Technology-Based Examination (TBE)
Frequently Asked Questions
Last Updated April 16, 2018
The CAS is transitioning its exams to a computer-based environment, called Technology-Based Examination (TBE). Candidates will use Excel 2016 within a virtual environment to take their exams on their own computers overseen by remote proctors. Exam 5 is the first exam to transition, with the first administration conducted in spring 2018.
March 1, 8 and 14 Updates:
- Q21 and 22 include updated computer requirements
- Q26 clarifies a suitable exam location
- Q52 is a new question addressing the use of a French version of Excel
- Minor changes or clarifications were made in the following questions: 11, 30
- Q: Reasons for TBE: Why has the CAS decided to pursue TBE?
A: TBE will more closely imitate an on-the-job assignment in which actuaries use computers for their work, making CAS exams more relevant to real-life actuarial practice. In addition, TBE will mitigate a variety of current candidate concerns, including writing cramps, hand-writing legibility, distance to exam sites, and rigid exam schedules.
The adoption of TBE continues the evolution of the CAS's credentialing process to meet the needs of candidates, employers, and other stakeholders. TBE also allows the CAS to demonstrate its leadership and innovation within the actuarial profession.
- Q: Exam Administration: Could you provide more detail around how the CAS will administer TBE?
A: Candidates will take the exam within Excel 2016 via a virtual desktop that is accessed on the candidate's computer. Candidates will sit for the exam at the location of their choosing that meets certain criteria, and at a time of their choosing, within certain windows on a specific date. Therefore, candidates will need to have an internet connection, be familiar with Excel, and have a computer that meets certain requirements to sit for an exam. The candidate's computer does not need to have Excel 2016 installed as it will be installed on the virtual desktop.
A professional remote proctor will administer the exam for each candidate, with the ability to monitor candidates through a webcam and microphone throughout the exam sitting.
- Q: Technology Partners: Who are the CAS's technology partners for TBE?
A: TrueAbility will provide the online testing environment, which is an advanced platform for delivering skills-based assessment. Professionals such as data scientists, paralegals, application developers, and electrical engineers prove themselves on the TrueAbility platform. Customers include Google, Relativity (formerly kCura), National Instruments, SUSE, Facebook, and Chef Software.
PSI will provide the CAS with online registration services and administration of remote proctored CAS performance-based examinations developed by TrueAbility. Along with CAS, other PSI clients include Amazon Web Services, Federal Aviation Administration, CISCO, Accenture as well as hundreds of domestic and international certification bodies.
- Q: Timing: When will the CAS offer the first exam within the TBE environment?
A: Exam 5 in spring 2018 will be the first exam offered within the TBE environment. All other spring 2018 exams will be administered in the traditional paper and pencil format.
- Q: Paper and Pencil Option: Do I have the option of taking Exam 5 in spring 2018 in the traditional paper and pencil format?
A: No, a paper and pencil version of Exam 5 will not be available as an option in spring 2018.
- Q: Future Exams: Will TBE be expanded beyond Exam 5 in the future?
A: Yes, the CAS plans to implement TBE for additional exams in fall 2018 and beyond. Details will be announced in 2018.
- Q: Exam Integrity: How will the CAS maintain the integrity of its examination process with TBE?
A: The remote proctoring model provides numerous protections to ensure the integrity of the examination process. Live, online proctoring provides real-time monitoring by professional remote proctors, who authenticate the identity of the candidate and monitor the candidate's behavior throughout the exam session. The entire exam session is recorded, including both the webcam feed and the virtual desktop activity; both recordings are available to the CAS.
As has always been the case, candidates for CAS examinations are required to adhere to the Code of Professional Ethics for Candidates, which reflect the high standards of conduct and practice of the actuarial profession. All candidates, on their applications for examinations, are required to acknowledge that they have read and agree to be bound by the rules and regulations concerning the examinations. In addition, Associates of the CAS who are sitting for exams are bound by the CAS Code of Professional Conduct.
The CAS considers engaging in improper examination conduct to be a serious violation that can result in the CAS disqualifying a candidate's exam and other disciplinary action as may be deemed appropriate.
- Q: Fees: What is the registration fee for Exam 5 in spring 2018? (Updated November 28, 2017)
A: $675, which is the same fee of other upper-level CAS exams. The fee for full-time university students is $540.
