For the 2021 / 2022 academic year, ICB students now have a choice between sitting either paper-based or online exams. The exam timetable is divided evenly between these two types of exams with one month being purely paper-based exams and the following month being purely online exams. This affords students more opportunities to write exams.

Paper-Based Exams

Paper-based exams continue as they have done in the past. These exams are sat at an exam centre. The centres are approved ICB exam centres. These centres are either college-based or at venues booked by the ICB specifically for exams.

Exams at centres are proctored / invigilated. The invigilators are trained in the ICB's exam policies and procedures. On entering an exam venue, students are required to provide proof of identity. This proof may be in the form of:

  • A green-barcoded ID book
  • An official ID card
  • A passport
  • An official temporary ID document

Students will not be permitted to sit an exam if valid proof of identity is not supplied.

Paper-based exams are three-and-a-half hours in duration. The first half-hour is reading time where the invigilator will go through the exam rules. The exams commence at 9:00 in the morning and finish at 12:30. A student who arrives more than thirty minutes after the start time of the exam will not be permitted to enter the exam venue and will not be permitted to write the exam.

At the end of the exam - or when the student is done writing - the exam paper is submitted to the invigilator.

Online Exams

As with the paper-based exams, the online exams take place on specific dates and at specific times. In contrast to the paper-based exams, online exams start at 13:00 and end at 16:30. Thus, the online exam is that same time duration as the paper-based exams.

Students are required to log into the exam before the start time of the exam. A student who attempts to log into the exam more than thirty minutes after the start of the exam will be considered as late and will not be granted access to the exam.

The type of questions in the online exams will be similar in nature to those questions in the paper-based exam. Thus, students can expect:

  • True or False
  • Multiple Choice
  • Gap-fill
  • Extended writing

Online exams are proctored. This is done through an online system that makes use of the webcam on the student's computer as well as tracking software. The webcam is used for facial recognition and it tracks eye-movement. The tracking software notes any activity on the student's computer specifically related to activity outside of the exam page.

At the end of the exam, the student submits the exam paper by clicking on the "Submit" button. Where the finish time of an exam is reached and a student has not clicked on the "Submit" button, the online system automatically submits the exam.

Students doing the online exam are required to complete the post-exam survey.

Please Note

The online exams have specific technical requirements. Students need to familiarise themselves with these requirements before booking an online exam.

In Summary

Paper-based Exams
Online Exams
Duration: three-and-a-half hoursDuration: three-and-a-half hours
Venue: exam centreVenue: of a student's choosing
PoE: completed online and submitted before the day of the examPoE: completed online and submitted 48 hours before the exam
Invigilated / Proctored: yesInvigilated / Proctored: yes
Question Types: quiz-type and extended writingQuestion Types: quiz-type and extended writing
Submission: to invigilatorSubmission: online
Exam times: 9:00 - 12:30Exam times: 13:00 - 16:30


It is possible to watch a recording of the LiveStream presentation on the differences between paper-based and online exams using the following link: