September 2020 Examinations FAQs

CILEx September 2020 Examinations - Please note this page will be updated with new information regularly.

Updated  25.08.2020

CILEx remains committed to the safety and wellbeing of all its members, learners and staff. As COVID-19 continues to present a range of challenges at national, regional and local level, CILEx has explored a range of options to enable the September exams to go ahead. Without knowing what the position will be in September, having to put a solution in place ahead of time is particularly challenging. However, the most important thing is that as many CILEx learners as possible are able to sit exams in September and continue their studies in the safest way.

The September 2020 CILEx Level 3 and Level 6 examinations will be delivered online.

All learners registered for exams in September will receive everything they need to help them prepare for, and sit, the exams online.

This page will be updated with information regularly and will be the central source of information. Please check the Useful Resources and FAQ sections below regularly, to ensure you have the latest information.

Useful Resources

September 2020 Examination Timetable

Equipment & System Requirements

Examination Regulations – Online Exams with Remote Invigilation 

Examination Regulations – Online Exams sat at Accredited Centres

Candidate Guide - Remote Invigilation


Member communications:









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1. Will I need equipment and any other system requirements to sit the exams online?

No. As long as your equipment and system requirements meet the minimum specification set out in the useful resources section above, you will be able to sit the exam.

2. When will I sit the units I’ve registered for?

The published timetable remains unchanged. You will sit the units at the time and date you were expecting to when you made your booking. The full timetable is available here.

3. I usually go to an external centre to sit my exams, where will I do them in September?

You will be able to sit your exams in a private place of your choosing, such as your home or at work, and they will be invigilated remotely.

4. I usually sit my exams at my accredited centre, will I still go there?

If your accredited centre is able to provide a safe venue with appropriate social distancing, you will be able to sit your exams there as usual. If not, your centre will work with CILEx to make the remote invigilation option available to you. You will be contacted directly so you know what your centre is doing for you.

5. I’m used to writing my answers to CILEx exams in an answer book. Will I be able to practise doing them online before I do the real thing?

Yes, and we strongly urge you to do this. Past papers will be available through a ‘test player’ version of the online system in due course for you to practise with. These will be available for all units by July 24th. These papers will enable you to practise as many times as you need to in order to feel comfortable using the online system. The intention is not that that be taken once, but used repeatedly so you are relaxed and confident with online delivery before your real exam in September.

6. I don’t want to do my exam online in September, can I get a refund?

If you do not wish to sit your exam in September, we will transfer your booking to the January session.

7. How will my exam be invigilated?

If you are sitting your exam at your Accredited Centre, it will be invigilated in person by centre staff.

If you have paid the external centre fee and are sitting the exam at a private place of your own choosing (eg in your own home, at work etc) it will be invigilated remotely. Full details will be provided as part of the set up process, which is explained in the Candidate Guide.

8. How will I get all the details I need for the units I’m taking?

We will be in regular contact all the way up to exam week to help you through the process. All the details you need will be provided at the most appropriate time. We are mindful of ensuring you have everything you need but not bombarding you with information during an already stressful time.

9. Will I still get my Reasonable Adjustment even though the exams will be delivered online?

Yes, all eligible Reasonable Adjustments will be accommodated. Please contact us with any specific questions or concerns relating to your individual circumstances.

Added 09.07.2020

10. How does remote invigilation work?

Remote invigilation is the name given to the process and systems used to allow candidates to take their examinations at a place of their choosing, while still providing the security needed to protect the integrity of the exam. Instead of a person serving as the invigilator, the exam session is recorded and monitored.

CILEx has produced guidance for candidates about remote invigilation. The information below is a summary of some of the key features.

System checks

Prior to exam week you will be sent an email requiring you to carry out a series of system checks on your device (laptop, PC with webcam). The checks will verify the webcam, bandwidth, microphone, mobile device (smartphone or tablet), speakers and screen share. You will also be required to download the ProctorExam App onto your mobile device.

