Exam centre FAQs

The Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) now offers an on-screen method for all ADIT examinations, using the Exam4 on-screen exam system. In addition, examination centres are expected to download and print the question papers and supplementary texts for all ADIT examinations using the SecurePDF secure electronic delivery system.

Centre staff can access the SecurePDF system by clicking here and entering the user credentials for your centre. For instructions on using SecurePDF, please click here.

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?
How do centres receive the question papers for on-screen ADIT examinations? Are they still sent by courier?
Will centres need to install software on their computers in order to support on-screen ADIT examinations?
Will centres need to provide software support for candidates during on-screen ADIT examinations?
Will candidates need wireless access to the centre network during an examination?
Does the centre need to supply power sockets for candidates to plug laptops into?
How do centres invigilate on-screen ADIT examinations?
What is different about the examination experience for candidates?
Can candidates still make notes on paper?
Will candidates still be able to bring permitted texts to the examination?
Will candidates be able to access the internet during the examination?
Can candidates choose to take their exam on a computer provided by the centre?
What if something goes wrong with a candidate’s computer during the examination?
What if there is a power cut during the examination?
What is the timetable for on-screen ADIT examinations?


SecurePDF FAQs

What is SecurePDF?
Do our centre staff need to install SecurePDF?
How do we access SecurePDF?
How do we download the question papers using SecurePDF?
Are there any additional system requirements?
When can we download the question papers?
What are the printing requirements for ADIT question papers?
Who will meet the cost of printing?


Exam4 FAQs

What is Exam4?
How does Exam4 work?
Can centres download a copy of Exam4 now?
What if the centre firewall or anti-virus prevents the download of Exam4 for the centre computers? What if a candidate is unable to download the software?
What if a centre has 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?
Our centre has Macs. Is there anything that is different between Macs and Windows?
Will the software take up a lot of room on hard drives and affect the speed of the computer?
How do I run a practice exam to learn more about the software?
What do the different exam modes mean?
What is the Security Check?
Will Exam4 save candidates’ answers exam as they type?
What is the timer in Exam4? Does that control when an examination ends?


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, centres download and print the question papers using the SecurePDF secure electronic delivery system in advance of each ADIT examination session, while candidates sitting ADIT examinations are able to complete their examinations on-screen.

All ADIT examinations taking place in June are now available in both paper-based and on-screen formats, with candidates selecting their preferred method at the time of booking. 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:

Staff at the examination centre log in to the SecurePDF system to download and print question papers and supplementary texts for each candidate. Question papers and supplementary texts are made available for all ADIT examinations scheduled to take place at the centre, seven days in advance of the examinations, in order to provide sufficient time to download and print the materials.

Candidates 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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How do centres receive the question papers for on-screen ADIT examinations? Are they still sent by courier?

No. Question papers will need to be downloaded using SecurePDF and printed locally by the centre in advance of the examination day. A full centre guide to using SecurePDF can be found here.

Centre staff will need to ensure that sufficient copies of each question paper (and supplementary texts where required) are produced for the all candidates, either by printing all copies or by printing one copy and then photocopying it as required.

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Will centres need to install software on their computers in order to support on-screen ADIT examinations?

On-screen ADIT examinations use Exam4 software. Candidates are required to install Exam4 on their own laptops in advance of the examination, and use their own laptops to take the examination. However, in the event of a failure of a candidate’s laptop during an examination, the centre will be expected to provide access to an alternative computer with Exam4 pre-installed.

Therefore we ask centres to download, install, and test Exam4 on an agreed number of computers (typically one for smaller cohorts; more for larger cohorts) in advance of the examination, and to make these computers available to candidates if required. See the Exam4 FAQs below for instructions on how to download a copy of Exam4.

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Will centres need to provide software support for candidates during on-screen ADIT examinations?

No. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that Exam4 is installed and working on their laptop in advance of the examination. However as with the paper-based ADIT examinations, the CIOT will supply centres with an invigilation guide for the on-screen ADIT examinations. This guide will explain clearly how to respond to the various problems which might arise during an on-screen ADIT examination: laptop failure, upload failures, etc. As with the paper-based ADIT examination, centres should familiarise themselves with the invigilation guide in advance of ADIT examinations.

