Remote online assessments

We are now offering learners the opportunity to take some of our exams online. We have developed our online assessments to replicate the experience of taking an in-person exam as closely as possible. The exams take place over Zoom but offer the same rigour and opportunities that our learners have come to expect from us. 

Best availability for online assessments is in August and September. 

Available exams

Exam

Available from June 2020

Available from July 2020

 

Available from August 2020 

Acting (solo)

Entry Level, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3

 

Grade 4, Grade 5

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8 

Devising Drama (solo)

Entry Level, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3

Grade 4, Grade 5

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8 

Introductory (solo)

Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3

  

Shakespeare (solo)

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Reading for Performance

Entry Level, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3

Grade 4, Grade 5

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8 

Speaking Verse and Prose

Entry Level, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3

Grade 4*, Grade 5*
(restrictions below)

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8 

Speaking in Public

Entry Level, Grade 1, Grade 2, Grade 3

Grade 4, Grade 5

Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8 

(PCertLAM)

  

Unit 2


*Speaking Verse and Prose Grades 4 and 5 are available for remote online assessment, but only where the exam event is taking place at the Centre before 1 August 2020. This is because there are confidential exam materials (sight-reading) that needs to be given to the learner during the assessment. These exams will be available for learners to take in their own home from 1 August 2020.

How to book

If you are registered as a private centre you can book through ExamTrack. While booking, please select ROA Event to specify that you would like an online assessment exam event.

Exam events taking place in the UK can be made up of sessions lasting up to six hours. If your session adds up to more than 360 minutes (including a five-minute contingency buffer between each exam), you’ll need to book an extra session.

If your exam day works out at less than six hours, you can let us know whether you would prefer your exams to take place in the morning or afternoon by using the Notes section when you are booking.

If you are based outside the UK, please get in touch with your local representative, or our international team. Available time slots can be limited depending on which time zone you are located in.

Once we’ve confirmed your booking, you will be able to enter your learners for their online exams and can start to timetable your exam days.

Full instructions can be found in the centre guide for online assessments, which you can find below.

Before the exam

Once you’ve submitted your entries, we’ll send you all the paperwork you need to prepare for your exam event. We take online security and child protection seriously so please read over our online safety policy carefully, and ask your learners’ parents or guardians to sign the online safety agreement for remote online assessments. This can then either been scanned or photographed, and uploaded via a secure link that we will send to the centre coordinator. We must receive the signed policy before your exam event.

We’ll also need a list of all the pieces your learners will be performing. Own-choice pieces should be uploaded via a secure link either as a JPEG or PDF file.

As learners will be taking their exams in their own homes, they’ll need to find and prepare a suitable space to take their exam. We’ve created a guide for learners, and their parents and guardians, which offers guidance for setting up their space and equipment which you can download here. Please check your learners’ intended exam space and equipment in good time before the exam, and speak to their parent or guardian about acting as chaperone for the exam.

If there is a technical issue on the day, we have a troubleshooting checksheet to help learners and their chaperones.

On the day

Learners and their chaperones will need to sign into Zoom five minutes before their exam time and will be greeted in the waiting room by one of our stewards. When the examiner is ready for them, they will be let into the exam session. After a few checks to make sure that everyone’s equipment is working, the chaperone will be asked to leave the room, and the exam can begin.

Centre guide for remote online assessments

Our online safety agreement sets out a list of rules that will help keep learners safe online. This agreement must be signed by parents or guardians when the learner is under the age of 16, or by the learners themselves if they are 16 or over. Learners will not be able to take their exam until we receive an appropriately signed copy of the agreement. 

The Online Safety Policy can be read here.

FAQs

Where will remote online assessments take place?

Online assessment will take place at the learner’s home, or another suitable location where social distancing measures can be taken. 

What software do the remote online assessments use?

We are using Zoom. This is an easy to use platform and provides the best environment for both our learners and examiners. You do not need to have an account or to purchase any special license. 

What sort of computer, tablet or laptop do I need?

Learners will need a device capable of running Zoom, with a web cam and microphone either integrated into the device, or separate. The device should be set up on a table, tripod, or some other stable setting to ensure that the learner is visible throughout their exam. The device should be connected to a good WiFi signal. The learner is allowed to use earphones for the Knowledge component of their exam. You can download the full list of requirements and advice for setting up the exam area in our learner guide. 

Do I need to download anything to my computer, tablet or mobile device?

No. You do not need to download anything to use Zoom, just click on the link we’ve sent you and enter the unique meeting details to take your exam.

Alternatively, you can download Zoom to your desktop, laptop or mobile device from their website. It’s free, and you don’t need to create an account.

If you have not used Zoom before, please take the time to get comfortable with the software and make sure that everything is working properly before the exam.

Will the learner log in to a Zoom meeting themselves?

