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What you need to know about taking the RAC exam online

Posted 21 January 2021 | By Zachary Brousseau 

What you need to know about taking the RAC exam online

Traditionally, candidates for Regulatory Affairs Certification (RAC) have taken their RAC exams in person at one of more than 1,000 authorized testing centers around the world. But when the COVID-19 global health crisis forced most centers to close temporarily in the spring of 2020, RAPS launched a pilot program allowing exam-takers to sit for the exam remotely online.

RAPS worked with its testing vendor, Scantron, to roll out a form of test administration called ‘live online proctoring,’ which allows test takers to complete exams using their own computers from home or another private, quiet location.

Alaa El Kazak, Msc, RAC, a pharmaceutical regulatory professional based in Saudi Arabia, took and passed the exam online in the summer of 2020. “I selected initially to take the exam at a testing center in Jeddah but it was closed due to a COVID curfew,” said El Kazak. “I requested to transfer to another exam window but also the center was closed. At that time, I decided to take the exam online.”

Although El Kazak did report having to wait through a slight delay to the start of his exam, he affirmed the convenience of the online option and described his overall experience as “very good and comfortable,” and recommended it to other RAC candidates.

While test sites have long since reopened, the RAC exam’s foray into remote online testing proved successful. In response, RAPS has extended the pilot through at least the spring 2021 exam period, which begins 22 March, with applications due by 25 February.

It appears many RAC candidates have appreciated the opportunity to take the exam online. Some still may be restricted from traveling or face other obstacles making it difficult to get to a testing center. Regardless of the reason, the availability of live online proctoring provides increased flexibility.

The online exams are proctored live, and exam takers are monitored in real time as they would be in a traditional exam setting, so they must be able to communicate with the proctor via video and audio. The exams are administered using Scantron’s proprietary software, PASS, and live online proctoring is performed via Santron’s partner Examity. A video from Scantron provides a detailed walk-through of how the proctoring works.

For the most part, as long as a candidate has a reliable internet connection, functional web camera, a microphone and speakers, and a suitable, quite place free from distractions, they should be able to take their exam online. Computer system specifications and a link to complete a basic system check can be found in the FAQ on RAPS’ website. It is strongly recommended that those considering taking the exam online review these requirements.

When asked about advice for others taking the RAC exam online, El Kazak said his top tip is to “make sure that the exam space/room is adjusted according to the proctor rules.” The Scantron video shows how, using a webcam, an exam-taker confirms with the proctor that their workspace meets the requirements.

With proctors located around the globe, online testing allows candidates to take the exam on their own schedule. Testing sessions are offered 24/7 based on availability. For more information about taking the RAC exam online or at a testing center, visit RAPS’ RAC information pages.

 

© 2021 Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society.

Tags: RAC

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