MFDS Part 2 remote exam guidance

This document sets out the procedures you will need to follow when you sit your exam via an online platform.

Please read it carefully – it tells you what to expect and what to do when the unexpected happens.

All candidates must read this document in full and must follow the instructions provided.

Failure to do so may result in an allegation of misconduct and could lead to disciplinary action against you.
Ignorance of the rules is not an acceptable defence.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England – this document refers to the Royal College of Surgeons of England as the awarding body or the organisation delivering the examination on behalf of the awarding body. The information below is applicable to the examination regardless of whether the Royal College of Surgeons of England are the awarding body or delivering the exams in collaboration with other organisations.

Online platform – a computer-based test system that utilises internet based technology and/or electronic software to allow candidates to sit an examination remotely using a computer/laptop/tablet rather than attend an examination venue.

Your candidate number has been provided to you via an email. Please ensure you memorise it. This candidate number will also be on all documentation provided during the examination.

The syllabus can be found on the RCS England website.

All examination documentation and materials, including case files, briefing documents and any other miscellaneous resources provided during the examination is the property and content of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

Obtaining, receiving, exchanging or passing on information which could be examination-related (or the attempt to) by means of screenshots, talking, written papers/notes, telephone, other electronic devices; or attempting to solicit information about the examination from candidates from an earlier examination; will be considered a breach of the Royal College of Surgeons of England malpractice regulations.

If the Royal College of Surgeons of England is alerted or becomes aware of examination documentation and materials being distributed before, during or after the examination the College will seek to establish the full facts and circumstances of any alleged malpractice by any candidate by seeking full accounts from and, where appropriate, interviewing, all parties involved. The College will seek to investigate all allegations of malpractice, but reserves the right to reject allegations which lack substance or appear, upon examination, to be malicious.

The College reserves the right to withhold the issuing of results while investigations are ongoing. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, results may be permanently withheld and the General Dental Council notified.

The College takes exam malpractice extremely seriously and will investigate all allegations. This document draws your attention to some of the ways in which you could potentially be thought to be cheating.

The list below describes examples of candidate exam condition violations and is not exhaustive:

  • Looking at mobile phone / tablet when not required
  • Wearing of any earplugs or headphones to block out background noise (please note, you are allowed to wear a headset, which will have a microphone attachment – this must be wired to your electronic device that you will be using for the examination)
  • Continuously looking around room (up, down, to the left or to the right)
  • Wearing of any clothing with the ability to hide materials i.e. hooded jumper
  • Leaving the room
  • Looking at hands or wrists
  • Accessing web pages
  • Accessing other applications, such as Word/Excel or their folders/windows explorer
  • Taking screenshots of exam content
  • Other people entering the room
  • Talking to anyone outside of the room
  • Using multiple screens
  • Text books or pre-written notes in exam taking environment
  • Notepad and writing equipment (for written exams, i.e. MCQs or SAQs, taken through the test portal Surpass). Please note: for assessments that involve preparation for a case- discussion, blank notepaper is permitted
  • Notes around the room
  • Room is too dark
  • Wearing sunglasses or smart glasses (without a need to do so)
  • Wearing a watch of any kind
  • Web cam on laptop angled up/face obscured
  • Vaping/smoking

If you are in any doubt about potential candidate malpractice during the examination, please contact the dentalexams@rcseng.ac.uk

As this exam is taking place remotely you will be expected to find your own examination location that meets your requirements for comfort, safety and quiet. You will not be allowed anyone else in the room with you and must safeguard against any interruption while your examination is taking place. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure they are in a room/location where they will not be disturbed. Any disturbances, out of the control of the College, will not be considered as mitigating circumstances.

You will need an electronic device (laptop, desktop computer.) that has a camera facility and during your registration you will be asked to confirm your set-up and the environment around you with the camera on your electronic device.

You will need to ensure that your hardware and internet connection is of the required standard as set down by the College:

Bandwidth(up/down)
Scenario
1Mbps/2Mbps
HD Group video calling (540p videos on 1080p screen)

Please note that if you do not abide by the instructions and specifications in this section (see below), the College may consider your behaviour as malpractice.

You must not use mobile phones, smart watches, stop watches, e-readers, tablets or other electronic devices during an exam.

The College will allow your phone to be available near your person as a means of quick communication if your internet connection is lost for a significant period of time during your examination. Your phone must be on silent mode, and placed face-down on the desk near you and not touched during your examination unless to communicate with RCS Staff in the event of an interruption.

All other electronics, other than your smartphone and the electronic device (laptop or Desktop) being used to sit the examination are to be removed and/or placed in your bag, away from your desk. Smartwatches must be turned off completely, not set to silent or do not disturb, and placed away from your desk and person.

If you wish to use a timer, you must use another device other than your smartwatch and smartphone.

Any other personal items such as religious icons or mementos must be placed under your desk.

You are responsible for bringing your own pens, pencils, notepad, etc. to the exam. Any notepaper brought in to the exam room must be blank when starting the exam. The invigilators reserve the right to request site of any notepaper before the exam begins. If you use a pencil case or similar, it must be transparent to allow invigilators to see the contents. If an invigilator cannot see the contents clearly, they are entitled to check. You may not bring any paper into the exam that already has written notes. You may bring an unlabelled, re-sealable, clear plastic drinking bottle into your exam. Food and/or medication is not allowed in the exam unless you have a medical requirement and this has been agreed in advance with exams staff. Please note that if it is agreed that you can have medication in the exam room, the medication must be stored in a clear, label-free container.