The CAS sponsors a program to provide financial relief to candidates of qualified countries. Eligible candidates must be current full-time residents of a qualified country and must write their exams in a qualified country. A list of qualified countries and the application is available on the Exams page of the CAS website.
- Q: Exam Costs: How does the adoption of TBE change the costs of exams?
A: The registration fee for exams offered in the TBE environment is the same as for other CAS upper-level exams, which is $675. Furthermore, the introduction of TBE will not change the costs of required syllabus materials. However, candidates will need to have an appropriate computer to sit for exams offered in the TBE environment and may choose to purchase a practice exam in the TBE environment for a fee.
Additionally, candidate travel costs to exam centers may be reduced, and employers who provide exam sites may see a reduction in costs related to providing meeting space and volunteer proctors.
- Q: Registration with CAS: How do I register for Exam 5 in spring 2018? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: The CAS exam registration process for exams offered in the TBE environment is the same as for paper and pencil exams. Candidates will register for the exam by completing an online registration form on the CAS website.
- Q:Scheduling with Remote Proctor: How do I schedule my exam with PSI, the remote proctoring vendor? (Updated March 1, 2018)
A: After you register for Exam 5, the CAS will notify PSI that you have registered for the exam. Registered candidates can expect to receive an email from PSI on March 16 with information about how to set up a PSI account and schedule the exam.
CAS candidates will have 24/7 access to PSI's online system via computer or mobile device. Candidates will be able to select the starting time for their exam session among available options on the scheduled exam day. Candidates can change their scheduled exam time up until April 20, two weeks before the exam.
- Q: Refunds: If I decide not to take Exam 5 in spring 2018, can I get a refund of the exam fee?
A: Yes. The registration cancelation deadline is two weeks before the examination, and as with other CAS exams, candidates who cancel by the deadline will receive a refund of the exam registration fee, minus a $100 administrative fee.
- Q: Exam Format: How does TBE change the format and style of questions on Exam 5 in spring 2018? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: While the TBE environment will allow for more sophisticated test questions and the use of larger datasets in the future, those changes will not be implemented for the spring 2018 exam. For the first offering, the CAS is focused solely on the transition from paper and pencil to Excel. The questions on Exam 5 in spring 2018 will be the same as those that would have been asked if the exam had remained a paper and pencil exam; in other words, the questions will be similar in format and style to previous offerings of Exam 5.
For the Spring 2018 administration, candidates will not be required to draw a parallelogram within Excel. Candidates need to understand the parallelogram concept and be able to work with parallelograms, but for the first TBE exam the questions will not require drawing to answer the question.
- Q: Exam Length: How much time is allotted for Exam 5 in spring 2018?
A: The exam is developed to be a four-hour exam; however, candidates will have five hours to take the exam under TBE. An additional hour is possible under TBE due to the flexibility of the exam conditions; there are fewer scheduling restrictions than with coordinated exam sites. Please note that a reading period will not be offered.
- Q: Exam Completion: What happens if I finish my exam in less than five hours?
A: You may submit the exam as soon as you have finished. Once the exam is submitted, it cannot be accessed again
- Q: Exam Preparation: How can I prepare for Exam 5 in spring 2018? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: It is important that candidates understand that the format and style of questions that will be tested on Exam 5 in spring 2018 will not differ from previous offerings of Exam 5. Additionally, the 2018 syllabus is very similar to the 2017 syllabus, with the same learning objectives and readings. Therefore, the information available in prior Examiner's Reports is still relevant, and the CAS strongly encourages candidates to include this information in their study plans.
To prepare candidates for what the exam will look like in the TBE environment, the CAS has released a TBE Sample Exam and TBE Sample Solutions, as well as an Excel Exam FAQ. A TBE Practice Exam Session will be made available in early 2018. These materials are all based on the spring 2016 Exam 5. The materials are intended to aid candidates in understanding how the CAS will transition questions from a paper and pencil environment to the TBE environment, as well as to provide guidance on how candidates can show their work in a TBE environment.
- Q. Sample Exam vs Practice Session: What is the difference between the TBE Sample Exam and TBE Practice Exam Session? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: The Sample Exam is a downloadable Excel file available to anyone for free. The Practice Exam Session takes place within the TBE virtual environment and is available for a fee. See the next two questions for additional details.
