Candidate FAQs

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) now offers an on-screen method for all ADIT examinations, using the Exam4 on-screen exam system.

To download the Exam4 exam software, click here and type CIOT in the 'Find institution' field.

For instructions on running and using Exam4, please click here.


General FAQs

How are ADIT examinations changing?
Why are on-screen ADIT examinations being introduced?
Will I be advantaged or disadvantaged if I elect to take an ADIT examination on-screen?
How do I enter for an on-screen ADIT examination?
Can I complete the examination on my own laptop?
Can I use a laptop or PC provided by the centre?
What is the on-screen examination software like? Can I try it before I make up my mind?


Exam4 FAQs

Overview

What is Exam4?
How does Exam4 work?
How do I access the Exam4 software?
What is different about the on-screen examination experience?
Can I make notes on paper?
Will I be able to bring permitted texts to the examination?
Will I be able to access the internet during the examination?
Will I still have access to normal Word editing and other functions?
Is there a spell check?
Does the software do anything strange that I’m not used to when writing?
Can I use footnotes?
Can I draw diagrams?
Do I have to use Exam4 if I’m going to write my exam on my laptop?
Will I be able to take my exam on a computer provided by the centre?
Will power be available for me to plug my laptop in?


Technical issues

What if my firewall or anti-virus software prevents the download?
What if I have other problems or questions with the download or installation?
What are the hardware requirements to run Exam4?
What are the operating system requirements to run Exam4?
I have a tablet with Windows 10. How does this work?
Can I use an iPad?
I have a Mac. Is there anything that is different between Macs and Windows?
Will the software take up a lot of room on my hard drive and affect the speed of my computer?
What if I have a problem with my laptop during exams?
Do I have to take a practice exam?
How do I take a practice exam?
Is there anything else I should do in advance of the exam?


Taking exams

What is my Exam ID?
What is the Security Check?
What is the Answer Separator?
Will Exam4 save my exam as I’m typing it?
What should I do if my computer crashes during the exam?
What if my laptop malfunctions or runs out of battery during my exam?
The answer text within Exam4 starts with 'Answer to Question 1'. What if I do not wish to answer Question 1?
My completed exam didn’t upload. What should I do?


General FAQs

How are ADIT examinations changing?

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) is modernising the delivery of the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (ADIT). As part of this modernisation process, candidates sitting ADIT examinations are able to complete their examinations on-screen.

All ADIT examinations taking place in June are available in both paper-based and on-screen formats, with candidates selecting their preferred method as part of the examination booking process. All ADIT examinations taking place during the December session are available as on-screen examinations only.

All on-screen ADIT examinations are conducted as follows:

Candidates continue to receive the questions on paper. We believe that this is preferable to having the questions only shown on-screen. Many candidates value the ability to annotate and make notes on the printed test paper.

Candidates type their answers into a computer using a customised word processor. When we say 'customised', we mean that the software has been designed specifically for on-screen examinations. Candidate answers are saved every two minutes automatically, and candidates are not able to access the internet or their file system or any other application during the examination. The word processor only provides the minimum required functionality.

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Why are on-screen ADIT examinations being introduced?

In large part we are responding to feedback from candidates who are would like an alternative to handwriting long answers during ADIT examinations. However this is also part of a drive to modernise the delivery of our examinations. We recognise that digital technology is widespread, that much of teaching and learning is technology-based or supported, that digital technology permeates the professional workplace, and that pen-and-paper examinations are becoming increasingly anachronistic.

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Will I be advantaged or disadvantaged if I elect to take an ADIT examination on-screen?

No. Great care has been taken to make sure that candidates are neither advantaged nor disadvantaged by sitting an on-screen examination compared to the handwritten examination. All candidates sit the examination in an invigilated exam hall, and have access to the same exam questions and supporting materials for the particular paper chosen. Each exam is the same length of time for all candidates. The difference is in how the candidate answers the questions – typing on screen or writing by hand.

In order to ensure that no group within the ADIT population is unfairly disadvantaged when it comes to sitting exams, we routinely monitor and measure the success rates of on-screen exam candidates against those sitting the same exams using the handwritten method. The evidence thus far collected indicates that ADIT students who sit using the on-screen method produce answers of similar length to those who handwrite, with no significant differences in pass rates. While it is harder to measure the typical typing speed of an ADIT exam candidate, we believe that the average typing speed among the ADIT population, which encompasses students from a wide range of ages, countries and backgrounds, is comparable to that of the general population, and is therefore in the order of 38-40 words per minute.

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How do I enter for an on-screen ADIT examination?

If you enter for an ADIT examination taking place during a June session, you will be able to select on the exam entry form whether you would like to complete your examination on-screen or on-paper.

