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Instructions for sitting IFoA online examinations

Instructions for sitting the IFoA’s online examinations

This document contains important information you need to consider before deciding whether to continue with your April 2020 examination sitting.

You may have previously sat one of our online examinations but procedures have changed for April 2020.

Hardware and Software

You need to make sure you have the required hardware and software to sit our online examinations which can be found on our Technical requirements web page . If you find you are unable to get this in place before your examinations then we recommend you cancel your bookings. Information on how you do this can be found on our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.

We ask that you ensure that your preferred email we hold on file is correct. You can do this through your member area on the IFoA website. We will be sending all communications by email and because of capacity limits in the current circumstances we are unable to manage bounce backs and check for alternatives. We also ask that you add the IFoA exam support email address ( to your address book and remember to check that none of our emails have gone into your junk folder.  

You will be receiving an email from us with log-on details and a link to the online examinations platform two weeks before your examination date. If you are sitting multiple examinations then you will receive joining instructions for each examination as key information such as date, time and specific instructions for the paper will be different for each examination.

It is important to check that you can access the platform and test the download/upload facility. You will find at least one document on the platform so that you can test the download facility. Please make sure you upload a document (ensuring this is not blank) so that you are confident this will work on the examination day. You may find that there is a delay in accessing the platform for testing as we are asking all candidates to carry out these tests. If this is the case please try at a later time. Rest assured that this will not be an issue during the examination itself.

If you find that you cannot access the platform or are unable to upload or download papers then we ask that you first check your network connection as it is recognised that our platform may not work on some mobile networks. You can email if you are having issues and we will try to our best to respond. If the issue cannot be resolved then we regret you will have to cancel your examination entry. Information on how to do this can be found on our refund policy web page.


All examinations will run for 3 hours 15 minutes unless you receive access arrangements; where you will receive a separate communication on the details. The exception to this is CP3 which will run for 3 hours. There is no separate planning time for CP1 Paper 2 on this occasion. This is now included in the overall time for the paper. You are expected to allocate your time accordingly.

There will be an additional 15 minutes allocated at the end of each examination to allow you to upload your paper to the platform. Please remember to save your work during any examination and before uploading.  It is important that you begin to upload as soon as possible in those 15 minutes as the platform will not accept any submissions after the deadline. Once you start uploading you should allow this process to conclude. In particular, please do not hit your refresh button.

Due to the number of submissions we expect to receive during uploading, we will not be able to confirm receipt of your script by email. You will receive an online acknowledgement of a successful upload.

Unlike previous examination sessions there will be no facility to contact our examinations team via phone during an examination, and email contact will be limited because of capacity limits due to IFoA staff currently working remotely.

Examination scripts must be uploaded to the platform. Emailed scripts will not be accepted.

If you have downloaded the examination paper but do not upload it will be marked as an attempt with a zero mark. If you do not download the examination paper then you will be marked as absent.

Assessment Regulations

As we are running all our examinations online this session, we have updated our Assessment Regulations with some small changes. Please read our Assessment Regulations 2020 document. We have also introduced an examination contingency statement. It is important that you read and understand these as you will be asked to agree the contingency statement before sitting your examinations.

Your examination script may also be subject to additional scrutiny even after results have been released to ensure the integrity of these online examinations.


You have access to an Online Examination Handbook which provides additional guidance which we ask you to read carefully so that you are appropriately prepared for your online examinations.

On the day of your examinations you will be required to log-on to our examinations platform at the allocated time and to download the examination paper.  You will be required to answer your examination in either Word or Excel and guidance on the requirements for each examination is provided in our April 2020 examination formats document. This will also be provided in your online instructions. At this time you will also receive instructions on how to label your answer document. It is important that you follow these instructions or your script may not be marked. 

If you do not have access to the appropriate software packages then we regret you will have to cancel your booking. Information on how to do this can be found on our FAQ web page.

If at any point during the examination your system fails and you are unable to upload the examination paper, then we regret this will be treated as an attempt and we will not be able to offer any refund.

If our platform fails at any point on the day of the examination through the fault of the IFoA and its suppliers, then you will receive an email advising of this issue. If the examination cannot continue you will receive a full refund.

We have also added an appendix to our Mitigating circumstances policy which can be found in our Mitigating circumstances policy 2020 document. It is important that you read this before you decide to sit your examinations as you will find that there have been changes to the policy for the April 2020 examinations.

We hope these instructions and supporting documentation provide you with enough guidance and support to help you decide whether or not you wish to sit the IFoA examinations this session. There is also a supporting set of FAQs which can be found on our FAQ web page. If after reading all this information you decide you wish to cancel and withdraw from the April 2020 session, then information on how to do this can also be found on our FAQ web page.

You have the opportunity to withdraw from individual subjects while retaining your booking for other subjects, if you so wish. If you do decide to continue with sitting the IFoA examinations then we will do everything possible to support you through this difficult time within the limitations we all face.

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E.g., 26/01/2021
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Events calendar

  • Spaces available

    Drawing from his most recent book “The New Long Life” and his longevity research Andrew J Scott will outline how longer lives and new technologies will fundamentally reshape how we structure our lives and transform the economy. As well as looking at the agenda this will set governments and corporates he will focus on the implications for you and how you prepare your future career.

  • India Town Hall

    28 January 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual India Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Member Mahidhara Davangere and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann. 

  • Spaces available

    What are the options for the world economy looking ahead?

    In this Thought Leadership Lecture, Economist, Vicky Pryce, will be discussing world economic trends, including the differences in geographical performance and how output is recovering and where.

  • Spaces available

    Trust and Leadership for Actuaries

    Led by Dr. Jim Baxter, University of Leeds, this webinar introduces some key ideas in the ethics of trust, with a particular focus on those in, or on the path to, leadership roles. Dr Baxter is joined by a panel of experienced leaders who will give their personal perspectives on how they understand the value of trust and how they seek to promote and inspire trust, drawing on their experiences of leadership. The panel includes:

  • Health and Care Hot Topics webinar

    Online webinar
    10 February 2021

    Spaces available

    In this webinar, we have two presentations showing the latest research on the implications for life and health insurers of two key issues: genomics and pandemic risk.

    Dr Peter Joshi and Paul Timmers will share their research on how well-established underwriting processes can allow for genomics in predicting expected mortality and morbidity. They will then discuss the potential for stratified screening and personalised medicine to improve health and reduce claim costs.

  • Spaces available

    As the world’s attention begins to turn to COP26 later this year in Glasgow, Sarah Gordon (Chief Executive, Impact Investing Institute) will share her vision for how the financial services industry can deliver for people and the planet, as well as how to encourage more investment with the intention to generate positive, measurable social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa Town Hall

    26 February 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual SSA Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor with IFoA Council Members Mukami Njeru, Prosper Matiashe and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.

  • MENAP Town Hall

    2 March 2021

    Spaces available

    IFoA Immediate Past President John Taylor would like to invite you to the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ (IFoA) virtual MENAP Town Hall 2021, hosted by John Taylor and IFoA Chief Executive, Stephen Mann.