- Q: TBE Sample Exam: What should I know about the TBE Sample Exam and Sample Solutions? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: The TBE Sample Exam will allow candidates to familiarize themselves with how questions will be presented in an Excel environment.
- The Sample Exam is a downloadable Excel file that can be accessed with Excel 2007 version or later. The Sample Exam is the spring 2016 Exam 5, presented in Excel in the same format that candidates can expect for the spring 2018 Exam 5.
- There is no fee to download the Sample Exam.
- The CAS will not provide additional sample exams.
- Q: TBE Practice Exam Session: What should I know about the TBE Practice Exam Session? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: The TBE Practice Exam Session will allow candidates to familiarize themselves with the TBE environment.
- The Practice Exam Session will be available in early 2018.
- The Practice Exam Session is a 5-hour session, without a remote proctor, on the TBE virtual desktop in which the Sample Exam (spring 2016 Exam 5) is available. Note that the Excel file in the Practice Exam Session is the same Excel file that is downloadable as the Sample Exam. The primary reason for candidates to access the Practice Exam Session would be to familiarize themselves with Excel 2016 and the TBE virtual environment if they desire to do so before exam day. It is not required that candidates access the Practice Exam Session.
- A registration fee of $40 will be required.
- Upon accessing the Practice Exam Session, you will have access to it for five hours.
- You will not have access to your responses made within the Practice Exam Session after the exam session is completed.
- Candidates who wish to access the Practice Exam Session more than once can do so by registering and paying the fee more than once.
- The CAS will not provide additional practice exams.
- Q: Excel in the TBE Environment: How do I answer questions to the exam in Excel? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: Each question will be presented in a single sheet. Answers should be provided in the same sheet, with work clearly shown for the graders to follow the candidate's calculations.
See the TBE Sample Exam and Practice Exam Session webpage and Excel Exam FAQ for details regarding the structure of the Excel file.
- Q: Computer Compatibility: How do I determine whether my computer is compatible with the TBE environment? (Updated March 8, 2018)
A: Candidate computers must meet the following criteria:
- Operating Systems Supported: Windows 7 and later 32bit (x86) and 64bit (x64), Mac OS X version 10.9 and above.
- Webcam/Microphone: Minimum VGA 640 x 480 resolution, enabled built in or external microphone. The webcam must have the capability to show the workspace, under the workspace, and a 360 degree view of the room.
- Internet Bandwidth: Minimum 256kb/s download and 256kb/s upload.
- Hardware Requirements: 2GB RAM, minimum 1368 x 768 resolution, 1GB free space for installation.
Candidates may not use a virtual machine or virtual desktop to access the exam.
Candidates will download a secure browser to use to access the remote proctored environment. The PSI Secure Browser is a small application that does not require administration rights to use and install and is used for the secure delivery of computer based tests. The software is used exclusively to securely deliver the CAS exam 5. Once the exam is complete and the PSI Secure Browser is closed, it does not transfer or communicate with any PSI or external systems, nor is it resident in memory when you are not delivering a test. Once the exam is delivered, you can uninstall the PSI Secure Browser.
Please note that a CAS-specific compatibility check is required and will be available to candidates when they log into their PSI account page to schedule their exam time between March 16th and April 20th.
If you are planning on using a company laptop that may have added security protocols installed, the following information will be helpful to your IT department to ensure your computer will have access to the proctored exam on exam day:
See the following for S3 address ranges used by Amazon (only need those tagged with S3): https://ip-ranges.amazonaws.com/ip-ranges.json
Video Streams for proctoring
See the following: https://www.twilio.com/docs/api/video/ip-address-whitelisting
- All traffic is over port 80 and 443.
- WSS is secure web sockets.
- While the WebSocket protocol itself is unaware of proxy servers and firewalls, it features an HTTP-compatible handshake thus allowing HTTP servers to share their default HTTP and HTTPS ports (80 and 443) with a WebSocket gateway or server.
- The WebSocket protocol defines a ws:// and wss:// prefix to indicate a WebSocket and a WebSocket Secure connection, respectively. Both schemes use an HTTP upgrade mechanism to upgrade to the WebSocket protocol.
