4 Things To Avoid When Preparing For Your Online Exam

29-Apr-2021 12:23:37 / by The Insurance Institute

The Insurance Institute

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Sitting an exam can come with a lot of stress. With all the distractions of this past year, plus moving from an exam hall to an online format, some members have reached out to say that they feel that they aren’t as prepared as they want to be.

So we asked our Member Services team to give us their advice based on what they believe are the most common errors being made, in order to help you better prepare, have an enjoyable exam experience and get the results you deserve!


1. Not sitting at a desk

One of the most common errors students make is not sitting in the correct environment. When taking one of our online exams, it is actually one of the requirements that you sit at a desk or flat surface. This is, in the first instance, to help re-create an exam environment, but also to help ensure the invigilator can carry out their role of “supervising” students.

See our handy Exam Ready Do’s & Don’ts document here for more detail around how best to prepare.

2. Not taking the 'time zone' into consideration

We have members all around the world, including America and South Africa, but our exams are scheduled in Irish Standard Time (which is the same as Greenwich Mean Time - GMT). If you're one of our members sitting an exam outside of Ireland, you must set your laptop clock to Irish local (Dublin) time. If you fail to do this, you may miss your exam!

Want to make sure you are setting it to the right time? You can check this here. 

Note: If you are taking your exam on a work pc/laptop, you may need to check with your IT department to update this setting. We advise that this is done well in advance.



3. Contacting the wrong person for tech support

Technology isn't always good to us and we all know how stressful it can be when things don't seem to be going right. Therefore, to alleviate that stress, we strongly advise that if you have any technical issues on your exam day, you should contact TestReach Tech Support in the first instance. 

While our Member Services team are always happy to help, they do not have access to the TestReach system and will therefore be unable to assist you as quickly as you need with any technical issues on the day.

Note: On exam day, you can Contact the TestReach Support team at: +353 (1) 699 1385 or email


4. Using a Hotspot for Internet Connection

When sitting an online exam, it is vital that you have a strong, reliable internet connection. Sometimes we get calls from members who use hotspot tethering, and whilst this is technically acceptable, it’s risky and could result in you losing your connection partway through your sitting! Find out more about the checks you should complete before your exam in our handy infographic here.

Note: Internet connectivity with continuous internet speed of a minimum of 516kbps is required. If you are taking the exam at home, please check the internet speed around the house as it can vary from room to room. You can test your internet speed here: 


Need more exam help? 

You can find out more by reading our helpful Exam Setup Checklist, our Online Exam Technical Checklist and our Exam Day Checklist or contact our Member Services team at