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Will candidates need wireless access to the centre network during an examination?

Candidates do not need network access during the examination. However they will require network access to upload their completed answers to the CIOT server at the end of the examination. Therefore, candidates need to ensure that they are able to access the wireless network before the examination starts.

If network access is not available, candidates must save their completed answers onto their computer hard drives. Exam4 will allow candidates’ responses to be saved to the hard drive. Candidates will then need to connect to the internet and submit their answers to the CIOT within 24 hours. During this period, the exam file is encrypted in order to prevent alteration or malpractice.

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Does the centre need to supply power sockets for candidates to plug laptops into?

Yes.

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How do centres invigilate on-screen ADIT examinations?

Invigilation of on-screen ADIT examinations is very similar to invigilation of paper-based ADIT examinations. The main differences are that:

  • Candidates will type answers into their computers rather than write them into answer books.
  • Invigilators will need to be aware of the steps to take in the event of a problem. The CIOT will provide a full invigilation guide.
  • At the end of the examination, either candidates will need access to the centre’s network to upload their completed exam file to the CIOT server, or the centre will have to notify candidates that they must connect to the internet and submit their completed exam file to the CIOT within 24 hours.

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What is different about the examination experience for candidates?

The main difference is that candidates type their answers on a computer rather than writing them on paper. 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.

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Can candidates still make notes on paper?

Yes. Candidates will still receive the question paper and accompanying materials in printed format. Candidates are able to make written notes on the question paper, but only their typed on-screen answers are submitted for marking.

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Will candidates still be able to bring permitted texts to the examination?

Candidates will still be able to bring bound copies of the permitted texts into the examination. As Exam4 does not permit access to outside applications, the permitted texts will not be accessible electronically.

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

No, they will have access only to the exam they are typing. The Exam4 software will prevent candidates from accessing their hard drive, applications, or the internet. Once candidates end their exam and submit it, they will not be able to go back and re-edit their work.

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Can candidates choose to take their exam on a computer provided by the centre?

No, candidates need to come prepared to do the exam on their own laptop. In the event of a failure of a candidate’s laptop during an examination however, the centre will be required to provide access to an alternative computer with Exam4 pre-installed.

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What if something goes wrong with a candidate’s computer during the examination?

The CIOT will supply centres with an invigilation guide for the on-screen ADIT examinations. This guide explains clearly how to respond to the various problems which might arise during an on-screen ADIT examination. The guide includes:

  • instructions on how to re-start the examination on a candidate’s computer; and
  • instructions on how to re-start the examination on a different computer.

With regard to the latter point, in the event of a failure of a candidate’s laptop during an examination the centre will be expected to provide access to an alternative computer with Exam4 pre-installed. Therefore we ask centres to download, install, and test Exam4 on an agreed number of computers (typically one for smaller cohorts; more for larger cohorts) in advance of the examination, and to make these computers available to candidates as required in the event of a laptop failure. See the Exam4 FAQs below for instructions on how to download a copy of Exam4.

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What if there is a power cut during the examination?

Candidates are asked to bring fully charged laptops to the exam. Therefore, candidates using laptops should not be adversely affected by loss of power for short periods. The CIOT will supply centres with an invigilation guide for the on-screen ADIT examinations which explains how to handle longer power cuts.

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What is the timetable for on-screen ADIT examinations?

Candidates at all June ADIT examination sittings have the option of sitting paper-based or on-screen examinations. Each exam is sat and invigilated in parallel, for candidates using both methods.

Candidates entering to sit December ADIT examinations are required to sit on-screen examinations. Paper-based ADIT examinations are not available in the December session.

If you have questions regarding the provision of on-screen ADIT examinations at your centre, please contact Rory Clarke (rclarke [at] adit.org.uk).

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SecurePDF FAQs

What is SecurePDF?

SecurePDF provides secure, time-controlled release of electronic question papers and supplementary texts to examination centres, enabling centre staff to download and print the question papers ahead of ADIT exams instead of sending physical shipments of question papers to examination centres.

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Do our centre staff need to install SecurePDF?

No. SecurePDF is a brower-based system, and is optimised to run using Internet Explorer and Google Chrome.