- Some proxy servers are transparent and work fine with WebSocket; others will prevent WebSocket from working correctly, causing the connection to fail. In some cases, additional proxy server configuration may be required, and certain proxy servers may need to be upgraded to support WebSocket.
- Q: Computer Requirement: I don't have a computer that is compatible with the TBE environment. Will the CAS provide one to me? (Updated March 1, 2018)
A: Candidates need to provide their own computer to take an exam in the TBE environment. The CAS will not provide computers to candidates. Candidates should carefully review the requirements described in a prior question.
- Q: Ensuring an Appropriate Space: What are the requirements regarding the location where I plan to take the exam? (Updated January 24, 2018)
A: Identify a quiet area where you will be alone and not interrupted for the time necessary to check in for and take the exam. You should ensure you have a computer that meets the requirements, a steady internet connection, and a clear workspace. Additional guidelines are available in the CAS Exam Day Guidelines.
- Q: Government-issued Identification: What are the requirements regarding the government-issued identification?
A: The CAS will accept a non-expired passport or a non-expired government-issued identification that includes a photo and signature as a valid identification. As with all CAS-administered exams, the name on your government-issued identification must match the name under which you registered for the exam.
Please note that US Federal Law prohibits the copying of military identification cards, so these will not be accepted. Please use another form of ID such as a driverâ€™s license or passport.
- Q: Taking the Exam in a Group Setting: I don't have access to a quiet personal space to take my exam. Can I take it at my company in a room with others taking the same exam?
A: No, in order to sit for the exam, you will need to have access to a quiet area where you will be alone and not interrupted for the entire duration of the exam.
- Q: Suitable Location: How do I find a suitable location to sit for the exam? (Updated March 14, 2018)
A:Candidates are responsible for finding a quiet area with a reliable internet connection where they can be alone and uninterrupted for the entire duration of the exam. An office, conference room, or other public area must be walled, with a closed door, away from disruptions. A home room should be away from disruptions.
The CAS understands that some candidates may find this challenging and offers these suggestions. Candidates will be able to schedule their specific exam time approximately two months in advance of the exam date, and can use the time between then and the exam date to secure a suitable location. Options for a suitable location that candidates could consider include:
- Your work office or a conference room in your office. If there is a chance you may be disturbed by co-workers during the workday, consider sitting for the exam in your workplace after regular working hours when co-workers have left for the day. Please note that an office or conference room must be walled with a closed door, and if the room has a transparent wall or door, the transparent portion should be covered. Also, cubicles or carrels are not allowed as an acceptable test environment.
- Your home office or other home workspace. Consider asking roommates to provide you with personal time and space to sit for the exam by leaving the house/apartment for the scheduled exam time.
- Sitting for the exam at the home of a friend or family member.
- Reserving a reading/study room at a local public library or university library. Note that cubicles or carrels are not allowed as an acceptable test environment. A study room must be walled with a closed door, and if the room has a transparent wall or door, the transparent portion should be covered.
- Reserving a hotel room (multiple candidates scheduled to take their exams at different times can consider sharing the cost of a single room).
- Reserving office space at a rental facility, such as Regus, that provides private offices and internet. An office or conference room must be walled with a closed door, and if the room has a transparent wall or door, the transparent portion should be covered.
- Q: Disabilities: I have a disability. How can I be accommodated? (Updated January 24, 2018)
A: You should contact Bob Craver at email@example.com with any disability (e.g., ADA) needs and accompanying paperwork. All ADA requests must include written documentation from a physician and must be submitted by February 22, 2018.
- Q: Accessing the Exam: What do I do when I'm ready to begin the exam on test day? (Updated January 24, 2018)
A:Â Ensure you have a quiet area where you will be alone and not interrupted, a steady internet connection, and a clear workspace, aside from allowed items. See questions below for additional details about allowed items. You will also need a government-issued identification.
Candidates may log in to start their exam 30 minutes in advance of their scheduled start time. Some candidates may experience a short wait to check in to the exam as other candidates are being checked in.
Guideance is available in the CAS Exam Day Guidelines.The CAS will communicate additional details to registered Exam 5 candidates closer to the exam date.
- Q: Late to the Exam: What happens if I am late checking in for the exam?
