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WSET Online Examination - Frequently Asked Questions

In 2020 WSET® has introduced computer-based testing via remote invigilation (also known as a remote proctoring or online exam) to enable online students to sit their WSET Level 1 and Level 2 exams outside our premises. Here we have summarised the most crucial information you need to know to ensure a good exam experience. If you still have questions afterwards, please do not hesitate to contact us.

What is computer-based testing via remote invigilation?

Computer-Based Testing via Remote Invigilation (RI) enables you to take your exam in an invigilated environment from your home where you are monitored via webcam, screen sharing technology and a secondary recording device during your exam. A video explaining this in more detail can be found here.

Do I need an internet connection to sit an RI exam?

Yes, you will need a high-speed and stable internet connection to sit your exam. Your internet strength will be tested as part of the systems check you will perform before the exam date.

Please note that you should not link an internet connection from another device to yours, but instead have your device directly connected to a WIFI or hardwired internet connection for the exam.

How is my remotely invigilated exam different from a WSET® paper-based exam?

The exam questions and the time the exam takes are the same as for a paper-based exam. These can be found in the relevant qualification Specification, which also explains how the exam is marked. What is different is that you will be taking the exam by yourself at home, using a computer, instead of sitting a paper exam with other candidates at an exam venue.

I don't want to take a Remote Invigilation exam. Can I wait and take a paper-based exam later?

Yes! Please contact us to let us know as soon as possible. We will let you know when paper-based exams are available again.

When is my exam?

We will have confirmed the date and time of your RI exam with you. If you are unsure of your exam date and time, please contact us directly. Note that the starting time of the exam listed is when you will begin the exam set up. You will be instructed to start the exam when the set up is complete. The exam clock starts to count only when you enter the exam.

If you require Reasonable Adjustments to sit your exam, please contact us directly to discuss. In this case, we need to be contacted 5 weeks before the exam date. 

Is the time of my online exam flexible?

No - if you need to change the date or time, please contact us as soon as possible. We can only change your exam date until 10 working days in advance.  Please note that you may need to pay an additional fee to rebook according to our published terms and conditions.

Can I change my online exam date?

It is possible to change your online exam date until 10 working days before your exam. Any cancellations or changes occurring with less than 10 working days will incur a charge of the full exam price. (Level 1 exams: 79€ / Level 2 exams: 99€)

Can I take the exam at the same time as someone else in my house?

If you plan on taking an exam at the same time as someone who lives at the same address as you, please flag this for us as we may need to make special arrangements for you.

Note that multiple candidates taking an exam at the same time and location can cause the bandwidth to become insufficient.

Please ensure that you are alone in your room and that no one will walk into your exam room, since this will lead to you failing the exam.

Is my exam available in other languages?

No, an RI Exam and all corresponding documents are only available in English.

How will I know that I am registered for my remotely invigilated exam?

You will receive two or three emails from WSET® once you have been registered for your exam:

  • Email 1: is sent 10 days before the exam and will contain information relating to what devices you need to sit an RI Exam. It will ask you to perform a Systems Check.

  • Email 2: is sent 3 days before the exam and will only be sent to those candidates who have not yet conducted a system check advising you to do so ASAP.

  • Email 3: is sent 72 hours before your exam and will include a link to access your exam.

Please contact us if you are unsure of the date and time of your exam since these details will not be provided in the automated emails you receive. If you try and access your exam earlier, you will go to a holding page with a countdown timer that will show you how long it is until you can access your exam.

To ensure that emails are received directly to your inbox, please add examsnoreply@wsetglobal.com to your approved senders' list.

How will I know if my devices are suitable for an RI exam?

You will receive an email from WSET 10 days before your exam with information on how to perform a system check before your exam. This email will contain information relating to what devices are required for you to sit your RI exam, but in brief, you will need:

  • One device with a webcam and microphone to take your exam on such as a laptop or MacBook

  • Plus, one device to record you taking the exam: a smartphone or tablet

Please make sure that you read the Candidate Quick Guide contained in the system check email for more information. 

A list of system and device requirements can be found in Appendix A. This system check is required.

Do I need to download anything ahead to take my exam?

Yes! As part of your system check, you will be asked to download the ProctorExam app onto your secondary device. This will allow your secondary device footage to be connected to your exam attempt and WSET® to confirm that the exam conditions have been met.

Make sure to close these applications once you have completed your system check, so it does not continue to run in the background.

Here a picture of the icon for the app:

What browser should I use for my exam?

Please set Chrome to your default browser to take your exam and enable Adobe Flash Player. For information on how to make Chrome your default browser, please click here. For instructions on how to enable Adobe Flash Player, please click here.

What happens if I experience a problem during my systems check?

There is an online chat function that you will be able to access during your systems check. This chat function will be able to answer any questions you have. The chat function is only available in English. Please remain patient and calm when waiting for assistance as the online chat function is helping multiple exam takers at the same time.

In the unlikely event that it is not possible to resolve your system check email via the chat function, please contact us as soon as possible noting your issue and the information below so WSET® can attempt to resolve your issue before exam day:

  • Nature of issue; device set up, internet, etc.

  • Did you perform a system check and if so, did you experience any issues during the systems check?

  • Type of device used in the system check; makes and operating systems

  • Did you use the chat function and if so, was it helpful and timely in response time?