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How do we access SecurePDF?

Ahead of the centre’s first ADIT exam session using SecurePDF, a centre staff member authorised by the CIOT will automatically receive an email containing the centre’s login details and a link to the SecurePDF centre login page.

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How do we download the question papers using SecurePDF?

Each exam centre uses SecurePDF in the same way:

  1. The exam centre will receive an email from administrator [at] securepdf.co.uk, containing the centre’s login details.
  2. The exam centre will receive a subsequent email, listing the forthcoming ADIT examinations to be held at the centre.
  3. The exam centre will login to SecurePDF, using the login details supplied in the first email.
  4. Once logged into SecurePDF, the exam centre can click to download and save the encrypted exam paper PDF files for each ADIT examination, during the time period specified for the download of that examination’s papers.
  5. An email will automatically be sent to the exam centre when the centre clicks to access the PDF files for an examination. The email will contain the password required to open the encrypted PDF files.
  6. Once each exam paper file has been downloaded and opened using the password provided, copies can be printed and photocopied for each candidate. Each PDF file downloaded from SecurePDF will contain embedded download information at the top and bottom of each page, including both the exam centre name and the time of download.

A full centre guide to using SecurePDF can be found here.

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Are there any additional system requirements?

Because SecurePDF is browser-based, it can be accessed using any machine with an internet connection. However, in order to open and print the downloaded PDF question papers, exam centres are required to ensure that they have Adobe Reader installed onto any computer(s) on which the PDFs are to be accessed.

Adobe Reader can be downloaded free of charge by clicking here.

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When can we download the question papers?

In order to provide centre staff with sufficient time to download and print the materials for all ADIT examinations, the question paper and supplementary texts for each examination are available to download seven days before that examination is due to take place.

In order to ensure that the integrity of each examination is maintained, centre staff are required to ensure that all printed question papers, as well as all downloaded PDF files and login details, are retained securely ahead of each ADIT examination.

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What are the printing requirements for ADIT question papers?

Centre staff will need to ensure that sufficient copies of all ADIT question papers and supplementary texts are produced for all candidates sitting the examinations. This can be done either by printing sufficient copies of each document, or by printing one copy of each document and then photocopying as required.

The CIOT expects all ADIT exam papers to be printed in black and white, double-sided, with one page per side, and a single staple in the top left corner.

All ADIT exam papers are formatted to ensure that the full text of the examination is printable either using A4 size (210 x 297mm) or US Letter size (8.5 x 11") paper. If you have any problems during printing which you are unable to resolve, please contact the CIOT at education [at] adit.org.uk.

If you are photocopying printed exam papers, please ensure that all page scaling, double siding and stapling requirements are maintained, and that the print quality on the copy documents is sufficient to ensure that candidates using photocopies are not disadvantaged in their examination.

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Who will meet the cost of printing?

The CIOT appreciates that asking exam centres to print the downloaded exam papers places an additional cost upon each participating centre; the CIOT will therefore cover all reasonable printing costs incurred in relation to centres’ use of the SecurePDF system. Any such costs should be included in to the invoice for the examination hosting, and sent to the CIOT via email (where possible) or post upon completion of the examination session.

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Exam4 FAQs

What is Exam4?

Exam4 is a word processing program, similar to Microsoft Word although with less functionality, that candidates will install on their laptops and use to type ADIT exams. Candidates will submit their answers electronically via Exam4 at the end of the allotted time. As a backup, Exam4 allows candidates to connect to the internet and submit their completed exam file to the CIOT within 24 hours.

Candidates still receive a hard copy of the exam question paper – only their answers are 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 a computer into a dedicated essay exam-taking machine:

  • First, candidates enter information about their examination via a short start-up sequence.
  • Next, a blank word processor screen appears where candidates type their answers. This is intentionally 'no frills' - one typeface (Courier), basic editing functions, and a timer and word counter. Candidates won't be able to access any other files on their computer (e.g. for copy-and-paste), or access the internet.
  • Exam4 auto-saves candidates' work every 10 seconds, whilst also making an additional failsafe backup every 2 minutes.
  • At the end of the examination, candidates either submit their exams electronically, or save their work to their computer hard drive (in which case, the candidate must connect to the internet and submit their completed exam file to the CIOT within 24 hours).