Room scanning

On the day of the exam you will be required to use your mobile device (with the Proctor Exam App downloaded) to scan the four corners of the room, the desk, under the desk, the device (eg laptop) you are using. There will also be checks on any materials you are permitted to bring in with you ie a statute book, if it is permitted under the Exam Regulations. You will be required to show that you do not have headphones in your ears.

ID check

You will be required to show your valid ID.

Candidate monitoring

During the exam you will be monitored by two cameras (webcam on your device and mobile device) along with screen capture through the sharing of your screen.

11. What are the conditions and regulations for the remotely invigilated online exams?

CILEx has produced the conditions and regulations for the online remotely invigilated exams and you will be advised when this information is available. As far as possible, the existing examination regulations have been replicated. Therefore, the examinations will continue to be closed book with the exception of some of the Level 6 exams for which, in accordance with the Examination Regulations, statute books are permitted.

You will also be allowed some scrap paper to write notes – further details are provided in the regulations and conditions which will include how any materials which you bring into the room will be checked.

12. If I am sitting my exams online with remote invigilation, where should I sit? Can I sit the exams at work, at home, at my friend’s house?

You will sit the exam using your own device (a laptop or PC with webcam) on your own, in a room of your choosing (subject to meeting the requirements in the Candidate Guide). CILEx will provide you with further information about the regulations and exam conditions shortly. In brief, you need to ensure you are in a well-lit room where you will not be disturbed. No one else is permitted to be in the room with you. You will also need a desk or table. As set out in the Equipment & System Requirements for Online Examinations with Remote Invigilation, you should also consider where your WiFi signal is strongest.

Learners who want to sit in their workplace must ensure they have their employer’s permission. The guidance on the room as set out above applies. As noted in the Equipment & System Requirements for Online Examinations with Remote Invigilation: Attempting to use a laptop or device that is intended for work purposes may have restricted access and admin rights installed. This may cause issues when trying to access the ProctorExam platform and therefore it is recommended to use a personal laptop/desktop.

13. Will I type my answers or write my answers by hand?

You will type your answers.

14. Will the grade boundaries be raised to make it more difficult or lowered to accommodate additional complexities?

The processes for determining grade boundaries will not change. CILEx will continue to investigate the performance of each examination before deciding the grade boundaries to be applied.

15. If I am taking my final Level 6 exam in September, when will I be upgraded to the Graduate grade?

We appreciate that this is an unprecedented situation, and we want to do all that we can to support those members who are impacted by the examinations being later than anticipated. Therefore, we have agreed that strictly on this occasion only, if you pass the final examination, when you are then upgraded to the Graduate grade of membership, this will be backdated to 11 September 2020, which will mitigate the impact significantly on your application to become a Chartered Legal Executive.

Added 14.07.2020

16. What is going to happen with the January 2021 session?

It is not possible to predict what the situation with COVID-19 will be in January and what, if any, restrictions will be in place around the country. We remain committed to finding the best way to enable as many students as possible to continue with their exams but are unable to confirm how the January session will be delivered.

17. I don’t want to sit an online exam in September. When is the deadline to transfer my entry until January?

The deadline to transfer your entry to the January session is Friday 24 July. Please think carefully about deferring your entry as you will be only be able to do this once. The uncertainty caused by COVID-19 means there is no guarantee that we will be able to run paper-based exams in January. 

18. Can I have extra time for the exam if I am a slow typer?

In the same way that learners write at different speeds, the same is true of typing speeds and there is no need to be concerned if you feel yours to be slow.

19. I have paid the external centre fee. Can I get a refund?

The external centre fee is a standard cost for any learners who are not sitting exams at their Accredited Centre. For the September session, it will enable you to sit remotely invigilated exams at no further cost. No refunds will be given.

