa)
- Government-issued local language ID (plastic card only, with photo and signature) – accepted only if issued from the country in which the candidate is testing
You must have an appropriate device in order to sit an online proctored exam – an ill-equipped computer may impact your ability to launch or complete your exam.
Preparing your technology for an online proctored exam
If you have any questions about your technology or the requirements outlined in this video, visit our CPA Program Exam FAQs page.
It is your responsibility to ensure you have suitable equipment to sit your online proctored exam. You must ensure your device meets the requirements in the device checklist prior to your exam appointment.
Your device must be:
- A computer or laptop – either Mac or PC (tablets or touchscreen devices are prohibited)
- A personal computer that meets the minimum technical specifications - work computers may have restrictions that prevent you from launching or completing your exam, such as corporate firewalls (including VPNS) or proxies
- Connected to the internet via a wired network – WIFI can cause you to lose connection to your exam
- Equipped with a webcam and microphone.
Prior to your exam, you must also:
- Enable cookies and pop-ups
- Check your lock-screen settings. We recommend you turn off your lock screen setting completely, to ensure you are not locked out of your exam
- Check your operating system – view instructions on how to get your device ready (PDF)
- Ensure your computer is connected to power, to avoid running out of battery during the exam.
Please refer to the device checklist for full requirements and instructions.
Testing Your Technology
We recommend you test your technology before exam scheduling closes, in case you do not have a suitable device to complete your exam. Make sure you test the device you will use for your exam. To test your technology:
It is important to complete the system test on the same device and in the same room you will use for your exam appointment, to simulate a real exam environment. We recommend completing your tests at the same time of day as your scheduled exam and to check your internet speed during this time to ensure it is stable and reliable.
You must have an appropriate exam room in which to sit your online proctored exam – if your room does not align with these requirements, you may not be able to launch your exam.
Preparing your exam room for an online proctored exam
If you have any questions about your exam room or the requirements outlined in this video, visit our CPA Program Exam FAQs page.
Your exam room must be:
- Walled and have a closed door
- A quiet space - background noise may disrupt your progress and affect your proctor's ability to supervise your exam
- Free from disruptions . You cannot be interrupted during your appointment – from when you enter the queue during check-in, to the time you finish and close your exam survey. Make sure to inform those around you that they cannot enter your room
- Well lit. Ensure there is sufficient light in your room for the duration of your exam – that is, three hours and fifteen minutes. Please avoid sitting in front of a window or a strong light, as you may not be visible to your proctor
- Clear within arm's reach – aside from your ID, calculator, a clear glass of water and your study guide and notes
- Closed to any other person – no one can be in or enter the room during your exam, and no one else must be able to view your computer (including through a window or glass panel).
Make sure that your room will be suitable and comfortable for the duration of your appointment, as you will not be able to leave the view of your webcam once you have started your exam. You may wish to turn a light on or off in advance, or open or close any curtains or windows.
We also suggest you unplug any extra monitors or electronic devices, such as your printer, to simplify your exam check-in process.
What you can and can't bring
Open Book Exams
All CPA Program exams – aside from Singapore Taxation – are open book. This means that you can have your study guide and any additional study materials with you during your exam.
As you must remain in view of your webcam at all times, it is best to place your notes directly in front of you, so that you do not inadvertently leave the screen or turn away from your webcam.
You can have your own calculator with you during your exam; however, it must align with the following criteria:
Your calculator can be:
- Able to store and recall the last performed calculation only.
Your calculator can't be:
- Programmable – it must not be able to store and replay a sequence of operations or capable of external programming
- Capable of text storage
- Equipped with an alphanumeric keyboard (all letters from A to Z)
- A graphing calculator
- Wired or include wireless communication capabilities
- Equipped with a camera or video recording functionality
- Powered by anything other than internal batteries and/or solar power
- Able to produce a sound which cannot be turned off.
An online calculator will also be available if you do not have access to a suitable calculator.
