Online Proctored Exam FAQs

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Online proctored exam takers: View Tips and Tricks for a successful exam experience here.

Why is CAIA offering online proctored exams?

Thousands of committed professionals want the chance to earn the CAIA Charter, and it is in the best interest of the alternative investment industry that we do everything we can to give them that opportunity. Postponing, cancelling, or otherwise calling ‘time out’ on our efforts and your hard work amidst continued COVID-driven uncertainty is not an option. Instead, we have taken the opportunity to embrace proven technologies that allow us to provide an option that will keep you and your families safe, provide clarity as to when and how you will be able to sit for the exam, and further grow the number of qualified professionals this industry needs and deserves.

What is an online proctored exam?

Online proctoring enables you to take the CAIA exam from a quiet, private location of your choice (home or a secure office) instead of at Pearson VUE physical test center. Pearson VUE will administer the online proctored exams through their OnVUE platform.  Like a physical facility, exams will be proctored live by Pearson VUE test administrators through audio and video for the entirety of the exam experience.

Are all CAIA candidates able to choose an online proctored exam?

CAIA will offer all Candidates the option to select an online proctored exam, although some jurisdictions may be limited due to firewall and connectivity issues which would result in an unsuccessful exam delivery experience. To ensure a successful online proctored exam you must confirm that your system and environment meets the minimum requirements. CAIA strongly recommends that all Candidates review these requirements prior to choosing the online proctored exam option.

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What are the system requirements for my computer to be able to take the exam?

    • Operating System:
      • Windows 10 (64-bit)
      • Windows 8.1 (64-bit)
      • Mac OS 10.13 and above (excluding beta versions)
      • Note: Window Operating Systems must pass Genuine Windows Validation.
        • Windows Vista, Windows XP and Windows 7 are strictly prohibited for exam delivery
        • All Linux/Unix based Operating Systems are strictly prohibited.
    • Firewall:
      • Do not take your exam in a setting with a corporate firewall (including VPN) or alert your Network Administrator to the network configuration requirements. We recommend testing on a personal computer. Work computers generally have more restrictions that may prevent successful delivery.
    • Device:
      • All tablets are strictly forbidden, unless it has a physical keyboard and meets the operating system requirements mentioned earlier.
      • RAM
      • OS specific minimum RAM
      • 4 GB RAM or more
    • Display:
      • Minimum Resolution: 1024 x 768 in 16-bit color.
      • Additional monitors are forbidden.
    • Internet Browser:
      • The newest versions of Microsoft Edge, Safari, Chrome, and Firefox or Internet Explorer 11.
    • Internet connection:
      • For optimal performance, a reliable and stable connection speed of 3 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up is required.
      • Where possible, we recommend testing on a wired network as opposed to a wireless network.
      • If testing from home, ask others within the household to avoid internet use during your exam session.
      • Tethering to a mobile hotspot is explicitly prohibited.
    • Webcam:
      • Webcam must have a minimum resolution of 640x480 @ 10 fps.
      • Webcam may be internal or external and connected to the computer.
      • Mac users may need to allow OnVUE within their ‘System Preferences: Security & Privacy: Privacy’ settings for Microphone, Camera, Automation, and Input Monitoring.
    • Sound & Microphone:
      • Verify the audio and microphone are not set on mute in Windows.
      • Mac users may need to allow OnVUE within their ‘System Preferences: Security & Privacy: Privacy’ settings for Microphone, Camera, Automation, and Input Monitoring.
    • Browser Settings:
      • Internet Cookies must be enabled.
      • Any Pop-Up blocking setting(s) must be disabled.
    • Power:
      • Ensure you are connected to a power source before starting your exam to avoid draining your battery during the exam.

You will be able to run a system test using the computer and internet connection you intend to use for the exam, more information available here.

You will find more information on Pearson Vue’s website by following this link: https://home.pearsonvue.com/Test-takers/Resources.aspx?ot=collapse15

What if my computer does not meet requirements?

Candidates who would like to choose the online proctored option are strongly encouraged to run a system test on the computer they intend to use before registering for (or scheduling) their exam. If their computer does not meet requirements, they should opt for a physical test center appointment (or retain their appointment if they’ve already schedule). If your computer does not meet requirements, you should not register for an OnVUE exam and should either retain your existing test center appointment or schedule an appointment at a test center. If neither of these options is feasible for your circumstance, please contact candidate@caia.org as soon as possible.

How do I tell CAIA that I want to opt for the online proctored exam?