A: Candidates who attempt to check in more than 15 minutes after their scheduled start time will not be allowed to take the exam and will not be able to reschedule the exam. While TBE offers much more flexibility in allowing a candidate to decide when to take an exam, there are also limitations. Due to the remote proctor scheduling requirements, we regret that we cannot offer late candidates the opportunity to take the exam for a shorter length of time like is allowed in the pencil and paper testing environment.
- Q: Check-in by Remote Proctor: How will I interact with the remote proctor to check-in and begin the exam? (Updated March 1, 2018)
A: After you log in for your exam the professional remote proctor will contact you via a chat window to check you in to the examination. As part of the check-in process, you will be required to scan your room with your webcam to ensure that you are alone and that your workspace is clear. The proctor is required to view the candidate's entire testing area, so please ensure that your webcam has the capability to show the workspace, under the workspace, and a 360 degree view of the room. Candidates who utilize a laptop to take the exam will use the laptop's webcam and will pick up and turn the laptop as instructed. If you have unapproved items on your workspace or in the room during the check-in process, you will be given time to correct this, but the remote proctor will move on to check in other candidates, and you may need to wait to be checked in again. When the check-in is complete, the remote proctor will release the exam to you.
Watch the 5-minute video developed by PSI that shows the remote proctoring experience.
- Q: Exam Time: How long do I have to complete the exam and when does the clock start?
A: The exam is developed to be a four-hour exam; however, candidates will have five hours to take the exam in the TBE environment. The clock starts after the check-in process, when the remote proctor releases the exam.
- Q: Reading Period: Is a reading period offered as is offered for paper and pencil exams?
A: No, a reading period will not be offered for exams in the TBE environment; however, candidates will have five hours to complete the exam.
- Q: Point Grid: Is the point grid offered as is offered for paper and pencil exams?
A: Yes, a point grid outlining points available by question will be provided to assist candidates with their exam-taking strategy. Additional tools that facilitate candidates' navigation through the exam are also offered in the TBE environment.
- Q: Exam Behavior: What behavioral rules do I need to follow during the exam? (Updated January 24, 2018)
Exam behavior should be similar to that of in-person proctored exams. You should not act in any manner that would cast suspicion that you may be receiving assistance or using unauthorized material. You are expected to be working on the exam until you have completed the exam. Professionally-trained remote proctors will be monitoring your behavior, including watching eye movements, lip movements, and questionable noises. The entire exam session is recorded, including both the webcam feed and the virtual desktop activity; both recordings are available to the CAS.
Additional guidelines are available in the CAS Exam Day Guidelines.
- Q: Music: Can I listen to music during my exam?
A: No, listening to music during the exam is not allowed. Ear buds or other personal listening devices are not allowed.
- Q: Contact with the Remote Proctor: How do I contact the remote proctor during the exam? Will the remote proctor contact me? (Updated November 28, 2017)
A: Following the initial check-in, you will only be contacted by the remote proctor if there is an issue that needs to be addressed. If you need to contact the remote proctor, you may do so at any time using the chat feature.
Candidates may be asked to re-scan the environment at any time during the exam.
- Q: Technical Problems: What do I do if I experience technical issues during the exam?
(Added November 28, 2017)
A: If you experience technical problems during your exam, inform the remote proctor using the chat feature. The proctor will contact TrueAbility for technical support to resolve the issue.
- Q:Breaks: Are breaks permitted during the exam? (Updated January 24, 2018)
A: Candidates are permitted to take one break for up to ten minutes.
- You need to inform your remote proctor before you take a break; the proctor will acknowledge the break and remove your access to the exam. You need to show the proctor that your desktop dry-erase board is clean before leaving.
- You may not bring any items with you back into your exam area from your break, including additional food and beverages.
- When you return from a break you will need to communicate with your proctor. The proctor will require you to scan your room again with your webcam, including showing that the desktop dry-erase board is clean. Some candidates may experience a short wait to re-check in to the exam after their break as other candidates are being checked in.
- The proctor will re-release the exam.
- The time spent on a break, including the time to check back in and re-scan the room and dry-erase board, is included in the total five hours available to complete the exam.
- The CAS will receive reports on candidate breaks and will investigate questionable behavior.
- Candidates who expect to need to take more than one ten-minute break during the exam should contact Bob Craver at firstname.lastname@example.org to request an exception. Exception requests must be submitted by March 30, 2018. Exception requests based on medical necessity must include written documentation from a physician.