To ensure exam questions and answers are not recorded or shared, pen and paper is prohibited during online proctored exams. Instead, you will have access to a virtual scratch pad and online whiteboard for note-taking, operated by your keyboard and mouse. Please visit My Online Learning for more information about your scratch pad and online whiteboard tools.
What you can have with you:
- Your one form of ID
- Your study guide and any additional notes
- Your calculator (please refer to the guidelines above)
- A clear glass of water.
Each of these items must be clearly displayed and photographed as part of your exam check-in.
Throughout your exam, your study guide and any additional notes must be placed on the desk directly in front of you, or as near to as possible. When you are referring to your notes, you must always remain in view of the webcam, with your body facing your computer, to avoid receiving a warning from the proctor. You will not be able to turn to the side to access your study materials.
What you can't have with you:
- Any electronic devices, including hand-held computers or pagers, aside from your computer and calculator
- Wallets or purses
- Bags, coats, jackets, glasses cases, jewellery, large hair clips or bands or other headwear (unless worn for religious purposes)
- A watch of any kind
- Pen, pencils or paper
- Food or drink – other than your clear glass of water.
Your Mobile Phone
While you cannot have your phone with you during your exam, we suggest you do keep it in your exam room, out of reach – perhaps in a drawer or on a piece of furniture at the other side of your room. This will simplify your check-in process and will also ensure it is nearby in case your proctor needs to contact you.
What to do with your mobile phone during an online proctored exam
If you have any questions about mobile phone use or the rules outlined in this video, visit our CPA Program Exam FAQs page.
Similar to a test-centre exam, you will be led through a check-in process before you begin your online proctored exam.
The check-in process
If you have any questions about the check-in process or the requirements outlined in this video, visit our CPA Program Exam FAQs page.
Accessing Your Exam
- You will be able to check in 30 minutes prior to your exam appointment. When you are ready to check in, log in to My CPA Program, navigate to the subject for which you have an appointment, and select Manage Exam
- You will be taken to the Pearson VUE website. From here, select the exam you will be sitting and click the Check In button.
If you do not see the Check In button, you are either too early or too late for your appointment. Make sure to check your appointment confirmation and reminder emails from Pearson VUE to confirm your appointment time (and time zone).
Before you begin your exam, you will be led through a check-in process, which will include:
- A final system test
- Verification of your identity – you will need to take photos of yourself and both sides of your ID using your mobile phone or webcam
- A check of your exam room – you will need to take 4 photos of your exam room using your mobile phone or webcam.
We find using a mobile phone the simplest way to complete the check-in process. You will be asked to enter your mobile number as the Pearson VUE software launches, so that a check-in link can be sent to you. Once you click this, you will be guided to take photos of yourself, your ID and your exam room.
Once you have completed this process, you will be asked to put your phone away – preferably at the other side of your desk or room, out of reach.
You will then be asked to close all applications before you are added to a queue to meet your proctor. Once in the queue, you will be under exam conditions, so you must not leave your desk or the view of your webcam, and you cannot use your mobile phone. It is during this time that your photos will be reviewed by an OnVUE proctor, and they either start your exam immediately, or contact you via your computer to discuss any questions.
This queue is based on proximity to appointment start times – as such, wait times can vary, however your position in the queue will be visible at this time and will update every 60 seconds. Your wait time may be longer than anticipated if your proctor is unsure of any items in your room, however this will not impact your exam time.
As part of your check-in process, your proctor may ask you to:
- Show your ears if you have long hair, to ensure you are not using wireless headphone
- Roll up your sleeves to verify you have no writing on your arms, and that you are not wearing a watch
- Empty your pockets, to ensure you aren’t carrying a prohibited item
- Complete a 360-degree room scan (please note, this may also occur during your exam if your proctor is concerned something new has been introduced to your room)
- Retake a photo of your identification, if the image is blurry or unclear.
