New exam system: familiarisation exams

We have taken the decision to defer the introduction of a new online exam delivery system, following our recent live exam system testing.

We will deliver all IFoA exams in their traditional format, on our current exam system in April 2024.

Familiarisation exams allow you to experience using our new exam system before sitting exams.

We want to support candidates as we transition to our new online exam system and OBA format exams for our CB1 and CB2 subjects. Sitting familiarisation exams will give you an opportunity to navigate around the new system and to practice using the tools and functionality.

We strongly recommend candidates sit familiarisation exams to practice using the new online exam system and tools at the earliest possible opportunity.


Guide to sitting familiarisation exams

Here are some helpful tips for sitting familiarisation exams and OBA practice questions on our new exam system.

Error messages

Make sure you only open one familiarisation exam at a time using the links provided on this page, otherwise you may receive an error message.

If you receive an ‘Unauthorised’ error message, please close your web browser and open the exam again using the link on this page, rather than a cached or saved link.

Exam answers

So you can sit the same familiarisation exam multiple times, your exam answers are not saved on the exam system. Each time you open a familiarisation exam you will be presented with blank answer areas.

Taking breaks

If you take a break from completing a familiarisation exam for more than 30 minutes, you will see a pop-up box asking you to log back in with a username and password. If this happens, please close the exam and reopen it using the link on this page. You will not need a username or password.


Equipment for sitting familiarisation exams

We encourage you to sit familiarisation exams using the same equipment and connection that you will use to sit your exams.

This will highlight any potential issues with firewalls or security configuration (especially if you are using equipment provided by your employer or using a corporate internet connection or Wi-Fi) that you may be using when accessing our new exam system. It will give you plenty of time to resolve these issues before you sit any April exams.

It is especially important to test your equipment on the internet connection you plan to use, if you are unable to avoid sitting your exam using a connection that includes a virtual private network (VPN) or proxy servers. This will give you time to try alternate configuration or connections and seek technical help should you need it.

If you will be sitting your exams in your workplace, attempting familiarisation exams will show whether there are firewalls or other web filtering activity that could limit or prohibit access to your exam. This will give you time and opportunity to request access from your employer if you need it.

To learn more, see the new exam system technical requirements.


Essay style familiarisation exam

Candidates planning to sit any of our SA, SP, or CP1 exams in April 2024 can sit a familiarisation exam in our new online exam environment.

Candidates will be able to answer a range of questions from our SA and SP subject past papers, so they can explore and practice using our new exam system. This familiarisation exam experience does not reflect a full IFoA online exam but does support candidates in accessing the system and learning how to answer essay style questions.

Access an essay style familiarisation exam


Objective based assessment (OBA) exams

Candidate feedback from our OBA trial exams show that OBA specific study preparation, a strong understanding of all syllabi learning objectives, and practicing objective based assessment questions is important.

To ensure candidates are as well prepared as possible for the new OBA format CB1 and CB2 exams, we encourage candidates to sit our CB1 and CB2 familiarisation exams.

Candidates can sit a full CB1 or CB2 exam, which includes the same number of questions that will be used in a live exam, using our familiarisation exams for these subjects. This means candidates can practice using the new exam system and completing an OBA format exam in the required time.

You can now:



If you have questions about the new exam system please email

We will be collating all questions and regularly responding on our exam developments FAQ page.

We will let you know about updates to the FAQ page through email and your student and associate newsletter.


Related resources

Exam developments

All the information and resources you’ll need as we adopt more modern and digital methods of assessment.
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Objective based assessment: study tips

Why you may need to change your study preparation for OBA and three effective approaches you could take
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Exam developments: FAQs

Find answers to your questions about our new exam system and the introduction of objective based assessments.
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