- Q: Allowed Items: What items may be on my work surface during the exam? (Updated January 24, 2018)
A: The only items allowed on your work surface will be your allowed computer and accessories, your government-issued ID, quiet food and beverages, an acceptable desktop dry-erase board, one or two dry-erase pens, and a dry-erase board eraser. Other items, such as any papers, including scratch paper, ink pens, and calculators are not allowed. In addition, electronic devices capable of sending or receiving wireless or cellular signals such as phones, pagers, PDAs, smart watches, smart pens, tablets, or MP3 players are not allowed.
Candidates who expect to need to additional items on their work surface should contact Bob Craver at email@example.com to request an exception. Exception requests must be submitted by March 30, 2018. Exception requests based on medical necessity must include written documentation from a physician.
- Q:Allowed computer accessories: What computer accessories are allowed? ( (Updated January 24, 2018)
A: Candidates may use the following accessories with their computer/laptop:
- Standard or ergonomic QWERTY keyboard
- Numeric Keypad/10-key Pad
- Wired or Bluetooth mouse
- Webcam, attached to laptop or separate
- Only one monitor will be allowed. If using a docking station, the laptop must be closed and all other equipment used (one monitor, keyboard, mouse, and webcam) must be separate from the laptop.
Candidates who would like to use other accessories can apply for an exception by contacting Bob Craver at firstname.lastname@example.org. Exception requests must be submitted by March 30, 2018.
- Q: Allowed Dry-Erase Board: What is considered an acceptable dry-erase board? (Updated January 24, 2018)
A: Candidates may use a desktop dry-erase board during the exam if desired. The dry-erase board must be no larger than 11" by 14" and must not be electronic. Candidates will be required to show that the dry-erase board is blank before the exam begins, after a break, and again after the exam ends.
Dry-erase boards can be found online and at most retail chains. Here is an example from Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Magnetic-Dry-Erase-Board-Marker-11/dp/B00F6X1AX2
- Q:Scratch Paper: Can I use scratch paper and do scratch work during the exam? (Updated January 24, 2018)
A: No, scratch paper for scratch work or notes, as well as ink pens, are not allowed. All calculations should be performed in the Excel file such that the graders can follow the candidate's work. A desktop dry-erase board can be used for scratch purposes (see prior question), and a non-graded scratch sheet is available within the Excel exam file.
- Q: Calculator: Can I use a calculator during the exam?
A: No, a calculator is not allowed. All calculations should be performed in the Excel file such that the graders can follow the candidate's work.
- Q:Food and Beverage: May I eat and drink during the exam? (Updated January 24, 2018)
A: Yes, quiet food and beverage are allowed. Please note that you must have the food and drink you are going to consume on the desk when the exam starts for review by the remote proctor. You cannot bring additional items in from a break. Be sure to remove any food wrappers before the exam begins.
- Q: Clothing/Accessories: Are there any guidelines around what I can wear during the exam?
A: Electronic wearables, such as smart watches, are not allowed.
- Q: Ear Plugs: Can I wear ear plugs during my exam? (Added November 28, 2017)
A: Candidates may not wear ear plugs during the exam. You should ensure that you have a quiet area reserved for the duration of the exam where you will be alone and uninterrupted. Therefore, ear plugs should not be needed. The remote proctor will be receiving an audio feed of the sounds in your environment, and it is important that candidates are aware of sounds being heard by the proctor so that they can respond to questions about those sounds if asked.
- Q: Interruptions: What happens if someone enters my workspace during the exam? (Updated January 24, 2018)
A: It is your responsibility to ensure that you have a quiet area for the duration of the exam where you will be alone and not interrupted. However, if someone does enter your workspace, you will be warned by the remote proctor, and the person should leave the workspace immediately. If there may be a chance that you may be disturbed, please post “do not disturb” signage.
- Q: Internet Connection Issues: What happens if my internet connection or power goes out, or I am otherwise disconnected from the exam? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: If your power goes out or you lose internet connection, you should work quickly to rectify the situation. When you are able to get back online you will need to re-scan your environment before your exam will be released. The five-hour exam timer continues to run during outages. The CAS will investigate instances where candidates are disconnected from the exam session.