If you enter for a December ADIT examination, you will be required to complete your examination using the on-screen method. The December session does not include paper-based examinations.

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Can I complete the on-screen examination on my own laptop?

Yes. In fact you are usually required to. In advance of the examination day you will have to:

  1. Download Exam4 onto your laptop.
  2. Run the software and verify that your laptop passes the security check that Exam4 will carry out. This will take 1–2 minutes.
  3. Verify that you are able to use the software and that you are comfortable with the available functionality. We recommend that you practice typing a typical examination response into Exam4 as part of your preparation for the examination.
  4. Bring your laptop with Exam4 installed and a fully charged battery (mains power will be available) to the examination.

More details on the installation and available support are included in the Exam4 FAQs below.

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What is the on-screen examination software like? Can I try it before I make up my mind?

The software is called Exam4. A set of FAQs on Exam4 is available below.

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Will I be able to take my exam on a computer provided by the centre?

Normally you will be required to use your own laptop. If you would like to take on-screen ADIT examinations but do not have your own device, you will need to contact the CIOT.

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Exam4 FAQs

Overview

What is Exam4?

Exam4 is a word processing program, similar to Microsoft Word although with less functionality, that you will install on your laptop and use to write your ADIT exams. You will electronically submit your answers via Exam4 at the end of the allotted time. As a fail-safe there will also be the option to save your answers to a location on your computer’s hard drive and submit it within 24 hours.

You will still receive a hard copy of the exam questions – only your answer gets typed into Exam4.

Exam4 is a popular system for onscreen exams provided by other academic institutions, having been used by candidates to sit over two million exams since 2001. It is the software of choice at over one third of US law schools, several state bar exams, and a variety of other distinguished institutions.

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How does Exam4 work?

Exam4 turns your computer into a dedicated essay exam-taking machine:

  • First, enter information about your exam via a short start-up sequence.
  • Next, a blank word processor screen appears where you type your exam. This is intentionally 'no frills' - one typeface (Courier), basic editing functions, and a timer and word counter. You won't be able to access any other files on your computer (e.g. for copy-and-paste), or access the internet.
  • Exam4 auto-saves your work every 10 seconds, whilst also making an additional failsafe backup every 2 minutes, so you never have to worry about losing work. Just type your exam, with no distractions.
  • When you're done, you will submit your exam electronically or, if you are unable to connect to the internet at the exam venue, save it to a location on your computer’s hard drive and submit it within 24 hours. That's it.

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How can I access the Exam4 software?

You can access Exam4 using these steps:

  1. Make sure you are connected to the internet.
  2. Go to www.exam4.com.
  3. In the 'Find institution' box, type CIOT and click 'go'.
  4. The search results will give you 'Other – CIOT'. Click on 'CIOT'.
  5. Complete the registration form with your details.
  6. Click 'Submit form'.
  7. On the 'Download' screen, click the box and then select 'click here to download'.
  8. You will then get a screen inviting you to save or run the file.
  9. Click 'Save file' or 'Run'.
  10. Depending on your browser, the software will download and install or you may need to find the saved file and click it to start the installation process. During the process, Windows may ask you whether you want to install this software – click 'Yes'.
  11. During installation, agree to the License Agreement and leave all the boxes ticked on the 'Choose Components' screen. Click 'Install' and then 'Finish'.
  12. The examination software is now installed and ready to use. There will be an Exam4 shortcut on the desktop.

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What is different about the on-screen examination experience?

The only difference is only that you will be typing your answers on a computer rather than writing them on paper. And of course you will be able to edit, cut and paste your answers within the document you write (not to or from external files) in the same way as you would a typical word-processed document.

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Can I make notes on paper?

Yes. You will still receive the question paper and accompanying materials in printed format, the same as if you were writing your answers by hand. You will be able to make written notes on the question paper, but only your typed on-screen answers will be submitted for marking.

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Will I be able to bring permitted texts to the examination?

You will still be able to bring bound copies of the permitted texts into the examination, the same as if you were writing your answers by hand. As Exam4 does not permit access to outside applications, the permitted texts will not be accessible electronically.

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Will I be able to access the internet during the examination?

No. You have access only to the exam you are typing. The software will prevent you from accessing your hard drive, applications, or the internet. Once you end your exam and submit it, you will not be able to go back and re-edit it.

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Will I still have access to normal Word editing and other functions?

Exam4 allows access to cut, copy, paste, undo/redo, and 'select all' within your exam text. The cut, copy and paste functions as well as undo/redo may all be used via the program menu, or their shortcut keys.

Exam4 prohibits cutting and pasting to and from external files.

The 'delete' key does not function in Exam4; however you may delete text using the 'backspace' key.

To scroll up and down during the exam, please use the arrow keys within the Exam4 interface.