Learners under the age of 16 may log in themselves, provided their parent or guardian gives them permission to do so. Learners over 16 may log in and set up their own technical equipment.

What are you doing to ensure that learners are safe online?

Our online safety agreement sets out a list of rules that will help keep learners safe online. This agreement must be signed by parents or guardians when the learner is under the age of 16, or by the learners themselves if they are 16 or over. Learners will not be able to take their exam until we receive an appropriately signed copy of the agreement. 

Can an adult be in the exam room to help with technical stuff?

Yes. Chaperones can help learners set up and log in for the exam. Just before the exam starts, chaperones will be asked to leave the room, but if there are any technical difficulties, the examiner may ask the learners to call their chaperone back in to help. Chaperones should stay close by (although not in the exam room), just in case they are needed. 

I normally enter learners at a public centre but would like my learners to be assessed remotely. What do I do?

If you have 10 or more learners you can register as a temporary online assessment centre. If you think you may be able to hold exams at your own privately run centre in the future, you can also register as a private centre. To find out which centre type is best for you and to get an application form, please contact our exams team on [email protected]

Is there a minimum fee for booking assessments?

We are waiving our usual minimum fee for online assessment events.  

Will the students need to submit pieces before?

Yes. In order to make the examination process smoother and enable examiners to prompt learners (if required) and ask any relevant Knowledge questions centre coordinators must upload copies of the pieces via a secure link that we will send out.  

Will LAMDA check if my pieces are suitable?

No. As an awarding organisation we cannot comment on the suitability of individual pieces and scenes. Teachers should check if the pieces being performed meet the exam requirements. 

What will happen if the internet connection goes down?

This will depend on how long the internet connection is disrupted. If it doesn’t look like the learner will be able to reconnect quickly, the exam will be rescheduled for a later time or date. The steward will decide whether to reschedule or not. 

If the connection issues are minor and can be resolved quickly, then the exam will pick up again from an appropriate point. Depending on when the connection cut out, the examiner may ask for the learner to restart their piece, scene or speech. 

Can I still apply for reasonable adjustments?

Yes. You can apply for a reasonable adjustment just as you would for any exam. Applications and supporting documents must be submitted three weeks in advance. (Deadlines for in person exams remain at six weeks, or eight weeks for Braille). 

What should a learner’s exam space look like?

We’ve written a guide to help learners set up their space. You can download it here. We recommend that examinations are taken in communal areas (e.g. living room, kitchen) but appreciate that this may not be possible. 

I normally enter learners at a public centre, can I register as a private centre so I can book an event for remote online assessment?

Yes. If you have 10 or more learners you can register as a temporary remote online assessment centre. If you think you may be able to hold exams at your own privately run centre in the future, you can also register as a private centre. To find out which centre type is best for you and to get an application form, please contact exams team on [email protected] 

Can the school IT technician or a teacher be a chaperone?

Yes. If the exams are taking place at your school remotely, a teacher or IT technician can act as the chaperone. We understand that they may not be able to confirm the exam the learner is taking, but we ask that the chaperone introduces the learner to the examiner, provides technical support and leaves the room when the exam is taking place. 

How does sight-reading work for online assessment?

From 1 August 2020 learners will be able to take exams with sight-reading components either from home or at a registered centre venue.  

The texts will be drawn from the same book from as the learner’s prose. This can either be a physical book or an e-book.  If the learner is using an e-book they will need to use a secondary device and not the same one that they are running Zoom on. Phones are not permitted, but learners can use a laptop, Kindle, iPad or other type of tablet. The learner must ensure that the WiFi is turned off, all apps and browsers are closed except for the one they are reading from, and all notifications are switched off. 

The examiner will ask the learner to turn to a selected page and to start from the first paragraph. They learner will have one-minute to read through and study the text prior to the reading. The examiner will indicate when the preparation time is over. The examiner will then ask the learner to read the selected text for approximately one minute, stopping them at an appropriate point (such as the end of a sentence or paragraph). 

If the learner is using an e-book, they will need to turn the device they were reading from off before proceeding with the rest of the exam. 

Can learners use PowerPoint as their visual aid?

Yes, at Levels 2 and 3 learners can use PowerPoint on a secondary device which is visible on camera. They will not make use of the screenshare feature, as this will reduce the window the examiner sees them the learner in to a small thumbnail. This view of the learner will be too small for the examiner to assess them accurately. 

How do conversation topics and impromptu titles work for online assessments?

Conversation topics and impromptu titles for online assessments function in the same way as they do for face-to-face exams. However, learners must have a pen and a blank piece of paper to write down the topic or title they have chosen from the list that the examiner will give to them. 

While preparing for their speech, learners will be on camera, in full view of the examiner. They will be asked to switch off any extra devices they have in the room other than the one being used to run Zoom, and to place them in a location that the examiner can see.