All CPA Program exams are 195 minutes long (3 hours and 15 minutes).
When you begin your exam, you will be led through a short tutorial. If this is your first computer-based exam with CPA Australia, we recommend you take your time working through the tutorial – this will not impact your overall exam time, as your timer won’t start until you begin your exam.
Once you have finished all questions in your exam and clicked ‘End Exam’, you will be guided through a short survey. This too will not impact your exam time; however, you will still be in view of the proctor during the survey, so make sure to abide by the exam rules. You will need to close your exam before you can grab your phone, leave your desk or let anyone into your exam room.
You will also have one unscheduled break, which you can take at any time during your exam. When you’re ready to take your break, click the ‘Pause Exam’ button, and then click 'Pause Exam' in the pop-up window to confirm. Your exam timer will stop for 5 minutes, allowing you to leave the view of your proctor.
How to Pause the Clock during your online proctored exam
If you have any questions about using Pause the Clock or the process outlined in this video, visit our CPA Program Exam FAQs page.
Exam Rules and Online Proctors
There are certain behaviours that are prohibited during online exams, to ensure your proctor can verify no exam questions or answers are recorded. While these rules may seem restrictive, please keep in mind your proctor can only see the area immediately around you, and only wish to ensure no candidate is disadvantaged by misconduct.
Online proctors and exam rules
If you have any questions about online proctors or the rules of invigilation, visit our CPA Program Exam FAQs page.
From the time you are added to the proctor queue (after you have checked-in) to the time you complete the survey and close your exam window, you will be supervised by a proctor, and must not:
- Introduce new materials into your exam area
- Use pen or pencil
- Speak, mumble or read your exam questions out loud (similar to an in-person exam)
- Cover your mouth or attempt to hide your face
- Wear headphones, AirPods or any type of earpiece or headset
- Leave your exam desk, the view of your webcam, or move your computer screen or webcam
- Access or use a mobile phone or messaging device, unless you lose complete contact with your proctor via your computer
- Consume food and drinks (aside from your clear glass of water), chew gum or smoke
- Communicate with others, including any third parties or others in your home, or have another person enter the room
- Copy, paste or attempt to remember questions from the exam
- Share or discuss any of your exam questions with others.
Any disruptive or fraudulent behaviour, or any breach of the CPA Program exam policies, may cause your proctor to end your exam.
If you momentarily lose connection during your exam, your proctor may ask to rescan your room – this is to ensure your room hasn’t changed while you were disconnected. If you lose connection completely, your proctor will call you on your phone to understand the issue – so make sure it is in earshot.
If you require assistance at any stage, you can use the chat function to speak to your proctor.
Watch this video to gain an understanding of the online proctored exam experience, and your responsibilities as a CPA Program candidate.
Useful video quick links
Exam preparation quick links
Preparing for your Exam
Once you have scheduled an online proctored exam, the best way to prepare is to read your study guide and use your Guided Learning resources. In addition, we recommend you work through the following checkpoints before your exam appointment:
6 weeks before exam period (22 February)
If your device does not pass or you can’t access a suitable room, please contact us.
5 weeks before exam period (1 March)
Read through the CPA Program exam policies to ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities in undertaking a CPA Program exam. These include:
4 weeks before exam period (8 March)
Check that your ID matches your profile with CPA Australia – if it doesn’t, contact us to make sure your profile is updated in time for your exam.
3 weeks before exam period (15 March)
1 week before exam period (29 March)
- Read through your exam confirmation email from Pearson VUE, sent to you when you scheduled your exam – check your junk if you can’t find it. You will also receive a reminder email seven days prior to your appointment
- Double-check your appointment date and time (including time zone)
- Warn anyone you live with that you will be taking an exam at that time and will need stable internet and minimal noise
- Review how to access your exam
- Keep your eyes peeled for our Exam Checklist email.
Still have questions?
Check out our CPA Program Exam Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page for more information about online proctored exams.