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Is there a spell check?

Exam4 contains a spell checking function, which is enabled for all ADIT examinations.

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Does the software do anything strange that I’m not used to when writing?

If you highlight and delete more than 100 characters of text, a warning box pops up and asks if you are sure you want to do that. This is just a double-check for you to make sure you don’t accidentally delete text (although there is an undo function as well).

The Exam4 window is not a full-screen window. You are not able to change the size of the window while typing your exam.

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Can I use footnotes?

No. Exam4 does not allow footnotes.

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Can I draw diagrams?

As Exam4 works like a basic word processor, you will be able to produce basic tables but not complex diagrams.

The 'tab' key can be used to arrange text into simple columns, enabling the construction of basic tables. Please click here for an example.

All ADIT exam questions will be constructed in such a way that candidates are not required to produce any tables or diagrams which cannot easily be created using Exam4.

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Do I have to use Exam4 if I’m going to write my exam on my laptop?

Yes. All students sitting on-screen ADIT exams must use the Exam4 software.

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Will I be able to take my exam on a computer provided by the centre?

No, you need to come prepared to do the exam on your own laptop. However we will be able to offer back-up computers for use in the event of laptop failure.

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Will power be available for me to plug my laptop in?

A mains power supply will be available for you to plug your laptop in. You should bring your laptop with a fully charged battery as well.

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Technical issues

What if my firewall prevents the download?

Normal Windows or Anti-Virus software on your machine should not prevent you from downloading the software. However, there may be some anti-virus programmes that will prevent the download and/or installation. Disabling your anti-virus software while you install Exam4 should help. If you have a corporate firewall or IT user policy that prevents you from downloading or installing .exe files, please talk to your IT support team. If they have any queries, please ask them to discuss these with CIOT.

In any case, you must test the system by undertaking a practice exam to ensure that there are no issues (see below). You should do this again as close to the examination as possible to ensure that no changes to any of your laptop software (e.g. Windows updates) impact on the use of Exam4.

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What if I have other problems or questions with the download or installation?

For all technical questions, please contact Exam4 User Support. They are your primary contact for all technical issues with installing Exam4 prior to the examination. To do so, go to www.exam4.com, click on 'FAQ + Support'. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to complete and submit the email-based contact form for Exam4. When filling out the support form be sure to select 'A school or university' and then enter CIOT for the School/Institution.

The 'User/Tech Support' also includes an email-based contact form for Exam4 if you are still having difficulties.

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What are the hardware requirements to run Exam4?

Exam4 will run on most laptops – it does not require an expensive or high powered computer. The hardware requirements are:

  • 10 MB free hard disk space
  • Wireless network connectivity for the submission of your completed exam file
  • Functioning USB port
  • Minimum 800x600 screen resolution

Exam4 is designed to enable you to submit your completed exam file within 24 hours after the end of the exam, in the event of a connection failure or lack of internet access at the exam venue. Nevertheless you should ensure that your computer has wireless network connectivity, in order to enable your completed exam file to be submitted immediately once your exam has ended.

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What are the operating system requirements to run Exam4?

For a complete list of Technical Specifications, go to www.exam4.com/userguide#hardware.

You will need to have administrator rights on your laptop, which you may not have on a work computer. If you are using a work laptop, your company's IT staff may be able to give you the necessary access, or you may need to use a personal laptop. If you do use a work laptop, please ensure that you have the necessary access to open Exam4 and run a practice exam before the day of your examination.

If you have further questions about system requirements, please go to www.exam4.com and follow the links for user support described above.

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I have a tablet with Windows 10. How does this work?

Exam4 works with Windows 7, 8 and 10 (see Supported operating systems). However we do not recommend using a tablet unless you have an external keyboard connected, as the typing experience using a touchscreen device is unlikely to match that offered by a physical keyboard and you may therefore be disadvantaged.

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Can I use an iPad?

No. Exam4 only works with the systems detailed above.

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I have a Mac. Is there anything that is different between Macs and Windows?

There are some small differences between Windows and Macs using Exam4:

  • If you have a Mac, you need to be set up as an administrator. Otherwise, you will need to type in your computer’s password in order to start the exam.
  • Windows computers perform a security check prior to the exam, and Macs do not.
  • Both Macs and Windows have a 'Delete' key. On Windows, this key deletes text forward of it, and is disabled in Exam4. With Macs, this key works as per its normal functionality.
  • If you download the software for a second time, Windows computers will automatically overwrite the old software with the new software. Mac users will have to choose to run the correct software version, so we highly recommend that Mac users uninstall any old Exam4 versions before re-installing.

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Will the software take up a lot of room on my hard drive and affect the speed of my computer?

No. Exam4’s software package is small, and will not affect the normal operation of your computer when it is not running.

