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4 Things To Avoid When Preparing For Your Online Exam

04/09/23 15:00 / 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 in recent years, 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

We understand that it can be easy to overlook certain details when preparing for an online exam. However, it's important to note that sitting at a desk or flat surface during the exam is a crucial requirement. This not only helps to recreate an exam environment but also allows the invigilator to supervise you effectively. So, make sure to set up a comfortable and suitable environment for yourself before your exam day!

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 are delighted to have members from all around the world, including America and South Africa, taking our exams. However, it's important to note that 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, please remember to set your laptop clock to Irish local (Dublin) time to avoid missing your exam. Don't worry, we've got you covered! You can check the time difference here.

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

We understand that technology can sometimes be unpredictable, and we know how stressful it can be when things go wrong. To make your exam day as stress-free as possible, we recommend contacting TestReach Tech Support first if you experience any technical issues.

While our Member Services team is always happy to help, they do not have access to the TestReach system and may not be able to assist you as quickly as you need.

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

Having a strong and reliable internet connection is essential when taking an online exam. We want to ensure that you have the best possible experience, which is why we discourage the use of hotspot tethering. It may seem like a convenient option, but it poses a risk of losing your connection during the exam. We recommend checking your internet speed and connectivity beforehand to avoid any connectivity issues. 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