Added 17.07.2020

20. Can I take a copy of the pre-release case study materials into my Practice exam?

Yes. You are permitted to print a copy of the relevant pre-release case study materials from the CILEx website and use this in the exam, as long as it is a clean copy with no annotations. Further information will be provided in the regulations and conditions, including how the materials will be checked to ensure learners only use clean copies. It is noted that you will also be able to access the pre-release case study materials online, so there is no requirement to print a copy to use in the exam.

21. Can I go to the toilet during an exam?

Yes. You are permitted to leave the room to go to the toilet but must be away from the room for no longer than 5 minutes at any time.  You must not bring anything into the room when you return. Other than to go to the toilet, you must remain at your workstation throughout the duration of your exam. Further information can be found in the regulations and conditions.

Added 20.07.2020

22. Is ProctorExam the online system in which I take the exam?

No, the exam is taken in BTL’s Surpass e-assessment system. ProctorExam is used to provide remote invigilation only. You will download the ProctorExam app for the remote invigilation but will be provided with a link to the Surpass e-assessment system to access your exam.

Added 11.08.2020

23. I have 15 mins reading time for both of my exams. If I finish reading before 15 minutes is up am I allowed to start answering the questions or do I have to wait until 15 minutes is up?

We recommend that the full 15 minutes of reading time be used for its intended purpose. However, there is nothing to prevent you from starting to answer the questions before the 15 minutes is up if you feel ready to do so.

24. Why are the ID requirements for remotely invigilated exams different from what I usually have to provide at a centre? What happens if I can’t meet them?

The ID requirements are stricter for remotely invigilated exams to reflect the circumstances in which a candidate’s identity is being verified.  If you will be unable to show the required ID on the day of the exam, please contact us to discuss alternatives.

Added 17.08.2020

25. My internet connection isn’t reliable and often drops out when I’m on video calls. Will that be the same with the online exams?

The e-assessment system through which you will be sitting your exams in September uses less bandwidth than video calls. CILEx testers who struggle with video calls have not experienced the same issues with the Surpass e-assessment platform.  

26. If I lose connection during the exam, will I be able to get back in? Will I lose any time?

You will be able to get back into the Surpass system if you lose connection during the exam. You will not lose any time, as the in-built clock stops when connection is lost and only resumes when you get back in.

27. What happens if I do lose connection during the exam – will I lose all my answers?

No. If your internet connection is interrupted during the exam and you lose contact with the Surpass e-assessment platform, your answers are stored and will be visible when you get back into the system.

28. How do I know that you will only use the information you collect about me properly?

CILEx acts in accordance with GDPR requirements at all times. Online exams are covered by the published privacy policy in the same way as other activities undertaken by CILEx.

29. Will I get an exam permit like I usually do?

You will receive a confirmation email listing which exams you have signed up for.

Added 25.08.2020

30. The candidate guide only gives instructions for Windows 8 and 10. Can I use Windows 7 nonetheless?

No, the e-assessment system does not support Windows 7 so it cannot be used.

31. I’m wondering whether to print out the pre-release case study or not. What do you recommend?

We strongly recommend that you do this and bring a clean (non-annotated) copy into the exam with you. You will be able to display the case study during the exam on the system but having a printed version to hand will save you having to navigate between tabs.

32. Chrome isn’t my default browser but I can open it on my computer. Will that be enough?

It won’t be enough. When you click through on the system check and launch exam emails it will go to your default browser. Anything other than Chrome will display a ‘browser incompatible’ error message. Change your default browser to Chrome in your computer settings before you do the system check to ensure this doesn’t happen.

33. I’ve read that some other proctor apps make you put your phone 3 metres away during the exam. Will we be told to do that? I’m worried that my room isn’t big enough.

Do not worry if the ProctorExam instructions specify that your phone must be 3 metres away. As long as you are in clear view whilst taking the exam, this is sufficient.

34. If my system check email doesn’t work, can I still sit the exam?

Don’t worry if it takes a few attempts for you to get through the system check process. Some CILEx testers took several attempts but all went on to complete the exam successfully.