- Q: Showing Your Work: How do I show my work in the Excel environment? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: As with paper and pencil exams, candidates should show all of their work. Interim steps of calculations should be shown in order to receive partial credit as appropriate. Questions can be answered in Excel using free-form text, formulas, or any combination thereof. Graders will receive copies of the candidate Excel files and will have access to the formulas within the cells as well as the results that appear on the screen. For additional guidance on showing your work, review the Sample Solutions file and Excel Exam FAQ.
- Q: Changing Responses: Can I return to questions I already answered to make changes?
A: Yes, you can navigate throughout the exam in the order you wish.
- Q: Saving the Exam: Does the exam save automatically? How often does it save?
A: The exam automatically saves every 60 seconds. The exam may also be saved by the candidate at any time.
- Q: French Version of Excel: Can I use a French version of Excel? (New March 1, 2018)
A: The French Language Accessory Pack will be available in the virtual exam environment. A Canadian keyboard layout will also be available in the virtual exam environment. For details about how to utilize these options, see the Excel Exam FAQ and the Exam Instructions sheet within the exam.
- Q: Emergency: What happens if I need to stop taking the exam due to an emergency?
A: If feasible, you should communicate the emergency situation to the remote proctor. Should you need to stop taking the exam, it will be submitted with the responses that you completed before stopping.
- Q: Exam Survey: Will there be an exam survey after the exam?
A: Yes, we are keenly interested in receiving candidate feedback on the TBE experience.
- Q: Grading: How is the exam graded? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: The grading process is similar to the process used for the paper and pencil constructed-response exams. The major difference is that graders will receive electronic copies of the Excel file with candidate responses instead of photocopied answer sheets. Graders will be able to see both the formula used in a cell as well as the result of that formula.
- Q: Results: When will I receive the results of my exam?
A: As with all other CAS examinations, exam results will be available approximately eight weeks after the examination date.
- Q: My Answers: Can I get the answers back from my exam?
A: No, the CAS will not provide your answers to the exam questions.
- Q: Access to Exam: Will the CAS release Exam 5 after the spring 2018 exam sitting?
A: Yes, the CAS will make the exam available in an Excel format.
- Q: Examiner's Report: Will the CAS produce an examiner's report for Exam 5 in spring 2018?
A: Yes, an examiner's report will be produced for Exam 5 in spring 2018.
- Q: Appeals: Will the CAS accept appeals for Exam 5 in spring 2018?
A: Yes, appeals will be accepted for Exam 5 in spring 2018.
- Q: Prometric: Why isn't the CAS using Prometric to administer TBE? (Added November 28, 2017)
A: Prometric is a long-standing, valued partner of the CAS, beginning with the former jointly-sponsored CAS/SOA preliminary exams, and continuing with CAS Online Course exams and partnership with The CAS Institute. The CAS thoroughly investigated the option of using Prometric to administer TBE but determined that a partnership with Prometric would not work for TBE given the number of candidates to be tested in a single day, the Excel testing platform, and the needs of international candidates.
- Q: Current Test Centers: Why isn't the CAS using the current test centers to administer TBE? (Added November 28, 2017)
A:The CAS reached out to large employers who currently administer CAS exams to discuss whether they could support TBE, and many of them noted that they would not be able to offer internet service to non-employees.
- Q: Employer Test Centers: Can we arrange for our employers to proctor exams administered under TBE? (Added November 28, 2017)
A: In order to provide a consistent experience across the entire population of candidates sitting for an exam under TBE, all candidates are required to take the exam with remote proctors. We discussed the idea of employer-proctored exams under TBE and determined that it would not be appropriate for some candidates to be proctored in person while others are proctored remotely. Employers can still provide spaces for candidates to use to take exams, but there can only be one candidate per room, and that candidate would be proctored remotely.
- Q: Additional Questions: I have a question that wasn't answered here, how do I submit it?
A: Send your additional questions via email to TBE@casact.org.
- Q: Updates: How often will the FAQ be updated? (Updated December 29, 2017)
A: The FAQ will be updated periodically as new questions are submitted and responses are developed, and information is subject to change. Questions added or responses revised after the original publication of the FAQ will be noted with the date they were added or revised. In addition, the date at the top of the page will be updated whenever the FAQ has been revised.