CAIA will be messaging each Candidate to instruct you how to choose the online proctored exam option so please monitor your emails for messages. Or, if you have questions please contact us at candidate@caia.org.

Do I need to cancel my test center exam if I want to choose the online proctored exam?

No. CAIA will cancel your existing test center appointment if you choose an online proctored exam.

What should I do to be prepared on exam day?

  • To optimize your chance for a successful online proctored exam experience, choose your space with these factors in mind:
      1. Quiet - Background noise could distract the Pearson VUE proctors monitoring the exam session and could interfere with your exam.
      2. Free from interruptions - Inform members of your household when you are taking the exam and that you cannot be interrupted during your session.
      3. Well lit – Pearson VUE proctors must be able to see you and your testing space well. Do not sit in front of your windows or light source because if you are backlit, your face will be obscured.
      4. Private – No one else should be in the room where you are testing. No one should be able to see your computer monitor. If anyone enters the room, say, “Please leave; I’m testing.” No other communication is allowed.
      5. No unapproved items within arm's reach - Only CAIA-approved items are allowed in your workspace. If you use your mobile phone to complete the check-in process, you must place it out of reach (and outside of your visible workspace) once complete.
      6. Have stable internet connectivity – Strong WIFI or direct hardwired internet connection will minimize the odds of an exam disruption due to connectivity. If possible, inform others in the household to minimize their internet bandwidth usage during your exam period.

What should I expect during the check-in process and during the exam?

    • Candidates can check into the exam as early as 30 minutes before until 15 minutes after their exam appointment time.
    • Candidates will be able to bring an approved calculator into their location.
    • Candidates will receive an access code and be prompted to download the exam software before completing the following checks:
        • Test their computer’s microphone, webcam, and audio
        • Capture a headshot
          • You will take photos of your government-issued ID and your testing environment, as well as a headshot.
          • Your photos will be reviewed, and your exam will be queued up. Most Candidates will start their exam within 15 minutes of their appointment time.
          • If your pictures do not pass review, you will be joined by a greeter as soon as possible to help you troubleshoot.
        • Capture four photos of the testing room*
        • Shut down all other applications running on the computer
        • You will be monitored by a VUE-certified proctor via webcam and microphone throughout your test to ensure the integrity and security of your exam experience.

*Rooms must be set up with proper lighting (Candidates cannot leave their seat to turn on lights or make other adjustments to workspace while exam is in progress), extra computer monitors must be off and turned around, any writing on walls or posters should be removed or they will be inspected.

Note: Globally, all Pearson VUE online exam proctors who will be monitoring your exam will be English speaking. Candidates should be aware that you will be greeted or checked into your exam as well as communicated with during the exam in the English language.

Will my privacy be protected?

Though video taken during the exam is retained and reviewed after exam completion, their storage is compliant with privacy practices of the candidates’ country:

  • Video is deleted after 60 days in the United States (U.S.) and 30 days (or less) outside of the U.S.
  • Images of IDs are retained for 30 days or less depending on local regulations.

What circumstances could cause my exam to be terminated while in progress?

Exams are terminated if the proctored sees multiple faces, no face, or the wrong face in the window. Exams are also terminated if the Pearson VUE proctor observes any other prohibited behaviors such as departure from the room at any time except for the scheduled break.

What if I lose internet connection during my exam?

If you are disconnected from the proctored exam and cannot resume your OnVUE exam, Pearson VUE will create a case on your behalf and can help you reschedule. If you want to raise the issue yourself, however, you can contact Pearson VUE Customer Support by chat or phone. https://home.pearsonvue.com/Test-takers/Customer-service.aspx

If I lose internet connection during my exam will I be able to reschedule within the exam window?

In this scenario, contact Pearson VUE’s customer service team via Chat or phone for assistance rescheduling, Pearson VUE will create a case and attempt to assist you to reschedule within the window but if for some reason is unable to, will refer you to sponsor CAIA for information on next steps/options.

Can I change my exam appointment to a test center after I elect to take an online exam?

No, once you have chosen to take your exam online you cannot switch back to testing at a Pearson VUE physical test center location.

Can I re-schedule my online proctored exam if I cannot make the scheduled time? If so, how?

Yes, log into your CAIA.org account and manage scheduling/rescheduling an appointment via your candidate dashboard. You are permitted to cancel/reschedule an online proctored exam up until the appointment date/time.

What if I have technical issues related to my exam?

There is a chat function within the exam where you will be able to ask your proctored for assistance. They will not answer exam content-specific questions.

Additional Tips & Techniques for a successful exam.