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What if I have a problem with my laptop during my exam?

Call the invigilator, who will work with you to re-start the examination. Your work is saved on the hard disk regularly so the laptop can be restarted and you can continue your work.

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Do I have to take a practice exam?

This is highly recommended. Taking a practice exam takes no more than 15 minutes of your time. Practice exams are a good way to make sure your computer passes the Security Check successfully, whilst also allowing you to become acquainted with the options and features of Exam4. You can start Exam4 and take as many practice exams as you wish in order to feel fully comfortable taking an exam with the software.

DO NOT wait until the day of the exam before taking your practice exam.

If you have any technical problems or questions that arise during your practice exam, go to www.exam4.com and follow the links for user support.

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How do I take a practice exam?

Taking a practice exam is about making sure Exam4 runs as expected on your computer, and it gives you a chance to become familiar with the interface. Download the software (as above) then launch Exam4 and follow the on-screen instructions. Each time you start Exam4, it may ask whether you want to make changes to your computer – always click 'Yes'.

On the next screen, for the Exam ID, use any two- or three-digit number. When you get to the course list, choose 'M13 Practice Exam.' DO NOT choose an actual exam. On the following screen, you can choose font size, screen contrast and timing.

There is no set practice exam question, just a blank page in which you type an exam answer. You can download past ADIT exam papers from the ADIT website.

You can find a user-friendly guide to starting a practice exam on Exam4 by clicking here.

If you encounter any problems during your practice exam, please go to user support at www.exam4.com.

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Is there anything else I should do in advance of the exam?

We recommend switching on your computer on the morning of the exam and ensuring that all updates are complete. If you wait until shortly before the exam start time before switching on your computer, you may be delayed by Windows or Mac updates.

To help ensure that your computer does not restart in order to install updates during the exam (or at any other important time when you are working), you can schedule restarts for updates via your system settings. Click here for instructions on how to do this using Windows 10 (instructions for other operating systems can also be found online).

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Taking exams

What is my Exam ID?

Your Exam ID will be your four-digit candidate number. You can find your candidate number on your candidate notification letter.

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What is the Security Check?

The Security Check is a mandatory check of the hard drive of Windows computers for files that may interfere with Exam4 in CLOSED mode (the mode used for ADIT exams). Once you select 'Begin Exam' the Security Check will begin. It usually takes between 30 – 40 seconds, but can take up to 2 minutes. In this time, you may begin reading your exam question. As long as the indicator is moving, the scan is active.

If the Security Check finds a file that it considers to be a risk, you will not be allowed to start your exam without correcting the problem first.

This is why we require you to download and test the software on your laptop in advance of the exam day. We strongly encourage you to take practice exams close to your actual exam day in CLOSED mode to clear up any Security Check issues. Remember, the Security Check takes place for CLOSED exams only. If you change or update your anti-virus or firewall software after downloading Exam4 we strongly recommend that you check that Exam4 still functions with the new software in place.

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What is the Answer Separator?

The Answer Separator is a feature of Exam4 that allows you to separate out the word counts by question.

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Will Exam4 save my exam as I’m typing it?

Yes, Exam4 automatically saves your exam to your hard drive every two minutes.

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What should I do if my computer crashes during the exam?

  1. Leave the computer in its crashed or frozen state so you can show it to your invigilator. Don't force-quit (Alt-Ctrl-Del) the application. Don't shut down or restart your computer.
  2. Call your invigilator over immediately so they can restart the examination for you.

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What if my laptop malfunctions or runs out of battery during my exam?

For any unforeseen exam circumstances, raise your hand to alert the invigilator, who will help you.

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The answer text within Exam4 starts with 'Answer to Question 1'. What if I do not wish to answer Question 1?

This answer separator text is generated automatically by the Exam4 software, and can be changed at any time during the exam.

To ensure that your answers are marked accurately, you should indicate the correct question number immediately above your answer to each question.

You can insert additional answer separators between each of your answers at any time during the exam, by clicking on the ‘Insert Answer Separator’ box underneath the timer.

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My completed exam didn’t upload. What should I do?

First, make sure that your wireless internet is turned on. If you feel that it is taking an excessively long time, raise your hand to alert an invigilator. You can exit Exam4 and then restart the program. Choose 'Select Existing Exam' and click 'Submit Electronically' in the bottom right corner of the window.

If this doesn't work, then from the same screen, choose 'Save As'. Save the exam file to a location on your machine which you will easily remember. You must note the confirmation number and complete your on-screen examination ticket using this number, before logging out. You will need to connect to the internet and submit the saved file to the CIOT within 24 hours; this can be done anywhere, as the exam file is encrypted during this period in order to prevent alteration or malpractice.

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