If you are unsure about what you may or may not take into an exam, you should check with the dentalexams@rcseng.ac.uk. This examination is not ‘open-book.’ You are not permitted to have any textbooks or written notes with you upon entering and starting the examination.

Where an invigilator finds prohibited materials, such as annotations, the invigilator may file a misconduct report against you which could lead to formal action being taken.

You may be eligible for Reasonable Adjustments if you are disabled, have a specific learning difficulty (such as dyslexia or dyspraxia) or have an ongoing medical condition. If you have not already done so, you should contact the dentalexams@rcseng.ac.uk for more advice.

Please note that Reasonable Adjustment requests must be made at the point of application and accompanied by full supporting documentation (doctor’s note, educational psychologist report etc.). Late reasonable adjustment applications that do not allow for sufficient time for the College to prepare for the adjustment may not be considered. If you have a reasonable adjustment request approved, you will be notified before the start of the exam period.

By entering the exam room you are declaring yourself fit to sit the exam. If you have experienced disruption to your studies prior to the exam (from personal difficulties e.g. bereavement or illness etc.) you must think carefully about whether you should attempt the exam or whether you should postpone sitting the examination. You may withdraw up to the first day of the examination and request a refund of your examination if you have extenuating circumstances and can provide supporting documentation. Any withdrawal from the exam after the closing date, without supported extenuating circumstances, will not be eligible for a refund of the examination fee.be notified before the start of the exam period.

You should arrive into the candidate briefing room in good time for each exam. You will be informed on your admit letter the appropriate time to do so. Please ensure you have checked your letter thoroughly and do not log-in before it is time to do so. All timings of the examination will be based on the time zone for the United Kingdom. The invigilator will tell you when you may enter your examination room. Please do not move to or from the examination room until an invigilator tells you to do so.
You should not wear any clothing which would prevent an invigilator from being able to identify you from your photo ID or which may conceal equipment or materials. You may be asked to remove any headwear which is not worn for religious purposes. If you wear a facial covering for religious or cultural reasons, a member of staff (of the same sex as you) may ask you to accompany them to a private online room to check your identity before the exam. They may also check that you are not bringing in any equipment or materials, other than those permitted.
You are expected to conduct yourself honestly and respectfully during the exam. This means following all invigilator instructions, being aware of your surroundings and being aware of how your behaviour may impact on other students during the examination. Failure to comply with instructions could lead to formal action being taken.

We are not able to help with interpreting questions or assisting with your understanding of a particular word or phrase. In the rare event that any examination materials contains a substantive error the Dental Examinations Team will work with the relevant department to resolve the issue during the exam. You will not normally be granted any additional exam time. If you still have concerns after the exam, you must raise the matter in writing within seven days of the exam in question.

At the end of your examination you will be invited by the invigilator to leave the examination room, this means you will need to hang-up from the meeting and log-off from Microsoft Teams completely until your next examination session. Due to the tight turn-around and in case of any delays we will encourage all candidates wishing to give feedback to complete the electronic feedback forms that will be available and return this by email after each examination session.

The College operates a fit to sit policy and by attending your examination, you are declaring that you are in a fit state to take your examination. However, we recognise that there may be occasions when a candidate taking an examination experiences an event before or during the examination is completed that may cause them to perform at a less than optimal level or substantially interrupts their examination. In such circumstances, an application for special consideration due to mitigating circumstances can be submitted and should be supported in writing with a full explanation of events plus all relevant supporting documentation.

Please expect the possibility of intermittent internet connectivity and that your examination may not run exactly to time. The College will ensure the examination runs as smoothly as possible, it is likely that there may be some elements, especially in regards to technology, which are outside of our control.

The College has prepared for all eventualities and have factored in additional examiners if required plus extra time between sessions for ease of movement between the rooms to account for minor delays. We have also arranged our timetable so that, in the event that a candidate is unable to sit their exam on time for various, legitimate reasons, we have spare rooms available later in the day. However, these spare rooms are not guaranteed and you should make every effort to connect to your room at the specified time.

If your internet connectivity is lost during your examination, i.e. you drop off or you are unable to hear the examiners/see them suddenly, you will have to contact your support person, whose details you will be given on the day of the examination. Please try and get back into the meeting as soon as possible. If you only lose a few seconds or a minute or two, extra time will be provided and examiners will inform RCS of the need for extra time.

If you lose connectivity for longer than five minutes, please try and get back to the candidate briefing room where possible. Your support person will do their best to arrange for you to re-sit the examination later that same day with a different case material.

If the examiners connectivity is lost during your exam, please continue on as normal with your exam. The examiners have been instructed to continue on with the exam to ensure as smooth a running as possible. If the examiner that has dropped out is having trouble re-entering, we will invite another examiner to sit-in and examine instead. This will not affect your marks in any way.
If the actor’s connectivity is lost during your exam, the support person assigned to your station will stop the timer for your exam and we will wait for the actor to log back in. If the actor cannot log back in quickly, or there are further underlying issues, we stop this station of the exam. You will move on to the next station when it is time to do so, and at the end of the examination, you will come back to sit the station that you were unable to complete.