How should I set up my room for my remotely invigilated exam?

A video explaining how to set up your room for the exam can be found here.

When you take your RI exam, you must be in the room by yourself. The presence of another person in the room is an exam violation. The secondary device that you must use should be set up 3m/10ft away from where you sit the exam and will need to clearly show you taking the exam from the side. Your secondary device should also be plugged in during the exam, so please take time before your exam to think about how you will position your phone after the exam setup is performed to avoid any delays. Your webcam must only face you. Plan ahead to prevent exam day stress.

Can I have anything on my desk?

You are only permitted to have your ID and a glass of water or water in an unlabelled bottle. Paper and pen on your desk and/or taking notes during the exam are not allowed.

Your guidance says that I cannot wear a watch, but can I have a clock in the room?

Yes. Due to the advancements and capabilities of smartwatches, you can't wear a watch during the exam, but you can have a clock in the room. You will also receive three on-screen prompts when you have 30, 15 and 5 minutes left to complete your exam.

Should I log out of the other programmes?

Please log out of any programmes that you may have open on your computer before you start your exam, Teams, Skype, etc. You might be able to access other programmes during your exam, but doing so is an exam violation and will render your exam attempt void.

If you receive a message of notification during an exam, please ignore this and do not respond but carry on with your exam.

What is the process immediately before my exam?

Before your exam starting you will be asked to show your official photographic ID as well as testing your webcam, microphone, speakers and internet connection. You will also be asked to show the room in which your are taking your exam by scanning your phone around your surroundings; this includes showing the four corners of your room, the ceiling and the floor. Please make sure that you scan your room slowly so that a clear recording is made of your exam surroundings. This process is very similar to the process you will follow during your systems check. Once you have successfully tested these functions, you will be shown a keycode that you will need to enter the Exam Platform to sit your exam.

Please ensure that you are ready to take your exam when you begin your pre-checks on the day of your exam. You are not permitted a bathroom break during your exam. Please allow at least 30 minutes to set up for your exam.

What ID do I need to show as part of the identification check?

You will need to show an official photographic ID that shows your name and has a photograph. When presenting your ID, ensure your name and photo are visible and able to be verified by the proctor.

Your ID must be clearly visible. Please take it out of your purse or wallet and remove any covering. Hold it flat in front of the webcam when instructed, making sure that there is no glare or reflection and that your fingers are not covering any part of it. If an unclear image is captured, WSET® will need to contact you for additional proof of ID before your exam attempt can be validated and your exam results issued.

What happens if the name on my ID does not match the name I am registered to sit the exam under?

When you register with us for your exam, please ensure that the name you register under is the name that appears on your official photographic ID. Please contact us as soon as possible with an explanation for the difference with any supporting documentation or if a correction is required.

What happens if I have a problem during my exam?

If you experience a problem during your exam, you will be able to access an online help chat and they will be able to investigate. The chat service is only available in English. Do not be concerned if you need to wait a few minutes for the chat service to respond to your message. You need to know that if you start on-time, you should have enough time with an issue to enter the exam and complete it within the prescribed time frame. Set up time will not shorten the exam window.

If your secondary device is not working during the exam setup, please reinstall the ProctorExam application on your secondary device and rescan the QR code. If your secondary device, webcam or screen share disconnects during the exam, you will be prompted on screen to take steps to reconnect the device.

What should I do if I experience an issue during my exam that cannot be rectified by the chat function?

If you experience an issue that cannot be resolved via the chat function before launching your exam, please contact us as we may be able to provide additional guidance. 

If you experience an issue during your exam, please contact us as soon as possible after the exam with the information below:

  • Nature of issue; device set up, internet, etc.

  • Did you perform a system check and if so, did you experience any issues during the systems check?

  • Type of device used in the exam; makes and operating systems

  • Did you use the chat function and if so, was it helpful and timely in response time?

  • Any error messages or screenshots.

What happens if I lose internet connection during an exam?

If you lose your internet connection during the exam, once reconnected you will be able to enter back into the exam by clicking on the link in the exam mail. You will be able to resume your exam where you left off - you will not lose any exam time due to the lost connection. If you lose your internet connection, your exam will be flagged by the invigilators and reviewed by WSET®.

How do I finish my exam?

When you have completed all of the Exam questions, the Next button will be greyed out. When you are ready to submit your exam, select the Finish Test button in the top right corner of the screen. Once you have confirmed you want to submit, your exam is officially submitted.

Do I have to close the ProctorExam app after my exam?

Yes. Once you have pressed Finished Test, click to confirm you want to finish your test on the popup windows. After your exam has been submitted, you are still being recorded until you close out of ProctorExam. Select the "Finish Exam" button on the Launch page to stop recording and close the app on your secondary device.

Will I have instant access to my results?

No. WSET® needs to perform quality checks on your results before they can confirm them to us.  You will receive your results from us around 4 weeks after your exam. If you are dissatisfied with your result, please contact us immediately to begin a formal appeals application.

Will anyone watch the video of me sitting my exam?

Your exam will be recorded and watched by a Professional Invigilator, and any violations will be reported to WSET® for review and action. The recording of you taking your exam will not be shared with us. A copy of the recording will be kept for 6 months. This is in line with WSET® Privacy Policy and will only be reviewed for quality assurance processes.

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