Because of Exam4’s relative simplicity, ease of use, and track record of reliability throughout its use by institutions around the world, we expect any significant technical or operational problems experienced with Exam4 to be rare. However, if you have any issues or questions which are not covered by these FAQs, please contact us or follow the Tech Support directions.

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Can centres download a copy of Exam4 now?

Yes. 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 if the centre firewall or anti-virus prevents the download of Exam4 for the centre computers?

Normal Windows or anti-virus software should not prevent centres from downloading and installing the software. However, there may be some anti-virus programmes that will prevent the download and/or installation. Adding an exclusion rule to the anti-virus (i.e. telling it to trust or ignore Exam4) should help. If a corporate firewall or IT user policy prevents downloading or installing .exe files, please talk to the centre's IT support team. If they have any queries, please ask them to discuss these with CIOT.

For these reasons we require centres to test the download and installation of Exam4 in advance of the examination day. The best way to do this is to undertaking a brief practice test to ensure that there are no issues (see below). Centres should do this again as close to the examination as possible to ensure that no changes to IT systems (e.g. Windows updates or anti-virus updates) impact on the use of Exam4.

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What if a candidate is unable to download the software?

Candidates are provided with advice on the installation of the Exam4 software and where to go to find support. Candidates should not be asking centres to provide them with support for installing or using the software.

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What if a centre has other problems or questions with the download or installation?

For all technical questions, please go to Exam4 Tech Support. On the Exam4 home page at www.exam4.com, click on 'For B-schools FAQ and User Guide or User/Tech Support'. They are your primary contact for all technical issues with installing Exam4 prior to the examination.

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 computers – it does not require an expensive or high powered computer. The hardware requirements are:

  • 10 MB free hard disk space
  • Network connectivity
  • Functioning USB port
  • Minimum 800x600 screen resolution

Exam4 is designed to enable candidates to submit their completed exam files 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. Any candidate who is unable to upload their completed exam following the close of the examination will need to save their exam onto the computer hard drive. The candidate must then connect to the internet and send the saved exam to the CIOT within 24 hours. During this period, the exam file is encrypted to prevent alterations or malpractice.

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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.

Candidates, and centre staff who download Exam4, will need to have administrator rights on your laptop, which you may not have on a work computer. If 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 have further questions about system requirements, please go to www.exam4.com and follow the links for Tech Support described above.

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Our centre has Macs. 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 the hard drive and affect the speed of the computer?

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

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How do I run a practice exam to learn more about the software?

Running a practice exam is about making sure Exam4 runs as expected on your computer. 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 where you type an exam answer.

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

If you encounter any problems during a practice exam, please go to Tech Support at www.exam4.com.

Candidates are also given this advice.

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What do the different exam modes mean?

CLOSED: This is the exam mode you will be running during the real ADIT examination and for the practice tests. You have access only to the exam you are typing. You may not access your hard drive, applications, or the internet. Once you end your exam, you may not go back and re-edit it. Your computer will run through a 1-2 minute Security Check prior to beginning. We expect that you will use this time to read the exam question.

OPEN: You may access your hard drive and other applications, but do not have access to the internet. We will not be using this mode for ADIT examinations.

OPEN + NETWORK: We will not be using this mode for ADIT examinations.

TAKEHOME: We will not be using this mode for ADIT examinations.

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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 'Begin Exam' is selected, the Security Check will begin. It usually takes between 30 – 40 seconds, but can take up to 2 minutes. In this time, candidates may begin reading the 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, candidates will not be allowed to start the exam without correcting the problem first.

This is why we require candidates to download and test the software on their laptop in advance of the exam day. We strongly encourage candidates to take practice exams close to their actual exam day in CLOSED mode to clear up any Security Check issues.

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Will Exam4 save candidates’ answers exam as they type?

Yes, Exam4 automatically saves candidate answers to the hard drive every 2 minutes.

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What is the timer in Exam4? Does that control when an examination ends?

As with a paper-based examination, exam invigilators are the exclusive official exam timekeepers. Candidates are advised not to rely on the optional Exam4 timer, nor the clock on their computer to keep the exam time.

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